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In Flanders Fields

(by John McCrae)

In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.     We are the dead. Short days ago    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,       Loved and were loved, and now we lie,                              In Flanders fields.     Take up our quarrel with the foe:    To you from failing hands we throw       The torch; be yours to hold it high.       If ye break faith with us who die    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow                                In Flanders fields. Continue Reading →

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Alamo Unveils Plans For New Exhibit Hall & Collections Building

A rendering of the bottom floor of the building. Rendering by Gensler | GRG. SAN ANTONIO, TX. – Get a sneak peek of the new Alamo Exhibit Hall & Collections Building in design renderings released today on theAlamo.org. The images depict an exciting new addition to the Alamo Complex with increased gallery space and ample room for interactive exhibits and learning opportunities. Continue Reading →

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Alamo Long Barrack Undergoing Cleaning And Roof Repairs

SAN ANTONIO, TX. — As one of the oldest buildings in Texas, the Alamo Long Barrack requires regular attention to keep the structure in its healthiest possible state. In the coming weeks, the Alamo’s preservation team will begin repair work on the Long Barrack’s roof and stone walls. During recent archaeological investigations in the Long Barrack, the preservation team discovered blisters in the roof of the Long Barrack. Cracks in the roof’s membrane have allowed moisture to infiltrate, causing parts of it to rise one foot above the existing roof. This modern-day roof, installed in 1975, is not a part of the original structure, and its unforeseen condition is covered under warranty by the company that originally installed the roof membrane in 2014. Continue Reading →

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The Alamo Releases New Research Report On The Iconic 18-Pounder Cannon

Fernando Raven with the 18-pounder in the 1890s, before the cannon was lost. Source

SAN ANTONIO – The Alamo is proud to announce the release of a new research report on the 18-pounder cannon, which details the cannon’s prominent role in the Battle of the Alamo and how a faithful replica can be made. Accounts from 1836 have long shown that the 18-pounder was an important cannon for the Alamo Defenders, but the cannon itself was lost to history sometime after the battle. The information in this report sheds new light on what the cannon looked like, where it originated, and challenges commonly held beliefs about the cannon. “It was important for us to do a deeper dive into the history of the 18-pounder,” Alamo History Researcher Kolby Lanham said. “The historical narrative of this cannon hasn’t changed for many years, and as students of history we have an obligation to re-evaluate the historical narrative when new information comes to light. Continue Reading →

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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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