Both with deep Texas roots, Charles Butt and Leonardo “Flaco” Jimenez received the History-Making Texan Award for 2019 from the Texas State History Museum Foundation. Each is a pioneer in their own respect: one a successful business leader and champion for Texas public education, and the other, a trailblazer who helped bring Mexican-American music to the mainstream.
The two received their honors at the Foundation’s 15th Annual Texas Independence Day Dinner held on February 28 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. The award recognizes living Texas legends whose contributions to the state and the nation have been truly historic and exceptional in scope, according to a release from the foundation.
“Charles Butt has transformed the grocery industry through his leadership of H-E-B. He is an innovative and brilliant business pioneer and also a national voice in public education and administration. Every Texan owes him a debt of gratitude for his tireless advocacy and for being an impactful and generous community partner. His philanthropy in education, hunger relief, military support, health and wellness, social services, the environment, diversity and the arts has transformed Texas,” said Carla Moran, the event’s Chair.
The Texas Independence Day Dinner celebrates the state’s rich cultural heritage and generates support for the Bullock Museum, the nation’s premier institution on Texas history. More than 500 businesses, political and community leaders attended the event, which raised more than $1 million to support educational programs and special projects of the Bullock Museum, the foundation stated in a release.
“My life story has been uniquely shaped by Texas, and I have a strong love for this state, its history, and its people. With deep Texas roots, it is my honor to give back, working to provide a more hopeful future for our children through strengthening our public education system. I am grateful to the Bullock Texas State History Museum for this honor and I congratulate my fellow Texan, Flaco Jiménez, on his extraordinary career,” said Charles Butt of being honored with the History-Making Texan award.
Jimenez, a San Antonio native, boasts an illustrious musical career, both as a solo artist and member of the Texas Tornadoes. He introduced his accordion-fueled Tex-Mex sound to audiences across several musical genres, recording with musicians and groups such as the Rolling Stones, Dwight Yoakum, Ry Cooder, Carlos Santana, and Doug Sahm.
“Flaco Jiménez’s illustrious career spans seven decades on the accordion. Recognized for his accomplishments in Tejano and Conjunto music with six Grammys, a Latin Billboard Lifetime Achievement Award, and a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts, it is only fitting that he add History-Making Texan to his deserved accolades,” Moran said.
Previous honorees include former U.S. Presidents, governors, and senators as well as sports legends. Click here for a full list of award recipients.
The museum was founded in 2001 and is named for the state’s 38th Lieutenant Governor, Bob Bullock. Since its inception, nearly 9 million visitors, including over 1.6 million school children, have explored Texas history through the museum’s award-winning exhibitions, interactive media experiences, and innovative educational programming. Since 1999, the nonprofit foundation has raised approximately $30 million to support educational programs at the Bullock museum.