Tags: Texas | Civil War | Confederate Heroes Day

Teen Leads Effort to Change Texas Confederate Heroes Day

By    |   Wednesday, 15 April 2015 02:52 PM

More than 40 years after Texas marked its first Confederate Heroes Day to honor those who served in the South during the Civil War, members of the Texas House took up a bill that would replace the holiday with a day to recognize all who fought and died in the nation's bloodiest war.

"Many Texans were killed for having pro-Union sentiments. This is neither accurate nor placed accurately on the calendar," said 13-year old Jacob Hale on Tuesday as he made his case before a Texas House committee that Confederate Heroes Day does not accurately represent history or all who fought in the Civil War, reports The Texas Tribune.

Hale, who is in 8th grade, is the impetus behind a bill introduced by state Rep. Donna Howard to replace Confederate Heroes Day with Civil War Remembrance Day.

The measure also would move the holiday from January 19 – Robert E. Lee's birthday – to the second Monday in May, which would eliminate any conflict with Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The state holiday was initially created in 1931 in honor of Robert E. Lee's birthday, but was merged with Jefferson Davis's birthday in 1973.

"I think it's ironic that we celebrate MLK Day, where we're supposed to be celebrating racial progress and the fight for equality, but then also we have Confederate Heroes Day which acknowledges the men who fought for slavery as heroes," Hale told KVUE.

Hale brought draft legislation to Howard's attention last year and in February the representative from Austin introduced her bill.

"I think the way that [my constituent] approached this is that there was a Civil War involving all of our United States of America. We should be recognizing all of those who were involved with that period of our history," Howard told The Houston Chronicle in February.

According to the Veterans Administration, several other Southern states commemorate the Confederate dead in the springtime, including Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and both North and South Carolina.

The effort, however, was met with resistance during a contentious hearing of the House Committee on Culture, Tourism and Recreation.

"If we start trying to change the historical record for political reasons, we do great damage to our heritage. I'm sorry to say it this way, but we were not a Yankee state," Rudy Roy, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans told the committee, according to The Texas Tribune.

The bill is now pending before the committee.

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Members of the Texas House took up a bill that would replace Confederate Heroes Day with a day to recognize all who fought and died in the nation's bloodiest war.
Texas, Civil War, Confederate Heroes Day
Wednesday, 15 April 2015 02:52 PM
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