21 Interesting Facts About Texas
by Brandon Cornett
Texas holds a unique place within the history and culture of America. It's big, it's bold, and it's full of interesting facts and stories. In this article, we have compiled some facts about Texas that might interest you.
21 Interesting Facts
- Texas is also known as the Lone Star State, which is a reference to the single star on the Texas state flag.
- Texas became part of the United States on December 29, 1845. It was the 28th state to enter the union.
- The state of Texas has the second-largest population in the U.S., with more than 23 million people (2006 census). The state is also the second-largest in terms of geography, with nearly 270,000 square miles of space.
- In terms of population, the largest cities in Texas include Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Forth Worth and El Paso.
- Austin is the capital of Texas. Austin is home to the University of Texas (UT) and is also known as the "Live Music Capital of the United State."
- Texas used to be part of Mexico. American settlers began moving into the area in the 1800s, and the U.S. eventually fought a war for rights to the land (the Mexican-American War, 1846 - 1848).
- While there are still plenty of working ranches in Texas, the King Ranch near Corpus Christi is by far the largest and most famous. In terms of square mileage, the King Ranch is larger Rhode Island and spreads over six counties.
- Central Texas is often called the "Silicon Valley of the south" because of all the tech companies located there (particular in the Austin area). Tech companies with headquarters in Austin include Dell Computers, National Instruments, Motive and many more.
- Many Texans are proud of the fact that capitol building in Austin, Texas is taller than the U.S. capitol building in Washington, D.C.
- Sam Houston played a major role in the history of Texas, and many Texans consider him one of their most beloved "native sons." The interesting fact is that Sam Houston was born in a small Virginia town (Timber Ridge) and later lived in Tennessee. He didn't move to Texas until he was an adult.
- It's a fact that Texas had the first sports stadium with a dome (in Houston). It was first opened in 1965 and is still used today, though it has undergone renovations. It now has a retractable roof.
- The deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history occurred in Texas. A massive hurricane hit the coastal city of Galveston in 1900, flooding the city and killing more than 8,000 people.
- An interesting nature fact — more bat species live in Texas than in any other U.S. state. Austin, the state's capital, has one of the largest urban colonies of bats (about 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats live under the Congress Avenue bridge downtown).
- Texas produces more oil than any other state, more than a million barrels per day. The downside is that the state produces more carbon emissions than most countries. It's true what they say: Everything's bigger in Texas!
- It's a fact that Texas produces more wool than any other state in America. Lots of sheep!
- The last battle of the American Civil War took place in Texas (Palmito Ranch near Brownsville) — more than a month after General Lee surrendered to General Grant in Virginia!
- Celebrities from the state include Dennis Quaid, Patrick Swayze, Renee Zellweger, Norah Jones and Lance Armstrong.
- A "whirlwind" of tornado facts about Texas — the state has more tornadoes than any other state in the U.S. (more than 100 per year on average). The deadliest was an F5 tornado in Waco in 1953; it killed 114 people.
- Several flags have flown over Texas throughout history, depending on who claimed it at the time. In chronological order, those flags belonged to Spain, France, Spain again, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States, the Confederate States of America (during the American Civil War), and — ultimately — the U.S. flag once again.
- Many people think of Texas as a dry and dusty state. Some of it is. But there are also nearly 5,000 square miles of inland waterways in the state (lakes, rivers, etc.). That's more than Florida and Minnesota (the "Land of Lakes").
- The oak tree is one of the most common trees in Texas. There are more than 50 varieties (species and subspecies) of oak trees in the state.
I hope you have enjoyed these interesting facts about Texas and that you get a chance to visit the same some day. If you already live in Texas, then these interesting facts are sure to give you a greater appreciation of your state.
References: Much of this fact sheet was compiled from widely available information. I also used a few specific resources that are cited by hyperlinks within this article.
About the Author
This fact sheet was provided by Brandon Cornett, a freelance writer and long-time resident of Texas. Brandon writes articles on many Texas topics including history, lifestyle, real estate and more.
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Source: Texas Facts - 21Facts.com