June 11, 2018 - This summer, the Texas Historical Commission’s (THC) state historic sites are participating in the Blue Star Museums program that gives active military personnel and their families free admission to museums and historic sites. The program, coordinated by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), began Memorial Day and lasts through Labor Day (Sept. 3, 2018).
More than 1,800 museums in all 50 states are taking part in the initiative, the eighth consecutive year of the program. The program is a collaboration of the NEA, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and museums and state agencies such as the THC. A number of the THC’s historic sites are dedicated to preserving the memory of military service in Texas, such as the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg and Fannin Battleground in Fannin.
Blue Star Families is a national, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve, with a mission to support, connect, and empower military families. For more information, and to learn which museums are participating, visit www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums. For more information about the THC’s Historic Sites program, visit www.texashistoricsites.com or contact 512-463-7948.
Last Chance to Submit Applications for Undertold Stories
Texas history is filled with stories of people and places that may not be widely known, yet are important components of the state’s culture and heritage. The Texas Historical Commission’s (THC) Undertold Markers Program is your chance to nominate these as recipients for permanent historical markers that address gaps in history, promote diversity of topics, and proactively document significant underrepresented subjects or stories. June 15 is the final deadline to submit applications for this year’s program.
The THC utilizes general marker application funds to sponsor these markers that represent an untold or undertold aspect of Texas history. Previous undertold markers honor significant individuals and places like Mina Ward school in Bastrop, the site of the first Mexican-American integration into white public schools and the murals of Hannah Hall at Texas Southern University in Houston that were painted by students of the renowned artist Dr. John Biggers.
The THC can assist local sponsors and County Historical Commissions with selected topics by paying for the foundry cost of a historical marker, or by assisting with the research necessary to submit and complete a qualified application.
For more information about the Undertold Markers Program, contact the THC’s History Programs Division at 512-463-5853 or visit thc.texas.gov.
Commemorate Juneteenth with the Texas Historical Commission
On June 19, 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863, Union Gen. Gordon Granger made the announcement in Galveston that slavery had ended in Texas. The news of freedom gradually traveled to slaves throughout the state, as individual plantation owners read the proclamation following the end of the Civil War. This milestone is known as Juneteenth and is celebrated annually on June 19, following the Texas Legislature’s passage of an act declaring it a state holiday in 1979.
The Texas Historical Commission’s (THC) heritage travel guide, African Americans in Texas: A Lasting Legacy, serves as a helpful tool for celebrating Juneteenth throughout the state. Showcasing dozens of sites in Texas, the booklet explores African American heritage through powerful tales of survival and innovation, as well as the impact of civil rights, and religious, political, and other inspirational leaders. The recently updated, full-color travel guide contains a detailed chronological introduction to African American history in Texas, a multi-page timeline, and nine thematic sidebars on topics such as education, freedmen’s communities, agriculture, and Buffalo Soldiers.
The companion website, www.africanamericansintexas.com, features sites highlighted in the booklet, as well as maps, a photo gallery, additional sites not included in the booklet, and travel planning resources.
To learn more about Juneteenth celebrations occurring in your community, visit www.juneteenth.com. To download a copy of the THC brochure, African Americans in Texas: A Lasting Legacy, visit www.africanamericansintexas.com.