Posts Tagged ‘Battleship Texas’

San Jacinto Monument

December 11, 2011 Leave a comment

In 1936, a pivotal battle to separate Texas from Mexico was fought on the San Jacinto river.  It was fought on April 21, 1836, and is considered the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution. Led by General Sam Houston, the Texian Army engaged and defeated General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna’s Mexican forces in a fight that lasted just eighteen minutes. About 630 of the Mexican soldiers were killed and 730 captured, while only nine Texans died.

In commemoration of this battle, a monument was built, now open to the public.  It is in the Guinness World Records as the world’s tallest memorial monument.  The monument weighs 70,300,000 pounds. It is 125 feet square at the base, tapering to 30 feet square at the top. It is faced with blocks of cordova shell stone weighing 500 pounds apiece. This shell stone is over 100 million years old and was quarried from Burnet County north of Austin. The shaft walls are 4 feet thick at the base of the monument and 2 feet thick at the top.

The monument contains an inscription, part of which reads:

“Measured by its results, San Jacinto was one of the decisive battles of the world. The freedom of Texas (not part of the United States at the time) from Mexico won here led to annexation and to the Mexican-American War, resulting in the acquisition by the United States United States of the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma. Almost one-third of the present area of the American Nation, nearly a million square miles of territory, changed sovereignty.”

The Monument is only a few miles from where we are parked, and accessible via a free ferry.  We took the free tour, which has some very interesting historical artifacts.  We plan to go back to view the rest of the Museum, and ride the elevator to the top.

That's our ferry. Small, but efficient!

Part of the Houston Ship Canal, there is lots of boat traffic here

The Reflecting Pool. The battleship "Texas" can be seen in the background

That is one tall monument!

Battleship TEXAS

January 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Battleship TEXAS is the last of the world’s “dreadnoughts”, the big-gun battleships designed and built in the early 1900s.  The TEXAS was commissioned in 1914, and retired in 1948.  She is the only ship to have served in both World Wars.

Now she is on permanent display in La Porte, near Houston.  For a modest fee, you can tour the ship, and get some indication of what it was like to have served on a ship like this.   It is worth the time, but allow 3 to 4 hours as there is much to see.

The ship also logged some firsts.  It was the first to launch an aircraft, heralding the start of aircraft carriers.  And it was the first ship to be equipped with radar.  Even in its last years of duty it was updated with the most modern components.

During WW2, she was struck by large caliber shore guns from Cherbourg, France.  It resulted in the only fatalities in the ships illustrious history.  But it could be worse:  the 1,500 shell skipped on the water and failed to explode. The actual shell is on display in the ship.

A proud ship, with a long and illustrious history

A lot of heavy metal

Berthing rooms were not large, and not private...


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