Harlingen Happenings

By Mary Torres, Special to the Star

Today, at 2 p.m., The Museum of South Texas History’s “Sunday Speaker Series Online” will feature “The Story of the 1970 San Juan Plane Crash,” with Joseph Fox who will be talking about the incident on Oct. 23, 1970, when Frank B. Alexander crashed a small plane into the Shrine of San Juan Roman Catholic Church, now site of the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle. Fox earned a master’s degree in history from Texas State University in San Marcos where he completed a thesis on Lone Star beer and the 1970s Austin music scene. He has written articles for the Handbook of Tejano History, book reviews for Texas Books in Review, a historical marker for the Texas Historical Commission, and is currently conducting further research on Lone Star beer to expand his master’s thesis into a book. The presentation will be streamed at facebook.com/MOSTHistory/live. The video will also be recorded and posted for the public on the Museum’s website at www.mosthistory.org.

The Rio Grande Valley Byliners, a writers support group, and the Harlingen Public Library will be hosting “Poetry Night” on Zoom Live on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, from 6:00-6:45 p.m. The Meeting ID is 633511 9982, Passcode: 1234. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, poems will be read in English and Spanish. Visit the group’s Facebook page for other activities.

The Harlingen Arts & Heritage Museum and the Rio Grande Valley Museum Association invite the community to participate in the annual Day of the Dead or Dia de Los Muertos 2020 altars exhibit. Altar set-up starts on September 22 and ends October 4. Altars should not exceed 6 ft. wide x 4 ft. deep and 9 feet high and can be traditional, abstract, satiric, personal, or historic.

The exhibit will run from October 6 through November 8. Due to COVID-19 all safety precautions are being observed and unfortunately,  it will not be possible to host an opening reception  but visitors are welcome to come by and see the exhibit during regular museum hours. To register your altar, come by the museum at 2425 Boxwood St. to pick up a form, complete an application on the museum’s Facebook page, or call  956-216-4901 to register by phone.

The 2020 Texas State Genealogical Society’s Annual Family History Conference will be held on November 13-14! This year’s event takes a different approach due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, taking advantage of the latest technology to bring us together “virtually.” Noted genealogist and lecturer, Judy G. Russell will keynote this year’s conference during TxSGS Live! event and eight other speakers will provide lectures. The 2020 Conference will feature six tracks on the latest in DNA; Ethnic Research; Methodology and Problem Solving; Records and Resources; Skill Building; and Technology. This jam-packed event includes valuable research opportunities and insightful family history sessions for all skill levels and a virtual expo. With 32 sessions from 22 speakers, there will be something of interest and benefit for everyone. These lectures will be recorded, including the live question and answer sessions, and combined with 22 additional pre-recorded lectures from some of your favorite and well-known speakers, you’ll be able to access their lectures online plus those from TxSGS Live! for 90 days beginning on November 15, 2020, through February 5, 2021. Register now during early bird registration (now through midnight October 10) and save. TxSGS members automatically receive an additional conference discount when logged into their account on the TxSGS membership site. Visit https://www.txsgs.org/2020-conference/txsgs-live/ for more information on speakers/ topics and registration packages.

If you haven’t already registered, make plans to experience “Rootstech Connect: A Free Online Experience.” The 2021 conference, sponsored by FamilySearch.org is normally held in Salt Lake City, UT but due to the pandemic, it will now be an entirely free virtual conference on February 25-27, 2021! At “RootsTech Connect” you’ll be able to explore the connections we share across cultures, languages, and borders. You can experience great content, speakers, activities, a virtual expo hall right in your living room on-demand without the barrier of travel and lodging at this completely free event! Visit rootstech.org to learn more about this event and to register.

Stay safe.