Sam Houston birthday celebration activities planned

Today@SamEach year the Huntsville area remembers the March 2 birthday of General Sam Houston, but this year events include something extraa Victorian Ball at the Sam Houston Memorial Museums Walker Education Building.March 2 marks General Sams 208th birthday. It is also Texas Independence Day, Flag Day and Walker County Pioneer Day. Activities begin with coffee and refreshments in the Gibbs-Powell Home Museum, 1228 11th St., from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.Thomas R. Phillips, chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court, will be the speaker for the 11 a.m. wreath-laying at the Sam Houston grave in Oakwood Cemetery, at Spur 94 and 11th Street.Chief Justice Phillips received the Texas Chamber of Commerce Award of Excellence in Government in 1992, the Outstanding Texas Leader Award from the John Ben Sheppard Public Leadership Forum in 1989, and the Houston Outstanding Young Lawyer Award from the Houston Young Lawyers Association in 1986.He was awarded honorary degrees from Texas Tech University in 1997 and St. Edwards University in 1998 and was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Baylor University in 1998. In 1999 the National Center for State Courts honored him with its Distinguished Service Award.This years luncheon is scheduled for the Homestead restaurant at 1215 19th St. (across from the Woodland Home) beginning at 12:30 p.m. The luncheon cost is $12.50 and reservations are required. Call 936-295-4287 or 936-293-8423.Events move to the 67-foot A Tribute to Courage Sam Houston statue (worlds tallest statue of an American hero) at 2 p.m. for a Toast to Texas and birthday cake and back to the Oakwood Cemetery at 3 p.m. A historical marker will be dedicated there on the site where the Steamboat House once stood.General Sam Houston returned to Huntsville in 1861 after he was removed as Texas governor for refusing to take an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy. He died in the Steamboat House in 1863. It was moved to its present location in the Sam Houston Memorial Museum Complex in 1936.Sam Houstons Victorian Ball is scheduled for 7 p.m. to midnight in the atrium of the Walker Education Center, 1402 19th St.The event promises dancing to such Victorian favorites as the Grand March, the Virginia Reel and the Gay Gordon. Music will be provided by the Young Family Band and the Texas Pioneers.Period costume is welcomed but any festive attire will suffice, said Patrick Nolan, Sam Houston Memorial Museum director. Come join us for this special occasion and have lots of fun. All proceeds will benefit the renovation of the museum exhibits.Tickets for the ball are $50 per couple in advance, $60 on the night of the event, and $40 for Friends of the Museum. Call 936.294.1832 for reservations.

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