San Jacinto Day in Texas Date in the current year: April 21, 2024

San Jacinto Day in Texas San Jacinto Day is celebrated in the U.S. state of Texas on April 21 every year. It was proclaimed to commemorate the final battle of the Texas Revolution, which resulted in the de facto independence of Texas from Mexico.

Following the arrival of Europeans in North America, the territory of what is now Texas became a Spanish colony. When Mexico attained independence from Spain in 1821, Texas became part of the state of Coahuila y Tejas. Since Texas was very sparsely populated, the Mexican government relaxed immigration policies to encourage American settlers to move to the region. As a result, in just a few years English-speaking settlers vastly outnumbered Mexicans and began to strive for independence.

The Texas Revolution broke out on October 2, 1835, when a group of armed settlers attacked Mexican dragoons in Gonzales. In the next few months, the rebels defeated most Mexican troops in the region. On March 2, 1836, the Convention of 1836 adopted the Texas Declaration of Independence.

In response, Mexican president and commander-in-chief Antonio López de Santa Anna launched an offensive. Following a 13-day siege, he defeated the rebel troops in the Battle of Alamo and killed most of the Texians (Anglo-American Texans) and Tejanos (Hispanic Texans) inside the Alamo Mission. However, it turned out that it was this crushing defeat that led Texians to the final victory.

Following the defeat in the Battle of Alamo, the Texian army under the command of General Sam Houston began to retreat south. Mexican troops led by General Santa Anna caught up with the Texians on April 19, 1836 at the confluence of the San Jacinto River and Buffalo Bayou.

Santa Anna was planning to give his men a break and attack the Texians on April 22. However, Houston decided that a pre-emptive strike was the best course of action and launched an attack on the Mexican camp on April 21. Mexican soldiers were taken completely by surprise and didn’t fight back.

Within 18 minutes, they were overwhelmed and fled for their lives. The Texians chased them through the nearby marsh, killing 650 Mexicans and capturing 300. Santa Anna escaped and hid in the marsh, dressed in a private’s uniform, but he was captured by the Texians the day after the battle.

Santa Anna’s defeat at San Jacinto put an end to the Texas Revolution. On May 14, 1836, Mexico and the Republic of Texas signed the Treaties of Velasco, which de facto recognized the independence of Texas from Mexico.

San Jacinto Day is an official partial staffing holiday in Texas, which means that state offices remain open on April 21. It is marked with an annual festival featuring a reenactment that takes place on the site of the battle.

Texan San Jacinto Day should not be confused with the Nicaraguan public holiday of the same name. The latter is celebrated on September 14 to commemorate the Battle of San Jacinto that occurred near Managua in 1856 during the Filibuster War, fought between filibusters stationed in Nicaragua and the Central American coalition army.

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San Jacinto Day in Texas, observances in Texas, observances in the United States, Texas Revolution, Battle of San Jacinto