Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Alamo

The Alamo is a historical structure located in downtown San Antonio, Texas. During the war for Texan independence from Mexico, a famous battle was fought at the Alamo from February 23 until March 6, 1836. The Alamo is a restored historic site. Padre Antonio Olivares, a Spanish missionary, established the Alamo at San Antonio in 1718 as a Roman Catholic mission. The mission consisted of a monastery and church enclosed by high walls. The mission was first called San Antonio de Valero but was later called the Alamo, the Spanish name for the cottonwood trees surrounding the mission. Texans sometimes used the mission as a fort for protection from the Indians. The people of Texas became dissatisfied with the Mexican government and decided to cut their relations with Mexico sometime during the winter of 1835-1836. Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and his troops approached San Antonio to end the move for independence by the Texans. The Mexicans' quick arrival surprised the Texans. Lieutenant Colonel William Barrett Travis with about 150 Texans tried to defend the city. Included in the defenders were Davy Crockett and James Bowie, two famous Americans. Travis sent out a plea for help. A relief party from Gonzales, Texas, increased the defenders in the Alamo to 189 after passing through the Mexican lines. Colonel J. W. Fanin left Goliad, Texas, with about 400 men but turned back to Goliad after equipment failed. The Mexicans laid a siege of the Alamo that lasted 13 days. There were 4000 Mexicans against 189 Texans. By March 5 the Texans were running low on ammunition and could not return Mexican fire. Santa Anna decided to attack the fort early the next morning by going over the walls. At the end, Texans were using their rifles as clubs. All Texan fighters either died in the battle or were executed afterwards. There were only four survivors: Susanna Dickinson, the wife of an officer; her baby; her Mexican nurse; and Colonel Travis' black slave Joe. "Remember the Alamo" became the rallying battle cry for Texans. The heroes who defended the Alamo gave General Sam Houston the time he needed to gather enough forces to save the independence movement of Texas. Houston retreated eastward, and Santa Anna pursued. At San Jacinto, Texas, on April 21, Houston turned on the Mexicans and made a surprise attack during an afternoon siesta. Houston's forces took just 18 minutes to capture or kill most of the Mexican army of more than 1200 men. Houston's troops captured Santa Anna the next day and forced him to sign a treaty giving Texans their independence. My husband and I visited the Alamo several times and were impressed with the structure. The history of the Alamo and the artifacts are very interesting and worth a visit; however, the famous memorial has become a tourist trap with all the trinkets for sale there. We enjoyed much more our trip to the location of John Wayne's movie "The Alamo" near the border with Mexico. The wide-open spaces around the fake Alamo are much more appealing to the Alamo story than the streets of San Antonio. The Texan defenders at the Alamo paid the ultimate price for independence. I encourage everyone to "Remember the Alamo" and stand tall as Americans. Independence is worth whatever price we must pay! Facts and information for this blog post came from an article by Joseph A. Stout, Jr., World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp 280-281,

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