(Portrait of President Lyndon B. Johnson in the Oval Office by Arnold Newman, White House Press Office (WHPO), which is in the public domain)
It shouldn't surprise anyone one that Texas, as the Lone Star State, has a few holidays that are to a certain extent its own. Here are some of the notable ones in the order they occur during the year:
- Texas Independence Day (March 2) - The Texas Declaration of Independence was adopted on this date in 1836. This signaled that the settlers in what was then Mexican territory wanted to form their own independent republic. The story of the Texas Revolution is full of lore that continues to excite Texans, Americans, and history buffs to this day.
- San Jacinto Day (April 21) - This holiday celebrates the the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836. This is the final battle of the Texas Revolution when General Sam Houston led the Texas Army to defeat General Antonio López de Santa Anna's Mexican Army. This victory led the way for the creation of the Republic of Texas. The battle, revolution, and independent republic serve as a strong foundation for contemporary Texan pride.
- Juneteenth (June 19) - This is a holiday, which just in the past couple of years, has become a much broader holiday. Up until recently, it was mainly celebrated by African Americans and some Texans. It commemorates the date when in 1865 Union Army General Gordon Granger delivered General Order No. 3 that emancipated slaves. When Granger delivered this news in Galveston, Texas, it is considered the date when all people it affected finally heard the news. The President, Senate, and House of Representatives made it a national holiday in 2021 with the passage of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act. Many states have recognized it as well, and many employers now recognize it by closing and giving their employees the day off.
- Lyndon Baines Johnson Day (August 27) - LBJ, the 36th President of the United States who served in this capacity 1963-1969, is one of Texas's most well known native born sons. His presidency was certainly notable as he quickly assumed the office after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Jr. in Dallas; LBJ was serving as JFK's vice president at the time. He was born on August 27, 1908 in Stonewall, Texas and died there on January 22, 1973 at the age of 64. He was known as a high school teacher before entering politics. As a Texan, he certainly was a colorful fella as many people have attested to via their personal observations and anecdotes. His wife, Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Johnson (née Taylor), also had a profound impact upon her native state. Many people admire Lady Bird for her efforts to beautify the Texas landscape -- including lining many Texas highways with the state flower, the Bluebonnet.