The Texas Portal
Texas (, locally ; Spanish: Texas or Tejas, pronounced [ˈtexas] (listen)) is the second largest state in the United States by area (after Alaska) and population (after California). Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, and has a coastline with the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.
Houston is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth largest in the U.S., while San Antonio is the second-most populous in the state and seventh largest in the U.S. Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country, respectively. Other major cities include Austin, the second-most populous state capital in the U.S., and El Paso. Texas is nicknamed "The Lone Star State" to signify its former status as an independent republic, and as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico. The "Lone Star" can be found on the Texas state flag and on the Texan state seal. The origin of Texas's name is from the word taysha, which means "friends" in the Caddo language.
Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes common to both the U.S. Southern and Southwestern regions. Although Texas is popularly associated with the U.S. southwestern deserts, less than 10% of Texas's land area is desert. Most of the population centers are in areas of former prairies, grasslands, forests, and the coastline. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, and finally the desert and mountains of the Big Bend.
The term "six flags over Texas" refers to several nations that have ruled over the territory. Spain was the first European country to claim and control the area of Texas. France held a short-lived colony. Mexico controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, becoming an independent Republic. In 1845, Texas joined the union as the 28th state. The state's annexation set off a chain of events that led to the Mexican–American War in 1846. A slave state before the American Civil War, Texas declared its secession from the U.S. in early 1861, and officially joined the Confederate States of America on March 2 of the same year. After the Civil War and the restoration of its representation in the federal government, Texas entered a long period of economic stagnation.
King Ranch, located in south Texas between Corpus Christi, Texas and Brownsville, Texas, is one of the world's largest ranches (larger than Rhode Island). It is the largest ranch in the United States. The 825,000 acre (3,340 km²) ranch, founded in 1853 by Captain Richard King and Gideon K. Lewis, sprawls across six Texas counties, including most of Kenedy County. The ranch was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961.
King Ranch also raises quarter horses, cutting horses and thoroughbreds and produced the 1946 Triple Crown winner Assault and 1950 Kentucky Derby winner, Middleground. They also owned a share of La Troienne, the greatest broodmare of the Twentieth Century. In addition, the King Ranch company also operates a local museum, maintains other property concerns and works with Texas A&M University to perform agricultural research and development. In 1997, Ford Motor Company added a King Ranch edition to their F-series Super Duty truck line, complete with the King Ranch cattle brand logo.
Sam Bass (21 July 1851–21 July 1878) was a nineteenth-century American train robber and western icon. Handsome and charismatic, he is best known for his brief, yet extremely lucrative career as a train and bank robber. Born in Indiana in 1851, Bass moved to Denton, Texas, as a young adult. He acquired a prized racing mare and made his living from racing horses from 1874 to 1876. He often traveled to San Antonio during this period. He led a cattle drive north from South Texas, which successfully completed its mission in Nebraska.
He bought a mine, ran a saloon and began robbing stages, all netting very little for him. Then, as part of a gang, he robbed the Union Pacific gold train from San Francisco. Their take was $60,000, shared amongst the 6 gang members. To this day it is the single largest robbery of the Union Pacific. With the Pinkertons and other law enforcement officers on his tail, including lawman Charlie Bassett, he headed back to Denton, Texas.
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El Paso is the county seat of El Paso County in the U.S. state of Texas. According to the 2005 U.S. Census population estimates, the city had a population of 598,590, making it the sixth-largest city in Texas and the 21st-largest city in the United States. El Paso is second only to San Diego, California in size among all U.S. cities on the U.S.-Mexico border. Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua lies opposite of the Rio Grande — which separates the two cities—forming a bi-national metropolitan area of 2,280,782, making it the second-largest bi-national metropolitan area on the U.S.–Mexico border.
El Paso is home to The University of Texas at El Paso. Fort Bliss, a major United States Army installation, lies to the east and northeast of the city, extending north up to the White Sands Missile Range. The Franklin Mountains extend into El Paso from the north and nearly divide the city into two sections.
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Eagle Point, Caprock Canyons State Park