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tv   Sam Houston and the Texas Fight for Freedom  FOX News  December 31, 2019 11:00pm-12:00am PST

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>> god bless you all tonight god bless america. 60 years later there would be another revolution that happene right here in the state of the odds of success, but spectacular victory is just as impressive. to this point, not as widely known. that's about to change is we bring you same houston and the texas fight for freedom. >> the alamo isn't just a battle, it's a myth. but it's a good myth. it's about brave people making a sacrifice for something they thought was important. leading a rallying cry for the rest of the world. >> he is a guy looking for a second chance here in texas.
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he has had a colorful past. he has been the governor of tennessee. he's got military experience with the u.s. army. he was an officer. >> houston wanted to preserve himself in texas for a better day. [indiscernible] >> sam houston honorably led and started the process of the texas republic. ♪ >> welcome to san antonio, texas.
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behind your famous building. that is the church inside the alamo were famous battle took place. we will talk about this battle in a way in which you never heard before. before we do that, i want to flashback. flashback to what texas was like in 1820 when moses austin started bringing americans right here. >> what brought americans to texas in 1820? what was the attraction? >> people we're on the move in they're on the move because there's opportunity and there's also hardships to escape. what texas offers is both of those. you come to texas because the opportunity is the land and at that time, land is livelihood. if you don't have land, you can't make them many people think of texas as being west texas. we're its rough terrain, but each texas was a garden ofen hardwood forest and great easy palling. they didn't have a lot of mexicans wanted to do that. so it became free lotteries.
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moses austin had this idea that -- to start bringing americans this way to deal with the spanish. what he's offering the spanish the opportunity is we can bring you the people that will turn this from a wilderness into a productive area no longer a frontier. the spanish had been trying for years to establish communities. >> the comanches and the apaches, they said, look, we have to have somebody in mexico live there. and they had the deal to bring in the americans who come down to texas we will give you free land, no taxes for ten years but you have to turn catholic. people started migrating into texas. people we're calling it a new
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eden. >> you may be coming to the united states, but you're going to become spanish. when transition comes to mexico you're going to be good mexicans, you're going to obey the law, support the government you're not going to cause trouble. >> many people drifted in from tennessee and kentucky. and they started getting their own identities. moses never made it to texas. his son starts moving hundreds of thousands of southerners into the state of texas. the first 300 families are given property. what happens here, colonization changes texas. and it changes it physically because you have crops being grown that weren't being grown before. they have plantation and farming. you're dealing with the first-generation texans of the stephen austin group that had to have guns, had to protect their homestead, that had to be very worried about comanche attacks and marauders and slaughter, so
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they formed a fierce identity and sense of community in texas that started growing. >> the culture begins to change and especially in east texas because there hasn't been very many spaniards or mexicans they -- there., >> by 1830, four out of every five people living in texas we're from america it was becoming less and less mexican stronghold. >> they were happy because they were on their own. >> led by mexico antonio lópez {l1}de{l0} santa anna and there's independence from spain. santa anna now sought to destroy texas quest to find independence themselves. these guys we're on their own and ready to fight.ow >> the idea of liberty is very important. what they mean by liberty is
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what had come out of the american revolution and such is that liberty to have input into our government, and so what they are saying is we are no longer giving consent for what the changes that are happening. santa anna and that supportersre they are abolishing statehood and so texas, which had wanted to be estate, there are no states anymore and your officials will be appointed from mexico city.nd that is happening to all mexican states. >> stephen austin went to mexico city and pleaded for independence, short of war and they put him in jail because heat they intercepted a letter he sent talking about. he became one of a number of texas patriots demanding independence. >> a series of revolts and with it the ruthless santa anna suppressed them brutally. his goal was to use suppress the
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uprising. to get to texas he slowly, creatively builds his army. >> santa ana was marketing himself as the hole in the west. he was murderous, he encouraged troops to commit.ou he didn't have a great code of honor about him. he was a ruthless dictatorial leader. he decided i'm not going to be known for giving away territory in northern mexico so i'd rather defeat the texans and claim modern-day texas then make a negotiating settlement. >> when we come back, why this group of texans that included davy crockett felt they had no choice but to fight, literally to the death for their c independence and how the mexican army led by santa anna responded. the mexican army led by santa ana responded. ♪ ♪
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>> the fight begins. in the early 1830s texas happened to be an independent state in mexico. that changed when general santa anna took power. he immediately shelved liberty,c which was the cue for the company to break away. annexation to the u.s.
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government not really in the cards, even though now president andrew jackson and former president thomas jefferson were convinced texas came along with the louisiana purchase. these guys we're on their own and they were ready to fight. and they were ready to fight. early on too, they had nothing but success. >> would you think the truth is? was texas actually in the louisiana purchase? >> it's a great question. i think the argument was jackson made it could be part of the louisiana purchase is as he gave that what is clear is anybody that served under andrew jackson and looked up to i jackson, even people that challenged him like davy crockett did in tennessee and criticized jackson, many of them felt it should be part of the u.s. because of the purchase. >> why didn't america just take it? mexico was just getting on their feet. america didn't want to fight another war. >> america was trying to fight not to fight another war.
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there was the feeling of the future of america, we weren't looking so much to go westward in the manifestation of be to -- >> the buy around the time of 1830s the western movement was starting to kick it in with people that moved to tennessee and now further westford this was before the gold rush in california. in the 1830s,, get into texas getting the big spread of having the farm, this wasas considereda great move to make. don't forget, along the louisiana border and texas were some of the great timberland in north america. in that industry you can make a fortune on raw resources down there. it started becoming very attractive. p >> when stephen austin gets out of prison, he realizes the best thing he can do is to fight and become independent from mexico. >> they were in rebellion at the
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same time. he brutally suppressed by -- they work were in rebellion at the same time. >> how does the mexican government become aware that this date was beginning to break away?th >> i think the big moment was in san antonio when they started texans over the alamo that there they are fortifying it. >> a lot of freshwater system loopholes. it's not bad living around the hill country of texas. the idea is who controls san antonio you control that whole part of texas. santa anna thought they could control the area around modern-day houston and galveston, but they had to make an road that far up into san antonio and once we started having colonel travis and james buie, they are at the alamo, he is running the volunteers people
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who want to stay there. they wanted to restore a brother-in-law was the commander. the texans captured the fort in 1835 great it was a bit of retribution and pride that shows him coming that way. instead of coming the other route. he would have been able to bypass the alamo, arrived khmer reinforced the line. >> santa anna moves north, his goal, simple, take his 2,000 troops and crush the rebellion. the texas rebellion had a lot of previous success. c >> sometime success is your undoing because it's what we want and many start leaving because we won the war.
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they hadn't. plus they had different people. sam houston is one of them. this is what we should do, we should take our troops and this is my plan. there is so much infighting tha nothing is getting done. >> after the alamo is taken andr he is ousted, he's released with the promise to not fight again, but that promise is ignored. with forces on the arriving, sae houston gives orders to no longer hold the alamo recognizing it would be wise. but travis, foley, and crockett decide otherwise. >> they are holding it because of the town. that's the part that often gets left out. the alamo is important, but it's important because oftl where it is. the town of behar has to battle spots there. one that's in december of 1835 where the texans capture it, and then it sets up sort of a logic where if rebels attached to something, the government has to recapture it.
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>> they say go in, and tell these guys to move out. davy crockett and others are fortified. >> they feel pretty good about it. they feel pretty safe. when buie gets there, he looks around and says this place isbu pretty secure. i will stay, i will fight with you guys. >> what he says, we've decided we would rather die in these ditches than give it up to the enemy. >> the reason we fought was to end tyranny by a tyrant who really wasn't representative of the mexican people. he was a tyrant.of >> santa anna's philosophy was we kill everybody because he thought you make a big example. if you want to rise up against mexico, this is what will happen to you. under carnage. >> to the surprise of many, the texas army although outnumbered and unorganized would take over the alamo mission. bad news was up north, general santa anna in 2,000 troops, he wanted to stomp out this revolution before it
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could take root. his first stop, the alamo. we pick up the fight when we come back. this is sam houston and the texas fight for freedom. ton and texas fight for freedom. (janine) i used to be a little cranky.
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>> secretary of defense lead -- releasing a statement earlier. at the direction of president trump, the us is the play soldiers to that region immediately. president trump addressing the attack last night saying they would never let left turn into benghazi. thousands brain and the new yea and the new decade in times square. 3,000 pounds of confetti descended onto the crowned as the ball dropped at midnight. monitoring the crowd with more than 1,000 security cameras, police helicopters and drones. now back to this special.
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we've had -- general you pick the right guy to come in here. santa anna was coming. heec was getting the orders and changed his mind. >> a pleasure to be here. >> i know you love the alamo. what about your connection to the alamo? >> when i was a kid, davy crockett, walt disney show came out. john wayne's movie came out. beyond that, the alamo is something different, it's not just a battle, it's a myth, but it's a good myth. it's about brave people making a
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sacrifice for something they felt was important. >> two great commanders, jim buie and william travis. what were they like?wh >> travis was that young man, he was headstrong and he was courageous. really was a slave trader, but he also was a charismatic leader. >> he was with his own right of his brother, regrading the buie night in louisiana. he was known as crocodile alameda, a tough kind of character out of the value. they decided to dig in their heels and its freedom or death. we are going to make our stand here. it was the second american revolution in their mind. >> show us what they were up against. we brought the overhead shots of what it looks like today.p >> the first thing is to thinkot about we see the chapel and we think that's the alamo, actually the alamo was a pretty big if you start with where the
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chapel is here, the actual alamo went much further. all the way out and down and then up like this. this was even further out. this would've been that wall, so when we'd think about walking or standing in the middle of the compound. how many would you need to fully defend it? >> i think you would need five or 600 to fully defend it.ld >> most of the defenders in the alamo are using rifles, which are slower to load than a musket. if you're standing on the wall and not many people around you but then there is this period of nothing happening. the reality is you need more people on the wall to keep up the kind of fire that might keep the mexicans. >> it's kind of like the cascade effect. f as the mexican troops rolled up
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and they're in uniform, they haven't been trained. what do they have? >> they have got this commitment. suddenly you put a bunch of together into an ad hoc defense and asked them to defend something like a military force. >> general, they really felt good early on. they had the canon when the flag went up and they asked for surrender, how did travis answer?en >> with a cannon shot. >> it would be the wall here at shooting down in toward the mexican forces. it was an act of bravado, and it was something that said we're not going to back up. at that point they thought they would be reinforced. the idea that if they could be strong enough and if they could keep the mexicans from bringing up their full force and massing they would get reinforced and the problem would not be fatal. >> where were the mexican troops, how far away are they? >> gunshot range. probably a mile away.
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their cannons were even closer. >> those troops come up and travis has had reinforcements. they live on forever. it decided not to leave, so he is decided not to make what would be a heroic stance. as you talk about time, the texans are here and as the mexicans arrive you have 13 days of the standoff. not a daily site, not a tax on the walls, but standoff. during those 13 days, the mexicans are getting stronger. they are bringing more forces. in the people inside are getting tired. >> it encourages something different and every person. most people are not courageous alone. you get courage from the people you're around. if the people you're around show optimism, if they show steadfastness, it's contagious.
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you don't want to let your comrades down. they have the courage to stay for the volunteers. even though he has to be in bed a lot and he can't walk -- from what only a handball had ever been in a fight before. now they are here and they are about to face the unknown. they are led to believe though probably be killed and they make this extraordinary decision. commitment to each other to stand. on the 13th day of the siege the full force of the mexican army attacks the alamo in the early mornings of march 6. they interact in the rear end down on the south as well. travis is down so it now the commander is down.
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luis is not able to get orders. they're were probably 187 separate battles fought in this compound. b mostly people could only see or hear the people very close to them. so the people in the north wall are fighting against. they have no idea what's happening on the south wall. suddenly, each person is finding their own courage in small groups while making their own stand. a series of small engagements that add up to the battle of the
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alamo. >> the mexican army takes the alamo, executing the captured soldiers including davy crockett. >> davy crockett was a very serious person. he had become a folk legend. some people think he was the original american western hero. he felt like a peacock which has put another feather in his back. he misread the victory. the truth is they may have gotten slaughtered. >> the slain bodies of the texas army are piled up and burned. it's supposed to intimidate sam houston's forces, it didn't. >> it backfired completely. the story that trickled out of the alamo was the whole heartedness of the destruction. the word that spread out of the alamo.wh the word that spread the two. [indiscernible] >> by showing up bloodthirsty brutality, santa and i had hoped to intimidate the texans to given up the fight.
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how some houston had to overcome being outgunned and outmanned when we returned. when we come back to sam houston and the texas fight for freedom. 1836, weeks after the alamo massacre, the battle flashes here. what happened to the real men of america?
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boost testosterone to fuel desire and build lean muscle in the gym. plus burn fat and improve performance. now available at retailers nationwide. he welcome back to cm houston and welcome back to sam houston in the texas fight for freedom. 1836, weeks after the alamo massacre, the battle flashes here. to this fort behind me were 400 men led by jim fanon knew they were about to be engaged. k it's an engagement that sam houston never wanted to see happen. once again, his orders were not heeded. >> scott mcmahon, where are we standing? >> we are standing in the northwest bastion. >> unlike the alamo, elliott was a fort, it was supposed to beic a fort.
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i look around and i feel like i'm in a forge brickey it was the only solid fort that existed. >> how many troops were here? >> around 400 give or take. >> when the alamo is under siege, why did they reach to gee it was ely garrison that existed beyond the alamo. only 90 miles away so you can make it that distance. >> they had 200 troops, in charge, colonel james fanon. tell me about him. >> he had a little bit of experience at west point. his real experience was with the georgia militia. he had fought in a couple of battles with buoy and a couple of the other notables from the texas revolution. >> so when he came out and said he wants to go, what happens? he said crossing over the river they had some issues with some of the wagons breaking down. they have oxen pulling carts. their feisty animals that move slow. they decide it's not going to work.
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they're won't be able to make it up there in time to help so they turn around. >> so what do sam houston told jim fanon and company to do? >> around the tenth of march or so they receive a letter from houston that says gather up all your forces and head east and join up with me. by that point garrison knows the alamo has fallen. the texans realize it's time to gather up the forces that they have and consolidate. >> fanon received word that a company of his men are pinnedmp down by general urea of mexico.o he sends reinforcements to extricate the men back to gilly at. r but the men would not make the return trip. >> art of the men that we'reer there were killed, the other part of the men break off across the prairie headed back towards victoria. what slows down fanon as he doesn't know what's going on. >> so he has two contingents down, doesn't find out what happen. communication is terrible. he doesn't know what to do. he finally decides i have an idea. i think i'm going to leave.
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this is a fortress, it still stands hundreds of years later, so i'm wondering would he have been better off staying? get the problem with any of the fortifications is once you dig in and one spot, you could be surrounded fairly easily. >> he travels about 8 miles to the river where he surrounded by the mexican army. dug in and ready to fight, he's told by the general that he can return to goliad where he and his men will be saved, prisoners of war. this turned out to be a lie. the men are marched and executed. a few would escape to tell their story. >> they don't just kill the menn they don't let them onto their feet, they're holed up in the church right here in the fourth. the broken up into three groups. the other two groups are told they're going to be collecting wood and water so they can cook and clean with it. they're marched about a mile g outside of the walls of the fort, they're halted, the mexican soldiers step up to one side of the texans, turn on them, level their muskets fire into them.
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>> they shoot them at point-blank range in cold blood. on this property or close to this is a memorial memorial. can we take a look? >> they were burned after they were massacred, just like they had done at the alamo. the alamo had dry wood for the funeral pyre is. they had greenwood here, the fire didn't construct completely burned the they buried them where today th monument stands. >> as we get closer, we see two cannons on each side. it's not only symbolic that they're being protected, but the eggs date back to the battle.e >> it's hard to believe. >> it's the final resting place here in the story we tell their at the fourth. it's basically their their memorial, their marker. >> this date of the texas
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revolution was dire. weeks earlier most of the alamo, sam houston new winner lose his next battle would be his last, forcing him to make his most controversial decision to date. this cm houston and the fight for freedom, that decision and much more. the fight for freedom, that decision and much more.
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>> april 16, 1836, sam houston and his texas army was just about here, in front of that very tree. famously now known as the which way tree, he looked at the limbs and said i could go through that women i could go to the american border right get more troops and maybe rest my guys, or you can make this decision follow that limb and o to see engines until where he knew santa anna and has mexican army would be waiting. after much deliberation, sam houston decided to finally fight. >> the place of the first and only time that santa anna and sam houston will square off. this is the battlefield. who better to take me through this battle than stephen mooreth the author of taking, texas rising in 18 missed. 18 minutes is the name of your
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book, why 18 minutes?wh that's how long it took for the texans to overwhelm and surprise the mexican army. it went on for another two hours, but 18 minutes was the time it took to achieve total victory. it>> the group they got annihilated at the alamo, got massacred at goliad, takes 18 minutes to defeat santa anna right here brickey they achieve the ultimate surprise, its most lopsided surprise in american history. >> we have the scale model of what we're seeing. the mexicans are over there. so they are sitting there and they are kind of undercover. >> a lot of big oaks and moss hanging from the trees. >> 2,000 guys? >> more than 1500 guys plus. >> and then you have sam houston. how many do they have. >> 937 by my best count. >> we are in the midsection. this is where you get the slight rise in the hill.
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this helps them as they are coming across as camp and you also have this would line. >> how shocked are they as they get closer and closer and they're not being shot at. >> they're expecting the artillery to open up any minute. they are waiting and it never happens. >> where is sam houston that? >> he is at that center up the field on is that unusual for the leader to be in front like that part. >> he's been in battle, he's not afraid of battle, he's been wounded before. >> he knows you need courage but you need to be smart. when he was blindly showing courage and valor, he wass getting arrows in the lake and musket balls in the arm. he gets a horse shut out from underneath him and then he get shot in the leg. >> he gets to have them shot up from underneath him that day. he doesn't quit until the battle has been decided or he's been allowed medical treatment to happen. >> in 18 minutes it's done and where did the mexican troops go as they're running for their lives?pp
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>> they are backed up to the water, a huge body of water they're trying to go across the lake and flee that way and swim for their lives. the horses are drowning, the men are just being clubbed to death with muskets. >> outnumbered, nor formal training, just a few weeks together, that 900 plus army was able to take 1,000 and more in 18 minutes and go for a complete victory. then they get the ultimate prize the next day, they capture santa anna. instead of killing him, they do what? >> they keep him alive only because of houston., most of the men wanted to kill him. they wanted to shoot him on the spot, treat him like they had treated their brothers. houston was smart enough to know this is pivotal. this is his key to securing the ultimate freedom for texas. >> they are coming for houston and they'll be coming for review and on hist and prayed he wanted to end now. he gets general santa anna design
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ultimate freedom for texas. what? >> he gets a treaty signed to end the war, but he also uses his official letterhead to writ letters to his commander generals in texas saying we have surrendered, the war is over coming from the commander-in-chief. >> and he left about 1,000 men mexican soldiers, turned around and left texas leaving texas as an independent country for ten years. >> absolutely. >> when we come back, the modert fight to remember the men who fought so hard for texas independence and the men and women of today who are making sure we never forget
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.. >> for decades, the state of texas has had a thirst to rebuild the alamo. a lot of well-meaning people on >> predicted the state of texas has had a history will be a little but a lot of well-meaning people cannot agree how to replay the footprint and that issue has fallen off desks on
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land commissioner george p bush in austin, texas with a great challenge. you became a land commissioner, do you have any idea the passion for the alamo the people of texas and the need to restore it? >> i did and the reason is that it is at the centerpiece of what being a texan is all about. this was a body battle inability war fought for the simple idea of freedom and liberty against a tyrannical government. constituents who had been here for many generations they tell me the same thing, we've got to do a better job to restore and preserve it and make sure it's around for 13 years. >> are running from their history it is stable history. >> the alamo was falling apart when i came to office in 2015. basically they say if the state did not intervene it would fall
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apart so i asked for an immediate appropriation from the state legislature to get that done and we were successful in doing that. we had a lot of work ahead of us in terms of maintaining the original church which you will see on the grounds of the state but also restoring a sense of difference in reference to the original revolutionaries not to mention building a museum and visitor center for the millions of visitors who come here. >> how do you show the urgency of the battle while being culturally sensitive. tell me about the groups that have come at you with their beliefs and once. >> we told them they have a seat at the table and they can communicate their concerns with the reason millions of people come to the alamo is the battle of 1836. >> what does it mean to george p bush, restoring the alamo? >> to me as a military veteran it shows tremendous pride, these were defenders that knew the consequences of not receiving support from other parts despite the messages conveyed to ask for
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convoys. they knew over time they would not get it. there were multiple opportunities for them to retreat, for them to surrender to general santa ana and they didn't. it was a rallying cry, which coleman aided which sam houston honorably led and began the process. >> is this an american story or just a texan story? >> this is a global story. what happened at the battle of alamo stepped our state and our country in terms of what goes on even to the current day but how do you politics plays out throughout the world. >> we started the story in san antonio at the alamo and continued it right outside houston where the battle continues in austin, texas, the capital of the state and how to remember the men who helped out here. without sam houston's leadership and the courage and valor of men who found him texas doesn't get its independence, doesn't get
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annexed to america years later and america's march west does not take root like it did which leads me to why i the book sam houston in the alamo avengers, the texas victory the changed american history. thanks for watching. >> hello. lawrence jones, it is 5:00 in new york city and this is the five. happy new year's eve, big show coming up. fears gun control debate after on security guard takes down the man who opened fire at a texas church, joe biden under pressure to testify at the impeachment trial and that is all coming up.


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