In a reenactment of the Battle of San Jacinto, Mexican troops fire on the Texas rebels. Following the brief clash, the Texans captured Mexico's president.

In a reenactment of the Battle of San Jacinto, Mexican troops fire on the Texas rebels. Following the brief clash, the Texans captured Mexico's president.

/Copyrght 2007 San Jacinto Museum of History

UPDATE at 10:17 a.m. Feb. 28, 2018: We originally wrote this for San Jacinto Day in 2016, but are bringing it back for Texas Independence Day.

To celebrate Texas Independence Day on March 2, here are 10 facts about the revolution you might not know.


1) There was a Second Battle of the Alamo

A little over 50 years after the siege of the Alamo, the old chapel with that famous façade had become a crumbling grocery store. In 1908, a group of women in the newly formed Daughters of the Republic of Texas worked to buy the structure to preserve it. Internal strife led to a split among the preservationists, which ended in an ugly court battle. One woman even locked herself in the Alamo mission rather than face an injunction. To settle the matter, the state took control of the Alamo before Gov. Oscar Colquitt announced he'd restore the convent to its original condition.

2) "Texas forever" isn't just a tagline from Friday Night Lights

You remember Goliad, right? On Palm Sunday 1836, Mexican troops marched a group of Texian prisoners under the command of James Fannin out of the Presidio La Bahia near Goliad. After a few hundred yards, the troops stopped, and under order of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, opened fire on the rebels. One survivor said the young men died shouting "Texas forever!" over the noise of gunfire. So Tim Riggins, the Friday Night Lights character portrayed by Taylor Kitsch, has those martyrs to thank for his beer-swilling credo.

3) Santa Anna's fake leg is in (of all places) Illinois

After the Texas Revolution, Santa Anna lost his leg when fighting the French in Veracruz. That leg was buried with full military honors, because of course it was. His fake leg, however, was captured by soldiers of the 4th Illinois Infantry in the Mexican-American War and taken home to Springfield, Ill. You can still see it on display at the Illinois State Military Museum.

4) That 'Come and Take It' cannon was just for show

A Come and Take It flag flies outside the stadium as Dallas Cowboys fans tailgate before an NFL football game against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in Arlington. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News)

A Come and Take It flag flies outside the stadium as Dallas Cowboys fans tailgate before an NFL football game against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in Arlington. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News)

/The Dallas Morning News

That cannon on the "Come and Take It" flag was given to the people of Gonzales by the Mexican government for the purpose of scaring off Comanches, but was never meant to fire. The cannon had nails driven into its body, making it useless. The Texans modified it for the brief battle, which kicked off the revolution.

5) The Texas Declaration of Independence and Constitution are kinda-sorta plagiarized

It's no surprise that the Texan revolutionaries looked up to the American revolution as an example of how to form a new country. In fact, they admired those founding fathers so much, they pretty much ripped off their writing for the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

6) Sam Houston whupped the Mexican army in only 18 minutes at San Jacinto

In a surprise attack, Sam Houston's troops were able to surround and defeat the Mexican army in only 18 minutes. They shouted, "Remember the Alamo!" and "Remember Goliad!" as they charged. It was one of the most one-sided victories in history, with 650 Mexicans killed and 300 captured and only 11 Texian deaths and 30 injuries, including Houston's.

7) There were "legations" (mini-embassies) for the Republic in Washington, London and Paris

A "legation" is a diplomatic mission that doesn't have an official like an ambassador, but it acts in very much the same way. The young republic had three such foreign offices -- in the American capital, the British capital and the French capital. In 2013, then-governor Rick Perry laid a plaque at the spot where the old legation was in London.

8) The Washington Post thinks we still want to be independent

According to the Post, secession will be a topic of interest at the state Republican convention in Dallas next month. Even though the Supreme Court made it unconstitutional and state leaders reject the idea wholeheartedly. Let's just all give this one a big eye-roll and move on.

9) The first flag of Texas wasn't the one we know today

 

 

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We always had a lone star flag, but it wasn't always blue, white and red. The first flag was a dark blue field with a large yellow star in the center. The "Burnet Flag" was adopted in 1836, but was replaced in 1838 by the flag we know and love today.

10) Think Dallas and Houston have a feud? The Texas Archive War puts it to shame.

It'd be putting it lightly to say that people had some disagreements about where the republic's capital should be. President Sam Houston wanted to move the capital from Austin to Houston so badly that he secretly ordered troops to move the state's archives under the cover of night in 1842. A woman in Austin saw the troops pretty much stealing the archives and fired a howitzer their way. The soldiers got away with the national archives, but didn't get far. A group of men -- some without horses or guns -- caught up and retrieved the archives the next morning.

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