March 6, 2011

Alamo Day – Texas 

Remember the Alamo!”

That battle cry was shouted by Texians as they fought against Santa Anna and his huge Mexican army during the Texas revolution.

Did you know that Texas (and a lot of the rest of the Western U.S.) was once part of Mexico? Many people from the United States moved into Texas and, in 1835, some of these settlers tried to break away from Mexico and establishing Texas as an independent republic.

Mexico (naturally enough) said, “No! You can't go!” A large army headed by Mexican President Santa Anna set out to crush the rebellion. The Mexican army outnumbered the Texian army at least 6 to 1, and Santa Anna was able to gain control of the fort known as the Alamo, near present-day San Antonio. Not only did Santa Anna lay siege to the fort for 12 days, and launch an early-morning attack on this day in 1836, rather than agree to negotiate a surrender, he was unnecessarily cruel in the attack, killing every last Texian soldier. (He spared a slave and some women and children.) A few Texians may have surrendered when it was obvious that the fort had fallen, but, if so, Santa Anna had those men quickly executed.

The guy near the center with his rifle raised like an ax is Davy Crockett.
Santa Anna expected his overwhelming show of force at the Alamo to scare Texians into abandoning the rebellion, but instead young men flooded to the Texian army led by Sam Houston. And just a month and a half later, Santa Anna's army was beaten and Santa Anna himself, dressed as a lowly soldier and hiding in a marsh, was captured. He apparently said something to the effect that Houston should show mercy to him and his army. Houston reportedly said, “You should have remembered that at the Alamo.”

The aftermath of Santa Anna's April, 1836, loss was that the Mexican troops left Texas, and Texas became (briefly) an independent republic.

Did you know...?

The most famous person to die in the Battle of the Alamo is Davy Crockett.

The Alamo has been the subject of songs, books, a Disney mini-series, and movies.

The Alamo is the most popular tourist site in Texas.

Between 182 and 257 Texians were killed in the battle, and from 400 to 600 Mexicans were killed or wounded.

Remember the Alamo!

Here is “Remember the Alamo," sung by the Kingston Trio. 

Here is an easy jigsaw puzzle of the Alamo, and here is a tougher (more fun, for me!) version of the puzzle. 

Here is the official website of the Alamo—lots to do, see, and learn here. Don't miss the section just for kids

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