Texas was labeled as ‘A Giant’ by novelist Edna Ferber, and she couldn’t have been more right. The total combined wealth of Texas’ natural resources is surpassing the resource of all the other states by far, and if Texas were a separate and independent country, the nation would be ranked 11th in the world when it comes to wealth.
Texas is leading the nation in overall productivity, and the state’s history reveals one of America’s most heroic and impressive occurrences: the defense of the Alamo. Texas’ residents are known for being friendly, and they indeed are. The state’s motto is ‘Friendship’.
Back in the day, the quintessential Texan would have been a frontier cowboy wearing a 10-gallon hat, but the modern-day Texas symbol will probably more appropriately be represented by a Texas oil field laborer or a scientist operating a laboratory.
Texas still is a ‘frontier state’, though these days the frontier is definitely the U.S. space program. It may be not surprising that the giant state of Texas has built the largest of all U.S. state capitols to symbolize its strength.
Quick Facts about Texas
– Greatest flower varieties.
– Greatest reptiles varieties.
– U.S. helium production leader.
– First U.S. state in petroleum refining capacity.
– First U.S. state in the production of asphalt.
– First U.S. state in the production of cotton.
– Produces more chemicals from seawater than any other country.
– Only U.S. state that has 5 major ports.
Texas brief history
In 1535, a shipwrecked group of people that was led by Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, managed to free itself from Indian captivity on one of the islands just off the coast of Texas, and they set out on an incredibly dangerous journey across the region and returned to Mexico. In 1541, the famous Francisco Vasquez de Coronado expedition managed to cross the Rio Grande.
The European settlers founded their first permanent settlement (Ysleta) in the year 1682 in what we know as Texas, and in the period 1700 – 1750, around a dozen missions were established in Tem as the outposts of civilization.
In 1819, it was decided that the Red and Sabine rivers were the eastern and northern boundaries. Noteworthy is that, before Moses died in 1820, Stephen and Moses Austin had already set up an American foothold in Texas, and later, in the 1830s, the American presence in Texas started to increase considerably.
Noah Smithwick wrote on an 1828 Texas wedding: ‘When young folks were dancing in those days, they danced, they ‘shuffled’ and ‘double-shuffled’, they ‘wired’ and ‘cut the wing of a pigeon,’ making even the splinters fly…
Around 1835, the Texas Americans came to the conclusion that they would be better off if they were independent from Mexico, and the San Antonio siege was so successful that the town fell in December that year.
To re-take San Antonio, Mexican army leader Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna went to the city in February 1836. He found the defenders at the Alamo, an old mission, and what followed was a lengthy siege. His Mexican forces overwhelmed the defenders and killed them that year on March 6, and only one of the American defenders could escape. Later Santa Anna went on to Goliad to capture and murder 330 Texans.
Alamo commander William Barret Travis wrote: ‘The enemy was demanding a surrender at discretion, or if not, the garrison can expect to be put to the sword, but I shall never retreat or surrender, it’s victory or death’. In 1836, Sam Houston, the Texan dynamo, then led his armed forces eastward to lure Santa Anna into a highly uncomfortable position.
Houston defeated Santa Anna’s troops at the decisively important Battle of San Jacinto (April 21, 1836), and the Mexican leader was captured. Sam Houston said that day: ‘This morning we are preparing to challenge Santa Anna. This is the only real chance we have to save Texas.
Texas should have come up with 4,000 men, but we only are around seven hundred. Let’s go to conquer Santa Anna’. Later Houston said: ‘Victory is for certain. We all should trust in the Lord and have no fear. And do remember the Alamo’.
Later in the year 1836, the people of Texas elected Sam Houston as the Independent Republic of Texas’ first President. After a mere 10 years of its cherished independence, Texas became the Union’s 28th state on December 29, 1845. As discussions and divisions over American slavery policies were increasing, Sam Houston became Texas governor in the year 1859.
In January 1861, Texas decided to secede from the Union, despite the objections of Houston, who subsequently resigned. All through the Civil War, Texas was furnishing huge quantities of food and required materials, and later, on March 30, 1870, Texas became re-admitted to the Union, and a new state constitution was turned into law in 1876 (on February 15th).
In the period 1870 – 1890, more than 10 million cattle found their way from Texas to markets all across the nation. In 1900, on September 8th, a terrible hurricane hit Galveston on the Gulf Coast to destroy the city. More than 6,000 residents were killed and some 8,000 were left homeless. in 1937, a New London school explosion caused the death of over 300 teachers and students.
More than 750,000 Texans were sent to World War II, and 23,022 did not return. In 1963, a serious border dispute with the state of Mexico was finally settled. When John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas (November 22nd, 1963), Lyndon B. Johnson, a Texan native, succeeded to the U.S. presidency.
President Thomas Jefferson:
… The Techas province will certainly be our union’s richest state, without any exception…