Texas is one of the largest states in the United States. Apart from that, it’s known for its oil production, having real cowboys, the cities of Austin, Houston and Dallas, the Alamo, the Rio Grande, awesome barbecues, and a lot more. So what more does the Lone Star State have to offer? Well, lots more that you may not know about! Click through this gallery to discover these interesting facts about Texas.
The flag of Texas is called the Lone Star Flag. It has three colors: blue symbolizes loyalty, white represents liberty, and red represents courage. When Texas became a state of the Union in 1845, the flag was adopted as a state flag. The flag is highly esteemed and revered by a lot of Texans.
Samuel “Sam” Houston (1793-1863) was a soldier who also became the first president and first governor of Texas. He and his army fought at the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836 which eventually won Texas independence from Mexico. Although Houston is one of the greatest Texan heroes, he was actually born in Virginia. He then became a governor of Tennessee, where he also spent time with the Cherokees (and actually married one) who called him “the Raven.”
There is a 67-foot-statue of Houston named ‘A Tribute to Courage’ which is located in Huntsville, Texas. It is clearly visible to motorists commuting north on Interstate 45 and is also the world’s largest freestanding statue of an American citizen.
Only two US presidents were born in Texas: Dwight. D. Einsenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Eisenhower, the 34th president, was born in Denison, Texas in 1890 but was later raised in Kansas. He did not return to Texas until he was stationed there when he was a second lieutenant in the Army. Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th president, was a Texan through and through. He was born in Stonewall, Texas in 1908 and also died near Stonewall in 1973. He became a member of the US House of Representatives from Texas’ 10th district from 1937 to 1949, and then senator from 1951 to 1953, representing his home state.
While two presidents, George H.W. Bush and his son George W. Bush, established their political careers in Texas, they were otherwise both born in New England.
As of 2012, there have been an estimated 4.1 million foreign-born residents in Texas, accounting for 15% of the state’s population. These numbers include around 1.7 million illegal immigrants — more than the entire population of Philadelphia with 1,560,297 (as of 2014). This city in Pennsylvania is the fifth-most-populous city in the United States.
Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General (and future president) Ulysses Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. Despite full knowledge of this, the Northern and Southern forces nevertheless attacked each other the following month in the Battle of Palmito Ranch. Ironically, the Confederates emerged victorious from that battle, which is probably considered as the last battle of the Civil War. However, it was a short-lived victory, as they agree to surrender a couple of weeks later.
Galveston, Texas is a city on Galveston Island, southeast of downtown Houston. During the 19th century, Galveston was once a thriving city, being one of the biggest cotton ports of the country, a haven for the wealthy and a major gateway for immigrants. However, the city was devastated by the 1900 hurricane (Category 4), whose effects included massive flooding, a 15-foot storm surge, and winds up to 140 mph.
Relatively few people evacuated before the hurricane, partly because the US weather forecasters had ignored reports from Cuban meteorologists. As a result, an estimated 6,000-8,000 people died. It was, and still is, ranked as the deadliest natural disaster in US history. On the hurricane’s aftermath, Galveston constructed a seawall and increased their elevation with sand from the Gulf of Mexico. Although Galveston has long since recovered and about 47,000 residents live there today, the city never regained its old glory.
Pecos is the largest city and is the county seat of Reeves County, Texas. It claims to be the site to host the world’s first rodeo on the Fourth of July, 1883. It was also the first rodeo to give cash prizes for the contenders, according to some extant historical documents.
“Six flags over Texas” refers to the six countries that have had ruled over some or all of the current territory of Texas. These countries are:
- Spain (1519-1685; 1690-1821)
- France (1685-1690)
- Mexico (1821-1836)
- The Republic of Texas (1836-1845)
- The Confederate States of America (1861-1865)
- United States of America (1845-1861; 1865-present)
The “six flags” slogan is seen in many establishments such as shopping malls and theme parks (Six Flags), and is also featured in the reverse side of the Seal of Texas.
Texas is already a big state, but did you know that it could have been even bigger? During its period as an independent country, Texas once attempted to expand their terrain, south and west into what was-then Mexico. Even after becoming part of the United States, Texas still had ambitions of taking over a large portion of the Territory of New Mexico. But in the Compromise of 1850, Texas surrendered its claim on New Mexico in exchange for $10 million to pay off its debts.
A super collider is a particle accelerator, a large ring created to stimulate and accelerate particles of protons and anti-protons before they collide. The purpose of the super collider is to make large quantities of energy in a controlled space.
During the 1980s, the United States planned the biggest super collider in the world, the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC). The proposed ring circumference was 87.1 kilometers (54.1 miles) with an energy of 20 teraelectronvolts (TeV) per proton. The SSC site was under construction in the vicinity of Waxahachie, Texas. However, the project was cancelled in 1993 due to escalating costs. The SSC site was finally sold in August 2006 to a group of investors led by the late entrepreneur J.B. Hunt.
As an oil-rich state, Texas has enough crude oil reserves to fill up almost 1,459 Empire State Buildings. According to the business and tech news website Business Insider, the Empire State Building’s volume is 37 million cubic feet, which means there are 276,779,000 gallons of reserve oil in the state.
You may have never thought about it, but the growing wind power industry in Texas might give fossil fuels a run for their money. The state has many wind towers with a total installed capacity of 12,212 MW from over 40 different projects. Texas produces the most wind power of any US state. Iowa places second with 3,670 MW.
Since the wind source in many parts of the state is very large. Besides, prices of traditional electricity are relatively high because they are governed by natural gas prices. So that’s why wind power makes for an excellent alternative source for energy. In addition to such benefits, the wind power industry also creates jobs especially for farmers who get extra income from it by leasing their properties to wind developers.
The Roscoe Wind Farm is the largest wind farm in Texas with 781 MW. There are other large wind farms in Texas that include: Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center, Sherbino Wind Farm, and Capricorn Ridge Wind Farm, among many others.
King Ranch is presently one of the largest private ranches in the world, located in South Texas between Corpus Christi and Brownsville. The sprawling ranch consists of 825,000 acres, making it much bigger than the entire state of Rhode Island. In 1853, Captain Richard King witnessed a stream flowing on a certain area of the Wild Horse Desert, which turned out to be an oasis. He and his friend, Texas Ranger Captain Gideon K. Lewis aka “Legs” decided to purchase the oasis and make it into a ranch.
Austin is the capital of Texas, and the seat of Travis County. From 2000 to 2006 Austin became the third fastest-growing city in the country. Much of the city’s economy is derived from the thriving technology industry that it even earned the “Silicon Hills” nickname in the 1990s. However, the old slogan is being replaced by the new one: “The Live Music Capital of the World.” It is named so because there are many musicians as well as live music venues within the city. In fact, you can hear and see live music in many areas in the city from the terminal of the Austin airport to grocery stores. Obviously, there are a lot of live music festivals, as well, including the Urban Music Festival, the Pachanga Festival, the Old Pecan Street Festival, and many more.
The PBS TV series Austin City Limits, which broadcasts and promotes the city’s live music scene, was the ultimate reason why Austin earned the title of “The Live Music Capital of the World.”
Texas’ Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is one of the most famous airports in the United States. It serves the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, so it is jointly owned by both cities. First opened in 1973, the airport also serves as the largest hub for American Airlines, whose headquarters are also located near the airport.
Also known through its acronym DFW, the Dallas/Fort Worth International has a total area of 78 square kilometers, making it the largest airport in the entire state of Texas, and second largest in the country. The DFW also has the world’s biggest parking lot.