DJ's Texas State Of Mind

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Interesting Texas Facts

1. Texas is popularly known as "The Lone Star State".
2. The Alamo is located in San Antonio. It is where Texas defenders fell to Mexican General Santa Anna and the phrase Remember the Alamo originated. The Alamo is considered the cradle of Texas liberty and the state's most popular historic site.
3. The lightning whelk is the official state shell.
4. Texas is the only state to have the flags of 6 different nations fly over it. They are: Spain, France, Mexico, Republic of Texas, Confederate States, and the United States.
5. Although six flags have flown over Texas, there have been eight changes of government: Spanish 1519-1685, French 1685-1690, Spanish 1690-1821, Mexican 1821-1836, Republic of Texas 1836-1845, United States 1845-1861, Confederate States 1861-1865, United States 1865-present .
6.State Fruit: red grapefruit, State Vegetable: sweet onion, the Texas citrus industry has trademarked names for Texas red grapefruit: Rio Star and Ruby Sweet.
7. The King Ranch in Texas is bigger than the state of Rhode Island.
8. In 1921 a hurricane deposited twenty-three inches of rain on Texas in one day.
9. More wool comes from the state of Texas than any other state in the United States.
10. Edwards Plateau in west central Texas is the top sheep growing area in the country.
11. Texas is the only state to enter the United States by treaty instead of territorial annexation.
12. The state was an independent nation from 1836 to 1845.
13. Texas boasts the nation's largest herd of Whitetail deer.
14. A coastal live oak located near Fulton is the oldest tree in the state. The tree has an estimated age of more than 1,500 years.
15. Sam Houston, arguably the most famous Texan, was actually born in Virginia. Houston served as governor of Tennessee before coming to Texas.
16. Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in the state.
17. When Texas was annexed in 1845 it retained the right to fly its flag at the same height as the national flag.
18. The first offensive action of the Texas Revolution occurred in Goliad on October 9, 1835 when local colonists captured the fort and town.
19. On December 20, 1835 the first Declaration of Texas Independence was signed in Goliad and the first flag of Texas Independence was hoisted.
20. Texas has 90 mountains a mile or more high, with Guadalupe Peak in West Texas at 8,751 feet being the tallest.
21. Texas farmers grow more than 45 different commercial fruit and vegetable crops. Texas growers produce the first tree-ripened apples of the year. Texas growers provide the first domestic crop of fresh spring onions on the U.S. market.
22. The last battle of the Civil War was fought on May 12-13, 1865 at Palmito ranch, Texas. It was a Confederate victory.
23. Early Texas trail drivers and their cattle were often treated to an unusual light show as they traversed the Great Plains. The phenomenon, misunderstood by the
cowpokes of old, is usually referred to as St. Elmo's Fire. Typically visible during periods of rough weather -like thunder storms - eerie, luminous flashes of yellow-green light would jump from horn to horn of the animals. The static would build to the point that the lights traveled from horn to horn of the individual animals - and then spread across the entire herd. Because of the massive size of some cattle drives, cattlemen were treated to a spectacular show.
24. The Dr. Pepper Company is the oldest major manufacturer of soft drink concentrates and syrups in the United States. It was created and sold in 1885 in the Central Texas town of Waco. Since then it has become a worldwide Texas favorite.
25. About 10,000 B.C., the first Indians arrived in Texas. These ancient peoples are called Paleo-Indians. They hunted mammoths and giant bison and other animals that later became extinct.
26. After 6,000 B.C., Indian lifeways changed, and archeologists call the time in Texas from then to about A.D. 500 the Archaic Period. During this period Indians painted beautiful murals depicting human scenes and religious ceremonies on cave walls in dry areas of West Texas.
27. The years from A.D. 500 to A.D. 1500 are called the Late Prehistoric Period. Agricultural Indians domesticated some of our principal crops, including cotton, corn, beans, squash, tomatoes and potatoes. Burial and temple mounds of these early farmers can be found in the piney woods of East Texas.
28. In 1519, the Spanish explorer Pineda made a map of the Texas coast. This event marked the beginning of Spain's rule in Texas. Nine years later, in 1528, Cabeza de Vaca was shipwrecked near Galveston. His small band met many Indian tribes while wandering through the Texas area, but he finally came to a Spanish settlement. He made his way to Mexico City with tales of the fabled "Seven Cities of Gold."
29. In the early 1540s, the explorer Coronado, in an attempt to find the seven cities, trekked through present New Mexico, West Texas and as far north as Kansas. Though he found no cities of gold, he strengthened Spain's claim on Texas.
30. Corpus Christi de la Isleta, established near El Paso in 1682, was the first Spanish mission and pueblo in Texas.
31. The French claim on Texas rests on La Salle's visit in 1685. He established Fort St. Louis in the Matagorda Bay area. Two years later, he was killed by his own men. By 1690, Indians and disease had destroyed the small French force. In 1995, a team of Texas Historical Commission archeologists discovered the Belle, one of La Salle's frigates, in the murky waters of Matagorda Bay. In 1996, the exact location of Fort St. Louis was pinpointed near Victoria. These discoveries represent two of the most important archeological finds in recent history, and promise to provide many answers to questions about this period in history. Alarmed by the French presence in Texas and the French settlements in the Louisiana area, the Spaniards established in 1690 Mission San Francisco de los Tejas, the first East Texas mission.
32. In 1718, with the establishment of Mission San Antonio de Valero (the Alamo), the city of San Antonio was founded.
33. In 1821, the year Mexico gained independence from Spain, Stephen F. Austin received permission from the Mexican government to settle a colony of 300 families, now known as the "Old Three Hundred," in southeast Texas. Although Anglo Americans were already living in Texas at the time, Austin's settlement was the official beginning of Anglo American colonization in Texas. By 1836, 35,000 to 50,000 people had settled in Texas.
34. Early in 1835, Stephen F. Austin announced that he was convinced that war with Mexico was necessary to secure freedom. Growing tension in Texas was the result of cultural, political and religious differences between the Anglo Americans and the Mexican government. In response to the unrest, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the president of Mexico, reinforced Mexican troops in Texas. A battle fought at Gonzales on Oct. 2, 1835, in which the Mexican forces were thwarted in their efforts to retrieve a cannon, gave rise to the famous flag bearing the words "Come and Take It." Though there were earlier minor skirmishes, the Battle of Gonzales is generally considered to be the first battle for Texas' independence.
35. The Battle of the Alamo, lasting nearly two weeks, ended on March 6, 1836, with the deaths of all its defenders (numbering about 190). The Mexican army of Santa Anna numbered 4,000 to 5,000 during its final charge. Among those killed were David Crockett, Jim Bowie and William B. Travis. A subsequent massacre of Texans who had surrendered at Goliad on March 27 led to the battle cry of Texas' independence, "Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!"
36. The Texas Declaration of Independence was enacted at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 2, 1836.
37. The Battle of San Jacinto was fought on April 21, 1836, near the present city of Houston. Santa Anna's entire force of 1,600 men was killed or captured by Gen. Sam Houston's army of 800 Texans; only nine Texans died. This decisive battle resulted in Texas' independence from Mexico.
38. José Antonio Navarro, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and one of the framers of the Constitution of the Republic, was a Texas native, born in San Antonio in 1795. He also served in the Republic of Texas Congress and the Constitutional Convention in 1845. Navarro County was named in his honor.
39. The first Congress of the Republic of Texas convened October 1836 at Columbia (now West Columbia).
40. Stephen F. Austin, known as the "Father of Texas," died Dec. 27, 1836, after serving two months as secretary of state for the new Republic.
41. In 1836, five sites served as temporary capitals of Texas (Washington-on-the-Brazos, Harrisburg, Galveston, Velasco and Columbia) before Sam Houston moved the capital to Houston in 1837. In 1839, the capital was moved to the new town of Austin.
42. Texas seceded from the United States and joined the Confederate States of America on Jan. 28, 1861.
43. Texas officially was readmitted to the Union on March 30, 1870, following the period of Reconstruction.
44. On Nov. 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated during a motorcade through downtown Dallas. Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas was sworn in as president aboard the presidential airplane at Dallas' Love Field airport that same day.
45. Nacogdoches and Ysleta are considered to be the two oldest towns in Texas. Ysleta, originally on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande, became part of Texas following a change in the river's course.
46. Texas A&M University opened its doors Oct. 4, 1876, and was the state's first land-grant college.
47. The University of Texas held its first class in 1883.
48. Although a small group of Texas Rangers had been formed in 1823 by Stephen F. Austin, they were not formally organized until Oct. 17, 1835.
49. Spindletop, near Beaumont in East Texas, was Texas' first oil gusher in 1901. It signaled the beginning of the state's oil boom.
50. In 1978, 71 million barrels of oil were produced in Yoakum County. That is an average of 195,000 barrels per day.
51. On Sept. 8-9, 1900, an estimated 8,000 people were killed in the disastrous Galveston hurricane and flood.
52. The tidewater coastline of Texas stretches 624 miles along the Gulf of Mexico and contains more than 600 historic shipwrecks.
53. There are more than 70,000 miles of highways in Texas.
54. Texas has a total of 6,300 square miles of inland lakes and streams, second only to Alaska.
55. The tallest point in Texas is Guadalupe Peak at 8,751 feet.
56. The last president of the Republic of Texas was Anson Jones (1844-1846), and the first governor of the state was James Pinckney Henderson (1846-1847).
57. Miriam A. "Ma" Ferguson was the second woman to serve as governor in the United States, but because of the date of elections in Texas, she was technically the first woman elected to that office. She served from 1925 to 1927 and again from 1933 to 1935.
58. The Texas Legislature meets for its regular session in the spring of odd numbered years. The governor may convene a special session for the legislators to address particular issues.
59. The governor of Texas is elected to a four-year term in November of even-numbered, non-presidential election years.
60. The Capitol in Austin, built of Texas pink granite, opened May 16, 1888. The dome of the Capitol stands seven feet higher than that of the nation's Capitol in Washington, D.C. The Governor's Mansion is the oldest remaining public building in downtown Austin.
61. Jane Long (1798-1880), known as the "Mother of Texas," was a pioneer Anglo American woman settler in Texas.
62. "Blind" Lemon Jefferson (1897-1929), born in Freestone County, rose from street beggar to one of the great blues musicians of the 1920s. Scott Joplin (1869-1917), from Bowie County, is known as the "King of Ragtime Music."
63. Texas has 254 counties. Rockwall County (147 square miles) is the smallest, and Brewster County (6,204 square miles) is the largest. Only one, Angelina County, is named for a woman.
64. The 1850 census recorded 213,000 people in Texas. In 1900, there were three million people, and by 1990, the population was more than 16 million.
65. There are three existing Indian reservations in the state: the Alabama-Coushatta Reservation, located between Livingston and Woodville in East Texas; Ysleta del Sur Pueblo (Tigua Indian Reservation) near El Paso; and the Kickapoo Reservation in Maverick County. Most Native Americans in Texas live outside reservations, however. Texas' Indian population ranks sixth among the states, with approximately 65,000.
66. The largest body of water completely within the boundaries of Texas is Sam Rayburn Reservoir in East Texas, which covers 113,400 acres.
67. Texas has four national forests (Angelina, Davy Crockett, Sabine and Sam Houston), two national parks (Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains), one national seashore (Padre Island), one national preserve (the Big Thicket), and two national recreation areas (Amistad and Lake Meredith) and one national monument (Alibates Flint Quarries).
68. With more than 267,000 square miles, Texas occupies about seven percent of the total water and land area of the United States. It is 801 miles from the northwest corner of the Panhandle to the southern tip of the state, and 773 miles from the western tip near El Paso to the Sabine River, the eastern boundary of the state.
69. Texas is as large as all of New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois combined.
70. There are approximately 11,500 historical markers in the state. Marker subjects include historic courthouses, frontier forts, Spanish mission and presidios, cemeteries, churches, individuals, historic homes and buildings, Texas Revolution battle sites and more. There are more than 700 local history museums, 40,000 recorded archeological sites and more than 2,000 sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
71. Dr. Annie Webb Blanton (1870-1945) became the first woman elected to statewide office in Texas when she won the race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction in 1918. Eight years later Margie Neal (1875-1971) of Carthage was elected Texas' first woman senator.
72. Eighty-five percent of the public libraries in Texas were founded by women's clubs.
73. There were more than 70 World War II prisoner-of-war camps in Texas, more than in any other state. Primarily housing German soldiers from the famed Afrika Korps, the Texas camps also held Italian and Japanese prisoners.
74. The state pepper is the jalapeño.
75. The state grass is the sideoats grama.
76. The official dish of Texas is chili.
77. Texas's official dance is the square dance.
78. The Armor-plated armadillo is the official state small mammal and the Guadalupe bass is the state fish.
79. Texas's official flying mammal of the Mexican Free-tailed Bat.
80. The state large mammal is the Longhorn.
81. The state musical instrument is the guitar.
82. Rodeo is the official state sport of Texas, though High School Football is more popular.
83. The all American meal, the hamburger, was created in Athens Texas.
84. Buddy Holly and Janis Joplin were Texans.
85. Davy Crockett had another distinction in Texas, besides dying at the Alamo. He also served three terms as a congressman in Tennessee. Before leaving he informed his peers, "You'all can go to hell. I am going to Texas."
86. General Sam Houston carried two books with him throughout his campaign for Texas liberty, "Gulliver's Travels" and "Caesar's War Commentaries".
87. The San Jacinto Monument near Houston is among the tallest columns in the world; at 570 feet, its about twenty feet higher than the Washington Monument in the District of Columbia.
88. Of the nation's ten largest cities, three are in Texas (Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio).
89. Today, approximately 18 million people live in Texas, only slightly outnumbering its 15 million cattle. Texas today is also home for about 2.5 million deer and 200,000 alligators.
90. The Dallas/Ft. Worth airport is larger than New York City's Manhattan Island.
91. El Paso, Texas is closer to Los Angeles on the Pacific Coast than it is to Port Arthur on Gulf Coast of Texas. Port Arthur, on the other hand, is closer to Jacksonville, Florida on the Atlantic Coast than it is to El Paso.
92. John "Black Jack" Pershing, Commander of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I, was sent to stop the Revolutionary Pancho Villa from coming across the border. Pershing was not successful. Villa's troops infiltrated as far north as New Mexico and fought a battle in Columbus before retreating into the hills of old Mexico.
93. The name Texas comes from the Hasinai Indian word 'Tejas' meaning friends or allies.
94. The first word spoken from the moon on July 20, 1969 was "Houston".
95. Laredo is the world's largest inland port.
96. The Heisman trophy is named for John William Heisman the first full-time coach and athletic director at Rice University in Houston.
97. The world's first rodeo was held in Pecos on July 4, 1883.
98. The Flagship Hotel on Seawall Boulevard in Galveston is the only hotel in North America built entirely over the water.
99. The Tyler Municipal Rose Garden is the world's largest rose garden. It contains 38,000 rose bushes representing 500 varieties of roses set in a 22-acre garden.
100. Composer William J. Marsh of Fort Worth along with lyricist Gladys Yoakum Wright wrote "Texas, Our Texas". This patriotic song was adopted in 1929 as the official state song of Texas after being selected in a state-wide competition.
101. In 1981 the state legislature enshrined a new member to the short list of official state heroes of Texas. Former Houston Oiler Earl Campbell, joined Davy Crockett, Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston on this honorable list .

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