The Alamo: Davey Crockett and the coonskin hat. If this is all you know about the Alamo, then this quiz is not for you! On the other hand, do you know the history of Texas? Did you love the 1960 film, "The Alamo"? Test your Texan knowledge and take this quiz!
Known as the "King of the Wild Frontier," David "Davy" Crockett is arguably the most famous folk hero to come out of the Battle of the Alamo. Crockett was a nemesis to President Andrew Jackson and opposed him on such policies as the Indian Removal Act. During his lifetime, stage plays were written and performed about his life. Crockett died during the Battle of the Alamo, but he lived on in popular culture through movies and television shows about his life.
San Antonio not only housed the mission, but it was also a center of commerce. At one point it was even considered the capital of Texas. The city would be witness to two battles during the Texas Revolution - the Battle of the Alamo and the Siege and Battle of Bexar.
The Alamo was a former Franciscan mission, located near present-day San Antonio. During the Texas war for independence from Mexico, the Alamo was used as a fort by a group of Texan volunteer soldiers.
Spanish settlers were responsible for building the Mission San Antonio de Valero, which was named for St. Anthony of Padua and the Marquis de Valero. It remained a mission for roughly 70 years.
During the early 1800s, Spanish military troops began occupying the former mission. The mission was located next to a grove of cottonwood trees. "El Alamo" is the word for cottonwood in Spanish and was also used to refer to the mission in honor of the military's hometown of Alamo de Parras, Mexico.
The Texas war for independence from Mexico began on October 2, 1835. Trouble between American settlers in Texas and the Mexican government had been brewing as the population of Americans grew. In October 1835, hostilities erupted and the war began.
Texian was the term used to refer to residents living in Mexico-controlled Texas. After the annexation of Texas by the U.S. in 1845, residents living in the U.S. state of Texas became known as Texans.
In February, four months after the start of the battle, the Mexican army arrived in Texas. Led by Santa Anna, the army marched to retake the Alamo. Interestingly, Santa Anna served as the president of Mexico eleven different times.
Santa Anna was the most prominent Mexican politician and general of his time. Santa Anna vowed to retake Texas to avenge Mexico’s honor. He was ruthless, ordering that any survivors be immediately executed.
William B. Travis became the leader of the Texian resistance when Colonel Bowie collapsed from illness. He then wrote the famous letter, “To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World,” which played an integral role in Americans volunteering to fight for Texas.
Despite being incredibly outnumbered, the Texians were able to hold the Alamo for 13 days. According to legend, William Travis drew a line in the sand on March 4, urging men who wanted to stay and fight to cross that line.
David “Davy” Crockett, an American folk hero, died fighting out in the open and unprotected except for a few of his remaining men. He died on the battlefield at age 49.
In just 90 minutes, the Mexican forces took down the Texians and took the Alamo. All involved in the battle were killed or taken prisoner, only to be executed.
Immediately after the battle, the members of the Republic of Texas, the army and much of the civilian population escaped eastward.
The cruelty led by Santa Anna that ensued after the defeat at the Alamo, as well as the bravery of the men who defended the Alamo, led many more Texians and Americans to volunteer for the Texan cause. The new volunteers would help lead the Texans to victory on April 21, 1836, against the Mexicans.
During the battle that took place on April 21, 1836, the Texan forces were heard screaming, “Remember the Alamo!” This battle cry helped the Texan army of 900 men defeat the Mexican army of 1,300 men.
Sam Houston thought that holding the city of San Antonio was a waste of time. He sent Jim Bowie to the Alamo to destroy it, but Bowie had other ideas. Instead, Bowie and his men ignored orders and hid out behind the fort’s defenses.
Santa Anna was captured during the last battle San Jacinto. After his captivity with the Texan rebels, Santa Anna returned to Mexico, where he became the head of the Mexican government several more times. Years after he was overthrown for the last time, he died in poverty at the age of 82.
Andrew Jackson was the 7th president in office. He began his term in 1829 and remained until 1837.
Sam Houston was the governor of Tennessee before moving to Texas in 1832. Once in Texas, Houston joined the conflict between American Texans and the local Mexican government. In 1835, Houston became the Commander-in-Chief of the Texas Army.
William Travis was an American lawyer and soldier. At the age of 26, he became a lieutenant colonel in the Texas Army. He died in the Battle of the Alamo and is most famous for the letter he wrote from the Alamo entitled, “To the People of Texas & all Americans in the World.” In the now-famous letter, said he would, “never surrender or retreat.”
The Texas Declaration of Independence was signed on March 2, 1836, and the Republic of Texas was declared independent. The men fighting to defend the Alamo were not aware of what was happening.
The Battle of the Alamo is remembered largely because of the brave men that stayed to fight when the odds were not in their favor. William Travis, aware of the fact that they were outnumbered and that relief might not come, told his troops that they were free to leave. Instead, the troops chose to stay and fight bravely alongside their commander.
After the Mexican defeat at the battle, the captured Santa Anna and the Republic of Texas signed the Peace Treaty of Velasco. The Mexican army was forced to cross the Rio Grande, back into Mexico.
Most Tejanos were loyal to the Texans. After the Battle of the Alamo, Santa Anna had all survivors executed, including Tejanos.
John Wayne directed, produced and starred in the 1960 film, "The Alamo." John Wayne portrayed Davy Crockett alongside costars Richard Widmark as Jim Bowie and Lawrence Harvey as William B. Travis.
No one knows for sure if Crockett wore a coonskin hat, but Hollywood's portrayals of the character have always included this iconic hat. Family members and claims from some of the few survivors of the Alamo, describe Crocket as wearing buckskins and a coonskin cap.
Although there is some controversy surrounding the number, there were thought to be 15 survivors. Most of the survivors were women, children, servants and slaves.
English-speaking Texans refused to speak Spanish. Mexican residents were Catholic, while American Texans were not. American Texans also did not agree with Mexico's judicial system, which followed the idea that men are "guilty until proven innocent" versus the American belief that men are "innocent until proven guilty." And finally, Mexicans opposed slavery, whereas American's believed slavery was a way of life. These three reasons just skim the surface of a long list of differences that contributed to the revolution.
March 2017 marked the 181st anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo. The occasion was celebrated at the Alamo with a Fiddle Fest, a living history event, the "Bowie: Man-Knife-Legend" exhibit, a ceremony at dusk, and a 5K run in Austin, Texas.