How would you describe Texas to all the non-Texans in the world? We believe our state’s official anthem, appropriately titled “Texas, Our Texas,” says it best: “Boldest and grandest, Withstanding ev'ry test / O Empire wide and glorious, You stand supremely blest.” (Fun fact: those lyrics used to be “largest and grandest,” that is until pesky Alaska joined the union.)
Yes, we Texans love our state, never more so than on March 2, when we celebrate the adoption of our Declaration of Independence from Mexico back in 1836. But how can we celebrate while we’re still in a pandemic? Don’t worry, dear reader, because like a Western hero we’re here to save the day. We’ve rounded up five in-person and virtual ways for you to flaunt your Texas pride (and learn some history, too!) today, tomorrow, for the rest of your life.
Marvel at the San Jacinto Monument.
Located at the La Porte site of the climactic 18-minute battle that won Texas’s independence from Mexico, the San Jacinto Monument and its museum are a must for any history buff. Oh, and did we mention that the obelisk is taller than the Washington Monument in DC?
Explore Sam Houston Park.
Wander this 20-acre state historical site, established by former mayor Sam Brashear way back in 1899. On site are historic old buildings, run by the Heritage Society, that tell the story of both Houston and Texas. Get a glimpse of frontier life in the 1823 Old Place cabin, or gawk at Houston’s oldest brick building, the Kellum-Noble House, which was built in 1847, two years after Texas’s independence. Also check out the Heritage Society’s Texas History Month kick-off event tomorrow, LIVE from The Heritage Society with Mister McKinney on Facebook Live.
Spend some time in Houston’s oldest public park.
In 1872 a group of former slaves established Emancipation Park on a plot of land they’d purchased for $800. Now part of the Emancipation National Historic Trail and the UNESCO Slave Route Project, the park has an awesome guided history tour, which you can take virtually, seeing as most of the park’s facilities are still closed because of the pandemic. All you have to do is download an app.
Learn about all the creatures that call Texas home.
A permanent exhibition at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Farish Hall of Texas Wildlife features dioramas of our state’s many different ecosystems, and all the animals that live in them. The second-floor exhibition features around 250 different species, including endangered animals like ocelots, whooping cranes, and attwater's prairie chickens.
Sing along to some of Texas’s greats.
A slew of Texas artists are hosting a live-stream concert tonight in honor of Texas Independence Day. Country singer Pat Green is hosting the event via Facebook Live at 8 p.m., with appearances from the likes of Aaron Watson, Casey Donahew, Josh Abbott, Randy Rogers, and more. Learn more here.