Texas is the second largest U.S. state and the largest southern state. Its landscape includes deserts, cave systems, mountains, canyons, forests, and the Rio Grande, a river that forms the border between Texas and Mexico.
Texas is known for its Spanish influence, museums, scenic attractions, and cowboy culture.
- Capital: Austin
- Population: 28 million
- Nickname: The Lone Star State
- Key Cities: Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Fort Worth, El Paso
- Postal Abbreviation: TX
- Major Industries: Petroleum and natural gas, agriculture, steel, banking, tourism
- How did Texas get its name: Around 1540 in the area that is now east Texas, Spanish explorers met the Caddo Indians. The Caddos called the Spanish “tayshas,” meaning “friends” or “allies.” In Spanish, this translated as “tejas,” and the United States eventually converted this name to Texas.
- Date admitted to the Union: Monday, December 29, 1845
- Size: 268,597 sq. miles
- Lowest point: Gulf of Mexico at sea level
- Highest point: Guadalupe Peak at 8,749 feet
- Counties: 254
- Famous locations: Big Bend National Park, San Antonio River Walk, Alamo Mission, Padre Island, the Alamo, NASA Space Center
- Beyoncé- singer
- Lyndon B. Johnson- president
- Hilary Duff- actress
- Jennifer Garner- actress
- Selena Gomez- singer/actress
- Jamie Foxx- actor/singer/comedian
- Texas is the only state to have the flags of six different nations fly over it: Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States, and the United States. Texas was an independent nation from 1836 to 1845. When Texas joined the Union, it kept the right to fly its state flag at the same height as the national flag.
- Texas has more counties (254) than any other state in the U.S. Under both Spanish and Mexican rule, Texas was divided into municipalities instead.
- The saying, “Everything’s bigger in Texas,” certainly has some truth to it. Texas is the second largest U.S. state (behind Alaska). It’s larger than every country in Europe, and King Ranch in Texas is bigger than the entire state of Rhode Island. It also has the second largest population in the nation (behind California).
- Dr Pepper was invented in Waco, Texas in 1885 by a pharmacist named Charles Alderton. You may be surprised to learn that there’s no period after the “Dr” in Dr Pepper. One of the most popular snacks in Texas is peanuts in Dr Pepper.
- Texas has more than 70,000 miles of highway. Each year, the state uses 1.6 million gallons of white and yellow paint to line its highways. At 85 miles per hour, Texas also has the highest speed limit in the country.
- Athens, Texas claims to be the birthplace of the hamburger. Texas is also known for “Tex-Mex” food, a combination of Texan and Mexican cuisine that includes nachos, fajitas, burritos, and hard tacos.