Texas is one of the biggest states by population and area in the United States. The state is on the south-central region of the country, and it is bordered by the Mexican Gulf to the southeast. Texas is surrounded by the Mexican states of Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Chihuahua, and Nuevo Leon to the southwestern side and numerous American states including Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and New Mexico. The state has over 28,304,596 residents with its most populous city being Houston followed by San Francisco, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Greater Houston. Houston is the ranked fourth in the country while Austin is the second most highly populated state capital in the country. Texas is known as the "Lone Star State" and is famous for its BBQ, live music, hot temperatures, and more.
6. The Lone Star State
The official nickname of Texas is ‘’The Lone Star State’’. The lone star is on the Texan state seal and flag of Texas. The nickname signifies its previous status as an independent state. The nickname also serves as a reminder of their struggle as they fought for their independence from Mexico. Even though they have been using the nickname for over a century, Texas adopted it officially in 2015. The star was part of Austin colony and some of the state’s previous flags. Many people believe that the star represented the Texan’s wish to achieve statehood. Others say it represents the state as a lone Mexican state that was trying to uphold its rights under the constitution of Mexico of 1824. The lone star flag has played a crucial role in the history of Texas. A one-star flag was flown during the Bexar Siege in 1835 while another one was raised in Alamo in the same year. General Houston and his troop were carrying a lone star flag when they fought and won the battle of San Jacinto. The Congress of Texas adopted David Burnet’s lone star flag on December 1839.
5. The Alamo
Alamo is near San Antonio, and it’s where the Texan soldiers defended the fort against the Mexican military led by General Santa Anna. During the Texan’s independence war in 1835, a group of volunteer soldiers was stationed at Alamo. The Mexican forces attacked the Alamo defenders on February 23, 1836. Although they were outnumbered, the defenders led by William Travis and James Bowie held the fort courageously for thirteen days before being defeated by General Santa Anna’s soldiers. They managed to repel two main attacks from the Mexican soldiers before being overpowered during the third attack. The Battle of Alamo was a symbol of heroic resistance to the Mexicans and the state’s struggle for independence which they won in 1836. After Texas was annexed by the U.S., they revived the phrase "Remember the Alamo" during the American-Mexican war of 1846 to 1848. The state purchased Alamo in 1883, and the Daughters of Texas has been managing Alamo since 1905. The 4.2-acre site receives over 2.5 million visitors annually.
4. Texas BBQ
Texan BBQ is a traditional way of cooking meat that is unique to the Texan cuisine. The Texas BBQ is one of the most famous types of barbecue on earth. The meat smoking tradition was brought to central Texas by the Czech and German settler during the mid-nineteenth century. The BBQ tradition in Texas is divided into four types: Central Texas, West Texas, East Texas, and South Texas. The most famous variety of Texan BBQ includes the East and Central Texas varieties. The East Texans cook their BBQ until the meat can fall off the bone and marinate their meat with sweet tomato-based sauce and cook it over hickory wood. The Central Texans usually rub their meat with spices or black pepper and salt before cooking it over the indirect heat of either oak or pecan wood. The South Texan BBQ features molasses-like sauce that keeps their meat moist, while the West Texans cook their meat over direct mesquite wood heat. Another style of BBQ known as barbacoa is common in Deep South Texas.
3. Live Music Capital of the World
The city of Austin is known as the Live-Music Capital since on any night there are over a hundred venues in the city with free live music. The phrase became official after it was discovered that Austin had more live-music venues per capita than any other state in the country in 1991. In Austin, you can enjoy any show from jazz to country, indie rock to blues, and many more in the almost 200 venues, any day of the week. It is also known for the Austin City Limits and South by Southwest festivals which showcase a variety of musical talent from every corner of the world. Majority of the live music venues in the city are in South Austin, South Lamar, the Red River District, South Congress, Downtown, Warehouse district, and Sixth Street among other places.
2. Second Largest State
Texas is the second biggest state in the country both by population and area. Texas occupies an area of about 268,820sq miles with three of its boundaries defined by rivers. Texas is twice as big as Japan or Germany and 10% bigger than France. If Texas were a country, it would rank forty-ninth right behind Zambia and Chile. About 2.74% of the total area of the state is occupied by water. Over 8.62% of the U.S. citizens reside in Texas. The state has over 27,862,596 residents and has 36 representatives in the House of Representatives. Each Texan representative represents over 763,031 Texans.
1. Hot Weather
Texas is one of the hottest states with about seventeen Texan cities listed among the 50 warmest cities in the country. Some of the hottest Texan cities include Dallas, El Paso, Austin, and Dallas among others. During summer, the maximum temperature of Texas ranges from 79°F (26°C) in Galveston Island and the West Texas mountains to 100°F (38°C) in other places like the Rio-Grande Valley. Most places in Texas experience a consistent summer temperature of about 90°F (32°C). The night temperature ranges from 81°F (27°C) in Galveston to 57°F (14°C) in the mountains of West Texas. In August, most cities in the state like Laredo, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin experience a temperature of over 95°F (35°C). Even though Texas is associated with the southwestern deserts on the United States, only 10% of the land area of Texas is a desert.