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Thursday, March 3, 2011

The San Jacinto Monument

Back during my army days at Fort Hood, I learned that San Jacinto Day was a pretty big deal in Texas. We had visited the state capitol at Austin and were not surprised to see the painting of the Alamo in the senate chamber, but what was that other battle painting?

The Battle of San Jacinto was the decisive final battle in the Texas war of independence. The battle is memorialized east of Houston at the San Jacinto Monument, modestly described as "the world's tallest monumental column."

Almost six hundred feet tall, it offers an elevator ride to a wonderful view of the surrounding area near the Houston Ship Canal.

The base of the monument features a museum with both permanent and temporary exhibits. The permanent exhibit offers descriptions of numerous heroes of the Texas War of Independence from Austin, Travis and Houston to Crockett and Bowie. A wall of paintings of the battle is prominently displayed along with descriptions of the scenes.

Houston-15 Houston-16

The temporary exhibit features the photography of Cecil M. Thompson who was a commercial photographer in Huston during the first half of the twentieth century. The exhibit features questions and answers resulting from a previous Thompson exhibit. The example shown below includes a photograph of the Humble Oil Building on Main Street.
Houston-18 Houston-19

We had stood beside that building on the previous day while catching the Light Rail out to the Astrodome.

If you want to make an all-day trip to this area, you will find the Battleship Texas conveniently moored across the road from the San Jacinto monument.

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