In case you’ve never been to this website before, I love Texas. It normally goes without saying that people from Texas love Texas, and I’m no exception. I have Texas neckties and coffee mugs and paperweights and even a “Don’t Mess With Texas” t-shirt that I keep even though I’m too fat to fit in it anymore, all because of how much I love Texas.
And Texas has an interesting history. I won’t rehash the whole thing, but the condensed version is that Texas was part of Mexico on March 1, 1836, but was its own country on March 2, 1836. That’s why today is Texas Independence Day.
Of course, what people typically remember about the fight for independence is the Alamo. I mean, how could anyone forget the Alamo?
But the Alamo didn’t happen until March 6, 1836, four days after Texas declared its independence. Revolution was already in the air but was made the revolutionary spirit grew with the slaughter at the Alamo. Reinvigorated Texans ultimately defeated the Mexican army on April 21, 1836 at the Battle of San Jacinto. Mexican general Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was captured and forced to sign the Treaties of Velasco, which ultimately ended the brief war and created the Republic of Texas. Texas operated as its own country for nine years before being annexed in the USA under President James K. Polk in 1845. In fact, Texas is the only state in the Union to be admitted by treaty instead of territorial annexation.
But enough about my favorite parts of Texas history. To celebrate Texas Independence Day, I always share some crazy Texas facts, and because this is my first Texas Independence Day since creating Cosas Totum, I thought I would share several right now. But first, there is one important thing you need to know: Brisket is king, and if your brisket needs sauce, you’ve done it wrong. If you’re ever in Lockhart, here’s the place to go.
Now, without further ado:
Crazy Texas Facts
Texas (268,597 square miles) is larger than every single country in Europe except for Russia and Turkey, though most of Turkey is in Asia and Texas is much bigger than the part of Turkey in Europe. Harris County (1,777 square miles) is itself over one and a half times as large as Luxembourg (998 square miles).
The King Ranch (1,300 square miles) is larger than Rhode Island (1,214 square miles).
The first ever rodeo was held in Pecos (pronounced PAY-cuss) Texas on July 4, 1883.
The frozen margarita machine was invented by Mariano Martinez, who owned a restaurant in Dallas. Additional fun fact: his restaurant (cleverly called Mariano’s) catered by wedding. I highly recommend it.
Famed cartoonist Tex Avery, a native of Dallas, based Bugs Bunny’s catchphrase “What’s up, doc?” on what people said to each other at his high school.
State Highway 130 between Austin and San Antonio has a speed limit of 85 miles per hour, which is the fastest speed limit in the United States.
The pink granite Texas Capitol is the largest capitol building in the United States, and is even taller than the United States Capitol.
Texas is the birthplace of Buddy Holly, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bob Wills, Lightning Hopkins, Robert Earl Keen, and a whole host of other musical icons.
Speaking of music, Austin City Limits is the longest running music series in American television history and has included some pretty stellar performances over the years. Seriously, either check YouTube or get the PBS streaming service. It’s incredible.
The first suspension bridge in the United States was built in Waco, Texas. It’s still there, but is used as a pedestrian crossing.
The Astrodome in Houston was the first domed stadium in the United States. The Astrodome was the first high-publicity venue to include synthetic grass, which we now know as Astroturf. The Astros also cheated to win a World Series and every player and coach on that roster should be prevented from being inducted into the baseball hall of fame until 10 years after they die.
And finally, Kyle Field at Texas A&M University is the largest college football field in the state, largest in the Southeastern Conference, and fourth largest in the country, with a capacity of 102,733, about 5,000 more than the college that is in Austin.
Happy Texas Independence Day, y’all.