Happy Texas Independence Day
Why should we recognize Texas Independence Day?
March 2, 2023, will mark 187 years that Texans have celebrated their independence. So, Happy 187th Birthday to The Lone Star State.
Even the term “Lone Star” conjures up a feeling of independence. That unmistakable Texas spirit of being free, unique, and never backing down is clearly found in our state’s nickname. But, that moniker of “Lone Star” is actually older than the state of Texas itself.
In 1836, Texas was still part of Mexico. And, that wasn’t always a bad thing. Texas was a vast expanse of northern Mexican territory known as Tejas.
The Spanish held Texas as part of its empire from 1519-1821, with one exception: the French explorers claimed parts of Texas for their king Louis XIV from 1685-1690.
Not a very long time and not highly successful for the French either. These two 19th century European powers, France and Spain, could not hold their vast territories in North America, and Mexico eventually won its independence from Spain in 1821. This would, of course, include the area that we know today as Texas.
From 1821-1836, Texas was a part of Mexico, and the Mexican government allowed immigration from the United States into the province known as Texas. Early in this time period, Mexico gave its religion, art, culture, architecture, government, and military protection to Texas. All good things!
Settlements grew in Texas with both Mexican and American citizens living together. Sometimes this was problematic, but for the most part peaceful relations flourished among the two groups. That is until Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna declared himself dictator of Mexico and disregarded the Mexican Constitution of 1824. With this move many of the rights given to the Texans in that constitution suddenly ended. Not a good thing! War would soon follow.
Santa Anna’s rise to power caused Texans to seek independence for themselves. On March 2, 1836, Texas patriots met at Washington-on-the- Brazos to declare independence. Thus, after the Texas Revolution was fought, Texas would be a free and independent nation, “The Republic of Texas.”
Yet, this is still not the only reason we should recognize Texas Independence Day each year. Clearly it is important historically that on March 2, 1836, Texas declared independence. It can also be noted that March 2 is the Honorable Sam Houston’s birthday. Just a coincidence, because he was born in Virginia in 1793.
Perhaps more importantly, on March 2, Texas gained its proud identity. It became a nation! Standing alone for almost ten years as a country all its own. Recognized as a republic by other nations of the world. Standing as a “Lone Star” full of independent spirit. That spirit still drives us all as Texans today.
So, being a “Lone Star” existed before Texas became the 28th U.S. state. This should spur Texans to look to its beginning and its courageously earned freedoms long before it became a part of America. Often t-shirts, caps, home decor, etc. are labeled with the phrase “Texas: Established 1845” - the year of Texas statehood. And that’s a good thing!
Suggestion ... Texans should correctly identify the founding of our beloved land as being 1836, specifically March 2, 1836, on Texas Independence Day.
Texas has stood tall as a Spanish, French, Mexican, and American territory. But, because of March 2, we Texans will always be a little more independent than anyone else.
Now to show your Texas pride this spring, you can display your Texas flag, find a good book about the Lone Star State, enjoy the outdoors of our beautiful state - particularly the wildflowers, or visit a historic site or museum such as the Milam County Museum and Old Historic Jail! Open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Cameron.