January 15, 2021
Monday January 18, 2021 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. During these turbulent times of a worldwide pandemic causing thousands of deaths daily and national political and social unrest in the United States, it is particularly appropriate to remember Martin Luther King and everything he stood for. His inspirational words ring as true today as ever before.
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
“True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
“We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.”
When King spoke at SMU in March 1966, he noted that the question he fielded most often was whether we were making any real progress in race relations. “I would say that we have come a long, long way in our struggle to make justice a reality for all … but we have a long, long way to go before the problem is solved,” he said. That was 55 years ago, and we are still answering this question the same way. As King said, “The time is always right to do what is right.”
Anne E. Peterson, Curator of Photographs, DeGolyer Library email@example.com
January 14, 2021
It’s that time of year again. Even though the pandemic has forced us to change things up a bit, I can still hear the sweet call…”Would you like to buy a box of Girl Scout cookies?”
The Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. is an organization devoted to furthering the development of girls and young women as productive citizens and individuals. Based on the principles set forth by the Girl Guides Association of England, Juliette Gordon Low brought Girl Scouting to the United States in 1912. Although Mrs. Low’s first troop was organized in Savannah, Georgia and had only eighteen girl members, news of her Girl Scouting program quickly registered. By the time the Dallas Girl Scout Council was established in 1920, there were over 50,000 Girl Scouts registered nationally.
The sale of cookies as a way to finance troop activities began as early as 1917. Enthusiasm for Girl Scout Cookies spread nationwide. By 1937, more than 125 Girl Scout councils reported holding cookie sales. These photographs and clippings from 1958-1959 depict the kick off of cookie season. Scouts sold two kinds of cookies: Vanilla and Chocolate sandwich cookies, and the ever beloved thin mint. One box cost just $0.50. Those were the days! Sales that season helped fund the building of Camp Laird West located near Athens, Texas.
The Tejas Girl Scout Council papers represent over 50 years of tireless effort to initiate and maintain a Girl Scout program in Dallas, Texas and the surrounding counties. This collection consists of the correspondence of Mrs. Margaret Scruggs Caruth, one of the first Tejas Girl Scout Council members; minutes, financial records, printed materials, which include Girl Scout handbooks, training guides, camping guides, activity guides, and newsletters; photographic material; scrapbooks; and audio recordings.
Though prices and flavors have changed over the decades, the spirit of the cookie sales remains the same. So pick up a box of samosa, trefoils, or this year’s latest flavor, and support these future leading ladies from Texas.
Contact Samantha Dodd, curator of the Archives of Women of the Southwest for additional information or assistance with accessing this collection. The DeGolyer Library continues to expand our digitization efforts, adding new content weekly. We have thousands of items digitized and searchable in our digital collections. Be sure to browse our holdings to find more letters, photographs, manuscripts, imprints, art, and audio/video.
January 12, 2021
128 years ago, on January 5th, 1893, Frankie Smith wrote a letter on stationery of “Office of C.R. Breedlove, Horse Brand TZ, Cattle Brand X-Z” to her husband W.R. Smith in Colorado, Texas. Her honest and rather “frank” note details their affairs at home including their infant son (“the lad”), visiting Aunt J. and Lulu in Roby, Texas, and being tired after traveling. Traditionally I spend my holidays driving from Texas to the coast of Georgia and back so I commiserate with her sentiments.
Frankie opens with a classic southern spitfire: “Look-a-here boy.” She then proceeds to scold her husband for not writing her as often as she hoped. In her letter she talks about how the baby “is fat and looks healthy”, and her enjoyment of her X-mas gift of gold-plated buttons from Uncle G. There is also a brief request for W.R. to find an unmailed letter and give it to [Aunt?] J. so that “a certain subject mentioned in that letter” can be settled.
In my favorite part of Frankie’s letter, she tells her husband that she cannot wait to be home again with him, and that she “hope[s] we can have lots of loving.” Being apart from loved ones, especially at the holidays is not easy. Letters like this demonstrate some universality to our human experiences. Whether due to work, weather, sheer back luck, or even a global pandemic, many have felt the pangs of loneliness and separation.
Despite trying times, Frankie finds hope in the future and looks forward to better times ahead for her and W.R. Here’s to hope and a very happy new year in 2021.
Contact Samantha Dodd, curator of the Archives of Women of the Southwest for additional information or assistance with accessing the collections. The DeGolyer Library continues to expand our digitization efforts, adding new content weekly. We have thousands of items digitized and searchable in our digital collections. Be sure to browse our holdings to find more letters, photographs, manuscripts, imprints, art, and audio/video.