Spanish explorers, including Ãlvar NÃºÃ±ez Cabeza de Vaca and Francisco VÃ¡squez de Coronado, were the first to visit the region in the 16th and 17th centuries, settling at Ysleta near El Paso in 1682. In 1685, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, established a short-lived French colony at Matagorda Bay.
Americans, led by Stephen F. Austin, began to settle along the Brazos River in 1821 when Texas was controlled by Mexico, recently independent from Spain. In 1836, following a brief war between the American settlers in Texas and the Mexican government, the Independent Republic of Texas was proclaimed with Sam Houston as president. This war was famous for the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto. After Texas became a state in 1845, border disputes led to the Mexican War of 1846â€“1848.
Possessing enormous natural resources, Texas is a major agricultural state and an industrial giant. Second only to Alaska in land area, it leads all other states in such categories as oil, cattle, sheep, and cotton. Texas ranches and farms also produce poultry and eggs, dairy products, greenhouse and nursery products, wheat, hay, rice, sugar cane, and peanuts, and a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Sulfur, salt, helium, asphalt, graphite, bromine, natural gas, cement, and clays are among the state’s valuable resources. Chemicals, oil refining, food processing, machinery, and transportation equipment are among the major Texas manufacturing industries.
Millions of tourists spend well over $44 billion annually visiting more than 100 state parks, recreation areas, and points of interest such as the Gulf Coast resort area, the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, the Alamo in San Antonio, the state capital in Austin, and the Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
Texas State Information:
|Texas Department of Information Resources||www.dir.state.tx.us|
State Abbreviation – TX
State Capital – Austin
Largest City – Houston
Area – 268,601 square miles [Texas is the second biggest state in the USA - only Alaska is bigger]
Population – 20,851,820 (as of 2000) [Texas is the second most populous state in the USA, after California; New York is the third most populous]
Name for Residents – Texans
Major Industries – petroleum and natural gas, farming (cotton, livestock), steel, banking, insurance, tourism
Dwight David Eisenhower was born in Denison on October 14, 1890 (he was the 34th US President, serving from 1953 to 1961).
Lyndon Baines Johnson was born near Johnson City on August 27, 1908 (he was the 36th US President, serving from 1963 to 1969).
Main Rivers – Rio Grande, Red River, Brazos River
Highest Point – Guadalupe Peak, 8,749 feet (2,667 m) above sea level
Number of Counties – 254
Bordering States – Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma
Bordering Country – Mexico
Bordering Body of Water – Gulf of Mexico
Origin of the Name Texas – The Caddo Indians of eastern Texas called their group of tribes the “Tejas,” meaning “those who are friends”.
State Nickname – The Lone Star State
State Motto – Friendship
State Song – “Texas, Our Texas”
Dinosaur Fossils Found in Texas – Acrocanthosaurus, Alamosaurus, Brontopodus, Camptosaurus, Chasmosaurus, Coelophysis, Deinonychus, Dimetrodon*, Edmontosaurus, Hypsilophodon, Iguanodon, Kritosaurus, Megatherium* (giant ground sloth), Ornithomimus, Panoplosaurus, Pawpawsaurus, Pleurocoelus, Protohadros byrdi, Quetzalcoatlus*, Shuvosaurus, Stegoceras, Technosaurus, Tenontosaurus, Texascetes, Torosaurus, Tyrannosaurus rex