Learn about the history and significance of San Jacinto Day, which commemorates the Battle of San Jacinto and Texas’ victory over Mexico. Discover the timeline of events, how to observe the day, and interesting facts about Texas.
San Jacinto Day is a day of commemoration in the state of Texas in the United States, celebrated on April 21st of each year. It marks the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto, which was fought on April 21, 1836, between the Texian army and Mexican forces. The battle lasted only 18 minutes, but it resulted in a decisive victory for the Texians and led to the end of the Texas Revolution. San Jacinto Day is an important part of Texas history, and it is recognized as a state holiday in Texas.
History of San Jacinto Day
The history of San Jacinto Day begins with the Texas Revolution, a conflict between the Mexican government and American settlers in Texas that began in 1835. The Texian army, led by General Sam Houston, won several important battles against the Mexican army, including the Battle of Gonzales, the Battle of Goliad, and the Battle of the Alamo.
On April 21, 1836, the Texian army, numbering around 900 men, engaged the Mexican army, led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna, near the San Jacinto River. The Texians launched a surprise attack on the Mexican army, catching them off guard and resulting in a quick and decisive victory for the Texians. The battle lasted only 18 minutes, and the Texians captured Santa Anna and many of his officers.
The Battle of San Jacinto marked the final battle of the Texas Revolution, and it ensured the independence of the Republic of Texas from Mexico. The battle cry of the Texians during the battle was “Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!”, referencing the earlier defeats that had taken a heavy toll on their forces.
San Jacinto Day was first celebrated in Texas in 1837, one year after the battle. It was made an official state holiday in 1931, and it continues to be an important day of commemoration in Texas. The San Jacinto Monument, which commemorates the battle, was completed in 1939 and is located near the site of the battle.
San Jacinto Day Timeline
Here is a timeline of important events related to San Jacinto Day:
1835: The Texas Revolution begins.
- March 2: The Republic of Texas is declared.
- March 6: The Battle of the Alamo ends in a Mexican victory.
- March 27: The Goliad Massacre takes place.
- April 21: The Battle of San Jacinto takes place, resulting in a Texian victory.
1837: The first anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto is celebrated in Texas.
1856: The San Jacinto Monument Association is formed to raise funds for the construction of a monument commemorating the battle.
1888: The state of Texas purchases the battlefield where the Battle of San Jacinto took place.
1899: The cornerstone for the San Jacinto Monument is laid.
1931: San Jacinto Day is made an official state holiday in Texas.
1936: The San Jacinto Monument is completed and dedicated.
1951: The Battleship Texas, a World War I-era battleship, is placed in permanent drydock near the San Jacinto Battleground.
Today, San Jacinto Day is celebrated annually on April 21st with ceremonies, parades, reenactments, and other events throughout Texas to commemorate the victory at the Battle of San Jacinto and the sacrifices of those who fought for Texas’ independence.
How to Observe San Jacinto Day
Here are some ways to observe San Jacinto Day:
- Visit the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site: The site of the Battle of San Jacinto is open to visitors year-round. The San Jacinto Monument, the Battleship Texas, and the San Jacinto Museum of History are all located on the site and are open to the public.
- Attend a San Jacinto Day celebration: Many cities and towns throughout Texas hold parades, festivals, and other events to commemorate the day. Check your local listings for events near you.
- Learn about Texas history: San Jacinto Day is a good opportunity to learn more about the history of Texas and the events leading up to the battle. Visit a local library or museum to learn more.
- Fly the Texas flag: On San Jacinto Day, it is customary to fly the Texas flag at homes and businesses throughout the state.
- Participate in a reenactment: Some historical societies and reenactment groups stage reenactments of the Battle of San Jacinto. Check for local events where you can watch or participate in a reenactment.
By observing San Jacinto Day, you can honor the sacrifices of the Texian soldiers who fought for Texas’ independence and celebrate the rich history of the Lone Star State.
Interesting Fun Facts About Texas
Here are some interesting fun facts about Texas:
- The name “Texas” comes from the Caddo Indian word “tejas,” meaning “friends” or “allies.”
- The state flag of Texas is the only state flag that was also the flag of an independent nation, the Republic of Texas.
- Texas is the second-largest state in the United States, both in terms of land area and population.
- The largest city in Texas is Houston, while the state capital is Austin.
- Texas is home to the second-largest canyon in the United States, the Palo Duro Canyon.
- The world’s first rodeo was held in Pecos, Texas, in 1883.
- Texas is the only state in the United States that was once an independent country.
- The state tree of Texas is the pecan tree, and the state bird is the northern mockingbird.
- The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is the second-busiest airport in the world in terms of land area.
- The state mammal of Texas is the armadillo, and the state flower is the bluebonnet.
- The Alamo, located in San Antonio, Texas, is considered to be one of the most important historical sites in the state.
- The state fish of Texas is the Guadalupe bass, and the state reptile is the Texas horned lizard.
- The state dish of Texas is chili con carne, and the state bread is the pan de campo.
- Texas is home to several major universities, including the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, and Rice University.
- NASA’s Johnson Space Center, which is responsible for training astronauts and conducting human spaceflight missions, is located in Houston, Texas.
These fun facts showcase the rich history, culture, and natural beauty of the Lone Star State.
Why San Jacinto Day is Important
San Jacinto Day is an important day in Texas history because it marks the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto, which took place on April 21, 1836. The battle was a critical moment in the Texas Revolution, as it marked the decisive victory of Texian forces over the Mexican army, led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna.
The battle lasted just 18 minutes, but it resulted in the capture of Santa Anna and the end of the revolution. Texas gained its independence from Mexico and became a republic. The battle had significant implications not only for Texas but for the entire United States. Texas would later join the United States as the 28th state in 1845, and the annexation of Texas was a key factor in the Mexican-American War.
San Jacinto Day is celebrated annually in Texas as a way to honor the sacrifices of the Texian soldiers who fought for independence and to remember the importance of Texas’ history and culture. The day is marked by ceremonies, parades, reenactments, and other events throughout the state. The San Jacinto Monument, which commemorates the battle and the Texian victory, is a symbol of Texas pride and is the tallest masonry column in the world.
Overall, San Jacinto Day is important because it represents a significant moment in the history of Texas and the United States and celebrates the bravery and determination of those who fought for Texas’ independence.