Important Dates

in the development of the Park and Monument


1836, April 21: The Texas Army began to moved against the Mexican Army camp at 3:30 in the afternoon for a surprise attack. Victory was achieved in 18 minutes and Texas won her freedom from Mexico. Ultimately almost a million acres were transferred to the United States, an area approximately one-third of the present lower 48 states.

1856: In a meeting at the site by the Texas Veterans Association, a decision was made to erect a monument at the graves of those who fell there.

1883, May: State acquired the first land for the park, the 10 acres around the grave sites.

1891: San Jacinto Chapter, Daughters of the Republic of Texas took up the cause to help to create a historical park and to mark the events of the famous battle.

1894, July 4: A survey committee visited the site and established the battlefield boundaries.

1897, Feb. 17: Houston businessmen and the DRT hosted the Governor & members of the legislature on a tour of the property.

1899: State bought the land where the Texas Army camped and where the Mexican Army camped. The battle was fought in and around the Mexican camp.

1900: State bought additional land, bringing the total to 336 acres representing the actual battle site.

1901, June 4: Tour with J. W. Winter, one of the last five living participants in the battle, and located twelve sites. Marked with 12’ galvanized pipes.

1903: A Board of Trustees established to administer the park, with DRT members as majority participants.

1907: Originally designation as a Park. 17 acres along Buffalo Bayou purchased. A three member San Jacinto State Park Commission and the resident superintendent replaces the Board of Trustees in administering the park .

1909: Tract purchased where the monument sites today.

1910, April 21: Official Opening Day for the San Jacinto State Park. Alfonso Steele, 93, and William Zuber, 89, were surviving members of the Texas Army. Steele was wounded in the battle and Zuber was stationed at the rear guard camp opposite Harrisburg.

1911, July 7: Alfonso Steele, the last remaining soldier to participate in the battle passed away.

1912: Site pipes replaced with neat granite boulders. Now 20 in all, including Vince’s bridge which was outside of the Park boundaries but placed a crucial role in the victory.

1913, September 22: William Zuber, the last remaining member of the Texas Army in the San Jacinto campaign passed away.

1930: Started planting trees along the road from the La Porte Road.

1936, March: Landscaping and building program began. Monument built 1936-39 for $1.5 million. Ground breaking ceremony was on April 21. Height to top of the star, 570’, making it the highest monument in the United States. The San Jacinto Monument stands 20 feet taller than the Washington Monument. Viewing windows just below the Star are 489’ above the battlefield.

1938: San Jacinto Museum of History chartered.

1939, April 21: Dedication of the San Jacinto Monument.

1940, April 21: Dedication by the DRT of a giant $5,000 bronze sundial dedicated to the nine who gave their lives for Texas freedom.

1948: U. S. S. Texas (built 1914) placed in permanent moor at the Park.

1963: The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department was created by the merger of the State Park Board and the Texas Game & Fish Commission.

1965: Park Commission abolished and duties transferred to TPWD. The San Jacinto Historical Advisory Board was created to work with the TPWD at the San Jacinto State Park.

1983: Museum renovated at a cost over $1 million.

1986, April 21: Replica "Twin Sisters" cannons were presented at the Sesquicentennial Celebration.

1988: U. S. S. Texas began extensive restoration.

1990: San Jacinto State Historical Park now contains approximately 1,000 acres. The 160 seat Jesse H. Jones Theater for Texas Studies opened in October in the San Jacinto Monument with the program, "Texas Forever!! The Battle of San Jacinto."

1998-2002: Enhancement period for Park/Monument improvement. $45-67 million. The new master plan will change the character of the park from a commemorative facility to a state-of-the-art educational experience.

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