The Walker County Historical Commission, the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, and the Sam Houston Statue and Visitor’s Center will celebrate Texas Independence Day and Gen. Sam Houston’s birthday with a weekend of activities in Huntsville.
Festivities will get underway on Saturday at the Katy and E. Don Walker Sr. Education Center with a panel discussion on the Cherokee Tennessee Texas Connection, featuring special guests Robin Montgomery, acting director of the Oxford Graduate School; Tommy Wildcat, Cherokee Nation musician, storyteller and cultural historian; and Anita Batisse, Alabama Coushatta Of Texas Tribal Council member, from 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Following the panel, from 5-6:30 p.m., will be a wine and cheese reception at the Sam Houston Statue and Visitor’s Center featuring Tommy Wildcat, a Cherokee master storyteller and flutist who will share tales about Sam Houston.
On Sunday, Gen. Sam Houston’s birthday, events will continue with a buffet luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at the W.S. Gibbs Conference Hall in the Walker Education Center, followed by the “Toast to Texas” and birthday cake.
Around 1:15 p.m., the SHSU history department and ROTC will lead the traditional march to Houston’s gravesite at Oakwood Cemetery for the annual ceremony honoring Houston’s accomplishments, which will start at 2 p.m. Marchers will assemble at Austin Hall, on the SHSU campus, and proceed to Sam Houston’s grave along University Avenue.
This year’s featured speaker is Bill O’Neal, state historian of Texas, who will discuss Houston’s legacy as a leader.
Immediately following the gravesite ceremony will be the “Baptized Texan Ceremony.”
According to local Historical Commission spokesperson James Patton, the endeavor is a group effort . . . .
Reservations are closed for the Wine & Cheese reception, Lunch with “Toast to Texas,” and the “Texas Baptism Ceremony.”