Texas Independence Day Celebration

Join the Walker County Historical Commission, Sam Houston Memorial Museum & Republic of Texas Presidential Library, and the City of Huntsville Tourism Department for the annual Texas Independence Day and General Sam Houston’s Birthday celebration on March 2nd!

Every year, the day kicks off with a coffee reception at the Walker County Museum: Gibbs-Powell House at 9:15am. From there, guests meet at Oakwood Cemetery to honor the life of Sam Houston on his birthday at 11:00am. Members of the student body, faculty, staff and administration of Sam Houston State University follow the university’s ROTC members in the traditional march to Sam Houston’s grave from the Old Main Pit, located near Austin Hall on the campus grounds.

The gravesite ceremony will also include the SHSU ROTC Color Guard and Rifle Team, special musical selections and speakers, the laying of the wreaths by decedents of Sam Houston, and the much anticipated “Baptized a Texan” ceremony.  Participants of the “Baptized a Texan” event kneel in front of Sam Houston’s memorial and receive pond water across their forehead and receive a commemorative gift bag from the City of Huntsville Tourism Department.

Immediately following the gravesite ceremony is a luncheon hosted by the Walker County Historical Commission and a “Toast to Texas” and birthday cake sponsored by the City of Huntsville Tourism Department. The speaker has been added to the luncheon this year and will be Justice Ken Wise. 

Justice Ken Wise sits on the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston, Texas.  Justice Wise traces his ancestry back to the Republic of Texas in 1836.   He was born and raised in Houston and attended Texas A&M University where he competed on the intercollegiate rodeo team.  He attended law school at the University of Houston and practiced law for 8 years before taking the bench as Judge of the 152nd and 334th District Courts.  Justice Wise has studied Texas history since his youth and has a tremendous passion for the stories and values that built Texas.   Justice Wise enjoys reading and writing about Texas history and has published multiple journal articles.  He serves as President of the Board of Directors for the Texas State Historical Association and sits on the board of the Texas Historical Foundation.  He is also an officer and Trustee of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society.   In addition to teaching history and government at the college level, he is a very popular speaker on various Texas history topics.  

To receive a letter or email from about how to participate in these events, please contact the staff at the Sam Houston Statue Visitor Center at  936-291-9726 or vcenter@huntsvilletx.gov.

Click here to register for the March 2nd Events


More Things To Do

Historic Tours of Texas

Huntsville has a long and fascinating history beginning with the native Bedias peoples and the original Mexican League and Labor Grant. The Trinity River became the source of all commerce coming in through Cincinnati, Riverside or Trinity. Learn all about the early settlers, Huntsville's importance to Texas as well as all the important spots in town during this 3 hour tour of Huntsville

Historic Downtown Huntsville

Discover Huntsville's downtown and shop the many boutiques and antique stores on the square! The store fronts will be decorated with Texas Bluebonnets in honor of Texas Independence Day and you might even spot a few people from Sam Houston's era in the shops! 

An Evening With Sam

Join the Sam Houston Memorial Museum & Republic of Texas Presidential Library on the eve of Texas Independence Day for a meet and mingle with Texas History enthusiasts and learn what is happening at the museum. There also might be a visit from a historical figure! This event will take place on March 1st at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum & Republic of Texas Presidential Library from 5:30pm-6:30pm

Other Points of Interest:

  • Sam Houston Statue
  • HEARTS Veterans Museum of Texas
  • Café Texan History Museum & Library
  • Huntsville State Park
  • Gibbs Powell House/Walker County Museum 
  • Texas Prison Museum
Ray and Jacque
BAT Design
BAP_1086
Man Baptized a Texan
March to the grave
March 2nd
Wreath laying