On February 1st, National Texas Day recognizes the Lone Star State along with its fierce record of independent people and history. The 28th state may not be the only state with a record of being a republic, but their dramatic revolution and fight for independence keep Texas history alive.
Legendary History and People
On December 29, 1845, Texas became the 28th state admitted to the Union, but its storied history stretched long before that date. From the dictatorship of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and the start of the Texas Revolution in 1835 to the Alamo in 1836, names like James Bowie, Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, and Juan Seguin echo throughout the state.
Many legends abound where Texas is concerned. According to the story, The Yellow Rose of Texas was a mulatto woman who distracted Santa Anna during the Battle of San Jacinto allowing victory for the republic. Many credit a woman by the name of Emily West, but historians find little to no evidence. A statue by Veryl Goodnight stands in Houston.
During and after the Civil War, news traveled slowly. It took the arrival of Major General Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865, and his announcement with General Orders, Number 3 that the Civil War was over and all slaves were now freedmen for life to change in Galveston, Texas. Whether it required the military to enforce the new federal law or if the news did truly travel slowly, June 19th became a celebration of culture and freedom called Juneteenth.
Technology and Landscape
Texas loves technology. Home to Johnson Space Center and more than one computer company that began as a startup, the Lone Star State wears its boots and lab coat at the same time. They’ve brought us the handheld calculator and 3-D printing as well as many medical advancements. And let’s not forget, Dr. Pepper.
Whether traveling to the Gulf Coast, staying close to the panhandle which includes a patch of Route 66, or wandering the Great Plains, there’s plenty of Texas to see. Take in some history or explore the cities. Take a hike along the Palo Duro Canyon on the Red River or in Big Bend National Park.