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 governor.
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.
Today we are both announcing the most recent writing contest prize winners, and posting a guest article by Kit Perez.