Monday, May 22

Facts About Texas

Greetings. Here's another post in the series on Dallas and Texas. For those that don't know, I'm getting the material from an National Federation of the Blind email list, in anticipation of its national convention the first week in July in Dallas. As always, please excuse any formatting errors. And, welcome to those from the Blind Confidential blog. Enjoy.

From the Texas Historical Commission:

Flags Over Texas

Six flags have flown over Texas: Spain, France, United Mexican States,
Confederate States of America, the Republic of Texas and the United States
of America,
with eight changes of government:

Country or Government










Republic of Texas


United States


Confederate States


United States


Natural and Man-made Wonders

The tidewater coastline of Texas stretches 624 miles along the Gulf of
Mexico and contains more than 600 historic shipwrecks.

The tallest point in Texas is Guadalupe Peak at 8,751 feet.

The Capitol in Austin, built of Texas pink granite, opened May 16, 1888. The
dome of the Capitol stands seven feet higher than that of the nation's
in Washington, D.C.

The Governor's Mansion, built in 1856, is the oldest remaining public
building in downtown Austin.

The largest body of water completely within the boundaries of Texas is Sam
Rayburn Reservoir in East Texas, which covers 113,400 acres.

Texas has four national forests (Angelina, Davy Crockett, Sabine and Sam
Houston), two national parks (Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains), one
national seashore
(Padre Island), one national preserve (the Big Thicket), two national
recreation areas (Amistad and Lake Meredith) and one national monument
Flint Quarries).

With more than 267,000 square miles, Texas is as large as all of New
England, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois combined.

Archeology Fun Facts

The Spanish explorers and missionaries, who were the first Europeans to
enter Texas, often adopted Texas Indian names for rivers and other natural
The Spaniards translated the place names into Spanish, and many of the
Indian origins for place-names have been lost. See our selection of
Texas place-names derived from Indian languages
as well as names that are associated with Indians or their activities.

. Native Americans did not use the bow and arrow until about 1,500 years
ago - earlier hunters used spears.

. The horse was introduced to American Indians by the Spaniards after 1500.

. Bison (or American buffalo) were hunted by Native Americans on foot long
before the horse was introduced into the New World.

. The Karankawa of the Texas coast spoke a language related to Indian
languages of the Caribbean region.

. Prehistoric tribes in Texas traded for turquoise and obsidian from New
Mexico, shell from the Pacific and Atlantic coasts and exotic stone from as
away as Minnesota.

. A stone quarry in Texas was used for millennia by inhabitants of the
southern Great Plains and is now a national monument - Alibates National
- in the Amarillo area.
buffalo pictograph

. In addition to projectile points (stone points for arrows and spears),
Native Americans used stone, bone and shell for knives, drills, axes, awls,
and grinding implements.

. Prehistoric people in Texas used plant fibers to make baskets, mats,
sandals and other useful objects. Well-preserved woven sandals have been
found by
archeologists in the dry rock shelters of southwestern Texas.

. Some of the most impressive prehistoric rock art in North America is found
in Texas - visitors can see excellent examples at Hueco Tanks and Seminole
Canyon State Historic Sites.

. Not all Native Americans lived in tipis. Many villagers lived in thatched
or adobe houses, and many nomadic groups lived in brush- or hide-covered
or rock shelters.

. Corn has been cultivated in Texas for at least 2,000 years. Beans and
squash were other staple foods of the early Texas agriculturalists.

. The accounts of early explorers help archeologists understand many sites.
Much that we know about the historic tribes of southern Texas comes from the
accounts of Cabeza de Vaca, who was shipwrecked on the Texas coast and
traveled through southern Texas and northern Mexico for eight years, from
1528 until

. The first black explorer in Texas was Esteban, a Moor who traveled with
Cabeza de Vaca.
monkey pictograph

. The Tigua tribe came to the El Paso area from New Mexico in the 1680s, and
some of their fields have been in continuous cultivation since that time.

. The Alamo is a Spanish mission and was the first mission established in
San Antonio, in 1718.

. The first ranches in Texas were the 18th-century Spanish mission ranches
along the San Antonio River, where mission Indians tended the livestock.

. As many as 90 percent of the recorded archeological sites in some areas of
Texas have been damaged or destroyed.

Early Inhabitants of Texas

About 10,000 B.C., the first Indians arrived in Texas. These ancient peoples
are called Paleo-Indians. They hunted mammoths and giant bison and other
that later became extinct.

After 6,000 B.C., Indian lifeways changed, and archeologists call the time
in Texas from then to about A.D. 500 the Archaic Period. During this period
painted beautiful murals depicting human scenes and religious ceremonies on
cave walls in dry areas of West Texas.

The years from A.D. 500 to A.D. 1500 are called the Late Prehistoric Period.
Agricultural Indians domesticated some of our principal crops, including
corn, beans, squash, tomatoes and potatoes. Burial and temple mounds of
these early farmers can be found in the piney woods of East Texas.

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