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  • Mail Music Monday revs up Mardi Gras mojo

    With Fat Tuesday right around the corner, I thought that something with a little Louisiana spice might be fun. I found a song that actually mentions Mardi Gras and mail but it’s a mellow tune and we’re getting ready for a party, not a nap.

    This song was kindly suggested for Mail Music Monday, back in 2011, by our friend Sharla (@Sharlaboo on Twitter). “Mojo Hannah” was written by Tammi Lynn back in the 60’s and it’s been covered by lots of people under the original name and the name “Louisiana Hannah.” I like this version by Larry Williams and I hope you will, too.

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    March 2 is Texas Independence Day

    On March 2, Texas celebrates three things; Texas Independence Day, Sam Houston’s birthday and Texas Flag Day. Texas Independence Day is an official state holiday while the latter two events are commemorated on the same day.

    Commemorative U.S.P.S. postage stamp, honoring the Texas Sesquicentennial, in 1986, designed by Don Adair.

    Commemorative U.S.P.S. postage stamp, honoring the Texas Sesquicentennial, in 1986, designed by Don Adair.

    It was on March 2, 1836, that Texas formally declared its independence from Mexico. This was after the capture of the Alamo (remember that?) and before the Battle of San Jacinto when commander-in-chief, Sam Houston led his troops to victory against Mexican forces. Shortly after the battle, Mexico’s General Santa Anna was captured and negotiations began and finally led to Texas’ independence.

    I was planning to post this much earlier in the day, but in my research I kept finding more and more interesting things about how we came to celebrate this day. I come from a long line of history buffs and I have Cherokee ancestery, so once I got started, I it was hard to stop.

    My mom was a history teacher who got her master’s degree in Native American history. My dad has citizenship in the Cherokee Nation. These things contributed to my special interest in Sam Houston. He is one of my favorite Texans. He lived with the Cherokees and was an ambassador for Native American rights. He had slaves but there were many indications that he did not believe in slavery as an institution. He educated them alongside his children, which was illegal at that time. He also let his slaves earn and keep their own money. He voted against the Kansas-Nebraska Act which permitted the spread of slavery westward. While President of the Republic of Texas, and later as governor, he refused to permit payment to bounty hunters of escaped slaves and would not allow slave ship trafficking in Texas. He was ousted from office as Governor of Texas because he refused to sign an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy.

    So this started out about Texas Independence Day and became more about one of the principle characters in the story of how that independence was won. I was also going to write more about how letters and written correspondence helped to document events surrounding and leading up to Texas winning its independence. There is an exhibit later this month, “The Many Marys of Barrington” that is based on “…authentic letters and diary entries” of three women who lived on the farm founded by Dr. Anson Jones, last President of the Republic of Texas.

    I hope that I’ve piqued your curiosity enough that you want to do some research of your own and that you enjoy learning more about Texas’ history.

    You can read more about the postage stamp image here: http://www.flagsbay.com/flag/2008/07/25/texas-pride-the-stamp-and-the-alamo-by-don-adair/

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    Last Mail Music Monday of British Invasion Month

    Well, this is the final Mail Music Monday in February — or what I like to call “British Invasion” or “Beatlemania Month”.  Instead of using another tune by The Beatles I decided to use this song about them.

    The Four Preps started playing in 1956 and are still playing. Bruce Belland founded the band with three friends while attending Hollywood High School and is the only original member still with the group today. According to Wikipedia,

    “The group last appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1964, when “A Letter to The Beatles” charted for a total of three weeks beginning March 21, peaking at #85.”

    Another thought as we close up Beatlemania Month is that tomorrow is George Harrison’s birthday. I was hoping to find a piece of mail music by George but couldn’t. If you know of one, I hope you’ll share it in the comments.

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