San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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August 24th, 2009
LBJ museum to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

STAFF REPORT

The Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) Museum of San Marcos, 131 Guadalupe Street, is celebrating National Hispanic Heritage month with a reception at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 16.

The public is invited. The reception will herald the opening of the traveling exhibit “A Tejano Son of Texas,” an in-depth look at the life of Jose Policarpio “Polly” Rodriguez.

As most Texans know, Sept. 16 is Diez De Seis, the day Mexico won its hard fought for independence in 1821. It is also the date that Father Miguel Hidalgo gave his famous Grito de Dolores speech in 1810, sparking the flames of the revolution against Spain.

The LBJ event will include music provided by the San Marcos Mariachi Academy. Academy Leader Frank De Leon will conduct a “mini” workshop and historical presentation, as well.

The traveling exhibit is from San Antonio-based TexasTejano.com, which attempts to create an awareness of the diverse contributions of early Texas Tejano pioneers. The organization aims to educate with the true stories of these hero’s lives and legacies. TexasTejano.com President Rudi Rodriguez will be part of the reception.

“A Tejano Son of Texas” follows the birth and life of the multi-talented Rodriguez, whose accomplishments range from rancher to Methodist minister to Texas Ranger. The Museum’s display of the exhibit was made possible by a grant from the San Marcos Minority Tourism Development Board. The exhibit includes eight free-standing panels to be displayed locally Sept. 16 – Oct. 15.

According to LBJ Museum of San Marcos Director Scott Jordan, the idea of hosting the exhibit came from his desire to “reach out to the Mexican-American community, educate others of Tejano heritage, develop a broader understanding of Texas history, and help bring diversity to local heritage tourism and culture.”

The LBJ museum deals most extensively with the educator LBJ. While teaching grade school in Cotulla in 1928-1929, Johnson first came into contact with the poverty and discrimination his Mexican-American students suffered. The experience influenced Johnson’s guidance of Congress to establish new standards in education.

Hispanic Heritage month was essentially LBJ’s idea. In September 1968, Congress authorized President Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week, which was observed during the week that included Sept. 15 and Sept. 16. The observance was expanded in 1988 to a month-long celebration.

For more information, contact Museum Director Scott Jordan at (512) 353-3300 or email him at director@lbjmuseum.com

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