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Plans Announced For Texas Independence Day, Houston's Birthday

Feb. 15, 2013
SHSU Media Contact: Megan Buro, Julia May

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General Sam Houston's grave site
General Sam Houston's Grave Site


The Walker County Historical Commission, the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, and the Sam Houston Statue and Visitor’s Center have planned several events to commemorate Texas Independence and the birthday of General Sam Houston on Saturday (March 2).

The tradition of celebrating March 2 in Huntsville dates back to 1889 when students from the Sam Houston Normal Institute would march to General Sam Houston’s grave. In 1981 the Walker County Historical Commission began sponsoring March 2 events through a program called “Texas Heritage Days.” Students from Sam Houston State University, with the help of the history department, have continued the tradition of marching to Houston’s grave.

Festivities get under way at the Gibbs-Powell Home Walker County Museum with coffee and a reception from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. An exhibit containing items that relate to Texas will be on display at the Gibbs-Powell House for guests to view. Beginning around 10:15 a.m., the traditional march to Sam Houston’s gravesite at Oakwood Cemetery will assemble at Austin Hall, located on the campus of Sam Houston State University, and proceed to Houston’s grave along University Avenue.

A ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. at Houston’s gravesite in Oakwood Cemetery. This year’s guest speaker is Howard Horton. Horton is a native of Goliad and has portrayed Sam Houston since 1998 in Salado Legends: An Outdoor Musical Drama at Tablerock’s Goodnight Amphitheater in Salado. He retired in 2005 from the University of Mary Hardin Baylor where he was an associate professor of business management. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held at Mance Park Middle School located near Oakwood Cemetery.

Following the ceremony at 12:30 p.m. is a reservation-only luncheon at The Homestead on 19th Street in Huntsville. For inquiries about the luncheon, contact Jamie Matthews, Sam Houston Statue and Visitors Center, at 936.291.5931 or email jmatthews@huntsvilletx.gov. Following the luncheon, the Sam Houston Statue and Visitors Center will host the “Toast to Texas” with a birthday cake at 2 p.m. The day will culminate at Oakwood Cemetery with the Oakwood Cemetery/ Steamboat House Historic site tour beginning at 3 p.m., located a t the Adickes Addition at 8th Street and Martin Luther King Drive.

The Sam Houston Memorial Museum will also be offering free admission on March 2. Museum hours on Saturday are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The first 100 visitors to tour the Main Museum Rotunda will receive an “Honor” bracelet.



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