February 1st is the anniversary of the secession of Texas  from the United States in 1861. A State Convention considering secession opened in Austin on January 28th, 1861 and on February 1st, by a vote of 166-8, adopted an Ordinance of Secession from the United States. It’s important to note that not all Texans favored this act and the state Governor, Sam Houston , while being loyal to the union, refused offers from President Lincoln to keep him in office and was subsequently deposed as governer.
We also remember February 1st, 2003, when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated  over Texas and Louisiana as it reentered Earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven crew members.
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Today, we present another entry for Round 56 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest . The $12,000+ worth of prizes for this round include:
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses . (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper  with a hammer forged, chromlined barrel and a hard case to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR type rifle to have quick change barrel which can be assembled in less then one minute without the use of any tools and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- Gun Mag Warehouse is providing 30 DPMS AR-15 .223/5.56 30 Round Gray Mil Spec w/ Magpul Follower Magazines (a value of $448.95) and a Gun Mag Warehouse T-Shirt. An equivalent prize will be awarded for residents in states with magazine restrictions.
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear,
- A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value),
- A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
- A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
- KellyKettleUSA.com is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304,
- TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate, and
- Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of FloJak.com,
- Acorn Supplies is donating a Deluxe Food Storage Survival Kit with a retail value of $350,
- The Ark Instituteis donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti’s book “Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times”, and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
- $300 worth of ammo from Patriot Firearms and Munitions. (They also offer a 10% discount for all SurvivalBlog readers with coupon code SVB10P),
- A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
- Twenty Five books, of the winners choice, of any books published by PrepperPress.com (a $270 value),
- TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate,
- Organized Prepper is providing a $500 gift certificate, and
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
- APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit,
- Montie Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a Locking Rifle Rack (a $379 value).
Round 56 ends on January 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail  us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.