The Alamo

The Alamo in San Antonio attracts more than 2.5 million tourists a year.

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On February 23, 1836, 2,000 to 2,200 Mexican troops marched into San Antonio de Béxar in a campaign to re-take Texas. The Battle of the Alamo lasted 13 days, February 23 to March 6.

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For 175 years, the Battle of the Alamo has been one of America’s most cherished historical events. Some people believe that John Wayne’s “the Alamo” movie has made the it famous. However, Dr. Richard B. Winders, Curator and Historian for the Alamo, gives a different perspective:

It is because participants included people that were well known at the time. David Crockett was already an icon, Travis was a recognized leader of the revolt in Texas, and Santa Anna was the President of Mexico.

Another reason is that the battle assumed the character of the desperate last stand in which one side was willing to fight to the death that separates it from the more ordinary combat encounters. At the end of the battle, 182 to 257 Texans were killed and more than 400 Mexicans died.

Most of all, it’s because the battle was connected to the struggle of liberty and independence over servitude and despotism. “This hunger for freedom speaks to people around the world.” Crockett said.

The Texas Legislature purchased the land and buildings in the early part of the 20th century and designated the Alamo chapel as an official Texas State Shrine.

Note: On 21 April 1836, 46 days after the Alamo fell, General Sam Houston led a troop of 800 against Santa Anna’s army of 1,500. The Texans routed the enemy and captured Santa Anna.

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