Texas Independence Day: March 2nd
The Alamo fell at the height of Texas’ battle for independence in 1836. Antonio Santa Anna’s forces rolled en masse across the Rio Grande toward the Texan fortress and the 150 independence fighters holed up inside. The siege was devastating, yet Lieutenant Colonel William Barrett Travis refused to surrender his men or position. Travis and his soldiers fought bravely throughout the siege while he sent letter after letter calling for reinforcements, including the famous “Letter from the Alamo” sent on February 24th beseeching the garrison at Gonzalez to send help. The letter was in vain and on March 6th, 1836, Santa Anna’s soldiers overpowered the fort, slaughtering every single one of the Texas Independence fighters.
One of the last letters Travis sent from this harrowing siege reached a collective of fifty-nine delegates on March 2nd in Washington on the Brazos, Texas. These men created their own stand against the Mexican Government, drafting a declaration of independence and declaring Texas a sovereign nation. At this bold and monumental meeting, delegates continued to receive letters from Lieutenant Colonel Travis as his men suffered under Santa Anna’s siege. Many delegates fiercely suggested that the meeting be placed on hold so they could provide aid to Travis and his men, but General Sam Houston remained firm in holding that without the declaration of independence, the sacrifice of Travis’ men and all Texans fighting for independence would be in vain. Travis himself insisted in his letters that the convention continue and the constitution be drafted, despite the bullets and cannonballs raining down upon him. All fifty-nine delegates signed a new declaration of independence and the Republic of Texas began that day.
The historic Texas Independence Day is celebrated every year on March 2nd in Granbury Texas.
The Texas Heroes Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the education and accuracy of Texas history, began the celebration in 2012 to commemorate the sacrifice of these heroes and to ensure their struggle is not forgotten. The day involves barbecues, bull riding and calf scrambling, an 1800s parade and many other events and activities that commemorate Texas’ struggle for freedom from Mexico. The celebration also draws local artists and authors, who use their creative work to help breath life into the rich and tumultuous history of the Lone Star State. The Texas Heroes Foundation even provides a way to meet some of the key figures of the battle for independence in historical character actors portraying Sam Houston, William Travis, Jim Bowie and others. On the closest weekend to that historic day of March 2nd, Granbury Square thrives with the memories of the past and the powerful civic pride of Texas.