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Gonzales celebrates 175th anniversary of the first shot fired for Texas Independence. Text by Barbara P. Crozier Photography by Tre Dunham

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Ancient oaks and open arms await visitors to Gonzales on this 175th anniversary of the first shot

fired for Texas Independence.

Luckily, the open arms that await visitors today are no longer

the musket shot and cannonballs of 1835 – except on festival days when the First Shot Battle is reenacted at one of the four Texashistory museums in Gonzales. Today the arms are symbolic arms. They are the open arms of a city ready to reap the rewards of remembering its history, protecting its past and poised to purposefully pursue its future. Today, the ancient oaks that welcome travelers to Gonzales frame an irresistible canvas of carefully-planned avenues of historic homes and churches, public parklands and playgrounds. But in the early morning hours of October 2, 1835, they stood sentry for a handful of heroes who fired a shot that changed their lives, our common history, and ultimately, our nation. Newcomers to Gonzales today quickly discover that life there is not merely about preserving the past. It is about creating a future by protecting that past. Gonzales is no longer a community exclusively for historians, old-house lovers, and antique hounds reminiscing about distant cannon fire and cattle barons. It is September/October 2010 • Texas Home & Living

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