Although some people think of the Alamo as a fort, it was actually constructed to be a Catholic mission to house missionaries and their Indian converts. This mission became the basis for the town of San Antonio. It was renamed the Alamo, a Spanish word that means "cottonwood," by Spanish cavalry who were stationed there in the early 1800s. Over the next decades, the Alamo was the sight of several battles in the struggle for Mexican independence and the Texas Revolution, including the famous siege of 1836 that involved Jim Bowie and Davey Crockett. Because of this famous battle, the Alamo has become symbolic of Texas's struggle for independence, and "remember the Alamo" remains a rallying cry for Texans today.
Dealey Plaza Historic District
If the Alamo is one of the proudest periods of Texas history, then the assassination of John F. Kennedy is the darkest. The 35th president of the United States was assassinated in the middle of a parade as his car passed Dealey Plaza. Today, the plaza remains a memorial to the president and the mystery surrounding his assassination. However, the plaza is also the site of the first settlements in what would later become Dallas. Dealey Plaza is named in honor of G.B. Dealey, the publisher of The Dallas Morning News, who crusaded to redevelop the downtown area. This area was subsequently renamed Dealey plaza in his honor. Since the Kennedy assassination, citizens of Dallas have attempted to keep the plaza in the same condition as it was in 1963.
Originally to be named the Cabot, the USS Lexington was renamed as it was being built to commemorate a previous USS Lexington that was sunk in 1942. The ship was launched in 1943 and was active in the Pacific Theater during World War II. She was called "The Blue Ghost" because she was the only ship carrier not to wear camouflage. This was partially to demoralize the Japanese; since the ship was so heavily guarded, she was practically unsinkable. The ship was the last wooden-decked aircraft to serve in the U.S. Navy. The USS Lexington now serves as a museum near Corpus Christi, Texas.