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Media Contact: Rob McCorkle (830) 866-3533 or robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov; Dianne Powell (210) 824-9474 or dpsellmark@aol.com

Oct. 17, 2008

Battleship Texas, San Jacinto Monument Reopen

LAPORTE, Texas — The recently reopened San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site celebrated the beginning of its post-Hurricane Ike-era recently by hosting a reunion of the USS TEXAS Veterans Association this past Saturday. A memorial honoring fallen shipmates was part of the ceremony.

Saturday also marked one week since the reopening of the iconic San Jacinto Monument, which had been closed to the public since Sept. 11, when staff evacuated the site after finalizing preparations in advance of the hurricane that struck the following night. The Category 2 storm knocked out power and water to the historic site, where in 1836 Texas won its independence from Mexico.

The elevator that takes visitors to the observation deck of the 570-foot tall monument, however, remains closed for repairs. The museum exhibits, gift shop and Jesse H. Jones Theatre are welcoming visitors once again.

The U. S. Immigration and Naturalization Service has scheduled a Nov. 10 swearing-in ceremony for new citizens aboard the Battleship TEXAS in honor of Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11.

Both currently serving and retired military personnel and their family members will be guests of the San Jacinto Museum of History from Veterans Day through Sunday, Nov. 16. They will receive free admission to view the digital presentation Texas Forever!! The Battle of San Jacinto, tour the Developing Houston: Photographic Treasures from the Cecil Thomson Collection and visit the San Jacinto Museum of History.

Non-military visitors may purchase a combo ticket for entrance to the Texas Forever!! and Developing Houston. Tickets for individual activities and discounts for seniors and tour groups are available.

The San Jacinto Monument and Battleship TEXAS are located at the San Jacinto Battleground SHS that reopened Oct. 11, exactly 30 days from the day the park had to be evacuated because of deadly Hurricane Ike.

Most of the historic site remains accessible to the public. Only the area on the east side of the monument is closed for continued clean-up of debris. Hurricane Ike damage to the 1,200-acre site included downed trees, electrical damage to the monument elevator, structural damage to part of the boardwalk near the Battleship TEXAS, and the demolishment of the Battleship gift shop and concession area. A temporary gift shop has been set up in the Officers’ Galley on the battleship. Battleship admissions are being sold from a temporary ticket booth at the gangway.

The San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site is located just minutes from downtown Houston. Take Highway 225 east to Battleground Road north, approximately three miles from the freeway. The Lynchburg Ferry remains closed at this time due to damage from Hurricane Ike.

To learn more about the San Jacinto Museum of History, call (281) 479-2421. For more information on the Battleship TEXAS and battlegrounds, call the park at (281) 479-2431.

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2008-10-17


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