Saturday, February 12, 2011

San Jacinto State Historic Site

This memorial site commemorates the final decisive battle for Texas independence. Sam Houston, Commander-in-Chief of the armies of Texas in 1836, did not give his approval for the battle fought at the Alamo in March of that year. Mexico defeated us there but that loss, however, became the rallying cry and impetus for the win at San Jacinto a month later. And despite the rout of Mexico's General Santa Anna at the battle of San Jacinto, it was not until 1848 when Mexico renounced all claims to Texas. It rises 567 feet above the San Jacinto Battleground. The Lone Star of Texas adorns its top. We toured the museum of history inside the monument and then rode the elevator to the top. From that height we could look down on the Port of Houston and view the Battleship Texas (located in the lower right-hand corner), which was our next tour for the day.
The Battleship Texas is the last of the world's big-gun battleships designed and built at the turn of the 20th century. When she was commissioned in 1914,  Battleship Texas was the most powerful weapon in the world. During World War I she did not see combat action but participated with the American squadron in maneuvers of the North Sea. After the Armistice she sailed with the Great Atlantic Fleet to escort the German Fleet to Scotland for surrender. During World War II she saw action at Normandy and Cherbourg, after which she sailed to the Pacific and took part in the invasion of Okinawa. She was retired in 1946.  What a grand old ship to tour, but getting around her can be very confusing. My two brothers, who were with us, had once served in the navy and made great tour guides. A person also has to be physically fit- the ship has very high door sills, steel ladders and obstructions through-out the decks.

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