The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979

A New Remembrance, An Old Theme

ARCHIE P. McDONALD*
AMERICANS CELEBRATE ANNIVERSARIES WITH PASSION. OUR CALENDAR
sparkles with holiday remembrances: the birth of George Wash-
ington, a memorial to the honored dead, a summer's explosion of In-
dependence, and a Thanksgiving pause at harvest's end. We proclaim
days, weeks, months, and occasionally an entire year to remember, to
relearn, to reappreciate everything from products to peoples. We call it
golden if a married couple weathers fifty years together. Nationally, we
centennialed in 1876 and bicentennialed in 1976, and no doubt the
country will do it all again if there is a o2076. On all this we pronounce
unwearied blessing and approval.
Texans, no less than other Americans, move with the spirit. In 1886
a few grey beards remembered their efforts a scant fifty years before to
remove Texas from Mexican control and to establish an independent
republic. But fifty years after that, as characterized their breed, Texans
held the biggest blow-out of a centennial celebration imaginable. Baw-
dy, commercial, and admittedly a tourist hook, it nonetheless paid
dividends of renewed interest in Texas's history by the state's citizens
as well as by the rest of the nation.
The spirit quickened early for the party. James S. Hogg called for a
centennial celebration of Texas independence early in the present cen-
tury,' and a convention of advertising clubs held at Corsicana in 1923
carried the idea forward. They organized a Texas Centennial Survey
Committee to promote a celebration to commemorate the Texas War
for Independence-and to advertise Texas to the rest of the world. A
Committee of One Hundred organized in Austin in February, 1924, to
join the work, and a temporary Texas Centennial Commission added
*Archie P. McDonald is professor of history at Stephen F. Austin State University,
Nacogdoches.
1The call of James S. Hogg for a Texas Centennial celebration is often cited, but diffi-
cult to find. The Texas Almanac (Dallas, 1936), the Centennial Edition, on page 371, cites
Hogg as an early proposer of the Centennial. The 1945 edition of the Texas Almanac,
however, lists Governor Pat Neff, who was in his second term of office in 1924 when the
actual movement for the celebration got underway, as issuing the first official call. Texas
Almanac, 1945 (Dallas, 1944), 72.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101206/. Accessed April 19, 2015.