The State of Texas and the City of Houston owe their very existence to the 18-minute battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, during which the Texian Army led by General Sam Houston defeated the Mexican army of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. To commemorate the centennial of the victory, the state built the San Jacinto Monument on the battlefield site. Topped with a 34-foot Lone Star – the symbol of Texas – the 567-foot tall monument is the world's tallest masonry column.
The statue of Gen. Sam Houston in Hermann Park is positioned to point to the San Jacinto battlefield where Houston led the Texas army to victory over the Mexican army 1836. The City of Houston was established a few months later and named in his honor. Houston became the first word from the moon in 1969 when Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong contacted Mission Control to confirm: “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”