Ask a group of proud Texans to name the most decisive date in our state’s history and April 21, 1836 would get quite a few votes for sure.
On this date, 175 years ago on a battlefield near the modern-day city of La Porte in Harris County, the Lone Star State won its independence from Mexico after General Sam Houston led a successful surprise attack against Santa Anna’s army at the Battle of San Jacinto. Incredible as it sounds, most historians agree the battle was over in about 18 minutes. Even more astonishing was the death toll, which counted some 650 Mexican fatalities versus only nine fallen Texans.
The determined Texans were undoubtedly driven by the call of revenge following Santa Anna’s earlier massacres at the Alamo and Goliad. It was at the Battle of San Jacinto where cries of “Remember the Alamo!” and “Remember Goliad!” entered into infamy. In addition to those killed at San Jacinto, Houston’s men captured another 700-plus Mexican soldiers. The following day, Santa Anna himself was captured and relinquished control of Texas.
Over the past 175 years, much has changed, but some things remain the same – and that includes Texas pride and independence. As you enjoy the official state holiday today, please take a moment to remember its origin. Remember the Battle of San Jacinto and enjoy your Texas independence, which was fought for and won on San Jacinto Day.