Texas Independence Day: 180th Anniversary

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Happy Texas Independence Day, y’all! It was on this day 180 years ago, 59 delegates gathered at a small unfinished building in Washington, TX, known at Independence Hall,  to determine the fate of what is now Texas. On March 2, 1836, George Childress called for a convention and the delegates all came together and unanimously agreed on the proposed declaration of independence from Mexico. The Texas Declaration of Independence was quickly signed by all 59 delegates. Dave Burnet was named  the provisional President and Sam Houston the Commander-in-Chief of all Texas military forces. However, it wasn’t until 60 days later, at the Battle of San Jacinto, that Texans officially won their independence.

Texas Independence DayPhoto: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Though no longer a state holiday, Texas Independence Day is still widely celebrated by Texans. From small towns to big cities, residents are not lacking in options to celebrate this exciting day in Texas history. These celebrations include children’s activities, 5K runs, chili cook-offs, music, and reenactments. The most notable of celebrations, a Texas Independence Day Celebration at the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site, happens right where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed in Washington, TX.

Texas Independence DayPhoto: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

On Saturday, March 5, 2016 and Sunday, March 6, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Washington-on-the-Brazos will open its doors to the public at no cost with free onsite shuttles and free parking. There will be live music, special guests, food, crafts, historical encampments, living history presentations and some pretty awesome attractions to take you back in time to how life was in Texas in 1836. All fees are waived for the historic sites attractions. Visitors will be able to see a replica of Independence Hall, where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed. They will also get to experience how the pioneers lived at the Barrington Living History Farm and see some special events at the Star of Republic Museum.

Texas Independence DayPhoto: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

If all that isn’t enough, the Texas A&M Singing Cadets will be present at the event and a historical play, “Birth of the Republic”, will be held at the Navasota Alliance Theatre. There will also be a book unveiling and signing of “Washington on the Brazos: Cradle of the Texas Republic” by Richard B. McCaslin. In addition to these weekend events, a family reunion for the descendants of the 59 delegates will be held at the park as a part of the activities. This is one Texas-sized celebration!