It's Texas Independence Day

Texas a republic until being annexed by the U.S. in 1845

A handwritten document proclaiming Texas was freeing itself from rule by Mexico is 176 years old Friday.

It was March 2, 1836, Texas Independence Day, when historians believe the original and five copies of the declaration were made and signed by 59 men at Washington-on-the-Brazos.

With the creation of the revolutionary document, settlers broke away from Mexico to create the Republic of Texas.  The new republic was led by interim-President David G. Burnet until the election of President Sam Houston later that year.

Only the original document remains.

Texas remained a republic until being annexed by the United States 1845.

If you'd like to see a rare piece of Texas history that's on display for only a short while, head down to Austin to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission where a letter penned by Col. William B. Travis will be on display through the end of the month.

The letter, signed "Victory or Death, William Barret Travis," was one of many sent by Travis during the Battle of the Alamo as he pleaded for reinforcements to fight the Mexican army.

The letter, as well as several other important historical documents, can be viewed in the lobby between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays at the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building across Brazos Street from the State Capitol. 

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