Organized in 1904 by Dr. and Mrs. Oscar Wilkinson, the Texas State Society (TSS) of Washington, D.C. was formed “to foster and encourage a fraternal spirit among the Texans at the National Capital, to render assistance when necessary to all sons and daughters of the Lone Star State, and to increase their patriotic love for Texas and the American Nation.”
The first yearbook was published in 1906 with a total of 97 members and has grown to an organization of over 3,500 Texans and Friends of Texas today. Famous Texans who have served the Society as President include the Honorable Richard Kleberg of King Ranch fame, the Honorable Lyndon Baines Johnson of Johnson City, the Honorable Jim Wright of Fort Worth.
The Texas State Society of Washington, D.C. is an all-volunteer organization with annually elected officers. The Board of Directors meets approximately eleven times per year to assist in planning and organizing events for Society members to enjoy.
Annual events include the Salute to the Congressional Delegation and Reception, the Cherry Blossom Reception and Annual Meeting, the Father’s Day Picnic, the LBJ Memorial Tribute, Golf Tournament and Terlingua Two-Step dance. Among other events that have been held are the TSS Collegiate Chili Cook-off, Texas Rangers-Baltimore Orioles baseball outing and Happy Hours with other State Societies.
The quadrennial “Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball” occurs in the midst of the pomp and circumstance of the inaugural whirl. In 2005, the Black Tie and Boots Ball lived up to its Texas-sized reputation with some 12,000 participants from all over the United States. Numerous musical groups entertained in the two large ballrooms and a number of side rooms, offering everyone the opportunity to kick up their heels and dance the night away. First added in 2001, the Texas Fair (in the lower level of the hotel) again proved to be a popular addition to the festivities. A wide variety of Texas delicacies and gift items were available for sale.