The Texas Revolution (1835–36) began when colonists in the Mexican province of Texas rebelled after President Santa Anna overturned the Mexican constitution, dismissing state legislatures and militias and centralizing the government. He stepped down from the presidency to lead Mexican troops in quashing the revolt. Sam Houston was named commander of the Texian Army, a mix of native settlers and recent immigrants from the US, and sent Jim Bowie to destroy the Alamo to keep it out of Mexican hands. Bowie and William B. Travis chose instead to lead the Alamo defenders in what became the most famous battle of Texas history. Three weeks later the Mexican army executed 400 Texians at the Goliad massacre, then marched east as terrified civilians fled. The Texian army moved in the same direction, giving the impression that they were running away, when they were actually moving to a Brazos River training site. Under a false sense of complacency, Santa Anna was asleep and his army was on stand-down on April 21, 1836, when shouts of "Remember the Alamo!" and "Remember Goliad!" pierced the air as Texians overran them, winning the decisive Battle of San Jacinto in 18 minutes (monument pictured). Santa Anna fled on horseback but was captured the next day. (Full article...)
Trithemis annulata, or violet dropwing, is a species of dragonfly which is found in most of Africa, in the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula, and is increasing its range in southern Europe. As the larvae develop rapidly, this highly adaptable species can breed in temporary bodies of water.