The Commission

Walker County Historical
Commission
1301 Sam Houston Ave.
Rm. 218
Huntsville, TX 77340
(Courthouse Annex)

Telephone

(936) 435-2497

WCHC Online

Send email

Meetings

3rd Monday of each month
5:30 P.M.
(except June & August)
Walker County Museum

Museum

Gibbs-Powell Home
1228 11 St. at Avenue M
Huntsville, TX

Hours

Friday 12-4PM
Saturday 12-4PM
Commission meetings,
and by appointment

Telephone

(936) 295-2914

Tours

(936) 291-3581
(leave message)
(936) 291-5931
(Statue Visitors Center)

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Handy Information

Original Caption

Texas Independence Day and Gen. Sam Houston's Birthday Celebration

The remarkable coincidence of Gen. Sam Houston's sharing his March 2 birthday with the Republic, and later State, in whose creation he was such a key player, was early noted by students at Sam Houston Normal Institute (now Sam Houston State University). In 1889 they began to jointly celebrate Gen. Houston's birthday and Texas Independence Day by marching with flags from the Austin College building and Old Main to the grave. In the 1930s and 40s, they drove to the grave by automobile.

The celebration stopped abruptly in the mid-1960s, but the Historical Commission revived it in 1981. The students along with an ROTC honor guard revived the march to the grave site as well.

Since 1981 the celebration has been jointly sponsored by the following organizations:

March 2 Events

The celebration day begins with a morning reception followed by a ceremoney at Sam Houston's gravesite at Oakwood Cemetery. The gravesite ceremony ends with a humorous Baptism of Non-Texans in which attendees born in another state are "baptized" as Texans. A luncheon follows. The day ends with a "Toast to Texas" and a birthday cake for Sam Houston. The location of these events changes every year.

Toast to Texas

by Joe B. Franz

"To Texas . . .
Joyous and sparkling,
Evergreen when it rains, enduring in drought,
Timeless, endless in boundaries, exciting,
Home to the adventurous of yesterday and today,
With shrines from the past
And space and spirit for the future.
To Texas.
Everlasting in the hearts of your people!"

 

The celebration draws many out of town visitors, including several direct descendants of Sam Houston.