Happy Texan Independence Day, y'all! That's right, on March 2nd, Texans celebrate their independence from Mexico, which was declared in 1836. It's a day to honour the unique culture and spirit of the Lone Star State.
So, what's so special about Texas? Well, for starters, it's big. Really big. In fact, it's the second-largest state in the US, behind Alaska.
The Alamo, located in San Antonio, is a historic mission where a small group of Texans fought to the death against Mexican forces in 1836. Although the battle was a defeat for the Texans, it inspired others to take up arms. The battle cry "Remember the Alamo!" became a rallying call for those who believed in Texas independence.
Many now question if Texas Independence Day should continue to be celebrated, arguing that the Alamo and revolt that followed were as much about the continuation of slavery as they were about defending liberty. However, others maintain that slavery was not the cause of rebellion and was not mentioned in the four general and 14 detailed causes for seeking independence in the 1836 Texas Declaration of Independence.
Texan history has its share of shameful chapters and we will remember the good the bad and the ugly. Texans have given the world Tex-Mex cuisine, cowboy boots, and the legendary music of Willie Nelson so we'll be toasting the Lone Star State with a Texas Iced Tea.
The late, great Lou Reed, one of rock's enduring icons, was born on this day in 1942, in Brooklyn, New York.
After an implausible period penning hits for pre-Beatles pop bands, and one novelty single, Reed came to fame with the Velvet Underground. The band's lo-fi sound brought them iconic fans including Andy Warhol, who introduced them to husky-voiced actress-model Nico.
By the 1970s, Reed was a solo artist, producing Transformer, one of the greatest rock albums of all time. One of music's great survivors, Reed outlasted the electro-convulsive therapy given to him as a teenager to "cure" his bisexuality, and addictions to both heroin and alcohol to become a grand old man of arthouse rock.
He was a man of many talents, like his wife Laurie Anderson and friend Patti Smith, both his lyrics and his photographs have been published as books. We are remembering this complex artist, who died in October 2013, with a Velvet Threesome, a challenging yet accessible harmony of brandies.
"Cream-coloured ponies and crisp apple strudels, doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles" - are these some of your favourite things? On this day 46 years back (1965), Maria von Trapp was projected onto cinema screens throughout America, telling audiences how they were some of her favourites!
The cult film follows the story of seven curtain-wearing children, being educated through the medium of song in rural Salzburg - what is there not to love?! If you've not seen the film for a while, we seriously recommend that you think about downloading a copy tonight, and enjoying some of the classic tunes: Climb Every Mountain, Edelweiss and Do-Re-Mi.
As if you couldn't add any more fun to what's lining up to be the ultimate feel-good evening, then why not treat yourself, and mix an Apple Strudel cocktail to accompany the screening.
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