SAN ANTONIO, Texas — A piece of history is returning to the Alamo. The famed “Victory or death” letter will go on display at the Alamo beginning Feb. 23.
During the siege of the Alamo 177 years ago, Alamo commander William Barrett Travis wrote a letter that went down in history as he requested aid. “Victory or death,” wrote Travis at the close of his letter on Feb. 24, 1836.
The 13-day battle at the site of the Alamo ended with the Alamo defenders overwhelmed by the Mexican army, and the Alamo being overtaken by the Mexican army. The battle at the Alamo became a rallying cry in Texas' war with Mexico, and Texas' eventual independence from Mexico.
The letter, currently on display in the Texas State Capitol building in Austin, will make its first return to the site where it was written. This piece of history will be displayed Feb. 23 through March 7 in the main hall of the Alamo, coinciding with the anniversary of the battle.
Visitors to the Travis Letter exhibit will receive a full-size color reproduction of the letter.
The arrival ceremony for the letter will be held at 4 p.m. on Feb. 22.
Families who travel to San Antonio to see a piece of American history will have plenty to see in this most-visited city in the Lone Star State. The following are some highlights of a family trip to San Antonio:
Hub of activity
San Antonio's Riverwalk is a bustling row of shops and sights, all along a shallow portion of the San Antonio River on which visitors can take boat rides. Young architect Robert H. Hugman has the first vision for the Riverwalk in 1929; in 1938 the “San Antonio River Beautification Project” allowed for the funds to create the project.
The sidewalks, one story below street level, provide a walking area connecting tourist sites including the Alamo, the Rivercenter Mall, Arneson River Theatre and the San Antonio Museum of Art, among others.
A river runs through it
Trip sponsors Hyatt Regency San Antonio, 123 Losoya, completed a $20 million makeover in October 2011 with a redesigned Regency Ballroom. The Hyatt Regency San Antonio, which opened in Dec. 1981, boasts 629 guest rooms, a fitness center, and more than 40,000 square feet in meeting space. One of the hotel's most impressive features is that the Riverwalk's San Antonio River flows through the 16-floor atrium lobby. In between the Riverwalk and the Alamo, the Hyatt Regency is centrally located for a San Antonio excursion.
A few minutes from the Riverwalk and Alamo rests an 88-year-old park that still packs a nostalgic thrill. Families with young children will enjoy spending some time at Kiddie Park, 3015 Broadway St. The park is a step back in time, with rides including a carousel dating to 1918. The park, which opened in 1925, claims to be the nation's oldest. The park was renovated in 2009. From March 1 to Sept. 1, the park is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. In the offseason, the park is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays through Sundays.