The Alamo Grounds are lit up for the holidays!

For many, visiting the Alamo during the holidays is a tradition. If you haven’t visited recently, this is the best time of year to do so.

The holiday lights on the San Antonio River Walk has been a local favorite for many years, and now the Alamo grounds are decorated for the holidays as well. The combination of these two beautiful, San Antonio-specific landmarks (the River and the Alamo) are worth a trip downtown on their own, and the holiday decorations only add to this pairing. There will be Christmas trees in the Alamo gardens, festive lights throughout the grounds

by Ernesto Rodriguez, Alamo Associate Curator

Among the documents in the Alamo Collection is a circular sent by Stephen F. Austin to Gail Borden Jr., on the eve of revolution.

Dated September 19, 1835, the circular penned by the empresario, warned the people of Texas about General Martin Perfecto de Cos’ plan to march into the colonies. Austin urged the citizens of Texas to demand their rights under the Constitution of 1824, and outlined steps that needed to be taken. Committees of Safety should aid Texas by preparing for war.

Colonists should send representatives to a ‘consultation,” a meeting where…

by Dr. Bruce Winders, Alamo Historian

Artwork by Gary Zaboly

Immense mineral wealth rewarded Spanish efforts to colonize the Americas. Gold and silver — flowing from Mexico and Peru — filled convoys of galleons, and carried this treasure to Spain. Spanish monarchs came to rely on what seemed like an endless supply of ingots, coins, and jewelry cast from ore mined from rich deposits that dotted the land. As Spanish expeditions fanned out northward from Mexico City, explorers were on constant lookout for areas that might contain valuable ore to enrich themselves, and their monarch. …

by Alamo Associate Curator Ernesto Rodriguez

A visitors’ register in the Alamo’s artifact collection documents an important episode in U.S. military history.

The United States declared war on Spain in 1898 after one of its battleships, the U.S.S. Maine, exploded and sank while docked in the harbor of Havana, Cuba. Thousands of American men volunteered to fight in the Spanish-American War. The most famous unit formed from these recruits was the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, better known as the “Rough Riders”. The regiment initially was led by Colonel Leonard Wood and Lt. Colonel Theodore Roosevelt.

Photo Credit: The Rivard Report

On Thursday, October 18th, San Antonio City Council voted to approve two key aspects of the Alamo Plan, making it a reality. This final vote by City Council will restore reverence to the site by closing the section of Alamo and Houston Street that run through the 1836 battlefield footprint and by leasing Alamo Plaza to the State of Texas.

“Several years of research, planning and hard work are paying off now that the plan has been approved by City Council,” Alamo CEO Douglass McDonald said. …

by Alamo Staff Member Misty Hurley

What is Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead? If we judge the celebration by pop culture and what is available in stores, it is a celebration like Carnival or Mardi Gras, with colorfully decorated skeletons. These images can be found on a variety of products — candles, bags, shirts, pillows, trivets, wine bottles, and more, and not only in specialty shops but at the local grocery store as well.

Much of the holiday’s new-found popularity can be attributed to Disney’s 2017 film, Coco, a heartwarming story about a young boy who…

by Alamo Historian Dr. Bruce Winders

For years, Texas school children have been asked to recognize José Francisco Ruiz as one of the two Tejano signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence. In reality, one would have to judge Ruiz’ life as a full and important life even without that historic distinction.

José Francisco Ruiz (1783–1840) was born during a tumultuous time in Texas. Apache Indians were still raiding the area missions, seizing livestock and killing or kidnapping residents. On the international front, a radical upstart republic called the United States of America had managed to assert its independence from…

by Alamo Associate Curator, Ernesto Rodriguez

One of the wonderful artifacts among our collection is a document that established Mission San Francisco Solano, predecessor to the Alamo. Located along the Rio Grande near present day Eagle Pass, Mission Solan was founded in 1700 by order of the provincial governor of Coahuila y Estremadura, Francisco Cuerbo y Valdez. Officials tasked Sergeant Major Diego Ramon with locating the site for the new the mission and nearby civil town.

Upon establishing the new community, Ramon left Father Antonio de San Buenaventura y Olivares and Friar Francisco Hidalgo to oversee the gathering of converts…

Mayor Nirenberg and Commissioner Bush answer questions from the press.

On Tuesday, Oct. 2,, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg signed a joint resolution approving the Alamo Plan. Days after signing this resolution, the City of San Antonio and the State of Texas reached an agreement on the leasing of Alamo Plaza. You can read the full lease here.

“It is far past time for the Alamo and its heroic defenders to be given proper reverence,” Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush said. “Today is a historic day not only for the Alamo, but the City of San Antonio and the state of Texas…

by Alamo Historian, Dr. Bruce Winders

The 1803 Louisiana Purchase had left the border between Texas and Louisiana undefined. Based on previous French claims to Texas, many people in the Unites States believed that Louisiana stretched all the way to the Rio Grande. Beginning in 1810, Mexico’s war for independence created a chaotic situation that enabled large military expeditions of Mexican revolutionaries and American volunteers to capture Nacogdoches, La Bahía, and even San Antonio de Béxar.

Although Spanish royalists eventually defeated several attempts to overthrow the King’s rule and replace it with a republic, the effort to defend Texas took…

The Alamo

Site of the 1836 Battle of the Alamo and Shrine to Texas Liberty

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