Texas is the second most populous and the second most extensive of the 50 United States, and the most extensive state of the 48 contiguous United States. The name, based on the Caddo word tejas meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in East Texas.
After Mexico gained its independence from Spain in August 1821, Stephen Fuller Austin successfully sought permission to fulfill the grant originally presented to his father by Spain. Austin published the terms of colonization in Texas and invited colonists from the United State to settle on land located on the Brazos and Colorado Rivers. No sooner did Austin receive permission from Spain to colonize than colonists first began arriving in late 1821.
By 1836, the Anglo population had reached 20,000. The African American population had grown to around 5,000, and most of the population was slaves. The Tejano population had increased to about 6,000. American Indian tribes numbered in the hundreds in Texas during this period.
After several smaller insurrections, the Texas Revolution broke out, and the state became an independent nation in 1835. However, the newly-formed Texas Republic was unable to defend itself from further incursions by Mexican troops, and eventually negotiated with the U.S. to join the union in 1845. Following Texas’ incorporation into the U.S., border disputes with Mexico lead to the Mexican-American War, after which Mexico relinquished its claim to the state.
In the early 20th Century, oil was discovered in the state, and remains its primary export today. Famous Texans include actresses Carol Burnett and Farrah Fawcett, cyclist Lance Armstrong, newscaster Walter Cronkite and aviatior Howard Hughes.
On this date in 1836, the Alamo defenders fell before the Mexican army. After a siege lasting 13 days, the soldiers of General Antonio Lòpez de Santa Anna assaulted the chapel early in the morning. The 90-minute battle ended with the deaths of every Texian in the Alamo.
Texas Independence Day 2010 commemorates the historic event 174 years ago on March 2, 1836, the day Texas gained its independence from Mexico. Most are familiar with the Declaration of Independence, but not all know that Texas had its own Declaration of Independence, signed on March 2, 1836, declaring Texas its own republic. Inspired by the 1776 declaration, the Texas document claimed Mexico had "ceased to protect the lives, liberty, and property of the people" and committed "arbitrary acts of oppression and tyranny."
Many Texans had always wanted to join the United States, and the U.S. government had been attempting to purchase Texas from Mexico on and off since 1826. On December 29, 1845, Texas statehood became official. Texas was admitted as a slave state, and became the largest state in America, in total area. It would hold that distinction until Alaska joined the union over a century later.
Texas' export shipments in 2006 totaled $150.9 billion, the largest among the 50 states. Texas' exports rose $55.5 billion from 2002 to 2006, the largest dollar gain in the U.S. and a 58 percent increase over the 2002 level of $95.4 billion.Texas exported to 220 foreign destinations in 2006. The state's largest market was Mexico, which received $54.9 billion (36 percent) of Texas' total merchandise export total. Mexico was followed by fellow NAFTA trading partner Canada ($15.6 billion) and China ($6.6 billion)
In every year since 2005, the number of prisoners removed from death row by execution, natural death, or resentencing has been larger than the number of new death sentences imposed. Therefore, the population of death row has dropped from 446 prisoners at the beginning of 2005 to 318 prisoners at the beginning of 2011. The number of prisoners currently on death row is the lowest it has been since 1990.
"If we were 80 percent cowboy people, they would (talk about) that. They would deliver their speeches in cowboy hats." Almost 36 percent of Texans are Hispanic, he said, more than double the national population.
"I think a lot of people are starting to realize that what Texas is today, the rest of the United States will be tomorrow," said Rice University political scientist Bob Stein.That means a state with urban problems. Suburban problems. Public education problems. And a growing Hispanic population.
In 1973, Texas passed a new statue to standardize the way the death penalty was assessed. Juries quickly began imposing death sentences under the new statute, and death row began filling up again in 1974. In 1977, Texas adopted lethal injection as its means of execution, adopting a three-drug protocol developed by medical examiner Jay Chapman and anesthesiologist Stanley Deutsch for the state of Oklahoma. The first lethal injection was given on 7 December 1982.