Tag Archives: history

Thursday, March 2, 2017 – March 2, 1836 – Texas Independence Day!

Thursday, March 2, 2017 – March 2, 1836 – Texas Independence Day!

While the fighters were defending The Alamo, the suits and politicians were signing a Declaration of Independence stating the Mexican state of Texas would henceforth be free and independent.

Five days later, on March 6, Santa Anna’s armies would breach the walls of The Alamo and order “no quarters” which meant “kill them all.” A few days march later, there was The Goliad Massacre. History books state Colonel Fannin split his troops into two sections (not good military strategy). Neither did he tell his troops there was to be “no quarters.” These decisions vilified Fannin and his widow and two daughters for decades.

Meanwhile, General Sam Houston and the entire town of Gonzales were hauling their newly independent asses toward the Gulf Coast with Santa Anna in hot pursuit. Had General Santa Anna not stopped along the way, he might have overtaken them. That would be “no muy bueno. Es muy mal.”

The ending battle for Texas Independence was April 21, 1936 at San Jacinto. The Battle of San Jacinto is considered a world changing battle. Texas was free and independent. I know, RP, it should have stayed that way.

Today is a day when we celebrate all of Texas and its heroes of The Revolution. William B. Travis, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, Sam Houston, DeWitt, Rush, Rusk, and all of the others Texas heroes of the day.

But here is my Texas hero. J.V. McClanahan from Luling, Texas. JV waving from bus (800x530)

Five years ago, I had the privilege and honor to escort Mr. J. V. on Austin’s first Honor Flight carrying World War II Vets to see their monument in Washington D. C.ww-ii-2

untitledOn March 2, 1945, Mr. McClanahan was taken POW by the Germans during The Battle of the Bulge. He remained a POW until VE Day in May of 1945. Upon his release he sailed home on The Queen Mary.

Thank you to all The Texians. Thank you, J.V. and to all those who protect our freedom on a daily basis. Here’s a big 10 gallon Texas HAT’S OFF TO YOU!

Texas Flag @ Sunset (800x600)

Thursday, January 5, 2017 – I Like Books. I Like to Read. Go For It, Bibliophiles.

Thursday, January 5, 2017 – I Like Books. I Like to Read. Go For It, Bibliophiles.

For Christmas I received these two books in the same gift – Hugs – Daily Devotionals for Women and The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm. Maybe my family knows me better than I think they do. My sister only received the one about hugs. She then stated regarding the second title, “Why did you get the other one? You certainly don’t need a book to be sarcastic.”

Buddy Glasses

I started keeping this book list in June.

Fiction

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. We learn so many behind the scenes, resistance and sacrifices made during WWII. Viva la France!

Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen – From the opening pages when you determine why the book is so titled you will not stop laughing. Florida and Hiaasen at their best.

Adding to my Grit Lit Syllabus

William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom. Each year I read a work of Faulkner. While Absalom, Absalom is considered to be one of Faulkner’s greatest works, it took me three months to read the 300 page novel about The South during the 1930’s during a time of poverty, illiteracy, race, mixed races, rape, incest; War Between the States memories; honor, greed, family secrets, grave yards, hooped skirts; half breeds, former slaves still tied to their masters; the old South refusing to die; and sentences like this one that trail off into who knows where, forcing the reader to become lost and forgetting who the characters are or what we are even talking about and then there is that one sentence that is supposed to be 1118 words long that continues for pages. The previous paragraph was 114 words for comparison. But what a story of The South! And no one writes it better than Faulkner.

Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell. OMG! I cannot believe this was on my high school reading list at McC. I really should have read it before putting it on the reading list. Just think how TW parents reacted to The Chocolate Wars! Thank goodness only Bert Cohn read it and was mature and smart enough to understand it, but then he was in the Sons of the Confederacy. Think Faulkner with shorter sentences and more direct sentences about The South and rape, race, incest, poverty and illiteracy.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. While listed under fiction, I so wish this was a tale of fiction, but history tells us it is not. Every school child when he or she first learns of The Underground Railroad thinks it is a train that run beneath the earth. We later learn it was a path to freedom. This book tells of the horror and the kindness witnessed when the train makes stops headed north. A must read for history lovers. Have tissues close by.

Hillbilly Elegy. A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance. This was one of the most influential books of 2016. Faith, Appalachia, poverty, family love and a Yale Law School graduate. Educators need to look at a First Generation college graduate and prestigious law school grad and the norms and mores he still carries. It also examines what that background and upbringing reveals about Trump, The Rust Belt and America.

The Whistler by John Grisham. I forgot the plot and this one did have a plot unlike his last. Hey, it’s Grisham – some lawyers, some bad people, some good people and this one takes place in Florida. Fun read.

The Whole Town’s Talking by Fannie Flagg. This is the kind of book that keeps a smile on your face with every word. When you get to the last page, you want to start it all over again. Worth the hardback because you feel so good at the end.

Non/Fiction History

Gone at 3:17 – The Untold Story of the Worst School Disaster in American History by David M. Brown and Michael Wereschagin. One needs only to grow up in Texas and exam the nine pages of In Memoriam listing the names and grave sites to understand the magnitude of the horror that occurred in New London, Texas on March 18, 1937 when the school exploded taking the lives of an entire generation.

Currently Reading

What Hath God Wrought – The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe. This Pulitzer Prize winner for history is not for the faint of heart, (or the weak of arms) but the lover of history. This 850+ page monstrosity examines a time in United States history that is remarkably similar to today. It starts with a dying generation of white men from The Colonial Era moving into a time frame when a seemingly unqualified man was elected President of the United States, whose cabinet was infamous for infighting over the morals of their wives and other issues; a First Lady who was vilified in public, a campaign to remove an entire race and culture of people, and brand new technology called the telegraph that told the entire world about it all. There is also the other technology of the time period – The railroad. Like President Elect Trump, Andrew Jackson had bad hair too.

Empire of the Summer Moon by S. C. Gwynne. Speaking of the extermination of a race and culture, this Austin, Texas author tells the story of Quanah Parker, the Comanches and the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. This is an easy, but powerful read with lots of Texas history that the Daughters of the Texas Revolution probably do not want one to know about. For example, the POTUS of the time, Andrew Jackson had a plan called The Indian Removal – just move them somewhere (See Oklahoma). The second President of the Texas Republic, Mirabeau Lamar’s was known as The Indian Exterminator – kill them. If one follows the same logic today about removing statues of individuals during a time of slavery, then there would not be an elementary school in the state of Texas named after The Father of Texas Education.

Keep reading!

Friday, December 2, 2016 – Conference Championship Weekend and the Way Way Back Machine!

Friday, December 2, 2016 – Conference Championship Weekend and the Way Way Back Machine!

Before we begin, let us review (Saint Madeline, Patron Saint of Education). It is Snarky Friday. I only write about college football teams I like and/or play teams that I like. However, it is the “Be nice, not naughty” season so I am trying reel in the Snark. Please stop laughing.

The Conference Championship for the conference formerly known as The Big 12 will play their faux conference championship in Oklahoma when Bedlam breaks out between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Cowboys are coached by the man voted “Best Mullet in College Football,” Mike Gundy. Let’s go Cowboys! “Hell is coming and we’re coming with ‘Em.” Go Pokes!

OSU 1 - Copy (800x550)

The Southeast Conference Championship is between # 1 Alabama and Florida. DROWN THE GATORS! DRAIN THE SWAMP! TASTE LIKE CHICKEN! STOMP! STOMP! STOMP! ROOOOOLLLLLL TIDE! Go Jalen. At least you can make Texas football proud.

I am sure I would look cute in an Alabama championship shirt of some kind. It’s not like Bama Fans don’t have a zillion of them. A nice hound’s tooth hat would look cute on me too. Just saying. I would have posted a pic.

But before college there is high school. The Way Back Machine was in action yesterday. In fact it was in way, way back mode. Check out what Magnolia history I uncovered in the family storage. Magnolia High School yearbooks. These are from 1946-1952.

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I quickly glanced through them and saw names such as: Groves, Cronin, Flemings (both sets), Carraways, Smith (as in Toby and Cedric) Buckalew, Grogan, Wade, Sanders, Evans, Covingtons, Harpers, Hanks, Graves, Deans (all sets of them too,) Damuths, Ricketts, Davenports, Purvis, Lott and so many more. There are some great photos of the old school, including the old cafeteria. I cannot wait to start sharing. Nothing like a picture of ya’ll in elementary school.

The weather is supposed to turn chilly this weekend. Perhaps these letter jackets will keep you warm with Magnolia memories.

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