For More Information Contact

Dr. Gary W. Shanafelt, Chair
Department of History
1 McMurry University #638
Abilene, TX 79697

Office: Old main 304c
Phone: 325-793-3863


Department of History

McMurry History Profs on FOX Television!

FrazierMcMurry University History Professors Dr. Don Frazier and Dr. Stephen Hardin bring their extensive knowledge about Texas and Old West history to Fox News Legends & Lies: The Real West, airing at 8 p.m. Eastern Time (7 p.m. Central). The series is produced by Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly.

The documentary series takes a trip back in time over the course of ten Sundays to examine the legends of historical Wild West heroes like Jesse James, David Crockett, Doc Holliday, and Billy the Kid.

Two original episodes will run back-to-back for the première week, with brand new episodes debuting every following Sunday. Legends & Lies will also be presented during additional weekend slots including Saturdays at 8 p.m. Eastern and on Sundays.

The documentary-style series is produced by Warm Springs Productions, which is known for such programs as History's Mountain Men, Animal Planet's American River Renegades, and HGTV's Log Cabin Living.

Hardin"They contacted Steve Hardin about doing a segment on David Crockett, and he went down to San Antonio and spent a day shooting," says Dr. Frazier. "Then, one of their commentators canceled, and they asked Steve if he could recommend someone, and he turned them on to me. I ended up commenting on several segments including Crockett, Kit Carson, Bass Reeves, George Custer, Jesse James, and Isaac Parker. I'm a historian; I should know a little something about a lot of things! At any rate, the history department at McMurry University once again stepped up and helped contribute to a high profile, national project, and we were glad to do it."

"We didn't get to work directly with Bill O'Reilly, but from what we heard, he liked what he saw on camera," notes Dr. Hardin. "Now we get to see how much of our work actually makes it on screen."

The 21st Century Fox-owned cable outlet bills Legends & Lies as a program that portrays critical moments that led to renown for the central figure of each episode. The episodes also present first-hand accounts from direct descendants and historians, along with archival photographs and special effects. Viewers can then decide, based on forensic evidence and analysis, whether each protagonist's story is a legend or a lie.


History has been an active part of McMurry University’s academic program ever since the institution’s first classes began in 1923.  Today, history continues to be made by a full-time staff of four who pride themselves on their professional accomplishments both within and outside the classroom. The History Department at McMurry University boasts a passionate commitment to scholarship, the classical tradition, and frontier values.  Our faculty has created a course of study that emphasizes time-honored courses coupled with unique programs.  These include the Great Books; ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and modern Europe; the Unites States; military history; and Texas. McMurry’s small, intimate environment promises students the kind of personal attention that they often miss at larger schools, but also affords them a surprisingly varied mix of intellectual challenges. It’s this combination of intimacy and intellectual diversity that distinguishes the McMurry history program and enables it to fulfill McMurry’s mission of promoting leadership, excellence, and virtue.