Goliad is one of Texas' oldest municipalities. The area was inhabited long before recorded history. Early Spanish explorers list an Aranama Indian village at the site, then called Santa Dorotea. In 1749 Spain established a mission and a nearby presidio (fort) for protection. "Remember Goliad" became a Texas Revolution battle cry honoring Colonel James W. Fannin Jr. and his men who were massacred at Goliad. Memorial services at the grave of Colonel Fannin and his troops are held on the weekend nearest March 27th. Goliad celebrated its 250th anniversary in 1999.
Goliad was named a Main Street City in 1984 and has been a National Main Street City since 1999.