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Feb. 1 Marks the 150th Anniversary of Texas Secession

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Image courtesy Tom Gill,
Texas is expected to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Texas Secession Feb. 1, 2011.

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the resolution that allowed Texas to leave the United States and join the Confederacy in the weeks before the outbreak of the Civil War.

While there are no commemorations today of that decision that led to a sixth national flag flying over Texas, groups across the state will stage various events to mark the Civil War's 150th anniversary over the next four years.

Tom Leach, president of the Civil War Center of Texas, said it’s necessary for Texans to pay attention to histories of this day and the Civil War.

“[The 150thanniversary] is important for everyone in the U.S., not just Texas, because it is not just about battles or war. It’s about a turning point in our country and a change in our society.”

Delegates convened in Austin on February 1, 1861, to vote for secession.  Sam Houston, first president of the Republic of Texas and the state's governor at the time, opposed joining the Confederacy. However, he couldn’t even weaken the convention and the public’s desire to leave the Union. Although the official secession had to be approved by popular referendum, the public opinion at that time was not much different from the one of the delegates. The succession resolution took effect March 2, 1861, 25 years to the day after Texas declared its independence from Mexico.