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


Pardons for Ex-Confederates

"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."

"“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."
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.
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