San Jacinto Day is a day of state pride for Texans in the United States on April 21 each year. It commemorates the Battle of San Jacinto between the Texan army and Mexican forces, which took place on April 21, 1836. The battle was a turning point for Texas’ independence from Mexico.
Around 1820, the area that is now Texas was part of the newly independent country of Mexico. However, there was a strong push for an independent Republic of Texas so, in 1835, the Texas Declaration of Independence was drafted, and a provisional government was formed. This movement was supported by a wave of volunteers from the United States. In 1836, Mexican president Santa Anna travelled to Texas to bring down this uprising. His campaign started successfully, and the Mexican forces regained control of a number of areas.
Texan forces fought and won the Battle of San Jacinto on and captured General Santa Anna. This event led to negotiations for Texas to become fully independent from Mexico. The site of the battle is now known as the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, which is close to the Houston Ship Channel and the cities of La Porte and Baytown. The site features the San Jacinto Monument, which is 570 feet (or about 174 meters) high and the world’s tallest masonry tower.
The Battle of San Jacinto lasted for only 18 minutes. However, hundreds of Mexicans were killed, injured, or captured. Nine Texan soldiers were killed and 26 were wounded.
San Jacinto Day is a public holiday in Texas, where it is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.