The first observances of Texas Independence Day were relatively sedate affairs: The semi-centennial in 1886 was marked by readings of the Declaration and a sprucing-up of Sam Houston's grave. In Brenham, a congressman gave a speech that the local press deemed "eloquent and appropriate."
Celebrate Texas Independence Day by eating a native dish -- like tacos, say, or enchiladas.
Many Texans didn't bother with the March 2 holiday, including -- in 1887 -- members of the state Senate.
"A motion to adjourn the Senate was made on the ground that the day was the anniversary of the declaration of Texan Independence, but it was voted down by those who had more interest in certain measures than in the Texas Fourth of July," the Galveston Daily News reported.
It's unclear from the article, titled "A Humdrum Day: Nothing Particularly Interesting," just which measures distracted the men from their patriotic concerns.
But Galveston's Chamber of Commerce realized the holiday was an occasion to party, and in 1894 staged its first Texas Independence Day banquet. While the Daily News didn't report on the proceedings, it devoted dozens of column inches the following year to the banquet's second edition, billed as "a feast of good things."More »