TexasTexas State nickname: Lone Star State Capital Austin Largest City Houston Area Ranked 2nd - Total 696,241 km2 - Land 678,907 km2 - Water 17,333 km2 - % water 2.5% Population Ranked 2nd - Total (2000) 20,851,820 - Density 30/km2 Admittance into Union - Order 28th - Date December 29, 1845 Central: UTC-6/-5 Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6 All but some part of western TX in Central Latitude 25°50'N to 36°30'N Longitude 93°31'W to 106°38'W Width 1,065 km Length 1,270 km Elevation -Highest 2,667 meters -Mean 520 meters -Lowest 0 meters ISO 3166-2: US-TX Texas (in modern Spanish spelling it would be Tejas) is a state of the United States of America. The state name derives from a Caddo word meaning friends or allies, and was mistakenly applied to the people and their location by Spanish explorers. The state flower is the bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis); the state motto is "Friendship." The state nickname is The Lone Star State, after the single star on the state flag. The state tree is the pecan and the state bird is the mockingbird. The state dish is chili con carne. The state motto is "friendship". The state insect is the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus). Texas (area 690,000 km2) is the second largest state in size after Alaska and has historically been portrayed as larger than life, especially in cowboy films and oil wells. Location Texas is bordered to the west by New Mexico, to the north by Oklahoma (across the Red River), and to the east by Louisiana (across the Sabine River) and Arkansas. To the south west Texas borders Mexico (across the Rio Grande), the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas. To the south east Texas has a shore of the Gulf of Mexico. Texas is located in the south center of the United States. Depending on who you talk to (and which part of Texas they are from), Texas is part of the US South or the US Southwest. Texas shares some cultural elements with both regions, with more similarities to the South, especially Louisiana, in the east of the state, and more similarities to the Southwest, especially New Mexico, in the west. History Among Native American inhabitants of present Texas were Apache, Atakapa, Bidai, Caddo, Comanche, Karankawa, Kiowa, Tonkawa, and Wichita. Texas can claim 'Six Flags' have flown over its soil (including the 'Fleur de Lis' of France). Texas was part of the Spanish colony of New Spain. After Mexican independence in 1821 Texas was a part of Mexico. The Republic of Texas (1836-1845) Texas was the first sovereign nation (other than aboriginal nations) to be annexed by the United States. (The other was the Kingdom of Hawaii.) The area now known as Texas was called The Republic of Texas from 1836 to 1845. Important dates: * 1519. Alonso Alvarez de Pineda, a Spanish explorer, was probably the first European to map the Texas coast. * 1528 - 1534. Álvar NuĖez Cabeća de Vaca, another Spanish explorer, spent six years visiting Texas for trade. * 18 February 1685. Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de LaSalle established Fort St. Louis at Matagorda Bay, thus laying claim to Texas by France. * 1700 - 1799. Spain established Catholic missions in Texas throughout the 18th century. * 3 January 1823. Stephen F. Austin began a colony of 300 families in the Brazos River region. This group is now known as the "Old Three Hundred". * 26 June 1832. The Battle of Velasco resulted in the first casualties of the developing Texas Revolution. * 1832 - 1833. The "Conventions" of 1832 and 1833 were triggered by rising unrest at the policies of the ruling Mexican government. Among the policies that most irritated the Texians were the Mexican ban on slavery, the forcible disarmament of Texian settlers, and the expulsion of illegal immigrants from the United States of America. The example of the Centralista forces' suppression of dissidents in Zacatecas also inspired fear of the Mexican government. * Texas Revolution Early in 1835, Stephen F. Austin announced that war with Mexico was necessary to secure Texian freedom. * 2 October 1835. Texians fought a Mexican Cavalry detachment at the town of Gonzales, which began the actual revolution. * 28 October 1835. At the "Battle of Concepcion", 90 Texians defeated 450 Mexicans. * 2 March 1836. The "Convention of 1836" signed the Texas "Declaration of Independence", making an attempt at a clear break from Mexican rule. * 6 March 1836. Approximately 190 Texians, led by William B. Travis, were besieged at the Alamo in San Antonio by the Mexican army (numbering 4,000 to 5,000). The thirteen-day siege resulted in the deaths of all of its defenders, including Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and Travis. * 27 March 1836. By the order of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the Mexicans executed James Fannin and nearly 400 Texians in the Massacre at Goliad. * 21 April 1836. General Santa Anna, having defeated the Texas rebellion, while conducting mopping up operations advanced to San Jacinto in pursuit of the fleeing rebels. Led by Sam Houston, independence was won in one of the most decisive battles in history when Texans defeated Mexican forces of Santa Anna at the "Battle of San Jacinto". The entire Mexican force of 1,600 men was killed or captured by Houston's army of 800, with only nine fatal casualties. Santa Anna was among the captives. * 14 May 1836. The treaty of Velasco was signed by Republic of Texas Officials and General Santa Anna. * 1836. Five cities served as temporary capitals of Texas (Washington-on-the-Brazos, Galveston, Harrisburg, Velasco, and Columbia) before Sam Houston moved the capital to Houston in 1837. * 5 March 1842. A Mexican force of over 500 men, led by Rafael Vasquez, invaded Texas for the first time since the revolution. They soon headed back to the Rio Grande after briefly occupying San Antonio. * 11 September 1842. San Antonio was captured again by 1400 Mexican troops, led by Adrian Woll. They retreated, as before, but with prisoners this time. * 29 December 1845. President James K. Polk followed through on a campaign platform promising to annex Texas, and signed legislation making Texas the 28th state of the United States. * 1 February 1861. Following a 171 to 6 vote by the "Secession Convention", Texas seceded from the Union. Sam Houston was one of the voters who opposed secession. * 30 March 1870. The United States Congress readmitted Texas into the Union. * 20 January 2001. George W. Bush is inagurated. Born in New Haven, Connecticut he was raised in Midland, Texas. Law and Government Its capital is Austin, also known as the "Live Music Capital of the World." The Capitol is loosely modeled after the Capitol Building in Washington, DC, except that it is built of pink granite and its dome is topped by a statue of the "Goddess of Liberty", holding aloft a five-point Texas star. The capitol building is taller than the national capitol, but less massive. Geography Texas has five major topographic regions: 1) The Coastal Plain, from the Gulf of Mexico inland to about San Antonio and just southeast of Austin. 2) The Balcones, a hilly rocky area in east central Texas. 3) The Great Plains region extends into northern Texas, including the Llano Estacado and the Panhandle high plains. 4) The North Central Plains. 5) The Trans Pecos Desert. Texas is divided into 254 counties; See: List of Texas counties Economy Texas was lagely rural before World War II with cattle ranching, oil, and agriculture as its main industries. In 1926 San Antonio was the largest city in Texas with over 120,000 people. After World War II, Texas has become increasingly industralized. Its economy (circa 2000) is largely based on information technology, oil and natural gas, energy exploration and energy trading, agriculture, and manufacturing. The two major economic centers are the Houston Metropolitan Area, centered in Houston, and Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, centered on those two respective cities. Houston is the center of the petrochemical and NASA trades while Dallas is the center of the agricultural and IT labor market in Texas. Other Major cities include Brownsville, Lubbock, McAllen, Tyler, Odessa and Midland. Other important cities include El Paso, Eagle Pass, and Laredo; these are very important because of their location at the borderline with Mexico, making them important trade points. The state passed New York in the 1990s to become the second largest state in population after California largely due to the availability of jobs, low cost of living, high living standard, lack of a state income tax, low taxation of business, limited government (the state legislature of Texas meets only once every two years), warm weather, and friendly people. Demographics As of 2000, the population of the state is 20,851,820. Texas has a large number of Spanish speaking people some of whom have recently immigrated from Mexico, Central America, and South America but includes others, known as Tejanos, whose ancestors have lived in Texas since before independence from Mexico. Unlike other United States states which border Mexico, the culture of Texas gradually merges into that of Mexico producing a vibrant border region. Texas has been largely fortunate in avoiding the racial and ethnic problems found in many southern states and large cities of the northeast. Much of this is because Texas's immigrant population and cultural connections with Mexico are considered to have a highly positive influence on the area's economy. But Texas' diversity comes from more than its Hispanic residents. Frontier Texas was also settled by Germans (particularly in Fredericksburg and New Braunfels), Poles, Swedes, Norwegians, Czechs, and French, and their influence can still be noted in the names of towns, styles of architecture, genres of music, and variety of foods. Nowadays, especially in Houston and Dallas, the Asian population in Texas is growing. People from China, India, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Pakistan, and other countries are settling into Texas. Important Cities and Towns * Abilene * Amarillo * Arlington * Austin (Capital) * Brownsville * Carrollton * Corpus Christi * Dallas * Eagle Pass * El Paso * Fort Worth * Galveston * Garland * Grand Prairie * Houston * Irving * Killeen * Laredo * Lubbock * McAllen * Mesquite * Midland * Odessa * Pasadena * Plano * Richardson * San Angelo * San Antonio * Tyler * Waco Education Colleges and Universities * Abilene Christian * Texas A&M University System University o Baylor College of Dentistry * Amberton University o Texas A&M University, College * Angelo State University Station * Arlington Baptist College o Texas A&M University, Commerce * Art Institute of Dallas o Texas A&M University - Corpus * Austin College Christi * Austin Presbyterian o Texas A&M University, Galveston Theological Seminary o Texas A&M University Health * Baylor College of Medicine Science Center * Baylor University o Texas A&M University - * College of Saint Thomas Kingsville More o Prairie View A&M University * Concordia University, o Tarleton State University Austin o Texas A&M University-Texarkana * Criswell College o Texas A&M International * Dallas Baptist University University * Dallas Christian College o West Texas A&M University * Dallas Theological Seminary * Texas Christian University * DeVry University, Dallas * Texas College * DeVry University, Houston * Texas Lutheran University * East Texas Baptist * Texas Southern University University * Texas State Technical College System * Episcopal Theological o Texas State Technical College- Seminary of the Southwest Harlingen * Hardin-Simmons University o Texas State Technical College- * Houston Baptist University Marshall * Howard Payne University o Texas State Technical College- * Huston-Tillotson College Waco * Institute for Christian o Texas State Technical College- Studies Sweetwater * ICI University * Texas State University-San Marcos * Jarvis Christian College * Texas Tech University * Lamar University * Texas Tech University Health Sciences * LeTourneau University Center * Lee College * Texas Wesleyan University * Lubbock Christian * Texas Woman's University University * Trinity University * McMurry University * University of Central Texas * Midwestern State University * University of Dallas * Northwood University * University of Houston System * Our Lady of the Lake o University of Houston University o University of Houston Clear Lake * Paul Quinn College o University of Houston-Downtown * Rice University o University of Houston Victoria * St. Edward's University * University of Mary Hardin-Baylor * Saint Mary's University of * University of North Texas San Antonio * University of North Texas Health * Sam Houston State Science Center University * University of Saint Thomas * Schreiner College * University of Texas System * Southern Methodist o University of Texas at Arlington University o University of Texas at Austin * South Texas College of Law o University of Texas at * Southwestern Adventist Brownsville University o University of Texas at Dallas * Southwestern Assemblies of o University of Texas at El Paso God University o University of Texas-Pan American * Southwestern Baptist o University of Texas of the Theological Seminary Permian Basin * Southwestern Christian o University of Texas at San College Antonio * Southwestern University o University of Texas at Tyler * Stephen F. Austin State o University of Texas Health University Science Center at Houston * Sul Ross State University o University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio o University of Texas Health Center at Tyler o University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center o University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston o University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas * University of the Incarnate Word * Wayland Baptist University * Wiley College Professional Sports Teams * National Football League * Major League Baseball o Dallas Cowboys o Texas Rangers o Houston Texans o Houston Astros * Arena Football League * Texas League, Minor League o Austin Wranglers Baseball o Dallas Desperados o El Paso Diablos * Women's Professional Football o Frisco RoughRiders League, Women's American football o Round Rock Express o Dallas Diamonds o San Antonio Missions o Houston Energy o Midland RockHounds * Dallas Revolution, Independent * Central Baseball League, Women's Football League Minor League Baseball * National Basketball Association o Amarillo Dillas o Dallas Mavericks o Edinburg Roadrunners o Houston Rockets o Fort Worth Cats o San Antonio Spurs o Rio Grande Valley White * Women's National Basketball Wings Association o San Angelo Colts o Houston Comets * Major League Soccer o San Antonio Silver Stars o Dallas Burn * National Hockey League o Dallas Stars * American Hockey League o Houston Aeros o San Antonio Rampage * Central Hockey League o Austin Ice Bats The Houston Oilers were based in Texas, but moved to Memphis and later, Nashville, Tennessee, and became the Tennessee Titans. Houston also formerly had the Arena Football League team Houston Thunderbears, and the Major League Soccer team Houston Hotshots. Miscellaneous Information A number of ships of the United States Navy have been named USS Texas in honor of this state. Famous for their role in the history of Texas law enforcement, the Texas Rangers continue today to provide special law enforcment services to the state.