Dates and Observances

The introduction section to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills now states that teachers should be aware that, "State and federal laws mandate a variety of celebrations and observances, including Celebrate Freedom Week." To assist teachers in staying abreast of those laws, the following list is made available which include observances, holidays, and recognition months; there sources in statute; and those that necessitate school or classroom action are in red:

Observances

January

January 6th
o TX 662.042 – Sam Rayburn Day
(A) In memory of that great Texas and American statesman, Sam Rayburn. 
(B) Sam Rayburn Day shall be regularly observed by appropriate programs in the public schools and other places to commemorate the birthday of Sam Rayburn

January 19th
o TX 662.003(B) – Confederate Heroes Day
(A)In honor of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and other confederate heroes


February

February 19th  
o TX 662.048 – STAR Day (State of Texas Anniversary Remembrance Day)
(A) In honor of Texas joining the Union and the day that James Pinckney Henderson became the first governor of the State of Texas in 1846.
(B) STAR Day shall be regularly observed by appropriate and patriotic programs in the public school and other places to properly commemorate the annexation of this state and to inspire a greater appreciation for the history of this state.


March

March 2nd
o TX 662.003 (B) – Texas Independence Day
To celebrate Texas independence from Mexico and the creation of the Republic of Texas

March 2nd
o TX 662.048 – Texas Flag Day
(A) Texas Flag Day shall be celebrated each March 2, Texas Independence Day

March 29th
o TX 662.058 – Vietnam Veterans Day
(A) In honor of the men and women who served in the Vietnam Way on behalf of this nation.
(B)Vietnam Veterans Day shall be regularly observed by appropriate ceremonies and activities.

March 31st
o TX 662.013 – Cesar Chavez Day
(A) Cesar Chavez Day is in observance of the birthday of Cesar Chavez

April

April 9th
o TX 662.042 – Former Prisoners of War Recognition Day
(A) In honor of the courage of those Americans who suffered sacrifices and tribulations as prisoners of war in the course of their military service on behalf of this nation.
(B) Former Prisoners of War Recognition Day shall be regularly observed by appropriate ceremonies

April 21st
o TX 662.003 (B) – San Jacinto Day
It commemorates the battle between the Texas Army and Mexican forces about 25 miles from downtown Houston, Texas, on April 21, 1836.

May

May 1
o US 113 - Law Day, U.S.A.
(b) Purpose. — Law Day, U.S.A., is a special day of celebration by the people of the United States— in appreciation of their liberties and the reaffirmation of their loyalty to the United States and of their rededication to the ideals of equality and justice under law in their relations with each other and with other countries; and for the cultivation of the respect for law that is so vital to the democratic way of life.
(c) Proclamation. — The President is requested to issue a proclamation— calling on all public officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on Law Day, U.S.A.; and inviting the people of the United States to observe Law Day, U.S.A., with appropriate ceremonies and in other appropriate ways, through public entities and private organizations and in schools and other suitable places.

May 1
o US 115 – Loyalty Day
(B) Purpose – Loyalty Day is a special day for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom.
(C) Proclamation – The President is requested to issue a proclamation –
(1) calling on United States government officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on Loyalty Day;
(2) Inviting the people of the United States to observe Loyalty Day with appropriate ceremonies in schools and other suitable places.

June

June 14th
o USC 110 (A) – Flag Day
(B) The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation
Calling on United States Government officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on Flag Day and
Urging the people of the United States to observe Flag Day as the anniversary of the adoption of June 14, 1777, by the Continental Congress of the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States.

June 19th
o TX 662.003 (B) – Emancipation Day in Texas
Emancipation Day in Texas is in honor of the emancipation of the slaves in Texas in 1865

July

August

August 26th
o TX 662.051 – Women’s Independence Day
(A) To commemorate the ratification in 1920 of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, this guaranteed women the right to vote.
(B)Women’s Independence Day shall be regularly observed by appropriate programs in the public schools and other places to inspire a greater appreciation of the importance of women’s suffrage.

August 27th
o TX 662.003 (B) – Lyndon Baines Johnson Day
Lyndon Baines Johnson Day is in observance of the birthday of Lyndon Baines Johnson

September

September 11th
o USC 144 – Patriot Day
(B) The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation calling on:
State and local governments and the people of the United States to observe Patriot Day with appropriate programs and activities.
All departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States and interested organizations and individuals to display the flag of the United States at half-staff on Patriot Day in honor of the individuals who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks against the United States that occurred on September 11, 2001; and
The people of the United States to observe a moment of silence (at 8:46 AM) on Patriot Day in honor of the individuals who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks against the United States that occurred on September 11, 2001.

September  11th 
o TX 25.0821 - Minute of Silence to Commemorate September 11, 2001
(A) To commemorate the events of September 11, 2001, in each year that date falls on a regular school day, each public elementary or secondary school shall provide for the observance of one minute of silence at the beginning of the first class period of that day.
(B) Immediately before the period of observance required by this section, the class instructor shall make a statement of reference to the memory of individuals who died on September 11, 2001.
(C) The period of observance required by this section may be held in conjuction with the minute of silence required by Section 25.082.


September 11th
o TX 662.050 – Texas First Responders Day
(A) In honor of the bravery, courage, and determination of Texas men and women who assist others in emergencies.
(B)Texas First Responders Day shall be regularly observed by appropriate ceremonies in the public schools and other places to honor Texas first responders.  Each governmental entity may determine the appropriate ceremonies by which Texas observes Texas First Responders Day.

September 17th
o USC 106 – Constitution Day & Citizenship Day
(B) To commemorate the formation and signing on September 17, 1787, of the Constitution and recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens.
(C) The President may issue each year a proclamation calling on United States Government officials to display the flag of the United States on all government buildings on Constitution Day and Citizenship Day and inviting the people of the United States to observe Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.
(D) The civil and educational authorities of States, counties, cities, and towns are urged to make plans for the proper observance of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day and for the complete instruction of citizens in their responsibilities and opportunities as citizens of the United Sates and of the State and locality in which they reside.

September 17th  through September 23rd
o USC 108 – Constitution Week
Inviting the people of the United States to observe Constitution Week, in schools, churches, and other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

3rd Wednesday of September
o TX 662.005 – Dr. Hector P. Garcia Day
(A) in memory of the significant contributions to the Mexican American civil rights movement of Dr. Hector P.  Garcia, a distinguished physician and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the founder of the American GI Forum, which promotes civil rights protection of Hispanic veterans and all Americans.  Dr. Garcia, a World War II hero, was awarded a Bronze Star Medal with six battle stars in recognition of his meritorious service to the United States.
(B) May be regularly observed by appropriate ceremonies and activities in the public schools and other places to properly commemorate the importance of the contributions made by Dr. Garcia.

3rd Saturday in September
o TX 662.052 – Texan Navy Day
(A) in remembrance of the Texan Navy
(B)Texan Navy Day shall be regularly observed by appropriate ceremonies and activities

Last Friday in September
o TX 662.056 - American Indian Heritage Day
(A) The last Friday in September is American Indian Heritage Day in recognition of the historic, cultural, and social contributions American Indian communities and leaders have made to this state.
(B) American Indian Heritage Day shall me regularly observed by appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs in the public schools and other places to honor American Indians in this state and to celebrate the rich traditional and contemporary American Indian culture.


October

2nd Monday in October
o TX 662.044 – Columbus Day
(A) in honor of Christopher Columbus
(B) Columbus Day shall be regularly observed by appropriate ceremonies

November

November 3rd
o TX 662.045 – Father of Texas Day
(A) In memory of Stephen F. Austin, the great pioneer patriot and the real and true Father of Texas.
(B) Father of Texas Day shall be regularly observed by appropriate and patriotic programs in the public schools and other places to properly commemorate the birthday of Stephen F. Austin and to inspire a greater love for this beloved state.

December

December 7th
o USC 129 (B) – National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation calling on
The people of the United States to observe National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day with appropriate ceremonies and activities; and
All departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States Government, and interested organizations, groups, and individuals, to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff each December 7 in honor of the individuals who died as a result of their service at Pearl Harbor.

December 17th
o USC143 – Wright Brothers Day
(B) Purpose – Wright Brothers Day commemorates the first successful flights in a heavier than air, mechanically propelled airplane, that were made by Orville and Wilbur Wright on December 17, 1903, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
(C) Proclamation – the President is requested to issue each year a proclamation inviting the people of the United States to observe Wright Brothers Day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.


Holidays

3rd Monday in January
o TX 662.003 (A) – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
(A)In Observance of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

3rd Monday in February
o TX 662.003 (A) – Presidents Day
President’s day is a day to celebrate all past United States Presidents.

Last Monday in May
o USC 116 (A) – Memorial Day
(B) The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation –
Calling on the people of the United States to observe Memorial Day by praying, according to their individual religious faith, for permanent peace;
Designating a period of time on Memorial Day during which the people may unite in prayer for a permanent peace;
Calling on the people of the United States to unite in prayer at that time; and
Calling on the media to join in observing Memorial Day and the period of prayer.

July 4th
o TX 662.003 (A) – Independence Day
Independence Day honors the birthday of the United States and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

November 11th
o TX 662.003 (A) – Veterans Day
Dedicated to cause of world peace and to honoring the veterans of all wars in which Texans and other Americans have fought.

Week of November 11th
o TX 29.907 - CELEBRATE FREEDOM WEEK. 
(A) To educate students about the sacrifices made for freedom in the founding of this country and the values on which this country was founded, the week in which November 11 falls is designated as Celebrate Freedom Week in public schools.  For purposes of this subsection, Sunday is considered the first day of the week.
(B) The agency, in cooperation with other state agencies who voluntarily participate, may promote Celebrate Freedom Week through a coordinated program.  Nothing in this subsection shall give any other state agency the authority to develop a program that provides instruction unless funds are specifically appropriated to that agency for that purpose.

4th Thursday in November
o TX 662.003 (A) – Thanksgiving Day

 

Recognition Months

February

o By Presidential Proclamation – African American History Month
(A) I call upon public officials, educators, librarians, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

March

o TX 662.102 – Texas History Month
(A) In honor of those Texans who helped shape the history of the State of Texas and in recognition of events throughout Texas’ History
(B) Shall be regularly observed by appropriate celebrations and activities in public schools and other places to promote interest in and knowledge of Texas history.

o By Presidential Proclamation – Women’s History Month
(A) I call upon all Americans to observe this month and to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that honor the history, accomplishments, and contributions of American women.

May

o USC 102 (A) -  Asian/Pacific American Month
(B) The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation calling on the people of the United States, and the chief executive officers of each State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, The Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau are requested to issue each year proclamations calling on the people of their respective jurisdictions, to observe Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

June 21st through July 4th

o USC 112 (A) – Honor America Days
(B) Congress declares that there be public gatherings and activities during that period at which the people of the United States can celebrate and honor their country in an appropriate way.

July

o TX 662.101 – Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Month
(A) In honor of the bravery and dedication of Texas’ Buffalo Soldiers and in recognition of their contribution to the legendary history of the Lone Star State
(B)Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Month shall be regularly observed by appropriate ceremonies and activities.

September 15th through October 15th

o USC 126 – National Hispanic Heritage Month
(B) Calling on the people of the United States, especially the educational community, to observe National Hispanic Heritage Month with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

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