Wednesday, April 09, 2014

More on Texas history

After visiting the Texas History Museum, we ambled onto the campus of UT, letting Sergei and Larry guide us to the nearest fine purveyor of coffees, yes, that one, which I will not name outright until they pay me some money.  Having slaked our thirst for caffeine (or lemonade, in Graham's case), we made our way up to the campus's iconic bell tower, which protrudes from the massive central main building of the campus. It's hard to get an idea of the depth of the thing, but the overall impression is like in kind, if not quite in scale, to that of the main building of Moscow State (the one at the bottom).  In this case, however, Texas flat out loses the battle for size.

The next day we checked out the Texas state capitol.  Here, the Texans have tried to be big, and in some regards I think they told us it was even bigger than Our Nation's Capitol in Washington.

But the really striking thing I learned from the tour, aside from the depth of Texas's unique myth of origin in the glorious Texas Revolution for independence from Mexico, after which they deigned to enter the union, is Texans' pride in membership in the confederacy.  There's a huge memorial to the valiant confederate soldiers outside the Capitol, which tells of the heavy losses of the confederate army, and basically says:  "we lost because we were small and they killed all of our soldiers."

And then in the Texas Senate there's a big portrait of Jefferson Davis, hanging to the right of that of Sam Houston.  The tour guide doesn't call it out, but he's right there.

And so on and so on.

Maybe there's more official pride in the confederacy throughout the south that just isn't condoned in Chapel Hill and the Triangle.  Certainly, yes, there are memorials to confederate soldiers -- there's one in front of the old Durham Courthouse, one right in front of the Alamance County Courthouse, there's Silent Sam on UNC's campus.  But mostly we try to pass by them and ignore them, tolerate them as part of our history.

In Texas, they love it big time.

No comments: