Battle of the Alamo started in 1836 and ended March 6, 1836. The battle is quite complex: Americans fighting in a mission in an area that was Mexico but is now Texas. Children can read more at: Battle of the Alamo
Texas declared its independence from Mexico in 1836. Sixty Texans met and drafted a declaration of independence. They based their break from Mexico on about six concerns, including lack of religious freedom and lack of public schools. Texas was a country until February 19, 1846, when it became a state of the United States.
Spinach farmers in Crystal City, Texas, built a statue of Popeye in 1937. About half the spinach consumed in the United States is grown in Texas. China is the world’s leading producer of spinach. Children can learn about spinach and its nutritional values at: Spinach.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park was established in 1983. Five Spanish missions were created around 1690 to 1720 in what is now San Antonio, Texas. Today four of the missions are part of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. The sites include Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission San Juan Capistrano, and Mission Espada. The fifth mission is the Alamo, administered by the Texas General Land Office. On July 25, 1915, the five missions became a UNESCO World Heritage site. Children can learn more at: http://www.nps.gov/saan/index.htm.
Battle of San Jacinto occurred in 1836 in Texas. General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and his 1,200 soldiers attacked General Sam Houston and his 910 men. The Texans retreated but then caught the Mexicans in surprise. In less than one half hour, the Texans won. As a result of this battle, Texas won its independence from Mexico. Children could read Journey to San Jacinto (Mr. Barrington’s Mysterious Trunk) by Melodie A. Cuate.
Thirty-four camels landed in Indianola, Texas, in 1856! After the United States won the Mexican-American War in 1846, the country acquired large land holdings in what is now Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. The American army wanted to map the region and establish forts in the new lands. Horses and mules could not easily withstand the high temperatures, lack of consistent water, and rough terrain. The army decided to try camels as beasts of burden. The camels marched from Indianola to base camp at Camp Verde, Texas. Eventually another 41 camels arrived. The camels were well-suited to the terrain and climate; the Camel Corps trekked all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, the Civil War disrupted the region, and the camel experiment ended.
Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library opened in 1971 in Austin, Texas. The building is also known as the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum. It is the archive of 45 million pages of documents. Children can learn more at: http://www.lbjlibrary.org/.
Big Bend National Park was established in 1935. The Texas park, encompassing over 800,000 acres, is located in the northern portion of the Chihuahuan Desert. Temperatures can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. However, temperatures can be extremely low in winter. Children can visit a website at: http://www.nps.gov/bibe.
Juneteenth is celebrated in Texas and in other states. Juneteenth is a portmanteau of the words June and nineteenth and commemorates the day in 1865 when slaves were given their freedom in Texas. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued January 1, 1863, slaves in Texas were not given their freedom until several months after the conclusion of the Civil War. Children can learn more about: Juneteenth.
Waco Mammoth National Monument was established in 2015 near Waco, Texas. The museum and site preserves the fossils of 24 Columbian mammoths and other mammals. The nursery of mother and young Columbian mammoths were probably caught in a flash flood about 67,000 years ago. The site was discovered in 1978 by two men looking for arrowheads. Children can learn more, including the differences between Columbian mammoths and woolly mammoths, at: http://www.nps.gov/waco/index.htm.