Texas Independence Day is a state holiday celebrated annually in Texas on March 2 that celebrates the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence. The Texan Declaration was adopted on March 2, 1836, and it’s been celebrated in some form in the state ever since.
What is the history of Texas Independence Day?
In 1821, Mexico had just gained independence from Spain and became its own country, which included the entire state of Texas. Because of its tiny population and distance from Mexico City, Mexico’s government started a settlement program in the hopes that Texas would become more developed and integrate with the more populated regions of Mexico. By 1830, a man called Stephen Austin had brought over 10,000 Americans who lived alongside the Mexican Tejano population of 4,000.
In 1833, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was elected president and began to centralize the power of government back to Mexico City, and tensions rose between Texans and the Mexican government. The incarceration of Stephen Austin was a catalyst for a rebellion amongst Texans, and the Texan War of Independence began on October 2, 1835. Over the next six months, several battles took place between the Mexican army and the Texan revolutionaries, including the famous siege and attack on the Alamo mission, which took many Texan lives.
The war ended on April 21st at the Battle of San Jacinto, where 900 Texan soldiers launched a surprise attack on the Mexican troops and took Santa Anna as a prisoner. It was here in 1836 that Texas became independent of Mexico. Texas was finally admitted to the United States on December 29, 1845, officially becoming the 28th state.
How is Texas Independence Day celebrated?
Towns and cities across the state tend to hold big celebrations to commemorate this day; these events typically include lots of food, music, activities, and historical displays to celebrate Texas’s fight for independence and rich history. It’s not uncommon to see parades, firework displays, and many homes raising the Texas Lone Star Flag. In addition, it’s traditional for Texan friends and families all over the state to spend time with each other by having big gatherings and hosting famous Texan BBQs.
Some people visit places and historic sites associated with this special day, including the Alamo, where the Mexican state of Tejas won independence and became a self-governing republic: Texas. Others include San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, Sam Houston’s Birthday & Texas Independence Day Celebration, and Casa Navarro.
State government workers may choose to have a day off on Texas Independence Day as it is a partial staffing day. Many schools have classroom lessons and activities about the Texas Declaration of Independence.
Fun Facts about Texas
- The Texas State Capitol building is the largest state capitol in the nation. The Texas State Capitol is taller than the US Capitol by almost 15 feet.
- Texas is larger than any country in Europe. If Texas were its own country, it would be the 40th largest land area.
- Texas gets its name from the word for “Friends” in Caddo Indian. The word “teycha,” which translates to friends or allies, was given by the native people who lived here before the Spanish conquest.
- Texas boasts America’s largest rose garden. Tyler in eastern Texas is home to the country’s largest rose garden, spanning 14 acres and showcasing a staggering 38,000 rose bushes of up to 500 species.
- Texas held the world’s first rodeo on July 4, 1883, starting a legacy that has carried over into the present day.