Texas, the only American state that ever won a war to become its own country, will not let anyone forget it. While others are bracing for snow, preparing from the Academy Awards, or monitoring the goings-on in Europe, Texans are celebrating their "national" holiday. It was on this day in 1836, Texas declared its independence from Mexico as the Alamo was infamously under siege by Mexican forces. The Republic of Texas lasted until 1845, when it was annexed by the United States.
It's well known that Texas is the second biggest state and the second most populous, but it is also home to three of the ten fastest-growing cities in the country (Austin, no.1; Dallas, no.4; Houston, no.10). As if Texans needed more fodder for their egos.
Accordingly, Texas Independence Day isn't your average lip-service holiday. Earlier today, there was the digital proclamation from Governor Rick Perry.
Happy Texas Independence Day! pic.twitter.com/dlnlfE9rEd— Rick Perry (@GovernorPerry) March 2, 2014
Perry was in Dallas today for the rodeo where, flanked by the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, he bid a massive audience a "Happy Independence Day."
Perry's infamous blustering in 2009 about seceding from the Union is part of moth-eaten myth about Texas' annexation agreement, which some say allows Texas to secede. While that part's not true, according to its annexation agreement, Texas could technically be split up into five states without federal authorization.
No serious attempt at splitting up Texas has been made since Reconstruction, and the idea has never been tested in the courts. Nonetheless, the state’s hypothetical partition still gets kicked around occasionally. In 1969, for example, a state senator proposed a 51st state within Texas that would be open to parimutuel betting, while in 1991 a state representative introduced a bill to turn the panhandle into a state called “Old Texas.”
It is also true that Texas is only state with a capitol building that's taller than U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.. Here's how some of the Texas dignitaries marked the occasion.
George P. Bush, son of Jeb, gave the history lesson:
Today we commemorate #TexasIndependenceDay when 59 delegates met to make a formal declaration of independence from Mexico.— George P. Bush (@georgepbush) March 2, 2014
Rep. Bill Flores choicely quoted the first President of Texas:
Country star Clint Black gave the sermon:
Other reactions were a mix of both patriotism and confusion:
But still give the finger to anyone sporting a "SECEDE" bumper sticker. #TexasIndependenceDay— Chris Jackson (@ChrisCJackson) March 2, 2014
if at first we don't secede, try & try again #TexasIndependenceDay— Pres Heilig (@PresHeilig) March 2, 2014
This video by George Strait, just named the most popular artist in Texas by an interactive map earlier this week, also made the rounds. Brace yourself:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.