Texas History

From Texas Standard.

Texas has a state bird, a state flower — even a state insect. What most Texans don’t know, however, is that the state also has an official play, and this year marks its 50th anniversary. And, though millions around the world have seen the musical, many Texans have yet to experience it.

It happens six nights a week for three months every summer. Crowds gather at an outdoor amphitheater at Palo Duro Canyon State Park outside of Amarillo, as they have for the past 50 years. They come to see a musical they won’t see anywhere else.

It’s called ‘Texas.’ It’s kind of like the more-famous ‘Oklahoma,’ except it’s about, well, Texas.

During his week broadcasting from Texas, Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson visited an unusual family reunion in San Antonio, where more than 200 members of the Maverick family recently gathered. The family name inspired the English word that we know today.

Institute of Texan Cultures

The Institute of Texan Cultures opened up a major new exhibit last week. I was able to get a little preview, and speak to its two curators. First, Lupita Barrera.

“The new exhibit is called Los Tejanos. And it is the history, the story of our people, starting five hundred years ago. It covers the struggles that we’ve been through in order to get to where we are.”

And also Sarah Gould.

Texas State Archive

The Progressive Era in Texas might sound like a contradiction in terms but there was a time, about a century ago,  when liberal reforms of government, business and society were popular. Many of the reforms are still being enjoyed today and have taken root in Texas as bedrock principles of good government.

It was one hundred years ago that South Texas was the scene of an outbreak of violence that targeted Mexican Americans who lived in the region. Some historians say there was an undeclared war against Mexico and the Texas Rangers were given free reign to fight the bandits. Any Ranger was a mounted judge, jury and executioner for anyone they suspected of sympathizing with Mexico.