By Chris Edwards andJan White
CROCKETT – On March 2, 1836, 59 delegates gathered at Washington-on-the-Brazos to sign a Declaration of Independence from Mexico, creating the Republic of Texas.
Throughout the years, Texans have celebrated the event with re-enactments, festivals, parades, cookouts, fireworks, and other festive, celebratory methods that show their Texas pride.
Texas Highways magazine has been a curator of the state’s history since 1974.
When the magazine suggested that all Texans stop whatever they are doing at 2 p.m. on March 2 (the precise time when the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed) and raise a toast to the Lone Star State, the idea caught on. In 1993, historian and writer Joe Franz, a frequent contributor to the magazine, composed a poem, titled “Texas Toast” to use as a toast to commemorate the signing.
Many cities and towns across the state now use Franz’s “Texas Toast” as a model to celebrate Texas Independence Day. While Franz suggested the toast be done with spring water, other Texas-centric beverages have been used in toasts to Texas, like with the celebration in Houston County last Thursday.
At 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 2, 2023, local officials, Houston County Historical Commission members, and a handful of die-hard Texans gathered on the steps of the Houston County Courthouse to hear County Judge Jim Lovell read the toast and raise their red solo cups filled with Dr Pepper in remembrance of Texas’ independence.