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Texas, US (Population: 23,507,783)

State Capitol: Austin

Major Cities: Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, Fort Worth, Arlington, Corpus Christi, Plano, Garland

State Nickname/Motto: Lone Star State - Friendship

Statehood Granted: December 29, 1845

History: American Indian tribes who once lived inside the boundaries of present-day Texas include Apache, Atakapan, Bidai, Caddo, Comanche, Cherokee, Kiowa, Tonkawa, Wichita, Hueco and the Karankawa of Galveston. Currently, there are three federally recognized Native American tribes which reside in Texas: the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, and the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo of Texas. On 6 November 1528, shipwrecked Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca became the first known European in Texas. Most of Texas was immediately claimed by Spain (mostly western Texas) as part of the Spanish dominions of New Spain. However, France took advantage of Spain's failure to settle the land and in 1685 established Fort St. Louis and claimed most of Texas. The first Spanish colonization did not come until a few years after Fort St. Louis, as Spain was spurred by France to enforce its claims. The French claim was inherited by the United States as they bought the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and the Spanish claim was later inherited by Mexico during the Mexican Revolution of 1821, setting the stage for the Mexican–American War.

Geography: Highest point: Guadalupe Peak 8,749 feet. The geography of Texas spans a wide range of features and timelines. Texas is the southernmost part of the Great Plains, which ends in the south against the folded Sierra Madre Oriental of Mexico. It is in the south-central part of the United States of America. It is considered to form part of the U.S. South and also part of the U.S. Southwest. The Rio Grande, Red River and Sabine River all provide natural state lines where Texas borders Oklahoma on the north, Louisiana and Arkansas on the east, and New Mexico and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the south.

Ethnic Diversity: One Race (98.3White (71.9%)lack or African American (11.0%), American Indian and Alaska Native (0.5%), Asian (3.3%), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (0.1%), Some other race (11.6%), Two or more races (1.7%), Hispanic or Latino (35.5%)*

Famous State People:

  • Carol Burnett (1933 - ) Comedian and actress of “The Carol Burnett Show”; born in San Antonio.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890 - 1969) The 34th U.S. President (1953-1961); born in Denison.
  • Lyndon B. Johnson (1908 - 1973) The 36th U.S. President (1963-1969); born in Stonewall.
  • Dan Rather (1931 - ) TV newscaster and host of CBS Evening News; born in Wharton.
  • Steven Fuller Austin (1793 - 1836) Founding father of Texas and namesake of the state's capital.
  • George W. Bush (1946 - ) 43rd U.S. President; grew up in Midland and Houston.
  • Roy Orbison (1936 - 1988) Singer; born in Vernon.
  • Selena Perez (1971 - 1995) Famous Latin singer; born in Texarkana.
  • Willie Nelson (1933 - ) Country music singer and songwriter; born in Abbott.
  • Nolan Ryan (1947 - ) Baseball pitcher who pitched seven no-hitters; born in Refugio.
  • Sandra Day O'Connor (1930 - ) U.S. Supreme Court justice; born in El Paso.
  • Mary Kay Ash (1915 -2001) Cosmetics entrepreneur and founder of Mary Kay cosmetics; born in Hot Wells.
  • Clyde Barrow (1909 - 1934) Outlaw and partner in crime with Bonnie Parker; born in Teleco.
  • Buddy Holly (1936 - 1959) Musician, considered one of the fathers of rock 'n roll; born in Lubbock.
  • H. Ross Perot (1930 - ) Dallas computer billionaire, philanthropist, and independent (Reform Party) candidate for U.S. president in 1992 and 1996; born in Texarkana.

  • Major Colleges/Universities: Amberton University, Angelina College, Angelo State University, Argosy University, Austin College, Concordia University, Criswell College, McMurry University, Midland College, Midwestern State University, Navarro College, North Central Texas College, University of Dallas, University of Houston System, Wade College, Wayland Baptist University, Weatherford College, Western Texas College, Westwood College Of Technology, Wharton County Junior College, Wiley College

    State and National Parks: Abilene, Atlanta, Balmorhea, Bastrop, Big Bend Ranch, Big Spring, Blanco, Bohnam, Brazos Bend, Buescher, Caddo Lake, Cedar Hill, Choke Canyon, Cleburne, Colorado Bend, Cooper Lake, Copper Breaks, Daingerfield, Davis Mountains, Eisenhower, Fairfield Lake, Falcon, Fort Boggy, Franklin Mountains, Galveston Island, Garner, Goliad, Goose Island, Guadalupe River, Huntsville, Indian Lodge, Inks Lake, Kickapoo Cavern, Lake Arrowhead, Lake Bob Sandlin, Lake Brownwood, Lake Corpus Chrisit, Lake Livingston, Lake Tawakoni, Lockhart, Longhorn Cavern, Martin Creek Lake, Meridian, Mother Neff, Mustang Island, Palestine, Plmetto, Purtis Creek, Seminole Canyon, south Llano River, Big Bend National Park, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Padre Island National Seashore

    Misc: There are many popular events held in Texas celebrating cultures of Texans. The annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo that is held over 20 days from late February through early March. The event begins with trail rides that originate from several points throughout the state, all of which convene at Reliant Park for a barbecue cook-off. The rodeo includes typical rodeo events, as well as concert performances from major artists and carnival rides. The World’s first rodeo was held in Pecos, Texas on 4 July 1883. The Southwestern Livestock Show and Rodeo in Fort Worth lasts three weeks in late January and early February. It has many traditional rodeos, but also a cowboy rodeo, and a Mexican rodeo in recent years that have a large fan base for each. The State Fair of Texas is held in Dallas each year at Fair Park.

    Texas has a vibrant live music scene in Austin boasting more music venues per capita than any other U.S. city, befitting the city's official slogan as The Live Music Capital of the World. Austin's music revolves around the many nightclubs on 6th Street and an annual film, music, and multimedia festival known as South by Southwest. The longest-running concert music program on American television, Austin City Limits, is videotaped on The University of Texas at Austin campus or in Zilker Park. Austin City Limits and Waterloo Records run the Austin City Limits Music Festival, an annual music and art festival held at Zilker Park in Austin.

    *U.S. Census - 2005