Heritage, Volume 6, Number 3, Fall 1988 Page: 9
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"Tourism in Texas is a $17 billion business,
and we need to do all we can to
increase visitations to our park, for both
historical education and economic reasons,"
Traditionally, the park association has
been the moving force behind the Annual
Texas Independence Day celebration at
the park. Last year, the association raised
private and corporate contributions to
bring the Houston Pops Orchestra to the
park for a full concert. Under the direction
of Ned Battista, the orchestra received a
standing ovation following its performance.
The concert concluded with a stirring
piece called "Victory or Death" that
was especially written for the event. The
orchestra provided the musical background
for a narrative that traced the
events of 1836, from the Declaration of
Independence to the Alamo to the Battle
of San Jacinto, complete with cannon and
musket shots provided by the Texas Army
"It was a thrilling performance," Moorman
said, "and we're inviting the Pops back
While some 7,000 people visited the
park this year on Independence Day alone,
the park association is not satisfied. They
are planning year-round activities, and are
working closely with the education staff of
the Star of the Republic Museum, located
on the Washington-on-the-Brazos park
grounds, in a coordinated effort. Target
groups will include senior citizens, out-ofstate
tourists, foreign visitors, and students.
The Star of the Republic Museum is
administered by nearby Blinn College.
Museum Director Hugh McGaugh, who
The film "Independence"
was planned to serve as a
permanent exhibit at
State Historical Park.
Sanctioned as the official
film of the Sesquicentennial,
"Independence" was conceived
and developed by the
Texas Parks and Wildlife
staff to depict the story
surrounding the Declaration
of Independence from
Mexico. The Texas Historical
Foundation provided partial
funding in this project. Dr.
Alan Commander played
Sam Houston in the film
also serves as Secretary to the Washingtonon-the-Brazos
Park Association, has a vigorous
outreach program featuring special
educational activities for young students
during the summer. This year, young participants
were given an opportunity to
experience a nature walk, milk a goat,
chum butter, make corn shuck dolls, and
learn all about how Texans lived in the
early days. The museum is currently featuring
a special exhibit entitled "As a Twig Is
Bent," depicting childhood in Texas in the
Like a diminutive Smithsonian, the
museum needs not only more financial
support but more exhibit and storage space
to house its treasured collection of early
Texana artifacts. Moorman says, "The
Center for Historic Resources report provides
us with an appropriate developmental
strategy; we look forward to working
with any who cares to join us in making
Washington-on-the-Brazos the finest park
of its kind in the country-after all, here is
where a nation was born!"
Dr. Alan Commander is Regents Professor of
Management at the University of Houston.
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 6, Number 3, Fall 1988, periodical, 1988; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45436/m1/9/: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.