Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile

Advanced

Robert E Lee Park

Robert E Lee Park
September 06, 2017 11:16PM
The park is in the news lately.

During the late 1960s Lee Park was a gathering place for young people, sort of the local version of Haight-Ashbury. The folks gathering were mostly local people with regular homes, though, not wandering hippies for the most part. Lots of music was played in the park, and more than a little smoking of funny cigarettes took place.

Who else remembers, and do you have any particular stories to share?

Dave McNeely



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/06/2017 11:23PM by old man from dallas.
Re: Robert E Lee Park
September 07, 2017 08:44AM
While I was in high school in the late 50s, I had heard it was a nefarious meeting place for gay people. Jim
Re: Robert E Lee Park
September 07, 2017 02:41PM
jgoodman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> While I was in high school in the late 50s, I had
> heard it was a nefarious meeting place for gay
> people. Jim

I heard that too, but in the time period I am talking about, activity there was more of the hippie and musical orientation. Particularly on Sundays, the park was crowded with those types. I think that drugs were prevalent (as they were many places at the same time).

Perhaps Dallas Cop has more information regarding what went on there from the authorities perspective.

Dave McNeely
Re: Robert E Lee Park
September 07, 2017 11:44PM
remember it distinctly, used to drive by and look at all the hippies and long hairs that hung out there. Back then was amazed at them all.
Re: Robert E Lee Park
September 08, 2017 03:50PM
When I was small my grandparents lived on Irving St. between Turtle Creek and Oak Lawn. It was part of our routine to walk to the park when we spent the day with them. I remember the statue and the bench around it. I loved the horses. Fast forward 15 years and my sister and I used to borrow our parents car and drive down on Sunday afternoons to hang out. We had to hide our copies of "Notes" so Mom wouldn't know we'd been to the park. I always loved going no matter how old I was. It was a good place to listen to music, whether the symphony or local rock bands. As far as Gen.Lee's statue is concerned, I'm fond of it for personal and artistic reasons, but if it is going to be the focal point for the kind of outrageous behavior we saw in Charlottesville, then take it down and put it somewhere else. The general didn't want them anyway. He said they'd leave the wounds of war open, and darned if he wasn't right. I can already visualize a massive Henry Moore on that pedestal. How about it Nashers?

Victoria Snyder Alvey
Re: Robert E Lee Park
September 09, 2017 01:06PM
It needs to stay as it is a part of our heritage. If it was a statue of Hitler or Stalin, then get rid of it. Jim
Re: Robert E Lee Park
September 09, 2017 01:30PM
I didn't bring up the park in order to elicit comments on the current controversy regarding memorials or other things related to the Confederacy, but rather to provide folks an opportunity to comment on the use of the park by musicians, music fans, and counterculture types in the late sixties and thereabouts.

But, since the topic was broached by others, my feeling is that the Confederate officials, and especially military officers, were traitors. President Johnston pardoned them in order to provide an opportunity for the country to heal, just as Ford did with Nixon. Both were right to do so.

But, they were traitors. We should not be honoring them. We should be remembering them, like one remembers a broken leg, and hoping to make better decisions in the future to avoid similar missteps.

That being said, there was valor in the actions of military personnel on both sides during the Southern treason. Valor should be recognized, but treason should not be honored. Perhaps placards with appropriate description of the historical context of the personnel depicted could be erected while either leaving the statues in place or moving them to some place deemed more appropriate than a public park -- perhaps a museum.

Dave McNeely
Re: Robert E Lee Park
September 23, 2017 07:29PM
President Johnson's pardon and amnesty
[www.presidency.ucsb.edu]

[www.nytimes.com]


Pardons for Ex-Confederates
[en.wikipedia.org]

"Lee sent an application to Grant and wrote to President Johnson on June 13, 1865:

"Being excluded from the provisions of amnesty & pardon contained in the proclamation of the 29th Ulto; I hereby apply for the benefits, & full restoration of all rights & privileges extended to those included in its terms. I graduated at the Mil. Academy at West Point in June 1829. Resigned from the U.S. Army April '61. Was a General in the Confederate Army, & included in the surrender of the Army of N. Va. 9 April '65."

On October 2, 1865, the same day that Lee was inaugurated as president of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia, he signed his Amnesty Oath, thereby complying fully with the provision of Johnson's proclamation. But Lee was not pardoned, nor was his citizenship restored. And the fact that he had submitted an amnesty oath at all was soon lost to history.

More than a hundred years later, in 1970, an archivist at the National Archives discovered Lee's Amnesty Oath among State Department records (reported in Prologue, Winter 1970). Apparently Secretary of State William H. Seward had given Lee's application to a friend as a souvenir, and the State Department had pigeonholed the oath.

In 1975, Lee's full rights of citizenship were posthumously restored by a joint congressional resolution effective June 13, 1865."
[www.archives.gov]

"“In posthumously restoring the full rights of citizenship to Jefferson Davis, the Congress officially completes the long process of reconciliation that has reunited our people following the tragic conflict between the States,” the resolution read on October 17, 1978.

“Earlier, he was specifically exempted form resolutions restoring the rights of other officials in the Confederacy. He had served the United States long and honorably as a soldier, Member of the U.S. House and Senate, and as Secretary of War. General Robert E. Lee's citizenship was restored in 1976. It is fitting that Jefferson Davis should no longer be singled out for punishment,” the resolution said."
[constitutioncenter.org]
Re: Robert E Lee Park
September 23, 2017 10:10PM
Given the blanket wording in Johnson's pardon, applying it to "all persons" who participated in the "treason" and "rebellion," (quotes due to Johnson's having used those terms in the declaration), I fail to see how the congressional resolutions more than a century later were necessary. Notice that Lee's petition was in 1865, three years before Johnson's pardon was issued. Though he may have been specifically excluded along with Jefferson Davis from earlier proclamations, he was included along with "all persons" in the pardon issued in 1868.

Dave McNeely
Re: Robert E Lee Park
September 24, 2017 09:45AM
Yep, Lee Park in 1968-71 was Hippie Central for Dallas kids (and hitchhiking passers-through.) It was a great place for guys with long hair and gnarly sandals to score with the hippie-chicks. Saturday afternoon and evening began the weekend, but Sunday was the big day for the real hips and the high school wannabes. (I overnighted there a half-dozen times with others. I remember all-night music and open fires, too.)

I don't remember an obvious police presence, but the vibe was always peaceful and tranquil.(We were pretty good at policing ourselves against people who "weren't cool" and disturbed the harmony of the pace.) From time to time a carload of rednecks would drive by, yelling about dirty, unAmerican long-hairs. We'd just flip 'em the peace sign and go back to the girls, or the herb, or whatever.

Lee Park was a well-known drug market then, too. (Until the pigs wised up and started sending in undercovers.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/25/2017 01:23PM by RWilliams.
Re: Robert E Lee Park
September 27, 2017 07:00AM
I was just a kid, but I remember our parents driving us by there once or twice, and it was probably in 1968.

Edit: To clarify, this was to look at the hippies.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/14/2017 10:11AM by sharkins.
Re: Robert E Lee Park
September 30, 2017 07:14AM
old man from dallas Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I didn't bring up the park in order to elicit
> comments on the current controversy regarding
> memorials or other things related to the
> Confederacy, but rather to provide folks an
> opportunity to comment on the use of the park by
> musicians, music fans, and counterculture types in
> the late sixties and thereabouts.
>
> But, since the topic was broached by others, my
> feeling is that the Confederate officials, and
> especially military officers, were traitors.
> President Johnston pardoned them in order to
> provide an opportunity for the country to heal,
> just as Ford did with Nixon. Both were right to
> do so.
>
> But, they were traitors. We should not be
> honoring them. We should be remembering them,
> like one remembers a broken leg, and hoping to
> make better decisions in the future to avoid
> similar missteps.
>
> That being said, there was valor in the actions of
> military personnel on both sides during the
> Southern treason. Valor should be recognized, but
> treason should not be honored. Perhaps placards
> with appropriate description of the historical
> context of the personnel depicted could be erected
> while either leaving the statues in place or
> moving them to some place deemed more appropriate
> than a public park -- perhaps a museum.


The Confederates weren't traitors. That's a big leftist talking point but it isn't true.
The South had legally separated itself from the United States before it waged war against it.
The Constitution did not forbid secession. To commit treason, a person must owe allegiance to the country he is supposedly betraying. The Confederates did not.

If you want to go after statues of traitors, the Founding Fathers fill the bill- Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Nathan Hale etc.
They were all legally guilty of treason to the British Crown. English law offered no legal means to secede from the Empire.
Re: Robert E Lee Park
September 30, 2017 11:57AM
BillB, when I first concluded that the confederate officials were traitors in 1955, I was ten years old, and didn't know left-wing from chicken wing. Most of the confederate army officers in the early days of the war, and especially Lee, were U.S. Army officers before they were confederate army officers. They had sworn allegiance to the U.S. Lee was a graduate of West Point, top of his class as I recall. He had obtained his education at the expense of U.S. tax payers.

Leftist "talking point?" Good grief! I still am not sure what a "leftist" is other than something that some folks like to call others who disagree with them.

The definition of treason is perfectly met by the confederate officials and army officers. Whether the southern states called themselves a separate nation or not, they had all signed on as members of the union, some of them like Tennessee, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas seeking special consideration for admission to the U.S., in the case of Texas within 15 years of declaring itself to have seceded. Whether or not a state could "unjoin" the union was not addressed in the constitution, but the constitution was created, as it says in its preamble, "... in order to form a more perfect union ... ." Secession and the war of rebellion that followed in effect demonstrated that the states are inseparable.

Should the traitors have been pardoned? Yes, in order to help to cure the ills that beset the nation, and to provide for a more effective recovery. That has been difficult enough as is, with too many modern day confederate apologists.

Dave McNeely
Re: Robert E Lee Park
September 30, 2017 02:38PM
One has to be a citizen of the United States to commit treason against it.
Lee, Davis, Jackson and any other confederate you want to name, had renounced their citizenship and sworn allegiance to the Confederacy when they were waging war against it.

The Constitution did not prohibit the states from seceding from the Union. It would have to specifically forbid secession for it to be unconstitutional.
Three attempts to introduce a secession prohibition into the Constitution failed at the Constitutional Convention. The Convention knew that if secession was prohibited, the 13 states would not have ratified the Constitution.
Amendment X says that any powers not specifically forbidden the states was reserved by the states.

President Johnson wanted to try Jefferson Davis for treason. He was advised by both his Attorney General and by the Chief Justice that what the Confederates did was not treason. He dropped it.

I have no problem with getting rid of the statues on the grounds that the Confederate generals waged war against this country and fought to defend slavery.
Let's leave it at that and not add the treason claim which is simply not true,
Re: Robert E Lee Park
September 30, 2017 08:36PM
Bill, let's just leave it that we disagree regarding whether or not what the confederate officers did was treason. True? Let's leave it at that. We have strayed from the purpose of my original inquiry, anyway, which was about the park's use in the sixties and seventies, not it's namesake.

Dave McNeely
Re: Robert E Lee Park
October 08, 2017 10:44PM
So getting back to Daves original question...I have quite a story about Lee Park from an early age. this would have been about 1972. Once, my older sister ran away from home. Everything turned out all right but how we found my sister ( my mom and I ), my mom dressed up like, well, a hippie. And she took me with her to Lee Park to search for my sister. We arrived and mom pointed me in some direction and ordered me, " go look for your sister. We'll meet up in one hour". So I did. For me it was fascinating as a 12 year old boy to be freely wandering around this mini Woodstock in my hometown. There were cute hippie girls and and new sights and sounds I'd never experienced, only read about.

It turns out that my mom was able to find my sister and they then both found me. We all went home together.

The happy ending with my reunited sister was that mom loosened up quite a bit and we would all go back to Lee Park and Sis introduced my mom and me to some very good mucisians that my now turned on sister had become friends with. These Lee Park folks turned out to become long time friends of our family with many of my own happy memories of listening and myself learning to play and sing. These very same musicians did frequent a particular coffee house located on Cedar Springs near Oak Lawn, called the Attic Window. A venue for the local folk / acoustic set.

Anyway, that's my long Lee Park story.

Dean H.
Re: Robert E Lee Park
October 08, 2017 11:33PM
I remember the rag Dallas Notes ( of Stony Burns fame) freely circulating around Lee Park. I couldnt wait to to get my hands on the latest copy with all its decadence and political bent. Something a 12 Y.O. can really sink his teeth in to.
Re: Robert E Lee Park
October 09, 2017 12:37PM
"So getting back to Daves original question...I have quite a story about Lee Park ..... ."

DH, what a story! Certainly glad everything turned out great for your sister and your family.

Dave McNeely
Re: Robert E Lee Park
November 07, 2017 05:29PM
Yes, I remember Lee Park from all the rumors about it being the place for homosexuals to meet and "greet".
This was in 1955/56. We rode our bikes earlier around the Lee Statue when we were just youngsters though.
Summertime, we rode our bikes all over Highland Park, University Park, and Oak Lawn areas.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login