The Mexican military and political leader Antonio López de Santa Anna was born on this day in 1794.
He is best known through the screen adaptations of the Battle of the Alamo, where he was the chief Mexican general who wanted to capture the American stronghold at Alamo. Of course, Santa Anna managed to capture the Alamo despite the heroic efforts of the American defenders, who included Davy Crockett (played by John Wayne and Billy Bob Thornton in the movies) and James Bowie (the man after whom the Bowie knife was named).
It is also interesting to note that Santa Anna became the President of Mexico at 11 separate occasions. He was born on this day in Xalapa, on the area of what is now the Mexican state of Veracruz. At the time of his birth (1794) Mexico was still part of the Spanish colonial empire, and was called the Viceroyalty of New Spain (Spanish: Virreinato de la Nueva España).
Santa Anna fought in the Mexican War of Independence on the side of the Spanish colonialists. However, after Mexico achieved independence, the new government promoted him to the rank of general. In 1933 he became the President of Mexico for the first time.