Since 1987 the San Antonio Living History Association (SALHA) has presented historical presentations in Alamo Plaza and other historical sites in San Antonio and Texas. SALHA continuing its community service and outreach until 2011 when the City Council approved an ordinance authorizing SALHA to offer free monthly “Alamo Plaza Heritage Interpretation” programs and events for residents, students and visitors to that historic site. That City ordinance recognized the many years of SALHA dedication toward enhancing the visitor experience in Alamo Plaza with its educational and heritage interpretation activities.
Programs and Events Developed and Presented between 1987 and 2019
- “Visits to the Past”© were monthly interactive programs with members in historical clothing, historical walking tours, demonstrations of period skills, diverse interpretive programs, and exhibits featuring early arms, tools and accoutrements.
- The “Beginning of the Alamo Siege”© Audiences heard General Santa Anna’s demand for a Texian surrender, their parley, and then witnessed the Alamo defenders’ response as they experienced the opening salvos of the siege leading up to the battle of the Alamo. Enjoy historical music, dance, hands-on skills of period crafts, a kid’s marching drill, flintlock and cannon demonstrations and interactive family activities.
- The “Dawn at the Alamo”© – SALHA members, joined by re-enactors from across the U.S. in Alamo Plaza, represent both armies and recognize the sacrifices made by both sides of the Alamo conflict on March 6,1836. Thirteen candles are lit to symbolize the 13-day Alamo siege and battle. The commemorative ceremony remembers the Alamo with a historical narrative, eyewitness accounts, a reconciliation peace prayer, flintlock musket salute volleys, with presentations of commemorative wreaths completing the solemn event. The free hour-long event begins during the Alamo battle hour that begins in darkness and ends in early morning light. Floral wreaths are welcomed from Alamo descendants, historical organizations, students and heritage visitors.
- The “Remembering The Alamo!” Weekend© events draw living history reenactors from across Texas and the United States who annually traveled to Alamo Plaza to participate in the Alamo Plaza reenactments and SALHA-sponsored programs. Traditionally the Weekend© features interactive demonstrations of Alamo era flintlock muskets, rifles and cannon as well as living history vignettes.“For God and Texas! ¡Diós y Libertad! was the live-action reenactment story of the siege and battle of the Alamo that highlights the event day. With narration, black powder cannon, flintlock rifles, and military muskets firing simultaneously, the Mexican forces attack the Texian and Tejano garrison defending the Alamo, as audiences experience the sights and sounds of that historical event.The “Remembering The Alamo!” Weekend© reenactment also featured a historical Mexican Banda de Guerra with drums and bugles playing original military marches and attack orders not heard in Alamo Plaza since 1836. The reenactment narration guided audiences through the battle up to the final furious assault ending in a historical moment frozen in time with the first clashing contact of the battle. Witnessing audiences feel the impact of that conflict as they experience their own living history flash-backs with the sights and sounds of the SALHA Alamo battle reenactments. After each “Remembering The Alamo!” Weekend© excited visitors returned home from attending the San Antonio Living History Association presentations knowing that they would always “Remember The Alamo!” Many made annual plans to return in March to Alamo Plaza to commemorate the next March 6th anniversary of the most famous battle in Texas history.
- The Battle of Béjar (Dec. 5-9, 1835) and The Capitulation of General Cos (Dec. 11, 1835) were presented by the San Antonio Living History Association in Maverick Plaza and at the historic Cos House in La Villita. The SALHA event includes living history reenactments, a historical walking tour of La Villita, San Antonio’s historic arts center, plus early foods and skills demonstrations and the capitulation signing at the historic Cos House. This free annual event is hosted by the City of San Antonio’s Department for Downtown Operations & Creative Development.