History

Vital Texas Landmarks Road Trip: Learning From Our Past, Part I

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Rich in state pride and overflowing with history, Texas is home to a number of historic sites as well as monuments to events that have helped shape not only this state but the country as well. There are a variety of spots visitors can tour to learn more about what took place, when, and how it affected the course of events going forward. If you’re a history buff, there’s no better place to plan for a road trip to take it all in. Here’s Part I in a series of significant Texas landmarks to tour this summer.

1. The Alamo

Vital Texas Landmarks Road Trip: Learning From Our Past, Part I

Photo: Facebook/Gary P. Nunn

Founded in the 18th century and located in San Antonio, in the Texas Hill Country, the Alamo Mission (commonly referred to as The Alamo) was originally called Misión San Antonio de Valero. This Roman Catholic mission and compound was the site for the 1836 Battle of the Alamo, during the Texas Revolution, and has since been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2. San Jacinto Monument

Vital Texas Landmarks Road Trip: Learning From Our Past, Part I

Photo: Facebook/Bobby Jones

Standing at just over 567 feet in height, the San Jacinto Monument is a column commemorating the Battle of San Jacinto, which was the decisive clash in the Texas Revolution. Located near Houston, along the Houston Ship Channel, it’s top is adorned with a 220-ton star representing the Lone Star State. Built between 1936 and 1939, the monument was dedicated on April 21, 1939, and is recognized as the world’s tallest masonry column. Visitors can take in views of the battleground and the surrounding property (including the USS Texas battleship) from the observation deck, which can be reached via elevator. The San Jacinto Museum of History can be found at the monument’s base, focusing on the state’s history, culture, and heritage, as well as the details of the Battle of San Jacinto.

3. Johnson Space Center

Vital Texas Landmarks Road Trip: Learning From Our Past, Part I

Photo: Facebook/NASA’s Johnson Space Center

The site where human spaceflight research (domestic and international), flight control, and training takes place, the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center is the Manned Spacecraft Center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Situated in Houston, it consists of 100 buildings and is home to NASA’s astronaut corps. Popular for “Mission Control” (from the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Apollo–Soyuz, and Space Shuttle projects), it was constructed between 1962 and 1963. Today it hosts a variety of programs and exhibits through which visitors can learn about the history of space flight and the ongoing growth and development of space discovery programs.