20 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Texas

Native Texans pride themselves on knowledge of the state.

Grade school children are taught the state flower (bluebonnet), the state bird (mockingbird) and the state motto (friendship).

We grow up fully aware that Texas is the largest state in the contiguous 48 states, and we know the Texas pledge by heart, right alongside the United States pledge of allegiance.

Texans know all about the Alamo, the fight for Texas independence and can name all six flags that flew over our home state. But no one knows everything, and to prove that, here is some fun and interesting Texas trivia.

How many of these 20 Texas facts do you know?

20. The King Ranch is larger than the state of Rhode Island.

19. The term “maverick” comes from Texas lawyer and pioneer, Samuel Maverick, who was also one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Wikipedia/Public Domain
Samuel Maverick Wikipedia/Public Domain

18. Texas is the number one producer of wool in the United States, and no, I didn’t just misspell “oil”, although, we’re number one at that too.

17. There is a live oak tree near Rockport, Texas that is over 1,500 years old.

Image via Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
“Big Tree” Image via Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

16. Built in 1870, the Waco bridge was the first suspension bridge ever built in the United States. It is still in use as a pedestrian bridge crossing the Brazos River.

15. The world’s first rodeo was held in Pecos, Texas on the Fourth of July, 1883.

14. Speaking of the rodeo, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo used to be held in the world’s first domed sports stadium, the Astrodome, which was built in 1965. The building has been disused since 2006, and the city of Houston still can’t quite decide whether they want to demolish it or preserve it.

Wikipedia/Eric Enfermero
Wikipedia/Eric Enfermero

13. There are more species of bats in the Lone Star State than any other state in the country.

12. John William Heisman, after whom the Heisman Trophy is named, coached football at Rice University in Houston from 1924 to 1927.

11. Jalapeno jelly originated in Lake Jackson, Texas and was first marketed by Marty and Harley Tyson in 1978.


10. Because it was its own independent nation, Texas is the only state in the United States to join via treaty instead of annexation.

9. Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas is the largest church in the nation. It is home to famous pastor Joel Osteen and his congregation of over 43,000 people.

Facebook/Lakewood Church
Facebook/Lakewood Church

8. You could fit the entire state of Connecticut inside Texas’s largest county, Brewster County (in the Big Bend region of Texas).

7. Two United States Presidents were born in Texas, and neither one was George W. Bush (he was born in Connecticut). The two Texas-born Presidents were Dwight D. Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson.

6. Chuck Norris, star of the television show “Walker, Texas Ranger” (and countless hilarious Chuck Norris jokes) was made an honorary Texas Ranger in 2010.

Flickr/Stevan Sheets
Flickr/Stevan Sheets

5. Despite popular belief, Texas does not have the constitutional right to secede. The Tyler-Texas Treaty of 1845 maintains that Texas has the right to split into as many as five separate states. This provision somehow spawned the misconception that the Lone Star State could legally secede.

4. The physical area of Houston is large enough to hold Boston, New York City and San Francisco concurrently.

Flickr/Katie Haugland
Flickr/Katie Haugland

3. The most common foreign language spoken in Texas other than Spanish is Vietnamese.

2. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Texas, 120 degrees Fahrenheit, was recorded in Seymour, Texas in August of 1936. The coldest was -23 degrees, recorded in Seminole in February of 1933.

1. The most devastating national disaster in U.S. history is the Galveston hurricane in 1900 which took over 8,000 lives.

Now Watch: Where to find the Best BBQ in Texas:

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20 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Texas