Almanac: "Remember the Alamo!"


On February 23, 1836, as Texians fought for independence from Mexico, the forces of General Santa Anna laid siege to the Alamo mission in San Antonio.

CBS News

On February 23, 1836, Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna's forces laid siege to the Alamo in San Antonio.

Armed supporters of Texian independence from Mexico, legendary frontiersman Davy Crockett among them, had recently seized the former religious mission. Vastly outnumbered, the defenders held out for 13 days before being overwhelmed and slaughtered on March 6.

"Remember the Alamo" immediately became the battle cry of the Texas revolution ... which led to a decisive victory just a few weeks later.

Since then, the story of Davy Crockett and the Alamo has proved irresistible to moviemakers ...

From the 1950s Disney version with Fess Parker ...

Last stand at the Alamo- Davy Crockett at the Alamo by Heroteam 598 on YouTube

To the 1960 movie with John Wayne ...

The Alamo (1960)- The final attack by Heroteam 598 on YouTube

To the 2004 remake with Billy Bob Thornton.

The Alamo (2004 movie clip) The last stand by Big Daddy on YouTube

But the Alamo story is not without controversy. Many historians regard the decision to stand and fight a reckless one, made against the orders of the principal Texan commander, Sam Houston.

Still, in 2018 the Texas State Board of Education rejected calls from educators and historians who wanted to change school textbooks which referred to the Alamo defenders as "heroic."

Heroic or foolhardy, the story of the Alamo lives on, and attracts more than one-and-a-half million visitors every year.

Remember the Alamo, indeed.

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Story produced by Robert Marston.