Tuesday, March 3, 2009
If anyone cares,...
...yesterday (March 2nd) was Texas Independence Day.
I grew up in Tarrant County, Texas (home of the Fort Worth stockyards) and studied Texas History during my senior year of high school.
Here is the text of the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico and the signatures of all the men who signed it on March 2, 1836, in the town of Washington-on-the-Brazos.
And here is a transcript of an event held by The Texian Legacy Association on March 2, 1998, in Austin, and a speech entitled “The Myth and Meaning of Texas Independence” given by Dr. Stephen L. Hardin, Professor of History at Victoria College in Victoria, Texas. Careful readers of this blog will recognize Victoria as the birthplace of the mother of Pat - An Arkansas Stamper.
I am not really a Texan. I moved there when I was six and moved away when I was twenty. Think how insufferable I would be if I were a native.
Unlike every other state that entered the Union after the original thirteen, Texas was never a U.S. territory. After declaring independence from Mexico, Texas existed as an independent nation, the Republic of Texas, for nine years. It received diplomatic recognition as a sovereign nation from both Great Britain and France, and entered the United States in 1845 by an annexation agreement.
Here’s a little-known fact: Texas was considered to be so large at the time it was annexed into the United States as the 28th state that it retained the right in the annexation agreement to divide itself into as many as five states at any time it desired. But no one has ever been willing to give up the Alamo.
Alaska, of course, covers twice as much area as Texas, but when Alaska became the 49th state in 1959, no provision was made for splitting Alaska into ten states. If such provision had been made, we might today have the following:
Come to think of it, we seem to have that anyway.
So now you know all about yesterday. But some of you may be asking, “What about today?” I will now tell you about today.
Today, ladies and gentlemen, is the first day of the rest of your life.