When people hear about Texas, they probably think of guns, Dr Pepper, immigrants, cowboy boots, and rodeos. All these stereotypes haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of what a gem Texas is.
The Lone Star State is a study in uniqueness and we Texans fly our Lone Star flag high with pride and we definitely do love our prime rib!
Full disclaimer: I did high school in Texas and could be biased.
Let’s bust some myths and talk about some Texas facts that will blow your mind and leave you craving for a visit to the Lone Star state!
Texas Facts – Politics
- Texas politics were dominated by the Democratic Party for about a hundred years, from after Reconstruction until the 1990s. As a result of a reversal of power, the Republican Party has gained prominence since the late 1960s. By the 1990s, it had become the state’s dominant party. Texas remains an overwhelmingly Republican state as of 2021.
- Texas is also known as the Lone Star State because of its flag which only contains just one star. The Texas state flag is known as The Lone Star Flag.
- There is a reputation in Texas for strict “law and order” sentencing. Texas has ten of the 21 counties in the United States in which more than a fifth of residents are inmates, according to the Prison Policy Initiative.
- Texas is the state with the most executions, with 464 between 1974 and 2011.
- Texas has a bicameral legislature with 31 representatives and a four-year term for each senator. The governor also has a four-year term but unlimited terms. He/she has the authority to veto bills, appoint boards and commissions, and initiate legislation.
- Legislature allows the creation of new counties but only within constitutional limitations. Each separate county in Texas is administered by an administrative, the commissioner’s court.
- The government of Texas operates under the Texas constitution and it’s made up of a unitary democratic state government that is under a presidential system that favors the Dillon Rule.
- The Texas State capitol building is similar to the United States Capitol. The Texas state capitol building is faced in pink granite and is 7 feet higher than the U.S. national capitol.
- There is a statue of the “Goddess of Liberty” holding forth a five-point star at the top of the Texas State Capitol.
- The governor in Texas has limited power. Texas uses the plural executive branch system which means that all executive officers are answerable to the public and not to the governor.
Texas Facts – History
- The phrase ‘Remember the Alamo’ originated in Alamo, San Antonio where Texas defenders were defeated by the Mexican general, Santa Anna in the Texas revolution.
- The Alamo in San Antonio is Texas’ most famous historic site and it is considered a symbol of Texas liberty.
- The biggest statue that resembles a human in the United States is the statue of the first president of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston. It was erected and unveiled in 1994 when Texas
- Texas is home to Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Stafford a city in Houston. People who have been there reported very positive experiences, claiming it was highly unusual and otherworldly.
- Texas is the sole state that became part of the United States through a signed treaty and not an annexation. It was the 28th state to join the Union.
- The Lone Star state was considered an independent nation from the year 1836 to the year 1845.
- Texas is the only state to have six flags from different countries fly over it.
- Texas has had a total of eight changes of government with the first being the French: 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 day.
- In Texas history, the Lone Star state was the land of Native Americans before Europeans came to settle in Texas.
- The Spanish explorer Àlva Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was the first-ever European to step foot in Texas.
- The very first declaration of Texas independence was signed on the 20th of December in 1835 when Texas became an independent nation.
- First declaration of independence was signed in Goliad where the first flag of Texas Independence was proudly hoisted.
- Prior to World War II, the Texan economy thrived on cattle, cotton, timber, and oil.
- In 1836, Texas had short-term capitals namely Harrisburg, Columbia, Galveston, Washington-on-the-Brazos, and Velasco.
- In 1837, Sam Houston shifted the capital to Houston and in 1939, the capital was yet again moved and situated in Austin.
- The name ‘Texas’ has its roots in the Caddo Indian word ‘Taysha’ which means ‘friends’. Initially, the Spanish referred to it as Tejas and the name later changed to Texas.
- The French were the first to colonize Texas in 1685 where they established a colony in Matagorda bay but they were later driven out by the Spanish.
- Two U.S. presidents were born in the state of Texas: Lyndon B. Johnson, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. (George W. Bush (Jr.) was a former Governer, but born in Connecticut. And, the George H. W. Bush (Sr.) began his political career in Texas but born in Massachusetts.)
- In 1821, Texas was under the control of Mexico. This was right after Mexico became independent and was given control over all the Spanish territories, Texas included.
- Texas joined the Union in the year 1845 and it held on to its right to fly the lone star flag at the same height as the national flag.
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Texas Facts – Sports
- Rodeos are considered to be the official state sport. They have been part of Texas culture since the 19th century. Texans also enjoy bullfighting though the state prohibits killing the bulls.
- The Houston Comets made sporting history in the United States by being the first team in the country to scoop four back-to-back WNBA Championships. Cynthia Cooper is the only player in the history of the United States to have won the WNBA Championship MVP.
- Simone Biles is from Texas and she has the highest number of medals for a black, female American gymnast in World Championship history.
- At the Olympic games held in Rio in 2016, Simone Biles scooped four gold medals and one bronze medal.
- Texas is only second to California when it comes to the state with the biggest number of professional sports teams.
- The Dallas Cowboys emerged as champions in five out of a total of eight appearances in the Superbowl championships.
- Texas is the home of three NBA teams: the Dallas Mavericks, the Houston Rockets, and the San Antonio Spurs.
- The world’s very first rodeo was hosted by Texas on July 4th, 1883 in Pecos.
- The Dallas Cowboys are the sole team in the NFL that has recorded 20 back-to-back winning seasons! Their winning streak stretched from 1966 to 1985.
- The Dallas Cowboys have an estimated value of $4 billion, which makes them the richest team in the NFL.
- Major sports teams include the Houston Astros, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Texas Rangers, and Dallas Stars.
- The Heisman trophy was named after John William Heisman who was the first full-time coach and athletic director at Rice University in Houston, Texas.
Texas Facts – Geography
- The Big Bend national park got its name because it is situated on the largest bend of the river Rio Grande.
- The Big Bend national park experiences tourist activity with about 400,000 people visiting the park every year.
- Texas is also home to about 450 species of birds which makes it a favorite for bird watchers and it has the most bird species in the United States.
- In Texas, you are likely to come across armadillos, black bears, jaguarundis, leopard frogs, and tiger salamanders.
- The Lone Star state experiences an astounding number of tornadoes per year. It has the highest number of tornadoes since 1950 with an average of 120 per year.
- In the year 1900, a hurricane hit Galveston and caused over 8000 deaths. This is considered the deadliest natural disaster in the history of the United States.
- In 1979, a tropical storm named Claudette caused unceasing rains that resulted in 45 inches of rain in a location adjacent to Alvin, Texas.
- Claudette, considered the deadliest natural disaster, caused devastation that cost the state $600 million in damages.
- The tropical storm Claudette resulted in a record-breaking 43 inches of rainfall in only 24 hours in the United States!
- Texas has the largest urban bat colony in the whole of North America! The Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin hosts an estimated 1.5 million Mexican free-fall bats.
- The coldest month in Texas is January with an average low temperature of 36°F. The summer is hot and muggy with an average temperature of 102°F (39°C) along the Rio Grande!
- The population of cattle in Texas is estimated to be in excess of 16 million, which is more than any other state in the United States. No wonder we love our barbeque!
- Texas has 254 counties and it is easily twice the size of Germany! It is also bigger than any country in Western Europe.
- There are a total of two national parks in Texas: the Guadalupe Mountains national park and the Big Bend national park.
- Texas is divided into 7 regions: The Gulf Coast (Houston, Corpus Christi), Prairies and Lakes (Fort WorthHill Country (San Antonio, Austin), South Texas Plains (San Antonio), Big Bend Country (El Paso), Panhandle-Plains (Amarillo, Lubach), Dallas, Arlington) and the Pine Woods (Texarkana).
- Texas has one of the World’s most impressive wind power farms which fuels the state’s own power grid.
- The highest elevation point in Texas is the Guadalupe peak. It stands at 8,751 feet tall.
- Three of the top 10 most populous cities in the United States are Texas cities, they are Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.
- The King Ranch in Texas is notably bigger than Rhode Island, which is the smallest state in the United States.
Famous Locations In Texas
- The Alamo
- Space Center in Houston
- Big Bend national park
- Padre Island National Seashore
- Texas State Capitol in Austin
- Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas
- Guadalupe Mountains National Park
- Dallas Arboretum
- Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Famous People From Texas
- Robert Woodrow Wilson- Nobel prize winner
- Beyoncè Knowles- singer
- Dwight Eisenhower- former U.S. president
- Lyndon B Johnson- former U.S. president
- Bessie Coleman- first African-American woman to become a licensed pilot
Common Misconceptions About The State Of Texas
Most visitors are in for a treat when they visit Texas. Three common misconceptions concerning Texas are oil dependency, guns, and the western lifestyle.
Contrary to popular belief, the economy of Texas has diversified into tech, services, trade, and manufacturing. It no longer solely depends on the strength of oil.
Most Texans support the American government’s stance on gun control under certain circumstances and they have similar views as the rest of America. 52% of Texans believe that gun laws should be strict.
Not all Texans wear cowboy hats and western boots, only a small percentage channel the Texas cowboy look and almost all of them are small-town ranchers. Read the Craziest Laws in the United States, if you want more.
Top Weird Texas Laws
- It is illegal for kids to have unusual haircuts in Mesquite, Texas.
- There is a law against two pigs having sex on the city’s airport property.
- It is illegal to have an open container in a car.
- It is illegal to milk another person’s cow.
- You can legally marry someone by publicly introducing that person as your husband or wife 3 times.
- Asking for a job is illegal
- It is illegal to raise alligators in your home.
- Dogs must be on a leash at ALL times.
- It is illegal to sell Limburger cheese on Sunday.
- Any person who sits on a sidewalk may be fined up to $500 in Texas.
The state of Texas has a lot to offer, from the best barbeque in the United States to rodeo for the adventurous spirits. The rich culture and history make it the subject of myths and a favorite with tourists. The Texas blue topaz, the state gem, is the perfect embodiment of the richness of the state. There are many more facts about Texas and you can go on YouTube and watch this video for more:
The Lone Star State has a lot more to offer the world.
Texas Facts And Stats
|Capital||Austin (Central Texas)|
|Governor||Gregg Abbott (Republican party)|
|Date Of Admission||December 29, 1845|
|U.S. Senators||Ted Cruz (Republican party) John Cornyn (Republican party)|
|US House of Representatives||36 (of 435 Seats)|
|State Nickname||The Lone Star State|
|State Song||Texas, Our Texas|
|State Fish||Guadalupe bass|
|State Tree||The pecan tree|
|State Mammal||The Longhorn, the armadillo, and the Mexican free-tailed bat|
|State Gem||Texas blue topaz|
|State Fossil||Petrified palm wood and paluxysaurus|
|State rock||Petrified palm wood|
1. What is Texas’ claim to fame?
It’s high temperatures, barbeque, and live music. Not forgetting the rodeo!
2. Which is the oldest county in Texas?
The oldest county in Houston county which is turning 185 years old in 2022.
3. Is it costly to live in Texas?
Living in Texas is amazingly affordable. The average cost of living in Texas is 7% lower than the national average.
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1 thought on “61 Texas Facts and Weird Laws”
Neither of the Bushes were born in Texas. H.W. Bush is from Massachusetts and W is from Connecticut.
Makes me suspect the rest of this article is BS.