Texas is my home state and is truly a unique place in the United States. The population of Texas is 19,000,000; an increase of over 2,000,000 since 1990 and is increasing at the rate of 514 per day; making it the second most populous state in the United States. The largest city in Texas and the fourth largest in the United States is Houston with a population of 1,749,000 and 4,000,000 in the metro area and there are 6,736 lakes in Texas, giving it 4,959 square miles of inland water, first in the 48 contiguous states. Texas is one of the top producers of forest products in the United States, with the second most forested acreage in the South. Also, a little known fact is that an average of 123 tornadoes touch down in Texas each year, and 5,281 tornadoes were recorded between 1951 and 1993. The highest recorded temperature in Texas was 120 degrees Fahrenheit and the lowest was -23 degrees Fahrenheit. Texas ranks number one in the United States in production of oil, natural gas, cattle, sheep, and cotton and is home to the largest military base in the world, Fort Hood, which is located in Killeen, in central Texas.
Some other facts that make the state unique include: Texas ranks first in the U.S in highway mileage, with over 70,000 miles; and first in railroad mileage and number of airports; the first rodeo in history took place in 1881 in Pecos; Texas has more churches than any state in the union, with 16,961; the last Indian battle in Texas took place in 1881; Texas leads the nation in the sale of pick-up trucks; Texas was the only state to put the issue of secession to a statewide vote; After citizens voted overwhelmingly in favor, Texas seceded from the United States and became one of the Confederate States of America in 1861.
Finally, did you know that the total area of Texas is 266,807 square miles; Texas is as large as all of New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois combined; It is 801 miles across Texas from north to south, and 773 miles from east to west.
Houston, founded by two New Yorkers as a real- estate venture in 1836, is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in Texas. Although boarded-up vestiges of the 1980s’ oil crash remain, Houston’s economy is now more diverse and robust, and has spawned a downtown revival. A 50-mile-long ship channel links this inland city with the Gulf of Mexico, making it the third-largest seaport in the United States.
The city, which encompasses a land mass more than half the size of the state of Rhode Island, is also a university town, and home to a fine symphony and respected ballet and opera companies. Downtown Houston has the oldest and one of the largest indoor pedestrian tunnel systems in the nation. If you’re here in summer, you can find relief from the heavy traffic and hot and humid climate in an underground landscape dotted with restaurants and shops.
NASA Johnson Space Center
This is the premier attraction in Houston. A major branch of America’s space program is housed at this complex that Disney teamed up with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to create.