Texans who trace their ancestry to 1836 -- along with those who came as soon as they could -- know the state was once a sovereign nation.
When the would-be Napoleon of Mexico, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, trampled underfoot the freedom-styled constitution that Anglos and Hispanics alike had agreed to live under, it meant war.
Today marks the 176th anniversary of the Texas Declaration of Independence -- six decades after the American Revolution -- and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas plan to share their heritage with 95 fourth graders at Preston Smith Elementary School.
Jane Bolstad, who had an ancestor at the Alamo and several more at the Battle of San Jacinto, said an hour will be devoted to the Texas history program.
Carolyn Sowell, co-chairwoman with Jan Spence for the Texas Independence Day event, said each student in the fourth grade will be given a bag containing a flag, blue bonnets and stories about the one-time republic's history.
The school will be given a framed copy of the Texas Declaration of Independence.
Its signers included some names that are familiar now for counties: Richard Ellis, William Motley, George Childress, Antonio Navarro, Robert Potter, James Swisher, L. de Zavala, Baily Hardiman and John Fisher.
The Declaration of Independence, composed March 2, 1836, decried the "changes made in the government by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna." It concluded with these words:
"We, therefore, the delegates, with plenary powers of the People of Texas, in solemn convention assembled, appealing to a candid world for the necessities of our condition, do hereby resolve and declare that our political connection with the Mexican nation has forever ended, and that the People of Texas do now constitute a free, sovereign, and independent republic, and are fully invested with all the rights and attributes which properly belong to independent states; and, conscious of the rectitude of our intentions, we fearlessly and confidently commit the issue to the decision of the Supreme Arbiter of the destinies of nations."
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