Texas History Feed

Senate side of the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Scrumshus - Own work, Public Domain) The Internal Revenue Service's to-do list is pretty packed right now. It just announced that it is implementing paperless tax protocols next year. But a group of U.S. senators say it needs to make fighting crypto tax evasion a priority. They are concerned about the Treasury Department's and IRS' apparent procrastination in complying with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act's (IIJA) mandate of new tax regulations for crypto asset traders. The IIJA-ordered rules would require third parties, such as Coinbase, to report information about individuals' crypto... Read more →

Communities across the United States this long weekend celebrated the newest federal holiday, Juneteenth. The name comes from combining June and nineteenth, the day in 1865 when official word arrived in Galveston, Texas, that President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation 2½ years earlier. Yeah, late. Very late on the part of early Texans in recognizing that owning people not only was abhorrent and reprehensible, but finally and officially illegal. And three years into formal federal recognition of Juneteenth as a holiday, the whole country continues to grapple with slavery and racial bias and their continuing effects. That includes... Read more →

Juneteenth is officially on the day that gives it its contraction name, June 19th. But since that was on Sunday, federal offices, the stock market, and some states observance Juneteenth on Monday, June 20. It's the second year of Juneteenth being celebrated as a federal holiday. Since today is Sunday, federal offices will observe it on Monday, June 20. As a native Texan, I was aware of the date. It's was the day in 1865 when recalcitrant (insert your own R word if you wish) early Lone Star Staters were forced to acknowledge — and let enslaved Texans know —... Read more →

On this day in 1836, Texas declared its independence from Mexico. Four days later, the new Texians at the Alamo didn't survive the siege by the unimpressed Mexican President Antonio López de Santa Anna and is troops. We remembered, but didn't fare any better at Goliad. More than 350 Texas Republic soldiers who had surrendered there were massacred. That really made us mad. And on April 21, 1836, Texas Republic soldiers attacked Santa Anna's troops at San Jacinto. Eighteen minutes later, the proclamation of March 2 became a reality. Texas won its independence from Mexico. We Texans will commemorate the... Read more →

Celebrating Texas Independence Day

Today is special here in my home state. On March 2, 1836, Texas became Texas. Delegates from the 17 Mexican municipalities of Texas and the settlement of Pecan Point had met on March 1, 1836, at Washington-on-the-Brazos to consider their future. In the early morning hours of the next day, they unanimously voted to declare independence from Mexico. But, notes the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas, the move toward self government "remained to be demonstrated to Mexico." Fours days later, newly minted Texans made a stand at the Alamo. None survived. The result was just as dismal on... Read more →

Happy 174th Birthday, Texas!

March 2 is a big day here in my native state. On this day in 1836, Texas became a republic. Delegates from the 17 Mexican municipalities of Texas and the settlement of Pecan Point had met the day before at Washington-on-the-Brazos to consider independence from Mexico. George C. Childress presented a resolution calling for independence and he was tapped to head a committee to draft a declaration proclaiming such. "In the early morning hours of March 2, the convention voted unanimously to accept the resolution," notes the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas. "After fifty-eight members signed the document,... Read more →

Miles and miles of Texas traveling taxes?

As regular readers know, I've blogged ad nauseum regularly on the fiscal troubles of many of our 50 states. One of the common themes in these struggling state posts is the creative ways tax officials and lawmakers are coming up with to pay the bills. OK, California's IOUs were more sad than ingenious, but you know what I mean. Now it looks like my native state, which had a couple of European banners among the six flags that variously flew over us, is taking a cue from another transatlantic country. I wrote a couple of months ago about The Netherlands'... Read more →

On March 2, 1836, Texas declared its independence from Mexico and became a republic. Even though we're now one of 50 U.S. states, this is the date Texans still celebrate. It's a holiday for state workers. In fact, if it weren't for the issuance of the commemorative quarter a few years ago, I suspect many of us Texans wouldn't know exactly when we became the 28th state, although I'm sure that move was part of the state history classes all Texas school children must take. FYI, it was Dec. 29, 1845. Tweed Scott, a fellow author and Texan by choice... Read more →

Lighting 172 candles for Texas today

172 years ago today, the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed by members of the Convention of 1836. The Republic of Texas was born and we Texans have been, well, being Texans ever since. Even though the hubby and I, both native Texans, were Texpatriates for far too many years, we always identified ourselves as Lone Star Staters. Introductions would be, "We live in Maryland (or Florida), but we're from Texas." In my case, that usually was evident the minute I opened my mouth. I am proud to say that despite many years away from my roots, I never lost... Read more →

Thank you and goodbye,
Lady Bird Johnson

Another fine Texas woman is no longer with us. But her legacy -- a love of and dedication to protecting our natural resources and beauty -- remains. Thank you Mrs. Johnson. Every bluebonnet in Texas and wildflower across the rest of the country will forever remind us of how much you meant to us. Austin's local NBC affiliate, KXAN, has a nice tribute to Mrs. Johnson. If you want to help continue the First Lady's environmental efforts, donate to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Read more →

The monument to the Texians who won the Battle of San Jacinto, securing Texas' independence from Mexico on April 21, 1836. Sure we became the Republic of Texas on March 2, 1836, when the fledging government declared independence from Mexico. Then came the hard part. None of the new Texas patriots survived the siege of the Alamo four days later. It was just as grim on March 27, when more than 350 Texas Republic soldiers, who had surrendered at Goliad, were massacred. That did it. Enough is enough. You just can't do things like that. And we proved it at... Read more →

Happy Birthday Texas

"You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas." -- Davy Crockett That famous proclamation by Tennessean-turned-Texan came four months before Texas declared its independence and Crockett and other defenders of The Alamo gave their lives for the cause. But I've always thought it perfectly captured the state's spirit. Brash, brave, committed and a bit reckless. That's some of what makes the Lone Star State and its residents, natives and those who got here as soon as they could, special. To commemorate Texas Independence Day a few years ago, another famous Texan elaborated on what our state... Read more →

A dance hall fit for angels

This morning, flipping through some of the cable movie channels that are part of our TV programming package but which we don't pay enough attention to, I came upon "Michael." It's a fun movie, notable mostly for the scene where John Travolta dances to Aretha's "Chain of Fools." But today I stopped the remote flicking not just because I enjoyed the movie, but also because Travolta's "Michael" moves (both dancing and the ensuing fight) were filmed at nearby Gruene Hall, AKA the oldest dance hall in Texas. As fate would have it, I got in on the movie right at... Read more →

Out and about in Alpine

We're in Alpine today, but just for a little while longer. We rolled into this West Texas town -- Hub of the Big Bend, home of Sul Ross State University and creative hotbed with dozens of art and artisan galleries scattered about town -- on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, all of the shops were closed when we got here. If I were truly paranoid, I'd think our husbands phoned ahead and pleaded with local merchants for a little economic pity in light of the stress we've already put on our respective family bank accounts with this trip. Sorry, gentlemen, but since... Read more →

Holiday hiking, history and hotels

Hello from the wilds of West Texas. All is going quite nicely on the trip down memory lane that my cousin Kathy and I are taking. We haven't gotten irreversibly lost yet. We've generally agreed on what attractions to see (and avoid) in each of our stops. And we're still getting along, despite not having spent this much time together since we were small children and had our parents to whine to if necessary. I am happy to report we are not whining. Just a little wining with our dining. Our first extended stop was in Kermit, which I mentioned... Read more →

Historic Texas dance hall tour, Part 3

This weekend, Austin's premier annual event, the South by Southwest Festival began. So what did we do? Left town. Last year, when we returned to Texas in May and missed out on SXSW by just a few weeks, we bemoaned our bad timing. Next year, we said, we'll hit the festival next year. Then we realized just how big this sucker is! Tens of thousands of people pile into the city for 10 days to observe, participate and enjoy the many aspects of music, film and interactive media. The 4,000 admission wristbands made available in advance for purchase by locals... Read more →

Independence Day

On March 2, 1836, the Republic of Texas was born. Four days later the Mexican army answered the rebellion by kicking our butts at the Alamo. That was just the beginning. For 170 years now, Texans have been fighting -- good causes, seemingly lost causes, each other and everyone else. Every time my husband shakes his head at my righteous indignation and decision to keep battling, I tell him that it's just my Texan coming out. He's a native Lone Star Stater, too, but if he'd been around in 1836, he'd more likely been a diplomat. I'd have been one... Read more →

Miles and miles of Texas … and taxes

Just a few weeks ago here on the ol’ blog, I bemoaned the fact that I had only been able to see Ray Benson, lead singer of Asleep at the Wheel, on video at an exhibit at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum here in Austin. Well, that has changed! On Dec. 16 we moseyed on out to the Broken Spoke to chow down on some chicken fried steak (billed as “the best in Texas and that means the world to us”) and listen to the best in Texas swing music. The Broken Spoke is a local -- hell,... Read more →