Mr. Speaker, in the marshy plains where the San Jacinto River meets Buffalo Bayou, now near Houston, General Sam Houston and his volunteer Army of Texians—men from most States and several countries, including Mexico, England, and Germany—faced the invading army under dictator Santa Anna of Mexico.

Texas was fighting for independence from Mexico because Mexico had abolished its democracy and became an oppressive dictatorship. It was the afternoon of April 21, 1836—180 years ago today.

The Texian volunteers, although outnumbered 2–1, caught the enemy literally by surprise. On that hot afternoon, General Sam, with his Tejano Cavalry protecting the flank, charged the invaders with the battle cry: Remember the Alamo. Remember Goliad.

In 18 minutes, the battle was over. Half of the enemy were killed, and the other half were captured. On that day, Texas gained freedom and independence. Sam Houston became President of the Republic of Texas.

Texas was an independent country for 9 years and then joined the United States. Mr. Speaker, our past has allowed us to have today’s freedom. We thank those Texian freedom fighters, on April 21, 1836, San Jacinto Day, for their bold sacrifices, for choosing freedom over tyranny and creating Texas.

And that is just the way it is.