Texas A&M International University will commemorate San Jacinto Day by hosting a free presentation on Texası tragic hero, Sam Houston, on Monday, April 21 at 7:00 p.m. in the Great Room of the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library-Administration Building (room 319).
Special guest speaker will be Dr. Feliz D. Almaraz Jr., professor of history at the University of Texas-San Antonio.
The presentation, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by A&M International's College of Arts and Humanities and the Webb County Historical Commission.
In 1829, a broken-hearted Sam Houston resigned as governor of Tennessee after his three-month marriage to a beautiful socialite failed. He retreated westward to Indian Territory and lived in the Cherokee Nation for nearly two and a half years. Houston heard about opportunities to obtain large tracts of land in Mexican Texas and crossed the Red River into Texas in 1832. By the autumn of 1835, the centralist policies of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna evolved into the Texas Revolution in which Houston played a pivotal role as commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
In the afternoon of April 21, 1836, on the plain of San Jacinto, Houston's army, in a surprise attack, decisively overwhelmed Santa Anna's vanguard troops. General Houston's victory at San Jacinto confirmed the Declaration of Independence and the existence of a Republic of Texas. Later in the year, he was elected president of the new republic. He held various public offices until his death in 1863.
Dr. Almaraz chronicled the life of Sam Houston in an article published in Chautauqua in 1996. The prolific writer has also authored articles for journals including Texana, Red River Valley Historical Review, The Social Science Journal, Journal of the West, and Southwestern Historical Quarterly. He is the author of Standing Room Only: A History of the San Antonio Little Theatre, 1912 - 1962 (Texian Press, 1964), Tragic Cavalier: Governor Manuel Salcedo of Texas, 1808 - 1813 (Texas A&M University Press, 1991), Knight Without Armour: Carlos E. Casteneda: A Biography of a Mexican American Historian, 1896 - 1958, The San Antonio Missions after Secularization, 1800 - 1983, and Faith Along a River: Franciscan Missions of the Spanish Colonial San Antonio, 1718 - 1836.
Almaraz earned his Ph.D. at the University of New Mexico and holds both MA and BA degrees from St. Mary's University.
For more information on Dr. Almarazı presentation at A&M International April 21, please contact the University's College of Arts and Humanities at 326-2460.
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