Friday, May 28, 2021
Historical Background on Memorial Day
Welcome to my Travel Friday’s B.R.E.A.T.H.S. blog post. I’m starting travel blogging with my tour of the United States National Parks© Services (NPS). This week I am writing a special edition tour of two President Lyndon B. Johnson’s (LBJ) Parks located in Stonewall, Texas. I chose LBJ’s Parks because he is the President who, along with Congress, declared Waterloo, NY as the birthplace of Memorial Day back in 1966 (OPIA, 2021). Here is a bit of a historical background on Memorial Day that is all new knowledge to me.
According to the U.S. Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs (OPIA, 2021), during the months of April and May 1866, approximately 25 states were having Memorial Day ceremonies observing fallen soldiers of the Civil War. After World War I, Memorial Day was expanded to all fallen soldiers of American wars and held on May 30 (OPIA, 2021). In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be held on the last Monday in May (OPIA, 2021). That is when we now traditionally celebrate all of our American fallen soldiers and many families travel to cemeteries to pay tribute to their brave loved ones.
Tour of Two LBJ Parks
This leads me to my tours of two LBJ parks located in Stonewall, TX. Below I will give you an outside peek around the two LBJ parks that I visited on February 4, 2021 (most indoor museums were closed due to Covid restrictions). My first stop is LBJ State Park with pictures and a few videos of my tour. The second stop was at LBJ National Historical Park, which is also known as LBJ Ranch, where the late president lived his entire life and is buried with his family.
Tour of Lyndon B. Johnson State Park & Historic Site
My friend, Tiffany from Austin, took me on a tour around her part of Texas. We first stopped at Lyndon B. Johnson State Park where we walked along the nature trail to see Texas wildlife like the Texas longhorns, twisted oak trees, bunches of ball moss, textured bark, limestones, and cactus. Then we visited the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm with costumed interpreters exhibiting life in 1918 by working on daily farm chores. Below are some pictures and videos of the experience at LBJ State Park.
LBJ Official Texas State Longhorn Herd
LBJ State Park Nature Trail
Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm
We were able to interact with the livestock and talk to the live presenters who worked on the farm doing real work with farming crops, raising animals, and maintaining the living history farm.
Tour of Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park
Our next stop on our tour of two LBJ parks we drove through Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. This is the site of LBJ Ranch where President Johnson was born, lived, died, and buried. We drove by his old church, school house, farm house, livestock, and even his airplane hanger.
That concludes my tours of two LBJ parks in honor of Memorial Day Weekend. While I did visit the LBJ National Park, I did not have my National Parks© Passport book at the time to get my stamp for visiting. However, I have the Collector’s Edition that allows me to take a page out of my book and mail it to whichever park I need to collect a cancellation stamp as long as I include return postage with it. Happy trails until next National Parks© tour!
Thank you for reading and viewing
Dr. Jaime Brainerd, Ed.D.
Reference: Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs (OPIA). (2021). Memorial Day history. Retrieved from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website https://www.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/history.asp