Interesting Facts about Texas

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With a history that dates back to the 1830s, there are many interesting facts about Texas you probably don’t know. We bet you didn’t know that there is no income tax in Texas, and The University of Texas at Austin is the second-largest university in America. Let’s check out some other interesting facts!

1. Number of Flags Flown Over Texas throughout its History

Six flags have flown over Texas throughout its history – from Spain, France, and Mexico and three different versions of American flags – but only two remain: The current flag with stars representing each county and the Old Glory flag which flew during World War II when Texas was part of the Confederacy (Confederate States). [1]

2. Home to the American Alligators

The American alligator can be found in many parts of Texas, including the swamps and marshes of southeast Texas, where they feed on fish, frogs, and small mammals like rats and mice, as well as small reptiles like snakes and turtles. Though they are not considered endangered, their numbers are declining due to loss of habitat for development and because their skins are used to make wallets and belts, and boots for shoes.

3. The Frozen Margarita Originated in Texas

The frozen margarita was invented by Mariano Martinez, a bartender at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dallas in 1971. He was creating the drink for the Texan oil tycoon Clay Alden and his wife, who had requested a non-alcoholic version of a traditional margarita. [2]

4. Dr Pepper was invented in Waco, Texas

In 1885, Charles Alderton, a pharmacist working at Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, created Dr Pepper. Alderton concocted the drink with his friend Wade Morrison, and the drink became popular.

Alderton left his job as a pharmacist and opened a soda fountain store in Waco. He later sold his share of the business for $1,500 to Morrison. The drink was renamed Dr Pepper when Morrison started bottling it in 1891.

Note: “Dr” doesn’t have a period.

5. Texas Uses Its Own Independent Power Grid

Texas uses its own power grid (the Electric Reliability Council of Texas), which is separated from the rest of North America. It is one of only two states that operate their own power grids (the other being Hawaii); the independent power grid was established to ensure that all the factories in Texas producing war supplies were self-sufficient. [3]

6. Austin is the “Live Music Capital in the World”

Aside from being Texas’ capital, Austin is home to several famous music venues, including Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater, Stubb’s Bar-B-Q, and Willie Nelson’s Luck Ranch. The city is home to more than 1,900 bands and musical artists and over 250 concert venues.

7. Texas was Once Part of Mexico

It became its own country for nine months starting January 1836, when Texas won independence from Mexico during the Texas Revolution. The US annexed Texas as a state in 1845, and it became part of the union on December 29th, 1845.

8. The Alamo

The Alamo is a story about bravery and sacrifice that Americans love to hear about — but it’s not where most Texans live today. It’s now surrounded by San Antonio, which is home to around 1.5 million people. Before it became part of San Antonio, the Alamo was located 12 miles away from where it sits today — closer to downtown Houston than downtown San Antonio!

9. The World’s Largest Bat Colony Lives in Texas

An estimated 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats live in the Bracken Cave near San Antonio, making it the largest urban bat colony in the world. The second-largest colony is located over Lady Bird Lake in Austin. [4]

10. The Origins of the Word “Texas”

The word “Texas” comes from a Hasinai Indian word meaning “friends” or “allies.” Europeans arrived in the region and named it after these friendly natives. That explains the state motto of “Friendship.” Most Texans fit this description.

11. Texas Owns All of Its Public Lands

Texas is the only state in the country where the government owns all of its public lands. As a Texan, this means that you have access to thousands upon thousands of acres of land for free. This includes both surface and sub-surface mineral rights. In other states, private landowners own the minerals beneath their property and can sell them to drilling companies. Not so in Texas! [5]

12. The State of Texas Does Not Have a State Income Tax

A lot of people think this is a myth, but it’s true! There are several ways to avoid paying state income taxes, including moving your business to Texas and setting up a home office there (or vice versa).

Texas is one of nine states that do not charge an individual income tax. Property and corporate income taxes make up the majority of its revenue, with sales tax being a smaller source. The other eight states that do not charge an individual income tax are Alaska and seven others: New Hampshire, Tennessee, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming. [6]

13. If California has Silicon Valley, Texas has “Silicon Hills.”

Texas has “Silicon Hills” – a growing technology hub with offices for major companies such as Dell, IBM, and Microsoft. The city also has its own co-working space called Capital Factory with over 80 tenants, including startups like Zendesk and CrowdTwist.

14. Texas is the Fifth-Largest Wine Producing State in the US

If you’re interested in touring a wine region, consider visiting Texas—a state that produces the fifth-largest amount of wine in the country. In Texas, you can visit several districts throughout the state that produce wine and often compare favorably to Portuguese wines. [7]

15. You Can Drive Up to 86 Miles per Hour on the Texas State Highway

When driving on Texas’ State Highway 130, you can go up to 85 miles per hour. The road was built by private investors who wanted to create an alternative route from Austin to San Antonio that didn’t require drivers to go through the busy city of Austin. It’s still only two lanes wide, but it’s less expensive than building a new freeway, and it allows drivers to get where they need to go more quickly.

This is the highest speed limit in the entire US.

16. Texas and its Strange Laws

Texas has a strange law that prohibits shooting a buffalo from the second floor of a hotel. This law may seem outdated since there are few buffalos roaming Texas streets. [8]

17. The Six Flags Amusement Parks

Six Flags amusement parks trace their name to the six flags that have flown over Texas – Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States, and the present United States.

18. The Deadliest Natural Disaster in the US History

The deadliest natural disaster in US history happened in Texas. In 1900, Galveston was hit by a hurricane that killed 8,000 people. The storm destroyed 3,600 buildings and damaged 10,000 more. [9]

19. Texas is a Lot Bigger than Any Country in Western Europe

Texas is a lot bigger than any country in Western Europe. Its area of 268,820 square miles makes it larger than France and Germany combined. But it still has just over 30 million residents.

If Texas were its own country, it would be the 40th largest in the world. It would have a landmass larger than that of any European Union member-state. [10]

20. Who Designed Texas Flag? It is Still a Mystery

The Texas flag’s designer remains a mystery. While some people claim that Dr. Charles B. Stewart, a doctor, and pharmacist from Montgomery, Texas, was the flag’s designer, others are not positive about that claim and believe it is still unknown who designed it.

21. The Largest State Capitol Building of the US is in Texas

Although the Texas Capitol is smaller in gross square footage than the U.S. Capitol, its dome is actually 7 feet (2.13 meters) higher.

22. Texas is home to the World’s Largest Convenience Store

Buc-ee’s C Store in New Braunfels, Texas, is the world’s largest convenience store, at 66,335 square feet. In addition, it also boasts the world’s longest car wash, so automotive aficionados can polish up their rides.

Conclusion

It’s strange to think that Texas is an old state. It feels like a young state overwhelmed with people who are working and trying to make their way in the world. The diversity of nature makes it very attractive to local and foreign tourists. Texas has a rich history, so these facts will be very helpful if you plan to travel there.

References

  1. http://www.sanjacinto-museum.org/Monument/Six_Flags_Over_Texas/
  2. https://www.wfaa.com/article/features/originals/mariano-martinez-inventor-frozen-margarita-machine-anniversary/287-4815c07c-18db-46db-84d2-1337cb0be1c6
  3. https://www.kut.org/energy-environment/2021-07-22/texas-electric-grid-february-blackouts-the-disconnect
  4. https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/wild/species/bats/bat-watching-sites/bracken-cave-preserve.phtml
  5. https://www.tsl.texas.gov/exhibits/annexation/part5/question8.html
  6. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/taxes/texas-state-tax
  7. https://wineamerica.org/policy/by-the-numbers/
  8. https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/16-strange-enforceable-laws-still-on-the-books-in-texas-54411
  9. https://www.kxan.com/weather-traffic-qas/deadliest-natural-disaster-in-u-s-history-happened-in-texas
  10. https://texasproud.com/how-big-is-texas-its-huge

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