Hailing from a state where you learn Texas history before American history, Texas Independence Day is always cause for celebration. For proud Texas March 2nd is one of the most important days of the year. Let me give you a history lesson.
Most of you are familiar with the U.S. Declaration of Independence which sits over in the National Archives. But most of you would probably be surprised to know that Texas has its own Declaration of Independence. Drafted at the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the Brazos on March 1, it echoes the contentions of Thomas Jefferson and John Locke when discussing governmental philosophy including complaints against the governing nation (Mexico) and a call for independence. The declaration draft was submitted the next day to the delegation of approximately 54 men representing each Texas settlement. With little discussion or debate, the declaration officially seceding from Mexico, and launching the Republic of Texas, was adopted on March 2, 1836.
The document was prepared, literally, overnight as the Alamo in San Antonio was under siege by Santa Anna’s Army. The Alamo fell, but on April 21, 1836, General Sam Houston, with an army comprised of Anglo and Tejano soldiers, defeated the Mexican Army at San Jacinto. Mexico’s President Santa Anna signed a peace treaty three weeks later and the Republic of Texas was on its way to becoming a sovereign nation. Nine years later, Texas became the 28th state.
In honor of the 177th anniversary, here’s how to celebrate in the nation’s capitol:
Start on Friday at the 9:30 Club
True Texans are Texas country music fans. It’s a genre of music that combines a little bit of country, blues, folk, with a touch of rock ‘n roll. Not Taylor Swift’s country, much, much better. The Randy Rogers Band and Stoney LaRue will be serenading concert goers to some of their best tunes. So put on your cowboy boots, pick up a Shiner or Coors Light and two-step your way into the evening.
The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You
The D.C. Texas Exes – the local alumni club of the University of Texas – celebrates the holiday with a party at Old Ebbitt Grill. Celebrating in true Texas fashion, there will be a dramatic reading of William Barret Travis’s famous “Victory or Death” letter from the Alamo.
BBQ It Right
Stop by the best Texas-inspired barbecue joint in D.C. Hill Country BBQ to celebrate the occasion. You’ll be treated to country music by Scott Kurt, a menu of Texas grub and $3 Shiner Bocks all night. Bonus: this place makes a home-sick Texan feel right at home with its straight outta Texas décor.
Texas Wine and Dinner
For all you highfalutin folks: try the 6-course Texas Wine and Dinner at Mayfair & Pine. For $70 a person, you’ll get a menu prepared by Top Chef Season 2 contestant Chef Emily Sprissler, paired with some of the Lone Star State’s best boutique vineyard wines.
The Best Darn Chili in D.C.
Looking for a casual, down home style joint? Stop by Hard Times Café. The menu boasts some Lone Star State favorites: jalapeño poppers, fried pickles, southwest style ribs, and Texas grilled cheese. But by far the best thing on the menu is their chili. You can choose from four recipes – don’t miss out on the Texas and Terlingua Red style. You won’t regret it! Wash it all down with a sweet tea or Shiner Bock.
A Tex-Mex Favorite
Another close-to-authentic restaurant to ring in the day is Austin Grill. With many locations across the D.C. Metro area, you can nosh on some East Coast style Tex-Mex and sip on a Margarita (or two).
(Mexican) Breakfast or Bust
For the early risers, or if you just want breakfast any time of day, you need to head on over to either of District Taco’s locations. They have breakfast tacos and huevos rancheros to satisfy your real Tex-Mex craving.
Happy Texas Independence Day Y’all! And don’t forget: “Remember the Alamo!”