The Angelina County Genealogical Society will be hosting a Happy Birthday Lufkin celebration on Thursday in honor of the city’s 137th birthday.

Speakers will touch on topics from Lufkin’s past from 8 a.m.-noon at Lufkin City Hall and then again from 1-6 p.m. at the fellowship hall at Keltys United Methodist Church.

“We do this every September 12, and we try to have topics that we have not spoken about before about Lufkin or Angelina County,” said Dickie Dixon, president of the genealogical society.

The event began seven years ago on Lufkin’s 130th birthday.

“My theory was, if we’re not proud enough of our history to talk about it, nobody else is,” Dixon said. “We have a lot of neat history to highlight, and we have a lot of neat people who have come from Lufkin.”

At 9 a.m., Herman Bate will talk about how his Little League team went to the world series and missed winning by two points. At 3 p.m., Neal Naranjo will speak about A.B. Jennings and the formation of Lufkin’s railroad.

At 8 a.m., Dixon will talk about the businesses in James Butler’s shopping center.

“It’s a neat story,” Dixon said. “You see, a white guy built the strip mall in a black part of town knowing probably that he was going to have black tenants. A lot of businesses got their start there.”

Some of the businesses include restaurants, a washeteria, a theater and more.

Dixon said he would like to grow the event every year and continue to bring fascinating topics presented by local people.

The event will end with a brisket dinner and a presentation of a video on the “Double H Ranch,” a Western program that used to run at 7 p.m. every Thursday on the local TV station.

Dixon said the day will be filled with colorful stories and good company. The event is free to the public.

Grace Juarez’s email address is grace.juarez@lufkindailynews.com.