Texas observes San Jacinto Day on 21 April to commemorate the victory in battle that essentially gave the state its independence. The battle took place on 21 April 1836, lasted only 18 minutes, and yet resulted in a decisive victory for Texan forces.
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After Mexico escaped from Spanish rule, Texas became a Mexican territory. But due to the sheer distance from Mexico City and discontent with the policies of Mexican President Santa Ana, who had promised but not delivered on “federalism” with greater local rule, Texas was at odds with its Mexican overlords.
The fact that Americans had immigrated to Texas in large numbers and didn’t want to live under Mexican rule, plus wanted to keep the institution of slavery which Mexico had already outlawed, also contributed to the brewing conflict.
When Texas declared independence in 1835, it lost most of the early battles against the invading Mexican army. But that all changed with the stunning victory at San Jacinto, where Santa Ana himself was captured and forced to sign a peace treaty granting Texas’ independence.
On San Jacinto Day, many fly the Texan flag, attend the reenactment of the Battle of San Jacinto in San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, and take time to celebrate and to learn more about Texas’ history.