WASHINGTON-ON-THE-BRAZOS, Texas -- Thousands gathered Saturday at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historical Park for a celebration of Texas Independence Day.
They're marking the anniversary of the 1836 convention where, on March 2 of that year, 59 delegates signed the six-page document declaring the Republic of Texas was free and independent of Mexico.
The convention delegates actually gathered on March 1, 1836, a month after they were elected and sent to Washington, a growing town on the Brazos River less than 100 miles northwest of what's now Houston.
The site offered a river escape route in case of a Mexican raid, it was centrally located for delegates -- plus boosters in the town offered an unfinished building to hold the meeting for free.
Park museum director Houston McGaugh believes those involved in 1836 don't get as much publicity or credit as the more glamorous events at the Alamo and San Jacinto.
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