San Jacinto Day is a day of state pride for many Texans in the United States on April 21 each year. It commemorates a battle between the Texas Army and Mexican forces about 25 miles from downtown Houston, Texas, on April 21, 1836. This became known as the Battle of San Jacinto and was a turning point for Texas’ independence from Mexico.
What do people do?
On San Jacinto Day, many people show their pride at being Texan by flying the state flag of Texas, often called the Lone Star Flag, from their homes or other buildings. The main event is a re-enactment of the San Jacinto Battle at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site on a Saturday close to April 21. The re-enactment by hundreds of volunteers is very realistic and includes the use of costume, canons and pyrotechnics. It also forms the center of a festival, which includes a wide range of family entertainment and highlights aspects of Texan history, culture and nature.
San Jacinto used to be, but is no longer, a public holiday in the state of Texas. Many schools are open, as are post offices, stores and other businesses and organizations. Public transport services run to their usual schedules. Some state offices are closed or partially staffed and services may be restricted. San Jacinto Day is not a public holiday in other parts of the United States on April 21.
Around 1820, the area that is now Texas was part of the newly independent country of Mexico. However, many of the inhabitants wished to form the independent Republic of Texas and, in 1835, they drafted the Texas Declaration of Independence and formed a provisional government. This movement was supported by a wave of volunteers from the United States. In 1836, the president of Mexico, General Santa Anna, travelled to Texas to bring down the uprising. The beginning of his campaign was successful and the Mexican forces managed to regain control of a number of areas.
The Battle of San Jacinto occurred on April 21 in 1836 and was won by Texan forces. The battle lasted a total of 18 minutes and only nine Texan soldiers were killed and 26 wounded. However, hundreds of Mexicans were killed, injured or captured and General Santa Anna was captured in the aftermath of the battle. This event led to negotiations for Texas to become fully independent from Mexico.
An important symbol of San Jacinto Day is the flag of the state of Texas, which is flown on homes and other buildings on April 21. This flag is known as the Lone Star Flag and consists of three parts. The flag is one-and-a-half times as wide as it is high. The vertical third, which is hung closest to the flag pole, is dark blue with a single white star and represents loyalty. The top half of the remaining two-thirds of the flag is white, to represent purity, and the lower half red, to represent bravery.
The site of the battle is now known as the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, which is close to the Houston Ship Channel and the cities of La Porte and Baytown. The Historic Site is home to the San Jacinto Monument, which is 570 feet (or about 174 meters) high and the world’s tallest masonry tower. The monument is crowned by a massive stone star that represents the state of Texas.
Courtesy of DateandTime.com