Alamo officials have discovered a clue to the building's mysterious past, right over the doorway some 3 million visitors pass through each year. Experts believe "1802" might have been scratched into the wall when the Alamo was a mission under Spanish rule, or perhaps decades later, after the U.S. Army added a second floor and roof in the mid-1800s.

Or, as Alamo historian and curator Bruce Winders suggests, it could have been left by an Alamo defender who kept watch from a ledge by a window during the 1836 siege and decided to mark the year of his birth.

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