Phil Collins is joined onstage by Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson in front of the Alamo on June 26, 2014.
On Tuesday of this week, British pop-rock icon Phil Collins gifted a massive chunk of his lifelong collection of Alamo relicts and rarities—the largest collection of its kind to be amassed by a private collector—back to the site the fateful battle.
Currently housed in the Gallagher House on E. Houston Street, the artifacts will one day be displayed in a $100,000 center built exclusively for the “Phil Collins Alamo Collection,” which is now under construction.
The occasion marks the first return of many items—including Jim Bowie’s legendary knife and a fringed leather pouch carried by frontiersman David Crockett—since the disastrous fall of the Alamo in 1836.
“Texans are deeply indebted to Phil Collins,” Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson stated in a media advisory. “He is giving us back our heritage. Now these Texas treasures need a home where all can see them and study from them and learn about how Texans won our liberty.”
Appropriately, Commissioner Patterson proposed a legislative measure to name Collins an “Honorary Texas” in reciprocity for the singer-drummer’s extremely generous donation.
In June during his public announcement
, Collins revealed that his childhood memories of the Disney miniseries Davy Crockett originally sparked his interest in Battle for the Alamo.
“To me, these items aren’t just about a battle,” he explained. “They are about the idea of these men and women having a choice and staying to fight for what they believed to be just and right. That’s what makes these things special.