Samuel Augustus Maverick (July 23, 1803 – September 2, 1870) was a Texas lawyer, politician, land baron and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. His name is the source of the term “maverick,” first cited in 1867, which means “independently minded.”
The Bowie knife is named after the Alamo hero Jim Bowie (1796-1836). His brother, Rezin, designed the hefty weapon.
In Texas it is illegal to graffiti a cow. Since a cow is a chattel (property), defacing it would be considered vandalism. In a state where livestock has a bigger impact on the economy, these rules are clearly delineated and it is still punishable by hanging.
Oscar, the Academy Award statuette, was named for Texan Oscar Pierce, whose niece worked in Hollywood for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. When she saw the gold statuette, she reportedly said, “Why, that looks just like my Uncle Oscar.”
The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is home to the world’s largest parking lot. The Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport has the third largest runway in the world and is the alternate landing site for the space shuttle. Texas has more airports than any other state in the country.
Texas is the second largest state in the U.S., behind Alaska. At 268,601 square miles, Texas is the largest state in the contiguous United States and is the second biggest state in the U.S. (only Alaska is bigger). Texas is larger than many nations of the world, including every country in Europe. If it were a country, it would be the 40th largest country in the world, after Chile and Zambia.
The word “Texas” was the Spanish pronunciation “Tejas” of the Hasinai Indian word meaning “allies” or “friends.” In fact, the Texas state motto is “friendship.” Ironically, many Native American tribes in Texas, including the Hasinai, were totally destroyed.
Texas still owns all of its public lands. If the federal government wants to create a park or cut a stand of timber, it must first ask the state’s permission.
Chili grew in popularity throughout the tiny Texas trail towns, so too, did its devotees. Frank and Jesse James fell prey to its taste and are said to have eaten a few bowls of “red” before pulling many of their bank jobs. At least one town, it is noted, was spared from their shooting and looting by the local chili parlor. Fort Worth had a chili joint just north of town, and the James boys rode in there just for the chili, vowing never to rob their bank because “anyplace that has a chili joint like this just oughta’ be treated better.”
Texas’ largest wind farm is about 4.5 times the size of Manhattan. Texas is considered to be the leader in wind energy in the U.S. — Roscoe Wind Farm. It has a 781-megawatt capacity and it can power 230,000 homes.
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