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The Alamo Launching In-Person Guided Tours On Nov. 13

SAN ANTONIO – Starting November 13, the Alamo will begin offering in-person guided tours to visitors again for the first time since March. On the A Story Bigger Than Texas Guided Tour,  an Alamo Tour Guide will take visitors on a journey through history as they learn about the Alamo’s 300-year history as a Spanish mission, U.S. Quartermaster warehouse, and the 13-day Battle of the Alamo in 1836. 

The guided tour spans the whole site, from the historic battlefield in Alamo Plaza to the interior of the Church, and the Alamo gardens, added in the early 20th century, with their Living History Encampment, as well as the special exhibits in Alamo Hall. The tour helps visitors not only learn about the events that led to the Battle of the Alamo, but why San Antonio was so important during the war for Texas Revolution. Masks are required for all visitors and Alamo staff at all times, and guided tours will be limited to 10 people per group to allow for social distancing. Guided tours will be offered at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m. every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Continue Reading →

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Learn About 1836 Battle Cannons At The Alamo Addresses: Cannon Replica Project On Sept. 30

The first two Cannon replicas on display in Alamo Plaza. AN ANTONIO – The Alamo is excited to announce a new virtual event that will provide an in-depth glimpse into the 1836 Battle Cannon Replica Project. During The Alamo Addresses: Cannon Replica Project, an interactive virtual conversation with cannon experts, viewers will learn more about the cannons used during the Battle of the Alamo and how and why the Alamo has commissioned replica cannons for the site today. This virtual discussion will include a panel of experts in Alamo and cannon history, including:

Kolby Lanham,  Alamo History ResearcherKristi Nichols, Alamo Director of Archaeology, Collections, and Historical ResearchErnesto Rodriguez, Alamo CuratorPam Rosser, Alamo Conservator

The 1836 Battle Cannon Project will see high-quality, historically-accurate replicas placed in the vicinity of the Alamo’s Main Gate and Palisade, where the historical record says they were likely located during the battle. Set for completion in 2021, the first two replicas of iron 4-pounder cannons are now available for the public to view in Alamo Plaza. Continue Reading →

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The Alamo Begins 1836 Battle Cannon Replica Project

SAN ANTONIO – The Alamo is excited to announce the 1836 Battle Cannon Replica Project, which will see working cannon replicas added to the site. These high-quality, historically-accurate replicas will be placed in the vicinity of the Alamo’s Main Gate and Palisade, where the historical record tells us they likely were during the 1836 battle. “Researching and having replicas cast of the cannons that were present at the site during the Battle of the Alamo is an exciting opportunity to add to our knowledge of the artillery,” the Alamo’s Diretor of Archaeology, Collections, and Historical Research Kristi Miller Nichols said. “The research into the history of our cannons will ensure these replicas are as realistic and historically-accurate as possible. It’s a very exciting endeavor that we cannot wait to share with the public,” Nichols added. Continue Reading →

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Arts & Historic District Partners Launch Federal Courthouse/Post Office Improvement Project Downtown

TEXARKANA, TX – Work on the Federal Courthouse/Post Office Improvement project will begin later this month. Led by the Texarkana Arts & Historic District, the Courthouse Square Connections Project is a dual city effort to increase walkability and enhance the area around the existing United States Post Office and Federal Courthouse in downtown. 

Current view of Texarkana Post Office/Courthouse

Many local partners have joined together to make this project possible, including the City of Texarkana, Texas, the City of Texarkana, Arkansas, Texarkana, Arkansas Advertising & Promotion Commission, Texarkana USA Regional Chamber of Commerce, – Texarkana Arts & Historic District (including the cities and the Chamber plus Main Street Texarkana, the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra, the Texarkana Regional Arts & Humanities Council, the Texarkana Museums System), a National Endowment for the Arts Grant (Public Art), and the Texarkana Wilbur Smith Rotary Club (Donation of Trees). There has also been a local resident design team involved in the planning efforts that is part of a number of Leadership Texarkana Strategic Doing Groups citywide. As one of our community’s main attractions, the downtown Texarkana Federal Courthouse and Post Office lures hundreds of visitors and residents alike to downtown Texarkana. The Post Office is so unique that it has been noted to be the 2nd most photographed federal courthouse in the United States, and remains one of the main tourism draws for Texarkana’s downtown. Continue Reading →

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The Awakening of American History Compared to American Mythology

Base of Frederick Douglass statue torn down July 4, 2020

Opinion:  Our nation has uplifted men from the founding fathers, to military leaders, to poets and politicians. We are only now admitting they are not as perfect as American Mythology would have you believe.  Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Madison, Jackson, Crockett, Bowie, Lee, Grant, Douglass, and so many other men and women make up the core of “American Mythology.”  Myths and stories have grown up around these men and women.   Some myths rose in their lifetimes, and some long after the person died.  This mythology based on Americans has become a new world mythology where these men and women seem to rise above the rest of us, and they seem untouchable.   Webster’s accepted definition of the word Mythology is “a popular belief or assumption that has grown up around someone or something.”   When we consider that the various heroes from the founding of the nation through our modern times have elevated men and women and built up popular beliefs or assumptions, we can easily see that America has its own mythology. If you studied the revolution, you will hear stories about how British bullets could not hit Washington. You understand how Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence, and Hamilton did not shoot first but shot the tree instead of Burr.  If you grew up in the south, you hear about Lee, Jackson, Forrest, and many other heroes of the south.  They would have you believe that Lee was the most brilliant military mind to live by all accounts.  In the north, Grant, Sherman, and others would seem invincible in their starch defense of the Union.  Lincoln was elevated to the most celebrated abolitionist to live.  When you look to the west, we have stories of the shootout at the OK Corel, Custer’s last stand, Geronimo, and others.   Who can forget the 1950 and 1960s coonskin cap craze where David Crocket, already a mythical character during his lifetime, would be elevated to killing a bear when he was three years old and holding back the entire Mexican army at the Alamo.  In most of these stories, the focus has been the positive, right, and heroic aspects of the men and women.   

With the age of the Internet, various “history” experts, the broad study and examination of history, we have begun to see that these mythological figures from our American history are often anything except what we were taught or led to believe.  Gradually that acceptance has led first to reports, papers, and articles indicating that “nobody” is perfect.  Dale Carnegie published the famous book “Lincoln The Unknown.”  A careful study of the Emancipation Proclamation will find that it did not free slaves in the Union.  The American Mythology has always been careful to avoid the fact that Lincoln’s in-laws owned slaves, and that five slave states were fighting for the Union.  It has also been careful to ignore that those slave states in the Union held slavery long after the Emancipation Proclamation.  To this day, the Proclamation is debated whether it was  Constitutionally legal since Lincoln had no power to change laws.  The list goes own. Continue Reading →

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Debate on Confederate Monument in Texarkana Has Increased Petition Drives

Currently at least three petitions are running online concerning the Confederate Mothers Monument in downtown Texarkana

Texarkana, USA: At least three petitions are currently online concerning the Confederate Mothers Monument near the federal courthouse and post office. One petition calls for the monument to be removed and placed in a museum for study and history, a Texas side petition calls for the monument to remain, and a third is for Arkansas side residents requesting the monument to stay. The petition from Black Lives Matter Texarkana has requested that the monument be moved to a museum, cemetery where Confederate soldiers are buried or in another area out of the “public square.” The petition is being prepared to be presented to the City of Texarkana, Texas. The petition also recommends a possible plaque to be placed at the monument’s current location to show historical context. Continue Reading →

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Considering Compromise For the Confederate Mothers Monument

Opinion: Over the last few weeks social media, mainstream media, and conversations in Texarkana have been divided concerning the Confederate Mothers Monument in downtown Texarkana. One side views the monument as heritage, history, and part of the beauty of the historic district of the town. The other side views it as a symbol of white supremacy, racism, and hate. As one local media outlet stated, about the only thing anyone agreed on was to disagree. If we honestly look at the facts, and we look at them objectively as well, all sides have a valid point. Continue Reading →

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Monument Gains Support to Stay

Texarkana Confederate Monument from Wikipedia

The Confederate Mothers Monument in Texarkana is gaining support on social media to remain in downtown Texarkana. Texarkana, USA: A local veteran women’s group has stirred historians and citizens alike in both Texarkana, Arkansas, and Texas to the rallying cry “Leave it alone,” and “Let it stay” on social media. Over a week ago, the Texarkana Gazette ran an article indicating that there will be a march in protest of the Confederate Monument on June 19th. A local veteran women’s group planned the march and discussed the issue with the paper for the article. The Four States News ran a brief review of the history of the monument and the viewpoint of both sides on June 17. Continue Reading →

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The Alamo Presents Homespun, A Virtual Living History Event – May 2

Can you imagine what life was like before ready-made clothes? Learn about the fibers, fabrics, and tools needed to make clothes in 1830’s Texas with Homespun on Saturday, May 2.Traditionally held on the Alamo grounds, take a virtual journey through the clothes-making process with the Alamo’s living historians. This virtual event will take place all day long on the Official Alamo Facebook page through videos detailing how clothes were made in the 1830’s, from spinning the wool, dyeing cloth, sewing, leatherwork and more. In addition to the creation process, Homespun will also examine the military uniforms of 1830’s Texas. Homespun can be enjoyed for free on the Official Alamo Facebook page. What: Homespun, an online living history event that explores the fibers, fabrics, and tools for clothes-making in 1830’s Texas.Who: General publicWhen: Videos posted throughout the day Saturday, May 2Where:On the Official Alamo Facebook page
Continue Reading →

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Ace of Clubs House Receives Historic Preservation Grant from National DAR

Texarkana, USA:  The historic Ace of Clubs House has been awarded a $6,500 National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Preservation Grant to assist with the restoration of windows. “We are extremely excited to have received this grant from the National DAR and we are grateful to our local Lone Star DAR chapter for having sponsored us in our application for these funds.  This acknowledgement of the importance and historical significance of our community’s Ace of Clubs House means a great deal,” said Velvet Hall Cool, Board President of the Texarkana Museums System. Built in 1885, the historic Ace of Clubs House is on both the State of Texas and National Historic Registers and is an integral part of the landscape of historic downtown Texarkana.  Mrs. Olivia Smith Moore donated the unique property, built in the shape of a club, to the Texarkana Museums System in the 1980’s to fulfill her desire to help maintain the history of our region.  It has been visited by Bob Villa and featured on HGTV’s Christmas Castles. “Our Lone Star DAR Chapter is always dedicated to supporting this area of our regional history.  Mrs. Moore herself was a member of our chapter and this home and the Texarkana Museums System correspond well with our mission of historic preservation and education.  Our partnerships inevitably have a significant impact to the community,” stated Tammie Duncan Blackburn, Regent of the Lone Star Chapter of the DAR. This grant allows the Ace of Clubs House to utilize the City of Texarkana, Texas Hotel Occupancy Tax Funds as matching funds.  This doubles the impact of the grant and provides a much-needed $13,000 budget for window repairs in an effort to salvage the original glass.  With 77 windows in this home and each window costing $750 to $1,000, the Ace of Clubs House and Texarkana Museums System still need more community support. Continue Reading →

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