The History Channel shared this great list of “9 Things You May Not Know About Texas,” and we think they did a great job! State pride made us want to share ‘em, however, being Texans ourselves, we knew a few and had to cut the list down just a bit! Read on for six of the most interesting things you didn’t know about Texas!
- Six Flags: countries and amusement parks: Did you know that the Six Flags amusement parks originated in Texas? The name isn’t random either – each of the “six flags” refers to the flags that have flown over Texas, or what countries have occupied it. Since as far back as 1519, the Spanish, French, Mexican, Republic of Texas, Confederate States of American, and United States of America flags have all flown over Texas at one point or another.
- Can you name two presidents born in Texas? We’re willing to be the first two names that come to mind are George W. Bush, and George H. W. Bush! Well, you’d be wrong; they were born in, Massachusetts and Connecticut, respectively. The two presidents who were born in Texas are Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson. Eisenhower did not spend much time in Texas growing up as he moved to Kansas when he was young. In stark contrast, however, Johnson grew up around Johnson City, in central Texas, and went on to become a U.S. representative and Senator.
- The origin of “Don’t mess with Texas”: While a lot of us use the phrase, “Don’t mess with Texas,” as an emphatic display of our strength, resilience, and Texas pride, you may be surprised to learn of its origins. Back in the 1980’s, littering was a big issue on Texan motorways. It was such a big problem, in fact, that the state of Texas had to hire an ad agency to start a campaign that would help cut down on the garbage strewn about highways and streets. The agency came up with the iconic, “Don’t mess with Texas,” saying, and its taken on a life of its own ever since!
- The sheer size of Texas: Sure, we know everything is bigger in Texas. You’re also probably familiar with the line, “Drive as far as you can, and you’ll still be in Texas.” That said, did you know that the area of Texas is over a quarter million square miles? To be exact, the state spans 268,597 square miles, which makes Alaska the only state bigger than Texas. As far as population, Texas comes in second only to California. In comparison to Europe, you could fit huge swaths of the Netherlands, Belgium, German, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Austria within the confines of Texas. Check out this post to see it for yourself!
- Texas could legally break into 5 states: The Republic of Texas was annexed into the United States of America back in 1845, as the 28th state. However, there is a tiny provision in the Annexation of Texas that would allow it to split into five separate states, and it doesn’t even require federal approval. There are still supporters of this idea today; many cite their reasons for wanting to split as purely political-oriented, with desires for better governance. Those supporters of the five-state-split believe that Texas is too big, with too many people for it to be properly led by a single group of people.