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Fourth Of July—Looking Outside

Please have a nice and safe Fourth of July.

This picture is one I took last year of how it looks outside the window of the Old North Church in Boston.

One if by land and all that.

July 4, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Fourth Of July Reading & Reference List

(Above–Black Americans observing the Fourth in 1939 in St. Helena Island, South Carolina.)

What books and resources would be helpful to learn more about the American Revolution and about America?

As I’ve said before, I don’t believe the Revolution was a liberal or conservative event in the sense we think about such things today.

Some of the Founding Fathers were religious. Others were not.  The Revolution had some aspects of a tax revolt. But who can know if folks in the early days of the nation would not have paid more taxes to get all the garbage out of the street or to prevent so many women from dying in childbirth?  Some of the founders believed in government being run from state capitols. Others supported a stronger national government.

Anybody who asserts that the American Revolution was a liberal or conservative victory in the modern sense is more concerned with today’s politics than with historical facts.

At the bottom line, it is up to you to know and understand our shared history. If you allow others to define your past, they will likely use that power to help bring about a future you don’t want.

(Below–1887 Fourth of July picnic in Custer County, Nebraska.)

Here are some suggestions for strong sources to learn about the life in North America before colonization, after colonization, at the time of the Revolution, and to learn about the full history of our nation.

1491–New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann

There was a whole world here before 1492. 1492 is one marker in history. There is little understanding of who lived in the Americas before Columbus. American history did not begin in 1492 or  in 1620 when the Mayflower arrived.

Mayflower–A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick

There are starting points in American history other than the landing of the Mayflower. Yet learning the story of the Mayflower is basic to knowing our history.

Before The Mayflower—A History of Black America by Lerone Bennett.

In many ways, nothing is more central to the American experience than the history of black Americans. So much has turned on the decision to bring black people to America, and on how those unwilling immigrants responded to life in North America.

American Colonies–The Settlement of North America by Alan Taylor

This book is a good way to learn about the British colonies. It includes chapters about not just the 13 colonies we all know and love, but also has chapters on British Canada and about colonies in the Caribbean.

History of American Women–A blog.

This blog is a useful resource to know more about women of early American history.

The American wing of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The website has pictures and details of most of the pieces in the newly reopened.collection.

Patriots–The Men Who Started The American Revolution by A.J. Langguth

This book reads like a novel. It is an enjoyable and informative way to learn about the events and personalities of the Revolution.

The Penguin History Of  The United States by Hugh Brogan

The Penguin History is a one-volume non-ideological account of our nation that discusses the events of the Revolution and then goes on to provide the full context of American history. While I do sometimes read history books written from the left or the right, I find I’d rather have a balanced account that leaves ideological judgements up to the reader.

A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn.

This is the definitive liberal history of the U.S.

As a liberal, I’m confident that an examination of the facts–In a way both comprehensive, and sympathetic to the strengths and weaknesses of our fellow men and women— will lead to a view that America is best when it is welcoming of people of all kinds, and that government has, in tandem with the hard-work of a free people, a role to play in providing a basic social safety net for its people.

In any case, it is your responsibility to learn your history and to consider what this history means in terms of your beliefs and actions in the world.

If you allow someone else to define your past, they will likely use that power to mess up your future.

Learn the past so you can be a hopeful and relevant part of the future.

(Below–How some see the Fourth of July. It is fine as far is it goes. But there is so much more. The painting–called The Spirit of ’76– is by Archibald Willard.)  

June 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

2012 Fourth Of July Events For Houston, Galveston, Fort Bend & College Station—Fourth Of July Reading List

There are many events planned to mark Independence Day for 2012 in the Houston area. The Fourth falls on a Wednesday this year.

(Above—Fireworks over Houston.)

In addition to the events listed in this post, there ways you can observe the Fourth in a patriotic fashion on your own. We don’t have to wait for somebody to put on a fireworks show.

We can express patriotism by treating each other kindly, by treating our fellow working people well, by being accepting of all people, and by learning our shared history instead of being ignorant.

At the end of this post is my Fourth of July Reading and Reference list which has some good resources to learn about our nation’s history.

Patriotism is an everyday affair and is well-expressed by being a good fellow citizen to the everyday people who make our nation–for better and for worse–what it is.

A worthwhile thing to do before the fireworks is to attend the Bayou Bend Fourth of July celebration.

Here are some details about the Fourth at Bayou Bend—

“Celebrate Independence Day at Houston’s home for American decorative arts and paintings. The annual 4th of July blowout at Bayou Bend offers up an extravaganza of Americana: performers, crafts, activities, refreshments, and more. Don’t forget to sign the giant Declaration of Independence before you leave!”

Bayou Bend, run by the Houston Museum of Fine Arts is a great year round  place to learn about early American history.

The big fireworks show in the Houston area is the Freedom over Texas festival that is held on the Fourth.  This event will take place in Eleanor Tinsley Park. There will be a lot of people at this festival and it will be very hot.

Please note this reminder from the City of Houston on the Freedom Over Texas webpage—

 “The Houston Parks & Recreation Department regulations prohibit dogs, amphibians, reptiles and snakes that are considered dangerous. Therefore, we require the ban of all such animals…”

I’m not certain which amphibians and reptiles are viewed as dangerous and which are not.

Another big event is the Houston Symphony’s Star Spangled Salute which is held on the Fourth at the Miller Theater in Hermann Park beginning at 8:30 PM.

Red, Hot & Blue is the fireworks event to be held in The Woodlands on the evening of the Fourth. Fireworks is a fine way for The Woodlands to note the Fourth. Getting it right for the Fourth is a sharp contrast to the inappropriately celebratory manner in which The Woodlands noted Memorial Day 2012. You’ll have to decide for yourself if a place that sees Memorial Day as just another time to shop is the right place for an expression of loyalty to our nation.

In Galveston there will be fireworks at 37th and Seawall at 9:15 PM. I bet the fireworks are nice along the ocean.

The Galveston County Daily News usually does a good job listing holiday events in Galveston County.

Sugar Land promises “an 18-minute spectacular fireworks show that will color the sky with magic and majesty.”  Here are the details.  

Rosenberg in Fort Bend County has an event planned for the Fourth.

The George H.W. Bush Library in College Station has the “I Love America celebration all day on the Fourth.  There will be fireworks at the end of the night.

I’m not being sarcastic when I tell you that I would go to the Bush Library for the Fourth if my schedule allowed. The Bush Library event would be my first pick.

Here is a list of some Houston area fireworks shows from the Houston Chronicle.

I’m certain I’ve left off many events on this list, If you have something you’d like me to add to this list, please leave a comment and I will add your event.

Here is my Fourth of July Reading & Reference list—-  

(Above–Black Americans observing the Fourth in 1939 in St. Helena Island, South Carolina.)

What books and resources would be helpful to learn more about the American Revolution and about America?

As I’ve said before, I don’t believe the Revolution was a liberal or conservative event in the sense we think about such things today.
Continue reading

June 23, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Please Have A Great Fourth Of July

Today is the Fourth of July.

Please have a great Fourth of July.

You can see in the picture above that Uncle Sam takes a dim view of anybody not enjoying the holiday.

Here is some history of Uncle Sam. 

(Photo by Thomas Recke.)

July 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Texans Mark 235 Years Of Federal Supremacy Over The States—Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up

At the end of this post is the weekly round-up of the Texas Progressive Alliance. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers who are working hard for a better Texas.

Every Texan has the ability has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, and even run for public office. The work of freedom is up to each of us.

With this being Fourth of July weekend, it is good time to note the supremacy of our federal union over the states.

Above is a picture of the Fouth of July fireworks last night at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

It seems that for all the talk about so-called states rights and seccession, many Texans have no problem marking 235 years of federal supremacy over the states in a socialist taxpayer-financed stadium.

Here is the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives of the United States.

Here is a Fourth of July reading list.

Please have a good Fourth.

Here is the round-up—

The Congressional map got its final legislative approval, and Off the Kuff analyzes the new districts.

This week WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the (in)action at The Lege. Quorums were broken and tempers flared: This week’s Political wrap-up, GOP laziness was the theme.

Bay Area Houston thinks the Texas Tea Party is calling for an immigration raid on homebuilder Bob Perry for his roll in killing their sanctuary bill. Continue reading

July 3, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Fourth Of July Weekend Allows Us The Choice To Drive Safely, Treat Working People Well, And To Learn Something

Fourth of July weekend is almost here.

How can we have a good holiday?

Here are some thoughts—

* Please drive safely. Houston and everyplace in this nation is filled with crazy drivers who will ruin your life over nothing.

* Please treat working people well over the holiday. Anybody working the Fourth is working a holiday. If you were working a holiday, you would expect to be paid at a time-and-a-half rate. We all have the option of treating fellow working people the same way we would like to be treated.

* Take some time over the holiday to learn some history. Here is a link to Fourth of July book suggestions. Here is a link to the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives.

Here is a link to some Fourth of July events in the Houston area.

Please have a nice holiday.

June 30, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

2011 Independence Day Events For Houston & Houston Area—Fourth Of July Reading List

(Update–6/24/12—Here is the list of 2012 Houston area Fourth of July events.) 

There will be many Fourth of July events in the Houston area this upcoming weekend. The Fourth falls on a Monday this year.

(Above–Fireworks.)

In addition to these events, you might also wish to take the time over the holiday and after the holiday to learn more about the American Revolution and American history.

You can start right here by reading and learning about the Declaration of Independence from the National Archives of the United States. 

Here at Texas Liberal, the view is that the Fourth of July is holiday of equal importance to all Americans. No side of the ideological debate in the United States has the upper-hand in who values The Fourth the most.

This post has links to events in Houston and, after these links, an Independence Day reading list. If you plan to head out on the Fourth in the Houston area, you might want to check to be sure that fireworks are still planned at your event. Our drought is ongoing.

Events—

* There will be a free outdoor concert put on by the Houston Symphony at Miller Theater in Hermann Park on the Fourth. The concert begins at 8:30 PM.  After the concert there will be fireworks.

* Bayou Bend Gardens on Memorial Drive in Houston will be hosting a free Fourth of July fesitval from 1 PM to 5PM.  There will be colonial music, a Betsy Ross presentation and a Declaration of Independence that you can sign.

* The big City of Houston event is Freedom over Texas.  This festival, which ends with fireworks, begins at 4 PM in Eleanor Tinsley Park.

* There are events over the holiday weekend in The Woodlands which include a Houston Symphony concert on Sunday the 3rd and a fireworks show on The Fourth. 

* There will be a variety of events in Galveston for the weekend of the Fourth.   These events will end on the Fourth with a fireworks display over the Seawall at 9:15 PM.

* The Galveston County Daily News publishes a daily list of Independence Day happenings for all of Galveston County.

* The good folks in Pearland are having an observance  for the Fourth at the Pearland High football stadium.  The festivities begin at 6 PM.

* There will be fireworks at Buffalo Run Park in Missouri City for folks in Fort Bend County to enjoy. This event starts at 7 PM.

* The George H.W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station will be offering up the free I Love America all day on the Fourth. I say without irony that this I Love America deal at the G.H.W.B. Library looks like a pretty good festival.

If there are events I’ve missed, please leave a comment and I’ll add them to the list.

Please also recall that we are having a drought. Personal use of fireworks has been banned—as far I can determine—for the entire Houston/Galveston/Fort Bend/College Station area.

Do you really want to be responsible for starting a grass fire or burning down a neighbor’s house in these hot and dry conditions?

Here is the reading list promised at the top of this post—- Continue reading

June 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Fourth Of July Reading List—It Is Up To You To Learn Your Past

The Fourth of July will be here soon.

(Above–Black Americans observing the Fourth in 1939 in St. Helena Island, South Carolina.)

What books would be helpful to learn more about the American Revolution and about America?

As I’ve said before, I don’t believe the Revolution was a liberal or conservative event in the sense we think about such things today.

Some of the Founding Fathers were religious. Others were not.  The Revolution had some aspects of a tax revolt. But who can know if folks in the early days of the nation would not have paid more taxes to get all the garbage out of the street or to prevent so many women from dying in childbirth?  Some of the founders believed in government being run from state capitols. Others supported a stronger national government.

Anybody who asserts that the American Revolution was a liberal or conservative victory in the modern sense is more concerned with today’s politics than with historical facts.

At the bottom line, it is up to you to know and understand our shared history. If you allow others to define your past, they will likely use that power to help bring about a future you don’t want.

(Below–1887 Fourth of July picnic in Custer County, Nebraska.)

Here are six book suggestions and a history blog suggestion that are strong sources to learn about the life in North America before colonization, after colonization, at the time of the Revolution, and to learn about the full history of our nation.

* 1491–New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann

There was a whole world here before 1492. 1492 is one marker in history. There is little understanding of who lived in the Americas before Columbus. American history did not begin in 1492 or  in 1620 when the Mayflower arrived.

* Mayflower–A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick

There are starting points in American history other than the landing of the Mayflower. Yet learning the story of the Mayflower is basic to knowing our history.

Before The Mayflower—A History of Black America by Lerone Bennett.

In many ways, nothing is more central to the American experience than the history of black Americans. So much has turned on the decision to bring black people to America, and on how those unwilling immigrants responded to life in North America.

* American Colonies–The Settlement of North America by Alan Taylor

This book is a good way to learn about the British colonies. It includes chapters about not just the 13 colonies we all know and love, but also has chapters on British Canada and about colonies in the Caribbean.

History of American Women–A blog.

This blog is a useful resource to know more about women of early American history.

* Patriots–The Men Who Started The American Revolution by A.J. Langguth

This book reads like a novel. It is an enjoyable and informative way to learn about the events and personalities of the Revolution.

The Penguin History Of  The United States by Hugh Brogan

The Penguin History is a one-volume non-ideological account of our nation that discusses the events of the Revolution and then goes on to provide the full context of American history. While I do sometimes read history books written from the left or the right, I find I’d rather have a balanced account that leaves ideological judgements up to the reader.

As a liberal, I’m confident that an examination of the facts–In a way both comprehensive, and sympathetic to the strengths and weaknesses of our fellow men and women— will lead to a view that America is best when it is welcoming of people of all kinds, and that government has, in tandem with the hard-work of a free people, a role to play in providing a basic social safety net for its people.

In any case, it is your responsibility to learn your history and to consider what this history means in terms of your beliefs and actions in the world.

Learn the past so you can be a hopeful and relevant part of the future.

(Below–How some see the Fourth of July. It is fine as far is it goes. But there is so much more. The painting–called The Spirit of ’76– is by Archibald Willard.)  

June 25, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Enjoying The 4th Of July & All Summer In New York City—From The Texas Liberal N.Y.C. Correspondent

(Blogger’s Note–This is a post from Texas Liberal New York City correspondent Lyuba Halkyn. Lyuba posts at Texas Liberal roughly every couple of weeks. She’s a great addition to the blog and I encourage you to read her posts.  If you type Lyuba’s name in the search engine box to the right, you’ll be able to access all her posts on the blog.  Lyuba wrote this post and took the pictures of Riverside Park. I’ve added a few links. Thanks for reading Texas Liberal.)

With the 4th of July holiday behind us, I wanted to share that New York City is a great place to celebrate.  I was privileged to watch spectacular fireworks over the Hudson River.  I am a big fan of fireworks for no particular reason except the dynamic colors in the sky.  Also, enjoying hot weather, 4th of July festivities always indicate that summer is full on.

I was able to stake out a great place to view the fireworks near the 79th St. boat basin. The crowds watching the fireworks show, were not only enthusiastic with the oohhs and the aahhs, but also very civilized.  Ever since I have lived in NYC, I have noticed an extra exuberance among crowds here.  Watching President Obama win the election was thrilling on the big screens in Times Square.  Even when seeing a movie at the theater you can count on extra participation from the audience.  I find New Yorkers and the tourists among us fun and entertaining.

If you are visiting NYC, this is a great spot to view the Hudson and get some summer grub at a nearby café that is right in the park.  Riverside Park is yet another of NYC’s great parks where one can walk, jog, bike, etc.  Standing at the pier overlooking the Hudson, New Jersey is in full view across the river.

The 4th of July, Independence Day, is a great time to join in celebration & festivities even if many times the barbecues and fireworks overshadow the meaning of the holiday.  I think it is great to remember why we celebrate holidays but just as important to get together with people and be a part of something great.

July 9, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Texas Is Part Of The Federal Union—Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up

Here is the weekly posting of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas.

I’m writing this on the morning of the Fourth of July. It seems possible that bloggers such as TPA members would have spread word of the Declaration of Independence had we been around at the time.

Above is a copy of the Declaration. Here is a link to the text.

The right in Texas mumbles about secession on one hand, and then appropriates the symbols of our national unity on the other hand by going on about tea parties. They seem to be out of their minds with contradiction, misinformation and anger. Folks must not forget that Texas is part of the federal union and people in Texas collect social security, go the VA hospitals, are employed by the federal government, and make use of national parks.

Please have a nice holiday.

The round-up—

Neil at Texas Liberal offered up four reasons Bill White will beat Rick Perry and, in so doing, become the next governor of Texas.

John at Bay Area Houston saysBefore you run for Chair of the Texas Democratic Party, get a clue.

As people across the nation react to GASLAND now showing on HBO, TXsharon @ Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS reminds us that the FRAC Act, Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act of 2009, has no Texas co-sponsor.

Musings has a bloggers roundup from the convention.

It’s redistricting season again, and Off the Kuff comments on a report from a public hearing on redistricting in San Antonio. Continue reading

July 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

For Holiday Weekend, Please Slow Down And Be Careful On All The Highways Of Life

It is been very sunny in Cincinnati this week as I have been visiting. The picture in the post is of Cincinnati from one of the many hillside parks I’m Cincinnati.

It has been raining all week on my friends in Texas as Hurricane Alex hit Mexico.

No matter where you are in the nation this holiday weekend, I ask you to please slow down and be careful on all the highways of life.

Our roads can be dangerous and life is short.

July 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Please Have A Nice And Safe Fourth Of July

File:Independence Hall.jpg

Please have a nice and safe Fourth of July. 

(Above–Independence Hall in Philadelphia.)

Here is information about visiting Independence Hall.

July 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Houston Fourth Of July Events—Will Texas Republicans Who Say Texas Should Leave Union Observe The Holiday?

File:Declaration independence.jpg

What will be going on in Houston and around Houston this Fourth of July?

Will the near-majority of Texas Republicans who say that Texas would do well to leave the union observe the holiday?  

( Above–John Trumbull’s Declaration of Independence from 1819.  Please click here for a key as to who is who in the painting.)

Will parents talk to kids about the historical events around the holiday—even for just a few minutes—and in so doing provide the occasion with some meaning beyond just hanging around all day?

Here are facts about the Declaration of Independence from the National Archives.

Here is a link to more Independence Day facts and history

There are events in the Houston-area to mark the Fourth.

The City of Houston has an official fireworks show on the Fourth.  Please click here for the link to the event.

There are also other fireworks shows in the area. Here is a link with many of them listed.  

Galveston has many Fourth of July events.

Here is a later and  updated listing of events from the Houston Chronicle.  

Here are Fourth of July dog safety tips. Please keep your dog safe over the holiday. Your dog loves you.

Please have a nice and safe holiday. Please be careful with fireworks and be mindful that we are having a drought in the Houston-area and that every day is almost 100 degrees. You might be better off leaving the fireworks to the pros.

Please do not drink and drive over the holiday. The roads are full of drunks and nuts. Please don’t be one of these people.

Please have a nice holiday.

July 2, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments