17 Apr 2009

Texas Culture 101 :: The Alamo

The Alamo is a famous american landmark that this Canadian decided she needed to see. I was surprised but delighted to find it is in the middle of downtown SanAntonio, not too far from the Riverwalk.

Everyone told me that the Alamo would be disappointing. So much so... that it wasn't! I have never seen any movies depicting the Alamo and thought it was quaint and appreciated seeing something that is a little 'old' (though 300 years feels new after living in Europe!)

I am not a history major but this is my 'recap' on what happened at the Alamo. At the time Texas was a part of Mexico but the Texans wanted their freedom. The Alamo was originally built by Spanish Settlers who were missionaries wanting to convert the natives to Catholicism. Later it became a military station for the Texans who fought to gain independence. They lost. The mexican's greatly outnumbered them (thousands vs. hundreds) and killed all 200 Texans fighting to defend the Alamo.

But then later there was another war, because of the defeat at the Alamo, near Houston, where the Texans won. And with that gained their independence! Thus Texas became it's own country and would remain independent for 10 years before joining the United States.

According to the Texans that's why they are the only state allowed to fly their flag at the same level as the American flag and the only state with the right to secede (break away from) the United States.