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Texans observe San Jacinto Day

Contributed by DRT

Sunday, April 21, is San Jacinto Day in Texas, commemorating the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto. On this date in 1836, General Sam Houston and the Texas Army defeated Santa Anna's Mexican troops, winning independence for Texas in a decisive battle that lasted only eighteen minutes. April 21 has been celebrated every year since the battle and in a joint resolution, the 14th Texas Legislature of 1874 pronounced April 21 as San Jacinto Day, a legal state holiday.

San Jacinto Day is also a day to honor all who fought for the independence of Texas. They were "Texians"-- native citizens and immigrant citizens speaking Spanish, English, German, and more-- all had a common purpose of self-preservation and liberty. It was the Battle of San Jacinto that assured their success. The Battle of San Jacinto is the most important in Texas history and many historians now view the battle as one of the most decisive in world history.

The significance of the Battle of San Jacinto led not only to the annexation of Texas, but also to the Mexican War, which resulted in the US acquisition of the states of New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming. Approximately one million square miles of territory, or almost one third of the present day US, changed sovereignty because of the victory at San Jacinto.

The San Jacinto Monument, a memorial to honor all who fought for the independence of Texas, stands at the battle site. It was begun on San Jacinto Day, 1936 and dedicated on San Jacinto Day, 1939. The monument is the tallest column memorial in the world and is topped with a 34-foot Lone Star. Standing 567 feet tall, it is 12 feet taller than the Washington Monument in Washington, DC.

San Jacinto Day is one of 12 Texas Honor Days designated by The Daughters of the Republic of Texas.

The Joshua D. Brown Chapter of Kerrville meets the fourth Monday of each month at 10 am at the Trinity Baptist Church, 800 Jackson Road. For more, contact chapter president Gay Nell Wells at 830-895-0788.