An annual ceremony honoring Mirabeau B. Lamar, Texas soldier and statesman whose final residence was in Richmond, will be conducted on Friday, Jan. 26, at Lamar's grave in the historic Morton Cemetery.
This will mark the eighth consecutive year for the salute known as Lamar Day and the list of participating organizations continues to grow. The local chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the Fort Bend County Historical Commission will again play leading roles along with the Sons of the Republic of Texas.
Other support for the upcoming event will come from VFW Post 3093, local Masonic lodges, the City of Richmond, Morton Cemetery Association, Calvary Episcopal School, the Texas Army and Joseph's Cigar & Coffee Shop.
The public is invited to the ceremony, which starts at 10:30 a.m. with a proclamation delivered by Richmond Mayor Evalyn Moore. A group of re-enactors forming the Texas Army will present colors and later conduct a black-powder salute. Lamar commanded cavalry at the decisive Battle of San Jacinto that led to Texas independence from Mexico.
On the date chosen for the ceremony, said SRT Past State President Thomas Green, Lamar as the second president of the Republic of Texas signed an act of the Texas Congress in 1839 that reserved three leagues of land in each county to be used to pay for a public school system in Texas.
"Even though it was years before public schools came into being in Texas, President Lamar is remembered as the 'Father of Texas Education,'" Green said.
Green will present a brief lecture on Lamar's life and contributions at the ceremony, explaining that all told, Lamar signed into law three historically important acts in the same week.
Born in Georgia in 1798, Lamar first earned fame in Texas as the cavalry commander of the Texas revolutionary army at the pivotal Battle of San Jacinto. Following a series of appointments within the new Republic of Texas government, he was elected its first vice president in 1836 and second president two years later.
Lamar died at his plantation home in Richmond on Dec. 19, 1859.