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Texas Independence Day

Today is Texas Independence Day — the 173rd anniversary of the signing of the

Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico. At one time, this was an official

big deal state holiday, but it’s not as popular as it used to be, as Jim Bell reports.



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The Texas Declaration of Independence was signed on March 2nd 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos, which is near present day Navasota. The Alamo fell four days later on March 6th. Six weeks later on April 21st the Texas army won Texas independence from Mexico at San Jacinto.  Historian Mike Campbell of the Texas State Historical Association says Independence Day has almost been forgotten because of those other events.

“Signing a document is one thing, and again it’s very important, and it took an awful lot of nerve, but it’s not as spectacular as the story of the Alamo or the story of San Jacinto Day.”

Campbell says it’s also true that state holidays generally tend to be pushed aside by national holidays, and there are a lot of national holidays. He also thinks revisionist views of the revolution have reduced the high public esteem this day once had and he doesn’t think that’s right.

“The Texas Revolution was a very complex thing, and not every aspect of it was pretty for everybody involved, of course not, but I don’t think that you should say because there were negatives associated with it, you shouldn’t recognize the heroism of people like Sam Houston.”

Even so, many Texas history buffs celebrate Texas Independence Day every year at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park and other locations prominent in the revolution. Locations such as Gonzales, where the revolution’s first shots were fired.  Gonzales, near San Antonio, will celebrate its role in the revolution with its annual Freedom Festival this weekend. 

Jim Bell, KUHF, Houston Public Radio News.

For more details, view the Celebrate Texas web site.

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