Today — April 21st – is the 175th anniversary of the historic battle that won Texas independence from Mexico. Several thousand people celebrated that day last weekend at the San Jacinto Battleground State Park outside Houston.

Historians say Texas gaining independence from Mexico was the greatest accomplishment in Texas history and many think it was one of the greatest in human history.

The Battle of San Jacinto was definitely the shortest — 18 minutes start to finish. It was also one of the most decisive battles ever fought, in terms of the huge territory it took away from Mexico. In 1836, the Texas “province” of Mexico included areas that are now a parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico and Colorado.

This past Saturday, members of the honorary “Texas Army” staged a re-enactment of the battle, for the benefit of a few thousand spectators.

via Battle of San Jacinto.

This story is told in great detail in the San Jacinto Museum of History, which was established to honor those who fought in the battle, and to re-visualize the history of Texas and the Spanish Southwest.

via San Jacinto Museum of History—Home Page.

San Jacinto Battleground State Park is also the permanent home of the historic Battleship Texas. She was launched in 1912, and fought in both World Wars before she was retired in 1948.

She's the last of the Dreadnoughts, the class of modern battleships that brought naval warfare into the 20th century. She's the only one left in the world.

Many school kids who visit the battleground park say it’s obvious to them why the Texans won the battle. They had a battleship.