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Library of Congress historian to give talk on Mexican general Santa Anna?s leg

You?ve probably heard of General Antonio López de Santa Anna as a Mexican politician and military strongman who won the Battle of the Alamo, but the adventures of his artificial leg may not be as well-known.


Barbara Tennebaum, a specialist in Mexican culture from the Library of Congress will tell ?The True Story of Santa Anna?s Leg? in a lecture at New Mexico State University presented by the Center for Latin American and Border Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Santa Anna?s leg was amputated after being hit by a canon in 1838. Tenenbaum will discuss what the loss of his leg meant to both Santa Anna and Mexico at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, at Nason House, 1070 University Ave.

?General Santa Anna, one of the most colorful and important figures in Mexican history, is highly relevant to the Border Region: he sold Mexican territory, through the Gadsden Purchase, that today includes the town of Mesilla,? said center director Inigo Garcia-Bryce. ?Dr. Tenenbaum?s research opens up one of the most personal facets of this monumental figure?s life: the impact of having lost a leg in battle and of living with an artificial leg.?

Years after his injury, Santa Anna?s artificial leg was captured and kept by American soldiers during the Mexican-American War. His second artificial leg also was captured and is on display at the Illinois State Military Museum.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Anja Hansen at anjah@nmsu.edu.