Madam Speaker, this day, March the 2nd, 1836, marks the day Texas declared independence from Mexico and its dictator, Santa Anna. Texas became a free, independent nation for 9 years.

March 2 also marks the birth of the person who led Texas to independence, Sam Houston. Born in Virginia in 1793, he fought the Creeks with Andy Jackson, became a Congressman and a Governor from Tennessee.

He went to Texas to champion the cause of Texas liberty, and was the commander of the outnumbered Army of Texas that defeated Santa Anna. General Sam became President of the Republic of Texas and, later, Governor and U.S. Senator when Texas was a State.

When the War Between the States broke out--ironically, on Sam's birthday and on the 25th anniversary of Texas independence, March the 2nd, 1861--Texas left the Union and joined the Confederacy. Houston refused to take the oath to support the South, so the Texas legislature removed Governor Houston from office.

Houston is the only person to have served in Congress from different States, as Governor of two States and as president of a nation. His last words were "Texas, Texas."

And that's just the way it is.