Texans are celebrating the birth of the Republic this weekend.  Friday marks the 181st anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto, when General Sam Houston and the Texian Army defeated Mexican General Santa Anna.

“The end result was almost a million square miles of territory changed sovereignty, Mexico lost approximately half of her nation and the United States of America became a bicoastal nation,” says Larry Spasic at the San Jacinto Museum of History.

“One brief, small battle changed the history of Mexico, Texas and the United States forever,” he says.  “We won our independence, we established a nation and later we became the 28th state in the United States of America.”

Simply put, Spasic says the Texians were more motivated than the Mexican Army.

“Many had relatives, family members or knew someone that had been executed at Goliad or died at the Alamo,” he says.  “So it provided a fierce determination and incentive to revenge those setbacks.”

Spasic says Saturday's reenactment will last longer than Sam Houston's surprise attack.

“Once the Texians fired their cannons into the camp, the Mexicans did rally and counter attack, but really it was over with before it started,” he says.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett will speak at a ceremony at 11am Friday to remember the battle.  Saturday's festivities run 10a-6p on the grounds of the San Jacinto Monument.