The Friends of the Library will hold its annual meeting at 2 p.m March 23 in the Victoria Public Library Bronte Room, 302 N. Main St. It is open to the public. Author Franklin G. Hempel will speak about his book, "James Walker Fannin: A Determined Commander in an Impossible Situation. "The lecture will trace the steps and missteps taken by Col. Fannin during the first three months of 1836. Using many documents and communications issued by the principal leaders of that time, the speaker will focus on the unfortunate chain of events and overwhelming obstacles faced by Fannin in his brief tenure as the best military commander the Texians could field, according to a news release from the Friends of the Library.

Franklin Hempel lived in Victoria during the 1950s, says the Victoria Advocate. He graduated from Patti Welder High School in 1957, the last class to finish in that building. This was followed by two years at Victoria College and two years in the Army. He enrolled in the University of Texas after his discharge from military service and remained in Austin until 1970, having finished his doctorate degree the year before. He spent the next 30 years at Duke University, the University of Toronto, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense. Now retired, he lives in central North Carolina near the Virginia border, where he keeps alive his dream to write books of fiction.