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55 Interesting Facts About Texas That You Should Know

Texas is the 2nd most populous and the 2nd most extensive of the 50 states of the United States. It lies in the South Central region of the United States. Texas attained statehood on December 29, 1845, becoming the 28th state to join the union. Its four bordering states are New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. See the full list of the 50 states and their borders here. Texas (nicknamed: the Lone Star State) has 254 counties. The state’s capital is Austin. The abbreviation for Texas is TX. With these facts about Texas, let us learn more about its history, geography, people, culture, economy and more.

By Sriram NadarajanPublished about a year ago 8 min read
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Statue of Sam Houston, Texas statesman, 70 feet tall dedicated Oct 22,1994.

55 Interesting Facts about Texas

1. Before the settlement of the Europeans in Texas, the land was home to Indians of Texas (Native American Tribes).[12]

2. Sam Houston was the first president of the Republic of Texas. Sam Houston statue is the largest statue in America that is modeled after a real person. It is 67 feet tall. It was erected in 1994 with 30 tons of concrete and steel. The statue is called “Big Sam” by locals, but its official name is “A Tribute to Courage.­” Did you know that Sam Houston was born in Virginia?[16]

3. The Texas State Fair is the largest in the U.S. It is estimated that almost 3.5 million people attended the fair in 2015.[17]

4. Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of John F. Kennedy (the 35th President of the United States, shot dead on 22 November 1963) was arrested in Texas Theater in Dallas, Texas. [18]

5. The Texas State Capitol Building is taller than the nation’s Capitol building (the U.S. Capitol in Washington) by almost 15 feet and is the sixth tallest state capitol.[19]

6. Texas has the second highest number of professional sports teams. The only state that beats Texas in this regards is California.[24]

7. The highest national speed limit is observed in Texas on a stretch between San Antonio and Austin on Texas State Highway 130. Here it is allowed to drive up to 85 miles per hour.[20]

8. A couple from Texas has claimed the Guinness World Record title of the oldest married couple in the world with their combined age of 211.

9. Texas (695,662 km²) is about twice the size of Germany (357,376 km²). And Texas is larger than any country in Western Europe.[12]

10. There are more than 1.5 million undocumented immigrants in Texas.[11]

11. The ballon-expendable stent that is used to unclog the blocked vascular vessels during coronary surgery was invented by Julio Palmaz at the University of Texas Health Science Center. The patent for the stent was awarded in 1985 and it was recognized in Intellectual Property International Magazine as one of the “Ten patents that changed the world”.[25]

12. Dr. Pepper Snapple Group is the oldest soft drink manufacturer in the U.S. The soft drink was invented by Charles Alderton in 1885. Dr. Pepper is one of the top ten soft drinks in the U.S. Coca-Cola was introduced in the market in 1886.[10]

13. In 1827, Seven-Eleven opened its first chain in Dallas, Texas. It is a Japanese-American international chain of convenience stores, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. It is also the first convenience store in the U.S. The chain was known as Tote’m Stores until it was renamed in 1946. As of June 2019, 7-Eleven operates, franchises, and licenses 68,236 stores in 17 countries.[9]

14. Frozen Margarita machine was invented in Texas by Mariano Martinez in 1971.[8]

15. Two doctors namely Frank Gerow and Thomas Cronin are credited with the invention of breast implants. In 1962, the first of these implants were done on Texan Timmie Jean Lindsay.

16. The Highland Park Village in Texas is the first planned shopping center in the U.S. It was constructed in 1931.[7]

17. Texas is the second most populous (after California) and second largest state (by area) in the U.S., after Alaska.[1]

18. Texas is the largest of the 48 contiguous states of the U.S., and the second largest overall, behind Alaska.[3]

19. The name Texas has originated from the word taysha, which means “friends” in the Caddo (native american) language.[1]

20. Less than 10% of Texas’ land area is desert.[1]

21. Texas in the earlier times was ruled by several nations including Spain, France, and Mexico.[1]

22. The deadliest natural disaster in United States history occurred in Texas. The Great Galveston Storm of 1900, according to some official estimates, killed 8,000 people.[29]

23. Prior to World War II: cattle and bison, cotton, timber, and oil were the four industries that shaped the state’s economy.[1]

24. It is also a hot spot for the second-largest group of fortune 500 companies in the U.S.

25. The Rio Grande is the largest river in Texas.[1]

26. Rocks as old as 1600 million years have been recognized in Texas.[1]

27. Texas has the largest state capitol building in the U.S. (51.4 acres)[2]

28. The famous phrase “Don’t mess with Texas” was coined by an advertising agency that was made responsible with the task to help the state with its anti-litter campaign. In 1980s Texas spent a whopping $20 million a year on cleaning up trash along its highways. The slogan became popular and is since then an unofficial slogan for Texas pride.[2]

29. Austin, Texas was named after Stephen Austin, who established the state’s first American colony. Texas is named after the Indian word “Tejas” meaning “friends” or “allies”.[3]

30. The state’s nickname the “Lone Star State” comes from the fact that it was once an independent country with its own single star flag. The lone star flag adopted by the Republic of Texas in 1839 became the flag of the lone star state when Texas became part of the United States in 1845.[3]

31. Texas is the leading producer of oil, natural gas, and sulfur in the country.[3]

32. Two of the United States presidents were born in Texas. Lyndon Johnson and Dwight Eisenhower.[3]

33. Texas is 790 miles long and 660 miles wide at its most distant points.

34. Texas is generally divided into East and West. The eastern part of the state is known for cotton while the western part of the state is characterized by cattle ranching.[4]

35. The Astrodome is the world’s first multi-purpose, domed sports stadium, located in Houston, Texas. It was opened on April 9, 1965.[13]

36. Spanish explorer Alonso Alvarez de Pineda was the first European to visit Texas in 1915.[27]

37. Between 1836 and 1845, Texas was an independent nation. It is the only state to enter the United States by treaty instead of territorial annexation.[5]

38. Six flags have flown over Texas (Spanish, French, Mexican, Republic of Texas, Confederate, and United States).[5]

39. George W. Bush, the ex-president of the United States of America (between 2001 and 2009), was the governor of Texas for two terms (served as the 46th Governor of Texas from 1995 until 2000). He was also the first Texas governor to be elected for two consecutive terms since Dolph Briscoe was re-elected in 1974.[26,43]

40. Texas has more species of birds than any other state, which includes screech owls and hummingbirds.[6]

41. Texas has more cattle than any other state in the country.[23]

42. Texas also has one of the world’s largest wind-power-producing farms. Texas has its own power grid. There are three grids in the Lower 48 states: the Eastern Interconnection, the Western Interconnection — and Texas. The power grid in the state was established during the WWII so that the factories producing critical war supplies remain self-sustainable.[6,28]

43. With approximately 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats, the Congress Avenue Bridge, in downtown Austin, is home to one of the largest urban bat colony in North America. Every night from mid-March to November, the bats come out from under the bridge at dusk to blanket the sky as they head out to forage for food.[15]

44. There were nearly 297,000 oil wells in Texas as of February 2018.[14]

45. King Ranch, located in Kingsville, is larger than the state of Rhode Island. As the home of 35,000 cattle and over 200 Quarter Horses, King Ranch is one of the largest ranches in the world today.[30]

46. Texas has three of the ten most populous cities in the United States – Houston, San Antonio and Dallas.

47. Texas has more farms and land in farms than any other state in the U.S.[31]

48. Texas has experienced the most number of tornadoes since 1950. On average, Texas experiences 120 tornadoes a year. A tornado can roar along as fast as 300 miles an hour. Kansas stands second on the list.[32,33]

49. The Texas Rangers is the oldest statewide law enforcement agency in the U.S. It was established in 1823.[21]

50. Armadillos are mammals that wear shells. Armadillo in Spanish means “little armored one”. The mammal has bony plates that cover the back, head, legs, and tail of most of these creatures. Out of the 20 varieties of armadillos, only one lives in the United States. The mammal can be found throughout Texas except in the Trans-Pecos. The shell on their bodies acts like armor and provides protection from predators.[34,35]

51. Bessie Coleman born in Atlanta, Texas, is the first woman of African-American descent and the first woman of Native-American descent to hold a pilot license. She was also the first black person to earn an international pilots license.

52. In the spring of 1978, the bone of a Columbian mammoth was identified by Paul Barron and Eddie Bufkin while they were searching for arrow heads and fossils near the Bosque River. With the help of volunteers, excavation started at the site. Until today, the fossil remains of 24 Columbian mammoths were discovered on the site. The fossils recovered from the site date back to some 65,000 years. The site is famously known as the Waco Mammoth Site. After more than 30 years of careful excavation to uncover the mysteries of the past, it was opened to the public in December 2009.[36]

53. Widely known as the Texas oil boom, the oil revolution started in Texas after the discovery of the Spindle Top Oil Field. On January 10, 1901, a geyser of oil exploded from a drilling site at Spindletop hill. Continuing for 9 days, the geyser spat more than 10,000 barrels a day and it reached more than 150 feet in the air. This is considered as the beginning of the oil industry in America and many of the top oil companies in the world including Exxon and Gulf Oil can trace their origin here.[37,38]

54. Before Texas was a part of the United States of America, it was fighting for freedom from Mexico. During the Battle of Alamo, the Texans fighting with the Mexican troops took shelter in the Alamo, a besieged fort. However, ultimately, the Mexican troops who outnumbered the Texans took control of the fort and killed all of the Texans. Henceforth “Remember the Alamo!” became a battle cry which was used by Americans in the Mexican War.[39,40]

55. The name Big Bend in “Big Bend National Park” comes from a large bend in the Rio Grande River along the park boundary. The Big Bend is one of the most remote national parks in the U.S. At least 450 species of birds inhabit the park—more than any other national park in the United States. Approximately, 400,000 people visit the park every year.[41,42]

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About the Creator

Sriram Nadarajan

I don't know what to write here.

Writing gives me a freedom that I do not find anywhere else!

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