Texas Fun Facts & Trivia

There are 70 bronze steers Pioneer Park in Dallas, Texas by Carol Highsmith.

There are 70 bronze steers, Pioneer Park, in Dallas, Texas by Carol Highsmith.

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Texas joined the Union as a State on December 29, 1845. When Texas was annexed, it retained the right to fly its flag at the same height as the national flag.

Dublin, Texas Dr, Pepper

Dublin, Texas Dr, Pepper

The only place in the world where they make Dr. Pepper according to the original formula is in Dublin, Texas.  Dr. Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. There is no period after the Dr in Dr. Pepper.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, one person is killed annually while painting stripes on the state’s highways and roads.

Rodeo is the official state sport of Texas, though High School Football is more popular.

In the mid-1980s, the employee cafeteria at Motorola in Austin had to stop serving food that contained poppy seeds because people showed false positives for opium when they were drug tested. Since then, the company reintroduced poppy seeds and added Valium and several antidepressants to a list of things not to bother testing for.

Early Spanish missionaries in Texas hoped to encourage the spread of European values by offering flannel underwear to Native Americans.

Natives of the town still consider people who moved to Lockhart, Texas in the 1950s to be newcomers.

In 1964, Austin writer John Morthland became the first person in America to interview the Rolling Stones. John, who was a high school junior in San Bernardino, California, interviewed the band when they arrived for the maiden U.S. tour for his school’s paper.

There are stalactites and stalagmites in the breezeway at the University of Texas Law School.

For $150, you can become a licensed dead animal hauler in Texas.

Fifty years ago, you could have been jailed for giving out or discussing information on birth control.

The world’s largest oatmeal cake was baked and built in Bertram, Texas, during Labor Day weekend 1991. The 33-layer cake stood more than 3 feet tall, weighed 333 pounds, and served 3,333 people.

Texas Capitol at Austin.

Texas Capitol at Austin.

Texas boasts the largest of all the state capitol buildings, constructed of 15,000 carloads of pink granite.

Dallas’ corner of Elm and Houston streets has a sordid history. The building completed there in November 1898 was struck by lightning and burned to the ground in May 1901. By the fall of 1901, it was rebuilt. In that same building 62 years later, Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly shot President Kennedy from the sixth floor.

Seventy-five percent of the world’s Snickers bars are made in Waco at the M&M/Mars plant.

Will Rogers’ father and uncle were boyhood friends of Sam Houston. Their half-sister, Will Rogers’ aunt, was also Sam Houston’s Indian wife.

In Texas, it’s illegal to put graffiti on someone else’s cow.

In Houston, it is illegal to sell Limburger cheese on Sunday.

The World’s largest parking lot is located at DFW Airport.

In Odessa, Texas, David and the peace symbol’s star are forbidden by the city’s dress code because they are considered to be Satanic symbols. The 1850 census recorded 213,000 people in Texas. In 1900, there were three million people, and by 1990, the population was more than 16 million.  Today, approximately 18 million people live in Texas, only slightly outnumbering its 15 million cattle.

Three existing Indian reservations are in the state: the Alabama-Coushatta Reservation, located between Livingston and Woodville in East Texas; Ysleta del Sur Pueblo (Tigua IndianReservation) near El Paso; and the Kickapoo Reservation in Maverick County. Most Native Americans in Texas live outside reservations. Texas’ Indian population ranks sixth among the states, with approximately 65,000.

Alamo Detail

The Alamo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

The Battle of the Alamo, lasting nearly two weeks, ended on March 6, 1836, with all its defenders’ deaths – about 190.  The Mexican army numbered 4,000-5,000 during its final charge.

According to newspaper accounts, the first powered airplane was flown in Texas nearly forty years before the Wright Brothers version in 1903.  Inventor-pilot Jacob Brodbeck powered the plane with coil springs and reached treetop heights before crashing into a henhouse, killing several chickens and scaring many children in 1865.

Texas has approximately 11,500 historical markers. Marker subjects include historic courthouses, frontier forts, Spanish missions and presidios, cemeteries, churches, individuals, historic homes and buildings, and Texas independence battle sites. More than 700 local history museums, 40,000 recorded archeological sites, and more than 2,000 sites in Texas are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

In Texas, it is illegal to curse in front of or indecently expose a corpse.

According to one report, more popcorn is sold in Dallas, Texas, than anywhere in the U.S. (The average American eats 42 quarts of popcorn a year.)

Waco, Tx, 1939

Waco is one of only two cities in the U.S. with a radio station whose call letters spell out the name of the city.

There’s a Texas law that forbids people from carrying around a fence cutter or a pair of pliers that could cut a fence.

The Amarillo airport has the 3rd largest runway in the world and is designated as an alternate landing site for the space shuttle.

The smallest Catholic church in the world still in operation claims to be in Warrenton, Texas. Measuring 12 feet by 15 feet, the church seats 15 and is only open once a year.

Texans consume forty percent of the farm-grown catfish in the United States.

It is illegal to spit on the sidewalk.

To be elected in the state of Texas, one must believe in a supreme being.

You can buy chicken fried steak at one Chinese restaurant in Fort Stockton, Texas.

On September 8–9, 1900, an estimated 8,000 people were killed in the disastrous Galveston hurricane and flood.

Austin Driskill Hotel – Austin Library

Supposedly, there is a ghost on the fifth floor of Austin’s Driskill Hotel.

It is illegal to shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel.

Texas has 254 counties. Rockwall County (147 square miles) is the smallest, and Brewster County (6,204 square miles) is the largest. Only one, Angelina County, is named for a woman.

In Texas, pharmacists can’t be registered members of the Communist Party.

The official dish of Texas is chili.

The Dallas/Fort Worth airport is larger than New York City’s Manhattan Island.

In Port Arthur, obnoxious odors may not be emitted while in an elevator.

During the period of July 24-26, 1979, Tropical Storm Claudette brought 45 inches of rain to an area near Alvin, Texas, contributing to more than $600 million in damages. Claudette produced the United States 24 hour rainfall record of 43 inches.

Texas is as large as New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois combined.

In 1893 Amarillo’s population was listed as “between 500-600 humans and 50,000 head of cattle.”

Billy Bobs

Billy Bob’s Texas, in Ft Worth, is the world’s largest country-western honky-tonk and includes a 4800-square foot rodeo arena.

In Lefors, it is illegal to take more than three swallows of beer at any time while standing.

The last battle of the Civil War was fought on May 12-13, 1865, at Palmito Ranch, Texas.  It was a Confederate victory.

It is illegal for children to have unusual haircuts in Mesquite, Texas.

The first suspension bridge in the United States was the Waco Bridge. Built in 1870 and still in use today as a pedestrian crossing of the Brazos River.

El Paso is closer to Needles, California, than it is to Dallas.

The nation’s longest, skinniest state park is the Texas State Railroad Park, which is over 25 miles long.

The world’s largest collection of beer bottles can be seen at Wurstfest in New Braunfels.

The second-largest rock in the nation is Enchanted Rock, which has an exposed surface area of 130 square miles, which lies on the border between Gillespie and Llano Counties.

In Texas, it is still a “hanging offense” to steal cattle.

On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated during a motorcade through downtown Dallas. Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas was sworn in as president aboard the presidential airplane at Dallas’ Love Field airport that same day.

Texas’ official dance is the square dance.

The all American meal, the hamburger, was created in Athens, Texas.

Davy Crockett

Davy Crockett

Davy Crockett had another distinction in Texas, besides dying at the Alamo. He also served three terms as a congressman in Tennessee. Before leaving, he informed his peers, “You’ll can go to hell. I am going to Texas.”

It is illegal to milk another person’s cow.

General Sam Houston carried two books with him throughout his campaign for Texas liberty, “Gulliver’s Travels” and “Caesar’s War Commentaries.”

Texas is the only state to have the flags of six different nations fly over it.  They are Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, Confederate States, and the United States.

In 1921 a hurricane deposited twenty-three inches of rain on Texas in one day.

Texas was an independent nation from 1836 to 1845.

The King Ranch in Texas is bigger than the state of Rhode Island.

Of the nation’s ten largest cities, three are in Texas (Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio).

Texas today is also home to about 2.5 million deer and 200,000 alligators.

The first word spoken from the moon on July 20, 1969, was “Houston.”

The world’s first rodeo was held in Pecos on July 4, 1883.

The Flagship Hotel on Seawall Boulevard in Galveston is the only hotel in North America built entirely over the water.

In the South Texas Brush Country, the ghost of a Headless Horseman referred to as El Muerto, is said to continue to roam.

Lubbock doesn’t have any storm drains.

The written test for the University of Texas at Austin campus police in the 1960s asked applicants the shape of their excrement to test their ability to be observant.

The entire Encyclopedia Britannica is banned in Texas because it contains a recipe for making beer that can be used at home.

A coastal live oak located near Fulton is the oldest tree in the state.  The tree has an estimated age of more than 1,500 years.

Texas State representative, Jim Kaster, introduced a bill that all criminals must notify their victims in advance of their crimes and remind them that deadly force is authorized.

To combat the deadly killer bee, the Harris County Fire Department has 11 trucks equipped with soapy water sprayers that do nothing but respond to killer bee calls. Currently, the Austin Fire Department will only deal with emergencies involving killer bee attacks in progress.

The oldest human skeleton ever found in the Western Hemisphere was discovered in 1953 near Midland, Texas. It was first believed that the skeleton, the remains of a 30-year-old woman, was 10,000 years old.  However, the latest estimates are that it is much older.

Alamo Battle

Alamo Battle

The Battle of the Alamo, lasting nearly two weeks, ended on March 6, 1836, with all its defenders’ deaths – about 190.  The Mexican army numbered 4,000-5,000 during its final charge.

There are more than 70,000 miles of highways in Texas.

The Big Texan Steak Ranch Restaurant in Amarillo serves a 4½ pound steak for free if you can eat it in an hour.

Franklin Mountains State Park, in El Paso County, is the largest urban park in the nation at over 24,049 acres, covering some 37 square miles, all within the city limits of El Paso.

You can be legally married by publicly introducing a person as your husband or wife three times.

Texas has a total of 6,300 square miles of inland lakes and streams, second only to Alaska.

Texas has four national forests – Angelina, Davy Crockett, Sabine and Sam Houston; and two national parks – Big Bend and the Guadalupe Mountains.

There were more than 70 World War II prisoner-of-war camps in Texas, more than any other state.  Primarily the camps housed German soldiers but also held Italian and Japanese prisoners.

Texas has 90 mountains a mile or more high, with Guadalupe Peak in West Texas at 8,751 feet being the tallest.

According to archaeologists, one of the oldest areas of human habitation in North America is near Lubbock, Texas. Located in the northeastern part of Lubbock County, the site dates back to the Clovis period some 12,000 years ago.

In Texarkana, owners of horses may not ride them at night without taillights.

The Buckhorn Saloon and Museum in San Antonio trots out thousands of dead animals and dead animal parts for your enjoyment.   The museum features a 4,000-antler chandelier and a chair made for Teddy Roosevelt out of 62 pair of buffalo horns. This massive assemblage of Texas-style stuff also includes a dead baby giraffe, a bottle cap collection, portraits made from rattlesnake rattlers, and a large Indian chief silhouette “drawn” in sheet metal with a .22 caliber rifle.

Compiled by Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated December 2020.

Also See: 

Quirky Texas (oddities and unusual attractions)

Texas – The Lone Star State

Texas Photo Galleries

United States Trivia, Fun Facts & Firsts

 

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