Lone Star Pasts
Memory and History in Texas
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: Texas A&M University Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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During the summer of 2005, cyclist Lance Armstrong’s unprecedented effort to win his seventh consecutive Tour de France received extensive news coverage around the world. Few accounts of his performance failed to highlight that he was a Texan. Spectators along the race route honored his roots by routinely waving giant Lone Star flags when he rode past. It is hard to imagine that comparable attention would have been paid to Armstrong’s...
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By its nature, the writing of history is a collaborative enterprise, for historians depend upon librarians, archivists, colleagues, and family members for sources, criticism, advice, and moral support. In an edited work such as this one, this is particularly true. From the inception of this project, our editor at Texas A&M University Press offered enthusiastic support and sage advice, for which we are very grateful. The fine scholars who contributed essays accepted...
Introduction: A Study of History, Memory, and Collective Memory in Texas
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In May 2003, fifty- one Democratic members of the Texas legislature fled across the Red River to a Holiday Inn in Ardmore, Oklahoma, in an attempt to prevent a quorum and thus defeat a controversial Republican- backed redistricting bill. Responding to their action, House Speaker Tom Craddick invoked one of Texas’ most cherished historical memories. “At the Alamo when Travis drew a line in the dirt, inviting those who wanted to leave, only...
Chapter 1: Early Historians and the Shaping of Texas Memory
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Shaping society’s understanding of the past or some aspect of the past is the goal, the “noble dream,” of every modern historian. Therein lies the impetus behind historical revision: to correct, to clarify, to interpret the past in light of new information and insight in order to provide a society with more accurate knowledge about itself. “If I can correct the misperception about the route of this expedition,” a colleague once confided, “I will have achieved...
Chapter 2: The Bones of Stephen F. Austin: History and Memory in Progressive- Era Texas
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On a perfect October morning in 1910, a crowd of one hundred politicians, reporters, and family members gathered around a grave in a small churchyard cemetery in Brazoria County, Texas. The occasion was not a funeral but rather the disinterment of a body that had been buried there seventy- four years earlier. As the bystanders looked on, laborers began to dig. Their task was made difficult by the roots of a large oak tree that had grown into the gravesite, but...
Chapter 3: Memory, Truth, and Pain: Myth and Censorship in the Celebration of Texas History
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What should we do when we are embarrassed by our history? Before we can begin to answer this question, we must untangle its many possible meanings. There are events in the past that are so painful to contemplate—deeds that are so sordid—that our first impulse is to turn our heads away in revulsion and shame for the human race. But if the philosopher George Santayana’s warning has merit—if we are indeed condemned to repeat the past if we fail...
Chapter 4: “Memories Are Short but Monuments Lengthen Remembrances”: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Power of Civil War Memory
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The small talk and gossip that filled the Hauschild Opera House in Victoria, a prosperous community about 120 miles southwest of Houston, in May 1896 hushed as Kate Wheeler approached the podium to welcome the “band of sisterhood” present at the first United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) state convention. In her remarks, Wheeler, representing the local UDC chapter, urged the members of all five chapters in attendance to build...
Chapter 5: Memory and the 1920s Ku Klux Klan in Texas
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During the early 1920s the Ku Klux Klan grew to enormous size and influence in Texas, but from the mid- to late 1920s it dwindled away. Usual explanations for the rapid rise and fall of the Klan describe its growth as an aftershock of World War I and connect it to changing gender roles, an upsurge in racial tension, class anxiety, increased urbanization, and concerns about lawlessness and licentiousness in the Prohibition era. In Texas the Klan also...
Chapter 6: Juneteenth: Emancipation and Memory
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Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, Union commander of the Department of Texas, arrived at the port of Galveston on June 19, 1865. His first tasks were to secure the coast and take command of the eighteen hundred Union troops in Texas after the formal surrender of Confederate Lt. Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith on June 2, 1865. On the day of his arrival, General Granger allegedly went to the antebellum home known as Ashton Villa in the center of town. There, from...
Chapter 7: Constructing Tejano Memory
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The first years of the twenty- first century witnessed a number of statues erected across Texas under the leadership of Mexican Americans who were intent on honoring their heritage. This construction boom marks the first time that monuments have been raised to their memory in the state. In years prior Mexican Americans did not have exclusive authority over the institutions or funds that raised historical monuments or markers; therefore, their...
Chapter 8: Generation versus Generation: African Americans in Texas Remember the Civil Rights Movement
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In early October 2004, my stepdaughter and I sat down to view a Lifetime Television movie on a balmy Saturday afternoon. It was supposed to be our way of having some wind- down time from homework and chores. To my excitement a period piece was showing, The Long Walk Home (1990), starring Whoopi Goldberg and Sissy Spacek. The movie chronicled the relationship between a white housewife and her black maid during the turbulent events...
Chapter 9: Lyndon, We Hardly Remember Ye: LBJ in the Memory of Modern Texas
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My only memory of Lyndon Johnson just happens to be his last public event. I remember his funeral. The whole first grade sat (so-called “Indian-style”) on the floor of our open classroom. We watched the televised goings-on in Washington; I watched the Hill Country burial at home with my mother. There wasn’t much else on television back in those days. All three networks were all Lyndon, all day. In retrospect, Johnson’s obsequies...
Chapter 10: Mission Statement: The Alamo and the Fallacy of Historical Accuracy in Epic Filmmaking
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The Alamo is the oldest Texas story that keeps getting retold for mass audiences in that form of national memory known as the movies. Yet despite repeated versions from the earliest days of filmmaking into the twenty-first century, no Alamo film has ever captured the national imagination to the extent that other ventures in historical epic movie- making have. Hollywood historical epics appeal to their audience not only because they entertain but...
Chapter 11: History and Collective Memory in Texas: The Entangled Stories of the Lone Star State
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The past lives in the present as both history and memory. History, at least as the discipline is generally understood today, is the written account of the past provided by scholars who base their works primarily on archival sources. History is a form of entertainment, but most regard it also as a means of informing and instructing the present by examining the past. Memory, which may be both individual and collective, is the deliberate recall of past events...
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Page Count: 324
Illustrations: 4 color photos., 25 b&w photos., 16 cartoons.
Publication Year: 2007