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  • A Vlog by Jeff Epps

Heritage Travel Campaign-Part 19 (Fort Worth Stockyards & The Alamo)

Part 19 of my "Heritage" travel campaign.

I left Dallas and headed westbound toward Fort Worth, which is only about 32 miles and a 33-minute drive. It was a straight shot with no problems, since the two cities are adjacent to each other and are both part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

I was able to meet up with another old friend from college (SFA) and she was going to show me around one of Texas' most cherished tourist attractions, the Forth Worth Stockyards, officially known as the Forth Worth Stockyards Historic District. I was in for a real surprise and a heavy dose of true Texas.

We started off with some wine tasting at Cowtown Winery, had Rattlesnake for dinner at Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, did a little bar-hoppin' and then finished off the night at legendary Billy Bob's Texas, where we scored FREE tickets to see Luke Bryan, live and in person.

The Forth Worth Stockyards is a MUST if you're ever in Texas!! The next morning I drove south toward San Antonio via I-35, about a 4-hour drive through the Texas Hill Country, and enjoyed every bit of the beautiful scenery. My destination was the Alamo.

The Alamo in San Antonio, which was originally called, "Mission San Antonio de Valero," was an old Spanish mission that was established in 1718 by Spanish friars, to convert local Indians to Christianity. Construction of the modern-day Alamo complex began on May 8th, 1744. The Alamo was never fully completed, but was used as a church until 1793. The U.S. Army finished the reconstruction and completion of the Alamo in 1850.

The Alamo was purchased by the state of Texas in 1905, and was later given to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, who still today maintain it as a public shrine and monument to honor the heroes of the Texas Revolution and the founding fathers of the Republic of Texas.

The Battle of the Alamo took place from February 23rd to March 6th, 1836, during a 13-day siege between Mexican President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's 2,000-strong army and about 300 Texian Alamo occupiers. The battle included legendary names such as Davy Crockett, James (Jim) Bowie, and William B. Travis. Although almost all of the defenders of the Alamo were killed, about three people survived to tell the tale, and the defenders were able to kill and wound between 400 to 600 Mexican troops.

The purpose of the Battle of the Alamo was to slow down Santa Anna's advance into Texas, so that Sam Houston could round up more men and defeat him, which is what happened about a month and half later at the Battle of San Jacinto, a battle that lasted about 18 minutes and came with the surrender of Santa Anna and the birth of the Repubic of Texas.

In other words, the Battle of the Alamo was a sacrifice.

Texas was a sovereign nation for about 10 years, from 1836 to 1845, known as the Republic of Texas, and was annexed into the United States as the 28th state of the Union on December 29th, 1845. The site of the Alamo offers educational resources for the entire family. Another tourist attraction in San Antonio worth seeing, that I didn't see on this visit, is the San Antonio River Walk (especially around Christmas).

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