Originally founded in 1718 as the Mission San Antonio de Valero, the Alamo today is remembered and revered as the site of the 1836 Battle of the Alamo. On the morning of March 6, Mexican forces under the command of General Antonio López de Santa Anna attacked and overwhelmed the small force of Texans, killing every defender to a man while sparing just a few women and children noncombatants. The roughly 200 defenders faced a force of perhaps several thousand Mexican troops. Among those who died in the massacre were James Bowie and William B. Travis, the commanders at the Alamo. Also killed was the famous frontiersman and ex-congressman Davy Crockett.

The cruelty and barbarism shown by Santa Anna galvanized Texans and stoked their resolve. The following month, on April 21, 1836, Santa Anna, commanding a force of 1,500 men, was defeated in the Battle of San Jacinto by a force of 800 Texans under the command of General Sam Houston. The battle lasted only 18 minutes. Only nine Texans were killed, while the Mexicans suffered 630 dead and 730 captured. The rallying cry of the Texans: “Remember the Alamo!” Today, the Alamo is completely surrounded by the urban landscape of San Antonio, Texas.