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New Alamo exhibit displays history of Jim Bowie, Bowie knife

Interactive exhibit opens Saturday

SAN ANTONIO – March 6 will mark the 181st anniversary of the fall of the Alamo. As usual, activities are taking place to commemorate the historic event. Part of the commemoration includes a new exhibit called "Jim Bowie: Man, Knife, Legend."

"It’s kind of amazing, isn't it? This knife has been famous since 1827,” said Bryan Preston, spokesperson for the Texas General Land Office.

Both the knife, which was used in a legendary brawl in Natchez, Mississippi, and its namesake have become household names.

"Ever since then, Jim Bowie was famous and his knife was famous with him,” Preston said.

Bowie then made his way to defend the Alamo, cementing his legacy and the legacy of his weapon of choice.

"Even now, the Bowie knife resonates in pop culture. You see it in 'Indiana Jones.' You see it in ‘Crocodile Dundee’ and ‘Rambo,’” Preston said. “You even see it in ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider,' with Laura Croft. So it’s a knife that became iconic in 1827 and remains iconic now."

The entire history of Bowie and his knife are chronicled in the new exhibit.

"This exhibit will walk you through the life and times of Jim Bowie,” Preston said.  “Why did he and his brother move to Texas in 1830? Who did they meet along the way? Where did he get his knives?"

In addition to history, technology is a large part of the exhibit. Interactive screens that sit over the artifacts allow visitors to zoom in, see fine details and get information about what they are seeing.

The exhibit was put together by the Texas General Land Office and is housed in what was formally a library run by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas on the Alamo’s grounds.  It opens Saturday and will run through the end of the year. Admission is free.

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