Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

WASHINGTON, April 17 -

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Mr. Speaker, as we approach April 21 this year, that is a day of importance to those of us who are from Texas.

   April 21, in Houston, when I was growing up, was a holiday. My mother, who was also born on April 21, used to tell me and my sister that we had a school holiday because it was her birthday. I didn't learn that that wasn't really correct until I got to seventh grade Texas history, when I learned that April 21 was to commemorate a battle that took place in Texas, which we now call San Jacinto Day.

   Most Americans have never heard of that, but that event, April 21, 1836, is of historical significance, not only to Texans, but really to all Americans.

   Texas was first controlled by the nation of France up until 1689. And then the Spanish Government, country, took over the control of what we now call Texas and controlled it for over 130 years until 1821--1690 to 1821.

   The nation of Mexico revolted against Spanish oppression, and in 1821 became a republic of itself, and Texas belonged to Mexico until 1836. Texas declared independence on March 2, 1836. And then we had April 21, 1836, the day of the Battle of San Jacinto.

   Well, let me back up a little bit and explain why Texas revolted against Mexico, how it became an independent country for 9 years and then later joined the United States.

   Mr. Speaker, here is a map of what Mexico looked like in about 1821 after Mexico had revolted from Spain. It all happened because of the person who took charge of Mexico. His name was Santa Anna.

   Santa Anna became President of Mexico in the 1820s and quickly made himself dictator of Mexico. He was supported by the military. He became the military dictator. He abolished the constitution of Mexico. He abolished the Congress of Mexico, and not all of the people in Mexico approved it. In fact, 11 different states in Mexico revolted against this dictatorship.

   A lot of times in Mexican or world history, we don't talk about the other revolts in Mexico because of this dictator, because of this tyrant, but it did happen. Eleven states revolted. Those are on this map.

   This map shows what Mexico looked like in 1821. The red portions are several of the states that revolted against the dictator, Santa Anna. They were: San Luis Potosi, Queretaro, Durango, Guanajuato, Michoacan, Yucatan, Jalisco, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, and Coahuila de Tejas, which also included Texas. These red areas revolted against Mexican rule.

   Santa Anna, being President and Comman