A IS FOR AGRICULTURE, AMISH, ARCHAEOLOGY, & ARCHITECTURE
Texas ARCHAEOLOGY dates back thousands of years and the state has many archaeological sites including many Rock Shelters. archaeology and paleontology events are held throughout the year. The Texas Archeological Society is made up of 12 regions that promote study, preservation, & awareness of Texas archeology. The Gault Site and the Buttermilk Creek Site are among the oldest sites in North America. The state celebrates Texas Archaeology Awareness Month in October.
ARCHITECTURE in Texas includes a wide range of styles. Jails were some of the first buildings erected in Texas. Texas has many historic buildings including 4 buildings that were built by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Texas Medical Center is the largest medical center in the world. Warenton has the smallest Catholic Church in the world.
Texas has many BRIDGES. Most of the bridges were built to span water, but some bridges appear in dry West Texas where they span natural chasms. Rainbow Bridge/Veterans Memorial Bridge and Cow Bayou Bridge are located in Bridge City. The Ann W. Richards Bridge is currently home to the largest urban bat colony in the world. The Galveston Causeway is the longest bridge in the state. Texas has had 34 Suspension Bridges and some are still in use. The Waco Suspension Bridge is the oldest and largest single-span suspension bridge in the world. The Pedestrian Bridge in Austin has won many awards. Many of the bridges are on the bridges are on the National Register of Historic Places in Texas.
Texas has scenic Byways. The Texas Swiss Alps Scenic Drive will make you feel like you are in Switzerland. Highway 207 goes through the red rocks of the second largest canyon in the country. The Texas Barbecue Trail is one of the best road trips in the state. There are also a variety of trails including over 200 bike trails. The Palo Duro Canyon Lighthouse Trail is considered one of the best trails in the state. Texas participates in National Trails Day. There are many Roadside Attractions in Texas.
Texas has all forms of COMMUNICATION including newspapers, magazines, radio, and television, telephone, and internet. The state has many telephone area codes, and Internet Service Providers are located throughout the state. All of the public schools have at least one internet connection and most have access to online services through the Texas Library Connection, and many schools have websites. Live Webcams are located throughout Texas.
Texas has more COUNTIES than any other state - 254. Rockwall County is the smallest and Brewster County is the largest. Harris County has the largest population and Loving County has the smallest. Mentone is the least populated county in the lower 48 states and is the only town in Loving County. Angelina County is the only county named for a women. Nacogdoches and Ysleta are the 2 oldest town in Texas. The term "county" is used in 48 of the 50 states for the level of local government below the state government.
Texas CULTURE is varied. In the late 1800's Galveston was the second largest port of entry in the country, and people arrived from many European countries bringing their culture, food, music, religion, and festivals. The culture of Germans, Polish, and Scots-Irish is found in many towns. Signs of Mexican culture are everywhere. Many people in Texas claim Mexican heritage and some families have lived along the border area since the state belonged to Mexico. In East Texas, Cajun and Creole language, food, and culture spill over the border from Louisiana. Texans celebrate their many cultures with food, festivals, and music.
At one time nearly 16 species of DINOSAURS lived in Texas. Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose is the most famous dinosaur tracksite in Texas. Exhibits at the Annie Riggs Museum in Fort Stockton has dinosaur footprints and casts. The State Dinosaur is the Brachiosaur Sauropod. A variety of Fossils have been found in Texas. The State Fossil is Petrified Palmwood which is also the official State Stone. About 25 Texas caves have yielded important fossils of vertebrate animals including the Columbian Mammoth. Fossils of 24 Columbian mammoths and other mammals from the Pleistocene Epoch have been uncovered at the Waco Mammoth National Monument. For coloring pages about dinosaurs, CLICK HERE.
The Texas State Dog is the Blue Lacy. Many Dog Shows are held throughout the state. The Patriot Paws Organization trains and provides service dogs of at no cost to disabled American veterans and others with mobile disabilities. Dog Parks and Open Areas are located throught Texas. The state has many Pet Shelters. There is a Greyhound Racetrack near Galveston.
The History of Public EDUCATION in Texas dates back to 1840, but the first public schools were Mission Schools opened in the 1700s. The Texas Education Agency oversees all public and private schools in the state and in most cases attendance is compulsory from age 6 thru 17. Homeschooling is popular. Information about schools in Texas is provided by SchoolBug and Great Schools.
Texas has a large variety of EVENTS throughout the year. The state has hundreds of County Fairs & Livestock Shows. The State Fair is held in Dallas and is the largest state fair in the country. Festivals include the Strawberry Festival in Poteet, Cantaloupe Festival in Pecos, Watermelon Thump in Luiling, and Oysterfest in Fulton. San Antonio has a ten-day Fiesta in April. The state observes Fixed Public Holidays. Confederate Heroes Day is an official state holiday. Many Cinco de Mayo celebrations are held throughout the state, and Octoberfests are held in German communities.
The FLAG of Texas has a blue vertical stripe with a white star in the center and 2 equal horizontal stripes. Six flags have flown over the area since its exploration in 1519 - Spanish, French, Mexican, Confederacy, United States, and Republic of Texas. Many counties have their own flag. The Cherokee of Texas have their own flag. Sandy Cheeks is the state Character.
FOOD of Texas dates back to the days when each of the 5 regions of the state was settled by pioneers from different parts of the United States and Europe and brought their food heritages with them. TexMex Food originated when Spanish/Mexican recipes combined with Anglo fare. Texas has a variety of Food Festivals throughout the year. The Texas Red Grapefruit is the State Fruit and the sweet onion is the State Vegetable. The State Pepper is the Jalapeno and the State Native Pepper is the Chiltepin. Texas produces more than half of all the jalapeno chili sauce made in the country. The city has 2 statues of Popeye and holds an annual Spinach Festival. The State Dish is Chili. Texas has more barbeque competitions than the rest of the country, and the National Championship Barbecue Cook-Off is held in Meridian. Dr. Pepper was invented in Waco and is the oldest major brand of soft drink in the country. Texas has 2 Dr. Pepper Museums. There are Food Banks throughout the state.
Many FORTS once stretched across western Texas, guarding settlements, state-coach lines, and trade routes. Some of the forts have markers or monuments, and some are Historic Sites. Fort Boggy and Fort Richardson are State Parks. Several forts have restored buildings including Fort Phantom Hill, and Fort Richardson, and Fort Davis. The Spanish built dozens of missions in Texas and most of them had a fort. Corpus Christi de la Isleta was the first Spanish mission and pueblo in Texas. Mission San Jose is known as the Queen of the Missions. San Antonio Missions is a National Historical Park. Old San Antonio had 5 missions.
Texas has hundreds of GHOST TOWNS. There is a church, a cemetery, and the ruins of the old school at Calf Creek. There is a cemetery at Goshen. There are many historical markers and ruins at Helena. The state has haunted places, ghosts, and ghost stories.
The GLOBAL POSITION of Texas is approximately 106 degrees west longitude and 36 degrees north latitude. McCulloch is the geographic center of Texas. The topography of the state ranges from 0 ft to 9,000 ft. Geocaching is a high-tech game using a Global Positioning System, and Texas has many geocaches.
Texas HISTORY dates back to 11,000 BC when the first people arrived in what is now Texas. Midland Man, the oldest human remains found in the New World, was discovered in 1953. La Juanta de los Rios is believed to be the oldest continuous cultivated farmland in the state. Texas was involved in several wars including The Texas-Indian Wars and the Mexican-American War. Texas seded from the Union and was part of the Civil War. The state was involved in World War I both along the Mexican border and in France. A Night in Old San Antonio celebrates the history of early settlers in the city. The state celebrates National History Day.
The State HORSE is the American Quarter Horse. Horseback riding is popular and the state has many Horse Trails. Many parks offer horse trails and campgrounds. Rodeos are held throughout the year. The North Texas Horse Country is one of the largest concentrations of horse farms in the United States. Texas has several Horse Racing Tracks.
Texas has many ISLANDS. Some of the islands are listed in the U.S. Islands Directory if they have a ham operator. The Barrier Islands protect the coast from heavy waves. Padre Island is the longest barrier island in the country and a National Seashore. Galveston Island has been occupied since the early 1500's and is a State Park.
Texas has 25,000 INSECTS including many butterflies. More than 175 species of butterflies have been found in Big Bend National Park. Several are seen only in this country within the park or West Texas. The State Insect is the Monarch Butterfly. Africanized honey bees, also known as Killer Bees have been found in Texas. The state has both native and non-native fire ants.The state has a Integrated Pest Management Program. A Bug Fest is held at Zilker Park in Austin.
The JUDICIAL System is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The Texas Judicial System is laid out in Article 5 of the Texas Constitution, and is further defined under the Texas Government Code and, with regards to probate matters, under the Texas Probate Code.
Many aspects of life in Texas focus on KIDS and has a special Kids Corner . The Texas State Senate has a Kids Page. A program called Kids Count works to build a better understanding of the children in Texas. Junior Master Gardner has a kids page. The Texas Department of transportation has a special Kids Page. The Texas Parks & Wildlife has a Kids Page. The Texas Christmas Tree Association has information for kids. The U.S. Mint has a special Kids Page.
Texas has over 500 free public LIBRARIES and most of them are connected to the internet. The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library is the biggest presidential library in the country. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library is part of the Almo. The Texas State Library and Archive Commission in Austin provides historical and genealogical information and provides online information. The state has a Poet Laureate and celebrates National Poetry Month.
Texas has 7 LIGHTHOUSES. The lighthouse at Port Isabel is a State Historic Site and open to the public. The state has 4 Texas Tower Lighthouses that are similar to an off-shore oil platform. The most important aspect of a lighthouse is the light that comes from the tower.
Texas has 2 ranges of MOUNTAINS, and 90 mountains are a mile or more high. Guadalupe Peak is the highest mountain in the state and part of the Guadalupe National Park. The second highest mountain is Bush Mountain. A stainless steel pyramid marks the summit of Guadalupe Peak to commemorate the 100th anniversary of a stagecoach route that passed south of the mountain. The imposing height and stark outline have made the El Capitan peak one of the iconic images of travelers. Mountain Climbing is a popular activity.
Texas has many MUSEUMS, and some of the finest art museums in the world. The Jack S. Blanton Museum has the largest Latin American Art Collection in the country. The El Paso Museum of History recreates the region's past. The National Museum of the Pacific War is in Fredericksburg. National Border Patrol Museum displays items from Texas' history of guarding the border. The Amon Carter Museum has horse sculptures and scenes of cowboys. The National Museum and Cowgirl Hall of Fame is in Hereford. The Briscoe Western Art Museum has exhibits, public events, and educational programs. The George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas opened in 2013.
The MUSIC of Texas is influenced by its history. Many songs have been written about the state. There are unique songs including regional favorites, campfire classics, and songs about Mexico. Country Western music, Tejano (Texan) music, and line dancing are popular. Fort Worth hosts the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition every 4 years. Concerts are held throughout the year in many areas of Texas. Most major cities in texas have a symphony orchestras. Texas has several opera houses and theatre companies, and many dance studios. Ennis has an annual Polka Festival. The Guitar is the State Musical Instrument. The State Folk Dance is the Square Dance and the State Play is "TEXAS," Fandangle".
For thousands of years various tribes of NATIVE AMERICANS occupied the region that is now Texas. The state has 3 Federally Recognized Tribes and 3 Indian Reservations. The Alabama-Coushatta have a visitor center that is open in the summer and a campground. The Kickapoo have a casino at Eagle Pass. The Tigua is the oldest ethnic group identified in the country. Pow-Wows are held throughout the state.
The OIL boom was a period of dramatic change and economic growth in the U.S. state of Texas during the early 20th century. Oil and natural gas are the most valuable minerals produced in Texas. Spindletop is a salt dome oil field located in the southern portion of Beaumont. Texas leads the country in the production of oil and making chemicals, plastics, and other products from oil. The Permian Basin Petroleum Museum, Library, and Hall of Fame is in Midland. The state has a wide variety of other minerals. Texas is part of the U.S. Geological Survey
Texas is part of the Old West (the area west of the Mississippi River during the 1800s). The state has Cowboys and Cowgirls and Bandera is one of the top 10 cowboy towns in the country. The Cowboy Artists of America Museum in Kerrville preserves & perpetuates the culture of western life in fine art. The National Multicultural Western Hall of Fame in Fort Worth offers the a historical perspective of the people & activities that built the unique culture of the American West. The The Texas Rangers is the second-oldest state-level law enforcement agency in the country. Texas had its share of lawlessness and the Rangers were involved in some of the best-known criminal cases in the history of the state. There is a Ranger Hall of Fame in Waco.
Nearly 28 million PEOPLE live in Texas, and they are called Texans. Many famous people have called Texas their home. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President, was the 1st Texan to become president of the United States. Other presidents from Texas include Lyndon B. Johnson, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush. Admiral Chester W. Nimitiz was Fleet Admiral Commander of the U. S. Pacific Fleet in WW II. Scott Joplin is known as the King of Ragtime Music. The Texas Women's Hall of Fame honor the most outstanding women in the state. The English in Texas is spoken with a distinct accent. Many residents of Fredericksburg speak German. Because of its proximity to Mexico, Spanish is often spoken.
Texas has many PORTS along the Gulf Coast. The Port of Houston is the busiest in the state and the 2nd largest port in the country. The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway runs close to the coast. The Texas Maritime Museum has history and artifacts.
QUILTING is popular in texas and there are Quilt Guilds and Quilt Shows. The state has many Quilt Shows and the International Quilt Show is held in Houston. Texas also has Spinner, Weavers, and Knitting Guilds.
Take a QUIZ about Texas. Quiz #1 - Quiz #2
Print activity pages.
Texas is home to several species of REPTILES and amphibians including lizards, frogs, toads, turtles, salamanders, crocodillians, and snakes. The Texas horned Lizard is the state reptile. The Mojave Rattlesnake has the most deadly venom of any snake in the country. Texas has many Reptile Societies. The state is part of the USGS North American Amphibian Monitoring Program.
Texas has nearly 200,000 miles of RIVERS and streams. Some of the rivers shape the borders of Texas. The Red River is to the north, the Sabine River shapes the boundary between Texas and Louisiana to the east, and the Rio Grand divides Texas from Mexico Most of the rivers empty into the Gulf of Mexico. Part of the Rio Grande is designated a Wild and Scenic River and is designated an American Heritage River.
The coast of Texas has had hundreds of SHIPWRECKS. The discovery of La Belle in 1995 was considered one of the most important archaeological finds of the century and one of the most important shipwrecks ever discovered in North America. The USS Hatteras was a side-wheel gunboat used during the Civil War. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and underwater divers can explore it. The state has a Shipwreck Weekend to promote the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University and to inform the general public of aspects of nautical archaeology. The State Marine Archaeologist is responsible for the protection, preservation, and investigation of historic shipwrecks in all the state owned waters of Texas.
Texas has a variety of SPORTS . Dallas hosts the Cotton Bowl on New Years Day. The Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco celebrates and preserves Texas' sports history. The first rodeo in the world was held in Pecos in 1883, and the Rodeo is the official Texas State Sport. Texas has about hundreds of public & private golf courses. The Texas Water Safari is called the toughest canoe race in the world. The Alamodome has major sporting events, concerts, and conventions. The Reliant Astrodome was the 1st air conditioned domed stadium in the country and the 1st to use artificial turf.
Texas has all forms of TRANSPORTATION.The Texas Department of Transportation maintains the vast highway system in the state. Texas has more public roads than any other state in the country, and Texans are among the highest per capita users of air transportation in the country. The Adopt-a-Highway Program started in Texas. The first license plates in Texas were issued in 1907. The Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo Tribe has their own license plate. To celebrate its birthday in 2002, Matchbox cars issued a vehicle for each state in the order in which it was admitted into the union. The vehicle for Texas was the Dodge Dakota Pickup.
Texas has nearly 300 species of native TREES. The State TREE is the Pecan Tree. Texas has 64 National Champion Trees and one of them is the Texas Live Oak. The Big Tree near Rockport is one of the most famous live oaks in the world. A coastal live oak near Fulton is the oldest tree in the state with an estimated age of 1,500 years. About 15% of Texas is forested. The state has 4 National Forests - Angelina, Davy Crockett, Sabine, and Sam Houston.
Three ships of the United States Navy have been named USS TEXAS. The 1st USS Texas was the first battleship commissioned and served from 1895 until 1911. The 2nd USS Texas (BB-35) was a battleship commissioned in 1914 that served in both World War I and World War II. In 1948 the ship became the first Battleship Memorial Museum in the country and is presently a museum ship near Houston. The 3rd USS Texas (DLGN/CGN-39) was commissioned in 1977 and was the 2nd Virginia-class nuclear guided missile cruiser. After several deployments and changes in home port, the ship was decommissioned in 1993 and entered the nuclear Ship-Submarine Recycling Program in 1999. The 4th USS Texas (SSN-775) was christened in 2004. The ship is the the 2nd Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine and in active service.
Texas does not have any active VOLCANOES, but it has a volcanic past. Extinct volcanoes lie along the Rio Grande rift system in the western part of the state. Volcanic eruptions formed the Davis Mountains.
The WEATHER in Texas varies widely, from arid in the west to humid in the east. Several regions have distinctly different climates: Northern Plains, Trans-Pecos Region, Texas Hill Country, Piney Woods, and South Texas. The part of Texas that lies to the east of Interstate 35 is subtropical, while the portion that lies to the west of Interstate 35 is arid desert. The state is hit by more tornadoes than any other state in the country. Tropical cyclones can affect the state from the Gulf of Mexico or from an overland trajectory originating in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Significant floods have occurred across the state throughout history, both from tropical cyclones and from stalled weather NASA has information about Hurricanes. In Texas they often flow in from the Gulf of Mexico and strike the southern coast and the nearby sandbars. NOAA provides up-to-date weather information. The effects of Global Warming in Texas are being studied.
Texas has a large variety of WILDLIFE including bears, coyote, deer, mountain lions, wild pigs, and the largest herd of whitetail deer in the country. The State Large Mammal is the Texas Longhorn, and the Armadillo is the small mammal. Prairie dogs build a network of tunnels on the plains. Texas is home to many species of BATS. The largest colony of bats in the world live under the bridges of Austin. Two dozen Texas caverns harbor about 100 million free-tailed bats from April to November. Black Beauty Ranch adopts abused and distressed animals. Texas has 17 National Wildlife Refuges. The Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge is the only place in the country where Ocelots are found. The Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch has animals from 6 of the 7 continents. The Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is home to birds and animals found no where else in the country. The Texas Snow Monkey Sanctuary provides a free-range environment for primates in need. Texas has a Conservation Action Plan.
Time ZONES are estaablished by the Coordinated Universal Time. The United States has several time zones. Most of the state is in the central time zone, but El Paso runs on mountain time. The state has several Plant hardiness Zones.
Texas has several ZOOS, and Aquariums and Aquatic Attractions. The Texas Zoo in Victoria, allows animals native to the state to roam in their natural habitat. The Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville is one of the top zoos in the country.