Texas Independence Day marks the date that Texas became an independent Republic. Watch for festivities to kick off this year on Thursday, March 2, 2023 with parades, festivals, special events and festivities celebrating a proud day in Texas history.
All about Texas Independence Day
The history of the Lone Star State is a reflection of the people who shaped it.
Long before the Convention of 1836 proclaimed Texas independent, native American nations called the land their home.
They, in turn, were followed by French and Spanish settlers and then by Americans moving westward from the eastern reaches of the continent and the newly formed United States of America.
The early days of independence were not easy. Spain, through Mexico, was not happy to lose the wealth and power that Texas represented. The fighting was long and bitter.
The Alamo was just one of the battles that were fought to keep freedom in the land and maintain home rule. This one battle came to symbolize the struggle. The cry of, "Remember the Alamo" helped the Texans fighting against Santa Anna and the Mexican army. William Travis wrote from the Alamo, "...our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender nor retreat."
"Remember the Alamo"
March 2, 1836, Texas declared its independence from Mexico
and became the Republic of Texas. Under the flag with one "lone star" Texans declared their independence, formed a democratic Republic and fought with pride to preserve their freedom.
Independence Day, March 2, is an official state holiday and is celebrated by all Texans to honor the memory of the pioneers of the state's independence.
In Houston, Texas Independence Day celebrations have also become a part of the festivities at the annual Rodeo Houston.
All over Texas, parades and barbecue are the order of the day, with a full reenactment of the Convention of 1836 that resulted in Texas Independence. The biggest parade, in Austin, usually occurs on a weekend closest to the 2nd, at the Congress Avenue Bridge.
DID YOU KNOW? Texas Independence Day fun facts
• Texans were crushed at the Alamo, and again defeated at the Battle of Goliad when all signs pointed to an ultimate victory for Mexico. That's when an over-confident Mexican General Santa Anna decided to split his 6,000-man army into three separate units. The infamous tactical error resulted in decisive win for Texas at the Battle of San Jacinto where Sam Houston's troops ("Remember the Alamo!") defeated the Mexican army in just 18 minutes.
• Adding insult to injury, Mexican General Santa Anna lost his leg during the Texas Revolution. But he was later fitted with a wooden leg which, in turn, was later captured by the 4th Illinois Infantry during the Mexican-American War. Today, the fake appendage can still be seen on display at the Illinois State Military Museum.
The original Lone Star flag.
• A lone star flag has always flown over Texas, but not always in the same colors. The first flag featured a bright yellow star on a dark blue background. The "Burnet Flag" was so called because David G. Burnet was provisional president of the Republic of Texas when the flag was adopted in 1836. Two years later, it was replaced by the familiar blue, white and red flag that is still beloved by Texans today.
• The Alamo's famous facade was badly deteriorating by the early 20th century when, alarmed by its condition, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas made a plan for its preservation. But internal differences resulted in a second 'battle of the Alamo' that finally ended up in court. The case was finally settled by Governor Oscar Colquitt who stepped in to secure state funds for total restoration of the famous site.
Where Texas Became Texas - Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park commemorates
the spot where the delegates to the Convention of 1836 met to sign the Texas Declaration
of Independence which created the Republic of Texas. An audience
participation play lets you become one of the delegates to the Convention
and relive the events.
State Historic Site
- Revered as the site of the signing of the Texas Declaration
of Independence on March 2, 1836 and today the venue for the annual
Texas Independence Day Festival with related attractions, map,
directions and video.
of Early Texas
- This site has copies of the original of Travis' Appeal from the Alamo, February
24, 1836; The Texas Declaration of Independence, March 2, 1836; The Treaty of
Velasco, (including Spanish transcription) May 14, 1836; The Resolution Annexing
Texas to the United States, March 1, 1845 and the Texas Ordinance of Secession,
February 2, 1861.