March 2001




Get on Interstate 45 South; exit Scott. Turn under the freeway. Go North on Polk. The Latino Learning Center will be on the left at 3522 Polk.

Linda Garcia along with President Benny C. Martinez have been making presentations of the Juan N. Seguin portraits to schools and libraries of Houston, Pasadena, LaPorte and Deer Park to inform the public of the history of Juan N. Seguin. At the Pasadena Library, Linda and Angel Garcia along with President Benny C. Martinez presented City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem. of Pasadena, Leon Searcy with a portrait of Juan N. Seguin for the Pasadena Public Library. At LaPorte Junior High School, on March 1, 2001 Mayor Pro Tem Clark, Principal David Pirtle of LaPorte Junior High School, La Porte ISD Superintendent Dr. John Sawyer, attended the presentation of "Juan Seguin, A Tribute to a Hero," by the LaPorte Junior Historians. Linda and Angel Garcia, along with her family Vera Garcia and Gregory Garcia were present. The Garcias presented Ms. Svambera with a portrait of Juan N. Seguin. Channel 45 was present and provided evening coverage of the event.

The Tejano Association along with the Seguin Family Historical Society have petitioned the City of Houston, and Pasadena to adopt a resolution to endorse the name change of Hwy. 225 to Juan N. Seguin Memorial Highway. After Benny C. Martinez, President made the request to the Honorable Mayor Brown and City Council Mrs. Linda Garcia presented a Portrait of Juan N. Seguin to the Honorable Mayor Brown. He stated that the name change would be "effective immediately." Pasadena has not made a decision as of yet. Presentations have been made to the Mayor and City Councilmen of LaPorte regarding the name change and a portrait of Juan N. Seguin was also presented to the honorable Mayor. Honorable Rick Noriega has drafted a House Bill in regard to this name change of Hwy. 225 to Juan N. Seguin Memorial Highway. The City of Houston recently passed a resolution Feb. 28, 2001, in support of designating a portion of Hwy. 225 between Houston and LaPorte as the Juan N. Seguin Memorial Hwy. The beginning of the resolution reads as follows, "Whereas Colonel Juan N. Seguin was a true hero of Texas, Whereas, it has been proposed that Colonel Seguin be honored by dedicating State Hwy. 225 in his memory. Now, therefore be it resolved by the City Council of the City of Houston, Texas section one that the city council of the City of Houston supports legislation to name State Hwy. 225 in honor of Colonel Juan N. Seguin." The original of this resolution by the City of Houston will be presented to Honorable Rick Noriega who will attach this with the house bill.

By renaming this highway which leads to the San Jacinto Monument visitors will remember one of the famous Texans who fought for Texas Independence. Pride of Texas and its heroes transcends all races. Let the memory of Juan N. Seguin not perish. Long live Texas and long live its defenders.


The Texas State Historical Association recently held its yearly meeting March 1-3 here at the Renaissance Hotel. Tejano Association for Historical Preservation member, Ms. Bea Svambera was awarded its Leadership and Education award for her excellence in teaching. Former Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby congratulated Ms. Svambera. Ms. Svambera has received numerous accolades and her students have performed for numerous organizations such as the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, School of Nursing, and the Tejano Association. Her LaPorte Junior Historians will be competing in San Antonio at the end of March at the Junior Historian Convention. TAHP extends its plaudits in recognizance of the excellent standards in teaching that Ms Svambera exemplifies.

The Alamo Defenders Descendants Association recently held their 165th Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony at the Alamo Shrine, March 3, 2001. The Roll Call of the Scouts, Couriers, Non Combatants, Survivors and Defenders was very moving as their flags representing the country or state from which they were from were extended. The flag bearers and the final challenge from Col. Travis were portrayed in costume by Members of Living History Organizations from Texas and other parts of the United States. Harrell Sutherland played the bagpipes beautifully. The Alamo Defenders Descendants Association Officers and Board of Directors did an outstanding job in the 165th Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony.


"If they overpower us, we fall a sacrifice at the shrine of our country, and we hope posterity and our country will do our memory justice."

William B. Travis

The Alamo 2/25/1836


The Canary Island Descendants Association recently celebrated their 270th Anniversary of the 16 original families (who are considered San Antonio’s founders), March 9, 1731 on March 4, 2001 at San Fernando Cathedral, (the oldest cathedral sanctuary in the United States), San Antonio Texas. The Vice Chancellor for the Canary Islands foreign ministry, Francisco Aznar, spoke to the participants following the anniversary mass at the Plaza de los Islas in front of the Cathedral. He told the crowd that "the residents of San Antonio may not know where the Canary Islands are, but he could assure everyone that the residents of the Canary Islands, know where San Antonio, Texas is." The Government of the Canary Islands recently presented San Fernando Cathedral on Jan 16, 2001 with a contribution of $25,000.00 for renovations to Archbishop Patrick Flores and Father David Garcia, Rector of San Fernando Cathedral. Professor Felix Almaraz, a Professor at the University of Texas as San Antonio who was dressed as a friar, and narrated the reenactment. Rev. David Garcia, Rector San Fernando Cathedral also spoke eloquently. Robert Garcia, of Los Bexarenos Genealogical Society was dressed in full regalia as a Mexican Soldier. Honorable State Representative Robert Puente, and Honorable Senator Leticia Van de Putte both presented resolutions. Honorable State Representative Ruth Jones McClendon, Isabel De Pedro, Consulate of Spain, ex Mayor Nelson Wolff, and Most Reverend Archbishop Patricio F. Flores were also present. San Antonio City Councilman David Carter also attended the luncheon following the reenactment that was held at the Holiday Inn on St. Mary’s St. following the reenactment. Alicia Cabrera Calderon presented the events that occurred before the voyage of the Islenos and their arrival. Mr. Benny C. Martinez, was interviewed by Channel 4 and stated that he was "proud to be a member of the Canary Island Descendants Association." Alicia Burger, President and her officers did an outstanding job of the 270th anniversary of the Canary Islanders who founded Villa de San Fernando. This city would later become San Antonio.

Alamo Legacy Mission Association sponsored for the fourth year a military and wreath laying ceremony in honor of the Mexican Soldiers who fought on the Mexican Side at the Alamo. This event was held March 4, 2001 at the Ben Milam Park across from the Mercado in San Antonio. Ms. Eileen Trevino Villarreal past president for two years of Los Bexarenos was graciously asked to lay the wreath in memory of the soldiers because of her close working relationship with ALMA. Ms. Eileen Trevino Villarreal has tried to involve herself with groups to expand her knowledge of history and through research has found the importance of genealogy and history that are tied together. It was a moving ceremony and stressed the importance that both sides suffered loss of human life. This event was also covered by media and well attended.

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas, San Jacinto Chapter, recently sponsored a Chili Cook Off with teams from local organizations. Following this event a time capsule was buried in front of their Pioneer Memorial Log Cabin to be opened March 2036 The Bicentennial of Texan Independence. Another time capsule is buried in Sam Houston Park, in downtown Houston. On March 2, 2001 was the 65th anniversary of the Pioneer Memorial Log House Museum and the 165th anniversary of the declaration of Texas’ independence from Mexico. The DRT marked the anniversary with the San Jacinto SRT and The Texian Volunteers with "Rolling Thunder" black powder artillery.

The Tejano Association suffered the loss of two members, Mr. Rudolfo "Rudy" Vara and Dr. Margaret Henson. TAHP extends sympathy to their families. Rudolfo Vara was born Sept. 19, 1912 and passed away on Dec. 24, 2000. He was a founding member of the Go Tejano Committee, as well as a member of various organization such as the American Legion #472, a Life Member of the V.F.W., LULAC #60, Los Vaqueros Rio Grande Trail Riders, Charros of Tx., Denver Harbor Civic Club, and other organizations. Mr. Vara helped raise thousands of dollars for scholarships and served as an Ambassador for the Houston Livestock show and Rodeo. He was involved in the struggle for equal rights long before many of the leaders of today were born, and truly paved the way for many.

Dr. Margaret Louise Swett Henson was born Jan. 3, 1924 and passed away on Jan. 22, 2001. Dr. Henson taught at HISD at Cullen Junior High, the Houston Community College, and the Univ. of Hou. at Clear Lake until 1985. She served on the Harris County Historical Commission since 1976 and was President of the Texas State Historical Association from 1997-1998. She wrote several books one of which was Lorenzo de Zavala: The Pragmatic Idealist, published by T.C.U. Press. She also served as an advisory editor and contributed 42 articles for the Texas State Historical Association’s 6th volume, The New Handbook of Texas, published in 1996. She was a member of the Tejano Association for Historical Preservation, Southern Historical Association and the East Texas Historical Association. Dr. Henson provided the TAHP with invaluable leadership, advise and friendship which will be truly missed.