Posted on April 21, 2016
|San Jacinto Monument|
Today is an important anniversary in the state of Texas – the anniversary of the day when Texas won its independence from Mexico on the battlefield.
Texas celebrates its Independence Day on March 2. That's the date in 1836 when settlers in Mexican Texas official declared independence and launched the war we call the Texas Revolution.
Today is the date in 1836 when that revolution ended with a decisive victory for General Sam Houston and his Texian Army.
The battle lasted just 18 minutes!
Santa Anna was the President of Mexico, at the time, and was right there at the battlefield as the head general. He did not die in the battle, but rather hid in a marsh. He was captured the next day, and he ended up surrendering and negotiating the peace treaty as a prisoner of war. But Mexican authorities said that they wouldn't honor any agreements signed by a prisoner! And for years, the Mexican government talked about reconquering Texas.
Obviously, that never happened...
How do Texans celebrate San Jacinto Day?
There is a re-enactment of the battle, complete with costumes, canons, and pyrotechnics. There is also a festival with local bands, dancing, archery lessons, storytellers, a bird show, a snake show, a petting zoo, and demonstrations of smithing, weaving, spinning, and other old-time crafts.
Of course, modern life being what it is, the festival and reenactment are generally held on the nearest Saturday. This year (2016), that's April 23.
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