Texas Almanac, 1945-1946 Page: 89
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Texas Centennial of Statehood
The legal procedure by which the Re-
public of Texas became one of the states of
the Union extended over parts of two years,
1845 and 1846, and for this reason the Cen-
tennial of Statehood Commission has planned
an observance that will begin in the latter
part of 1945 and extend through 1946.
Sentiment for annexation to the United
States was strong in the Republic of Texas
from the beginning. As great numbers of
people migrated from the United States to
the new republic this sentiment naturally
increased. The defeat of Clay (Whig) by
Polk (Democrat) in the election of a Pres-
ident of the United States in 1844 placed the
people of that country on record as favor-
ing annexation of the young republic. Early
in 1845, President Anson Jones caked the
Texas Congress in special session and an-
nexation was given a favorable vote. A
convention called by President Jones at Aus-
tin ratified annexation and wrote a state
Constitution, July 4, which was submitted to
the people and approved by a large major-
ity Oct. 13.
The new state Constitution of Texas was
accepted by the Congress of the United
States Dec. 29, 1845. This date has been
held by the Supreme Court of the United
States as the official date of annexation.
However, President Jones continued as chief
executive for nearly two months thereafter.
On Feb. 16, 1846, the first Texas State Leg-
islature met and, on Feb. 19, the Lone Star
Flag was lowered and the Stars and 'Stripes
hoisted over the small Capitol Building at
Austin, while Gov. J. Pinckney Henderson
was inaugurated as first Governor, succeed-
ing President Anson J Ines, last President of
For the purpose of planning a proper ob-
servance of the centennial of statehood, the
Forty-Seventh Legislature, 1941, provided for
a Centennial of Statehood Commission. This
act was passed early in the year, before the
entry of the United States into the Second
World War. While the war crisis has caused
the commission to alter its plans for observ-
ance, the movement was going forward in the
early part of 1945 for a program to be
started officially on Dec. 29, 1945, and con-
tinued throughout the following year.
Character of Observance.
Because of the war crisis, however, and
because of the momentous national and
world questions and problems that will be
before the people during the years 1945 and
1946, even assuming that the war closes be-
fore the end of 1945, the commission decided
that the observance should take the form of
a constructive program aimed at improvement
of Texas economic and social conditions,
especially in the agricultural industry on
which the greatness of Texas has been
In the language of the commission:
"It is our thought that, if Texas attempts
to. execute a planned celebration in honor of
the 100th anniversary of statehood, then this
observance should take the form of some-
thing very practical. We might well recog-
nize the fact that this empire of Texas be-
came a great and rich state, not because of
its cities alone, but because of generations
of rugged men and women who lived and
worked and toiled over its vast expanses.
"Rather than an exposition of only tempo-
rary influence, the commission is now en-
gaged in planning a state-wide movement on
behalf of the revitalization of agriculture
and improvement of conditions in the rural
sections through which the returning sol-
diers and our whole people will be perma-
nently employed. The Centennial of Texas
Independence in 1936 was the proper occasion
for a great celebration with the great expo-
sition at Dallas. The Centennial of State-
hood rather calls for an honest self-examina-
tion by every individual and community of
Texas. While our minds are on the heroism
and achievements of the past we must not
lose sight of the Texas of the future with
its rich promise of ever finer things."
While the formal observance wll last only
through 1946. It is planned as the beginning
of a program of development to extend
throughout the second hundred years of
Centennial Commission Officials.
Officials of the Centennial of Statehood
Commission are as follows. Commissioner,
A. Garland Adair, Austin, chairman, Karl
Hoblitzelle, Dallas; executive secretary, Paul
L. Wakefield, Austin; treasurer-executve
assistant, William Lois Hodges, Austin.
Headquarters are at 612 Capitol National
Bank Building, Austin. These officials had
laid the foundation for the program up to
April 15, 1945. The appointment of a larger
commission representing various parts of
the state and diversified economic and social
interests was contemplated.
While the Centennial of Statehood observ-
ance is to be primarily the beginning of a
constructive program of development, it Is
planned to have gatherings for formal cele-
bration in Austin and other centers of the
state on one or more of the pivotal dates in
the process of annexation 100 years ago.
probably on Dec. 29, 1945, and Feb. 19, 1946.
It was the thought of the Centennial Com-
mission early in 1945 that future develop-
ment of the program would be contingent in
considerable degree on the course of the
The observance will be primarily a Texas
affair, but the commission officials are in-
viting participation by all parts of the United
States. They call attention to the fact that
the annexation of Texas was almost as mo-
mentous in the history of the nation as in
that of the state. The course of events that
it set in motion resulted in the extension of
the borders of the United States not only
across Texas but beyond the Rocky Moun-
tains to include the entire region of the pres-
ent Pacific Southwest. In April. 1945, it was
announced that the United States Post Office
Department would Issue a stamp commemo-
rating the Texas Centennial of Statehood.
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Texas Almanac, 1945-1946, book, 1945; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117166/m1/91/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.