Harlingen Happenings


By Mary Torres, Special to the Star

Today is National Flag Day, an annual observance commemorating the adoption of the U.S. flag on June 14, 1777, which happened on that day by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in the midst of the Revolutionary War. The original flag featured 13 red and white stripes and 13 stars, one for each of the colonies. Why were the colors of red, white, and blue chosen for our flag?  To the original members of the Continental Congress, red stood for valor and hardiness, white for purity and innocence, and blue for vigilance, perseverance and justice.

Who made the first American flag? Many people believe that Betsy Ross designed and sewed the first flag, but there is no true proof of that. Not only is the U.S. flag older than the Union Jack of Great Britain and the tri-color flag of France, but also it is the only flag to have been flown on the moon. Today, there are 50 stars, one for each state in the Union, but the 13 stripes remain. On Flag Day, millions of Americans display the flag we know as the “Stars and Stripes,” outside their homes and businesses and the colors are flown at all government buildings.

Flag Day is not an official Federal holiday, but its observance is traditionally proclaimed each year by the President of the United States and in some communities, Veterans organizations and other civic groups traditionally hold special ceremonies in honor of Flag Day, but this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic those events may be curtailed or modified.

The Harlingen Arts & Heritage Museum, 2425 Boxwood St. is hosting a meet and greet event today from 1 to 4 p.m. for two artists, Raquel Padilla Perez and Daniel Padilla, whose works are part of the “New Horizons” exhibit. This exhibit features  an intriguing and vivid display of the work of 25 different artists from all over the state of Texas. In order to keep the number of visitors inside the museum at a minimum the museum will be hosting a short meet and greet event for each artist. Please check the museum Facebook page for future dates and participating artists.

While you’re at the museum, don’t forget to stop by the other exhibit, “The Chisholm Trail: 150 Years of History, Folklore, and Legacy,” which will be on display until July 9. The museum is observing all the necessary precautions to keep you safe during your visit, so please remember to wear your mask. All exhibits are free and open to the public. Donations gladly accepted. For more information call 956-216-4901.

The Harlingen Public Library is open during regular hours but is observing occupancy guidelines, social distancing, the wearing of masks and other precautions to keep you safe from COVID-19. The following  programs for adults are being offered virtually this month:

  • June 16 – 6:00 p.m. to 7: p.m.: “Poetry Event” (FB/YT)
  • June 18 – 10:00 a.m. to noon: “Tip O’ Texas Genealogical Society” (FB/YT)
  • June 25 – 11:0 a.m. to noon: “How to Make Banana Pudding” (FB/YT)

Visit harlingenlibrary.org for information on other virtual programs and events available for all age groups or contact the Reference Department at 956-216-5822.

The following is a genealogy website you might want to explore:

Genealogy  Bargains, genealogybargains.com, hosted by Thomas MacEntee, is the best site to save money on genealogy and family history including Ancestry, DNA tests, and more! One of the recent postings includes a guide you can download on using Google Books which provides access to digitized books from the convenience of your computer or mobile device. With Google Books, you can access text, copy and paste text to a research report, genealogy report, create a bibliography, build a personal library, and more for free.

Stay safe and healthy!