Texas Independence Day, First Military Flight to be Remembered in S A Today

Flag of the State of Texas

Ceremonies are set for around San Antonio today to mark a confluence of three significant anniversaries, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

A celebration will be held at the Alamo at noon, moderated by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, to mark Texas Independence Day.

Ceremonies are set at Ft. Sam Houston to mark the 108th anniversary of the pioneering flight of Benjamin Foulois, considered the first military flight in American history, on the Arthur MacArthur Parade Ground at the post.

And, today is also Sam Houston's 225th birthday.

Conservative activist Michael Quinn Sullivan says the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico, which was signed on March 2, 1836, as the seige of the Alamo continued in San Antonio, has some grievances which are not unfamiliar today.

"There were requirements that Texas surrender their arms to government authority and that religious expression wasn't allowed," he said.Sullivan says the declaration signing was a momentous incident.

"They noted the grievances caused by a corrupt and tyrannical government, that has given to the hazardous but unavoidable revolution," he said.  "They noted they had reached the point where forebearence ceases to be a virtue."

At the same time, aviation leaders will gather at Ft. Sam Houston to mark the flight of Lt. Flouois, which was one of the most significant moments in U.S. aviation history, on March 2, 1910.

Foulois, who had been instructed by the Army Signal Corps to 'teach yourself to fly,' and had taken instruction by mail from the Wright Brothers, flew the airplane, called S.C. 1 for 'Signal Corps Number One, on four flights on the parade ground, considered the first military flight in the United States.

Foulois is credited with a number of military breakthroughs, including inventing the seat belt, (which was made from the leather from a cavalry saddle), being the first person to communicate from air to ground by radio, and coming up with the idea to install wheels on the bottom of the airplane (they had previously been mounted with skids).

Foulois, who later in life jokingly referred to the time he had been the only person in the U.S. Air Force, retired as a general and died in 1967, living long enough to see military aviation encompass jet aircraft, faster than sound air travel, and the Apollo space program.

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