New York City: once considered the national epicenter in the fight against COVID-19, now health experts fear a Texas city has taken its place. Hospitals in Houston struggling to deal with the pandemic on a scale similar to that of New York City in late spring. Our conversation with New York Times reporter Dr.Sherri Fink. Also, a warning from climatologists about a coming drought that could reshape Texas for the long term. And getting schooled by Selena: a Texas University launches a first of its kind course. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:
By W.F. Strong
On July 29, 1925 — a full 60 years after the American Civil War — Miss Decca Lamar West of Waco, Texas, wrote a strongly worded letter to Chief Thomas H. MacDonald, the head of what was then the Federal Bureau of Public Roads. Miss West was an influential member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy who was lobbying for a coast to coast highway to honor the Former President of the Confederate States. After all, President Abraham Lincoln had a highway already that stretched from New York City to San Francisco. She wrote:
The Jefferson Davis Highway directors are doing constructive work in every state, and patriotically the women of the United States feel that nothing could tend to the greater unity and understanding of the people than that two transcontinental highways should be named for the two great leaders of the critical period of American history.
The honorary highway of which she wrote was almost fully realized. Today, the Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway still exists – but only in bits and pieces – from Virginia to California. You’ll find United Daughters of the Confederacy markers along highways in Georgia and Louisiana and Arizona. But New Mexico had them all removed from along I-10 two years ago. You can see the Texas markers along U.S. 90 and 290 and I-35 and along Highways 59 and 77 South toward the border. Others have been removed — including those in Elgin, San Antonio, and San Marcos.
Brownsville just removed its marker after a contentious debate. The marker, originally placed on Palm Boulevard by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1927, was later moved to a city park after the state passed on certifying that memorial route. It was a simple, large boulder with a plaque praising Jefferson Davis. Some wanted the boulder removed altogether because it honored Davis who was a traitor to the U.S. Others felt that removing it would be an attempt to erase history.
My contention is that the monument itself tried to erase history. It was one of at least 250 markers placed along U. S. roadways which tried to re-brand Jefferson Davis, to make the enslaver equal to the emancipator. The plaque on the boulder in Brownsville was stone cold propaganda.
The plaque identifies Davis as President of the C.S.A. The word “Confederacy” is not spelled out there. Were they hiding the word from Davis’s resume? He is lauded as a United States soldier and Senator. It says he resigned as Senator, but it omits the fact that he resigned to create a new country where slavery would be forever legal. Finally, he is declared a martyr, but a martyr for what? Hundreds of thousands died for his cause but he didn’t.
President Ulysses S. Grant believed the contentiousness that resulted from the Civil War would, in time, pass. In 1885, in his famous memoirs, he wrote: “As time passes, people, even of the South, will begin to wonder how it was possible that their ancestors ever fought for or justified institutions which acknowledged the right of property in man.” And yet these arguments over monuments persist.
Bars being closed, new curbs on restaurants and other steps issued this morning to deal with the huge spike in COVID-19 cases statewide, we’ll have details. Also, its condition red in Laredo as the city runs low on hospital beds and staff to help those suffering from COVID-19. We’ll hear about how officials are trying to manage the situation there. Also answers to more listener questions about COVID-19. Plus a comprehensive police reform bill passed late last night by the U.S. house. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson on her concerns about the bill’s future. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:
The U.S. city on track to be the hardest hit by COVID-19? A dire warning from one of the nation’s top infectious disease experts. We need to proceed to red alert: so says Dr.Peter Hotez of Baylor College of Medicine who warns face masks may not be enough to prevent the Houston region from rivaling what we’re seeing now in Brazil. Also a downturn like no other: what job losses in the oil industry may tell us about the future of the Texas economy. Plus a broader forecast from Texas economist Angelos Angelou and much more today on the Texas Standard:
A potential challenge to Rowe vs. Wade by Alabama lawmakers as a federal appeals court hears a Texas case that could sharply curb abortion access, we’ll have the latest. Also thousands of fish, crabs and other sea life wash up dead along Galveston bay. Oystering there is closed until further notice. A clampdown on seafood safety on the Texas gulf after a chemical spill, we’ll have details. And the return of the so-called education degree in Texas. Plus, has Texas removed more Confederate monuments than any other state? A politifact check and more today on the Texas Standard:
Another Trump Administration official in the hot seat today after a slew of bad press. One who’s avoided negative attention? Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, we’ll explore. Also, the largest school district in Texas in turmoil? No permanent leader at the top and facing a potential state takeover. What’s going on with Houston ISD? Plus, you upgrade your TV or your phone but what do you do with the old stuff? Recommendations from our resident tech expert. And what the devil is devil sauce? We’ll take a little jaunt through BBQ history. We’ll also explore the history of a Texas town often overshadowed by the likes of the Alamo and a whole lot more on today’s Texas Standard:
Turnout looks up at the polls and some political rallies draw big crowds. But what does excitement about the primaries really mean for election results? We’ll explore. Also, there’s been a lot said about more women running for office and more minorities. Today a look at what veterans could bring to the race. Plus federal legislation on sex trafficking is getting some pushback from technology companies. Why they’re concerned about culpability. And another delay on DACA: It’s continued protection from deportation for those enrolled in the program but also continued uncertainty. What all the back and forth could be doing to their health. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:
It could be more penny-pinching ahead for Texas lawmakers and the state budget. We’ll get the economic outlook from the Texas controller. Plus one year after President Trump announced an executive order restricting travel from some Muslim-majority countries. Now Texas immigrants from those countries still face uncertainty. We’ll have the story. And taking the pulse of US-Mexico relations as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson heads south of the border. Also kids these days are exposed to a lot of technology from a very young age. What we should consider when it comes to childcare tech. Plus remembering the Space Shuttle Columbia and its crew 15 years after it disintegrated in the skies over east Texas. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:
When he arrived in Texas 3 years ago, many cheered the return of the american held captive. But a new chapter in that story begins. What’s next for Bowe Bergdahl now that he’s pleaded guilty to charges in connection with his own disappearance, we’ll explore. Also: officials in Houston taking a hard second look at defending against another Harvey, we’ll have details. And the remittance marketplace with Mexico: multibillion dollar business. Could an app shake it up the way Uber has with taxis? Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:
New York, Chicago, parts of Florida known for large Puerto Rican communities. My, after Maria, it’s looking like destination Texas. We’ll have the story. Also, a conversation with the head of Texas Task Force One, one of the first rescue groups to arrive in Puerto Rico. Plus, that phone in your hand? Chances are, it’s also a radio. An emergency communication device even if a cell tower’s down. So why don’t all phone companies turn on the chip? Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:
The risk to lives now reduced if not completely eliminated as we enter the next phase post Harvey. Did pre-storm preparations pay off? We’ll explore. Also after 81 years: a crane removed a giant monument to confederate general Robert E Lee from a Dallas park. And today: word that no less senior an official than governor Abbott himself will meet to discuss the fate of other confederate memorials, namely those on the capitol grounds. A turning point? We’ll have the latest. Those stories and lots more today on the Texas Standard:
As demonstrators and counter protestors take sides in cities, how’s the showdown over confederate monuments playing out in small town Texas? We’ll have the latest. Also after declaring a phase out at the federal level, the return of private lockups. Texas seems to be a magnet. And water bottles in national parks, making an official comeback? We’ll hear what’s behind it. And help wanted: an aging population sparks a booming business in stay at home home health care across the lone star state. Plus facts and fiction surrounding a certain solar event: slip on those safety specs and turn up the volume because it’s Texas Standard time:
The debate over confederate monuments is now inside the Texas capitol with a state lawmaker asking for a confederate symbol to removed. We’ll explore and tell you what the governor is saying about confederate monument. Also: people living on the gulf coast take on one of the nation’s largest plastics plants, saying it’s been polluting the area for years. Plus: the number of Texas homes sold to people outside the United States skyrocketing, up almost 60 percent in on year. And can you imagine the state firing your entire school board? we’ll hear why that might happen in some communities. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:
The confederate banner on license plates: can Texas ban it? The Supreme Court says yes in a landmark case on the first Amendment. Wireless complaints lead to a massive fine against Dallas based AT&T. How much should a starting schoolteacher get paid? A Texas district ups the ante to 50 k… A new book challenges stereotypes about who’s packin heat in Texas—and why.