Texas: Who Knew? Texas is the only state to have the flags of 6 different nations fly over it. They are: Spain, France, Mexico, Republic of Texas, Confederate States, and the United States. The King Ranch in Texas is bigger than the state of Rhode Island. During the period of July 24-26, 1979, the Tropical Storm Claudette brought 45 inches of rain to an area near Alvin, Texas, contributing to more than $600 million in damages. Claudette produced the United States 24 hour rainfall record of 43 inches. Texas is the only state to enter the United States by treaty instead of territorial annexation. Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in the state. Austin is considered the live music capital of the world. Texas is home to Dell and Compaq computers and central Texas is often referred to as the Silicon Valley of the south. Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. The Dublin Dr Pepper, 85 miles west of Waco, still uses pure imperial cane sugar in its product. There is no period after the Dr in Dr Pepper. The first suspension bridge in the United States was the Waco Bridge. Built in 1870 and still in use today as a pedestrian crossing of the Brazos River. The capitol in Austin opened May 16, 1888. The dome of the building stands seven feet higher than that of the nation’s Capitol in Washington, D.C. The worst natural disaster in United States history was caused by a hurricane that hit Galveston in 1900. Over 8000 deaths were recorded. The first word spoken from the moon on July 20, 1969 was Houston. Texas possesses three of the top ten most populous cities in the United States. These towns are Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. El Paso is closer to Needles, California than it is to Dallas. Texas includes 267,339 square miles, or 7.4% of the nation’s total area. The state’s cattle population is estimated to be near 16 million. More land is farmed in Texas than in any other state. More species of bats live in Texas than in any other part of the United States. Brazoria County has more species of birds than any other comparable area in North America. The Aransas Wildlife Refuge is the winter home of North America’s only remaining flock of whooping cranes. Jalapeno pepper jelly originated in Lake Jackson and was first marketed in 1978. In 1836, five sites served as temporary capitals of Texas (Washington-on-the-Brazos, Harrisburg, Galveston, Velasco and Columbia) before Sam Houston moved the capital to Houston in 1837. In 1839, the capital was moved to the new town of Austin. Texas seceded from the United States and joined the Confederate States of America on Jan. 28, 1861. Texas officially was readmitted to the Union on March 30, 1870, following the period of Reconstruction. Spindletop, near Beaumont in East Texas, was Texas’ first oil gusher in 1901. It signaled the beginning of the state’s oil boom. The tidewater coastline of Texas stretches 624 miles along the Gulf of Mexico and contains more than 600 historic shipwrecks. There are more than 70,000 miles of highways in Texas. Texas has a total of 6,300 square miles of inland lakes and streams, second only to Alaska. There are three existing Indian reservations in the state: the Alabama-Coushatta Reservation, located between Livingston and Woodville in East Texas; Ysleta del Sur Pueblo (Tigua Indian Reservation) near El Paso; and the Kickapoo Reservation in Maverick County. Most Native Americans in Texas live outside reservations; however, Texas’ Indian population ranks sixth among the states, with approximately 65,000. The largest body of water completely within the boundaries of Texas is Sam Rayburn Reservoir in East Texas, which covers 113,400 acres. Texas is as large as all of New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois combined. There are approximately 11,500 historical markers in the state. Marker subjects include historic courthouses; frontier forts; Spanish mission and presidios; cemeteries; churches; individuals; historic homes and buildings; Texas Revolution battle sites and more. There are more than 700 local history museums, 40,000 recorded archeological sites and more than 2,000 sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Rodeo is the official state sport of Texas, though High School Football is more popular. The all American meal, the hamburger, was created in Athens, Texas. Davy Crockett had another distinction in Texas, besides dying at the Alamo. He also served three terms as a congressman in Tennessee. Before leaving he informed his peers, “You’all can go to hell. I am going to Texas.” The San Jacinto Monument near Houston is among the tallest columns in the world; at 570 feet, it’s about twenty feet higher than the Washington Monument in the District of Columbia. The Dallas/Ft. Worth airport is larger than New York City’s Manhattan Island. The Tyler Municipal Rose Garden is the world’s largest rose garden. It contains 38,000 rose bushes representing 500 varieties of roses set in a 22-acre garden. In 1981, the state legislature enshrined a new member to the short list of official state heroes of Texas. Former Houston Oiler Earl Campbell, joined Davy Crockett, Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston on this honorable list. The Constitution of 1845, which was the resolution that allowed Texas into the Union, stated that Texas had the right to divide into four states in addition to the original Texas. That legal right still remains true. The people of Texas usually call themselves Texans. However, Texian was generally used in the early period of the state’s history. Texas is the only state whose state flag flies as high as the United States flag.