Chances are every American has heard the phrase, “Remember the Alamo!” at least once in their lives. However, the little mission in San Antonio holds a special place in the heart of Texans as it represents their ferocity, bravery, and willingness to defend their beliefs to the end.
So how much do you know about it, really? Besides Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, and William Travis, can you quote many facts? Here are 10 facts about the Alamo that every Texan should know.
10. The Alamo was the first mission in the San Antonio region, and its original name? Mission San Antonio de Valero. Sound familiar?
9. General Sam Houston thought that holding San Antonio the city was a grand ol’ waste of time, and he actually sent James Bowie to destroy the Alamo. However, Bowie and Travis ignored his orders and hunkered behind the fort’s defenses.
8. The numbers for the Alamo are skewed – some estimates for Mexican forces range between 1,800-6,000 army members. Basically this means that there is little concrete factual information behind all estimates, from casualties to defenders.
7. A few months following the devastating loss at the Alamo, Houston and his 800 Texans defeated Santa Anna’s Mexican army near San Jacinto, leading directly to their independence.
6. The Texas General Land Office has custody of the grounds.
5. The defenders of the Alamo had no idea that Texas declared its independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836. The fight for the Alamo began on Feb. 23, 1836, and the fort finally fell on March 6, 1836.
4. No one can truly say what happened to Davy Crockett – some eyewitness claim he died during the battle, while some claimed he was executed at the hands of Santa Anna. These mixed accounts have made for some good urban legends.
3. The saying, “Remember the Alamo!” became the battle cry of the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848, about 10 years following the Alamo’s original destruction as a rally call to incite deep-seeded emotions.
2. More than one battle was fought at the Alamo: the Battle of the Alamo in 1861 was fought following Texas’ secession from the Union.
1. Musician Phil Collins was named an Honorary Texan in 2015 after he donated $100 million in rare Alamo artifices to the Alamo mission in San Antonio, prompting the museum to create an exhibit to house his items.