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The Texas Portal

Flag of Texas

Texas is a state in the South and Southwest regions of the United States of America. With an area of 268,581 square miles (695,622 km²) and a population of 22.8 million, Texas is the second-largest U.S. state in both area and population, and the largest state in the contiguous 48 states in area. The state name derives from a word in a Caddoan language of the Hasinai, táyshaʔ, tecas (or tejas, as the Spaniards spelled it), meaning "those who are friends," friends or allies. Spanish explorers mistakenly applied the word to the people and their location.

Texas joined the United States in 1845 as the 28th state, after nearly 10 years as the Republic of Texas—an independent country. Texas historically had a "larger than life" reputation, especially in cowboy films. The term "Texas sized" is used to describe something larger than average, and large geographic areas are often described in terms of the size of Texas. It is the southernmost part of the Great Plains, which ends in the south against the folded Sierra Madre Oriental of Mexico. It is in the south-central part of the United States of America. It is considered to form part of the U.S. South and also part of the U.S. Southwest.

In 2005 Texas had a gross state product of $982.4 billion, the second highest in America after California. Texas is the only state in the U.S. to have three cities with populations exceeding one million: Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas; which are also among the 10 largest cities of the United States. They are larger than any other cities in the Southern United States. Austin and Fort Worth are in the top 20 largest U.S. cities.


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Known as the Rio Grande in the United States and as the Río Bravo (or, more formally, the Río Bravo del Norte) in Mexico, the river, 3,034 km (1,885 mi) long, rises in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, USA, flows through the San Luis Valley, then south into New Mexico through Albuquerque and Las Cruces to El Paso, Texas, on the U.S.–Mexico border. A major tributary, Rio Conchos,enters at Presidio, below El Paso and supplies most of the water in the 2,019 km (1,254 mi) Texas border segment.

The river has, since 1845, marked the boundary between Mexico and the United States from the twin cities of El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, to the Gulf of Mexico. As such, it was across this river that Texan slaves fled when seeking their freedom, aided by Mexico's liberal colonization policies and abolitionist stance.


Selected biography

Samuel Houston (March 2, 1793July 26, 1863) was a 19th century American statesman, politician and soldier. The Virginia-born Houston was a key figure in the history of Texas, including periods as President of the Republic of Texas, Senator for Texas after it joined the Union, and finally as governor. Although a slave owner and opponent of abolitionism, his unionist convictions meant he refused to swear loyalty to the Confederacy when Texas seceded from the Union, bringing his governorship to an end. To avoid bloodshed, he refused an offer of an army to put down the rebellion, and instead retired to Huntsville, Texas, where he died before the end of the war. His earlier life included emigration to Tennessee, time spent with the Cherokee Nation (into which he was adopted and later married into), military service in the War of 1812, and subsequent successful involvement in Tennessee politics. Indeed, as of 2006, Houston has been the only person in U.S. history to have been the governor of two different states, Tennessee and Texas.


Texas news

March 12, 2007

A gas line at Lake Weatherford, Texas exploded Monday afternoon. No one was injured in the explosion, though several vehicles were completely destroyed in the explosion. Flames are reported to be at least a hundred feet into the air. More...

Feb 2, 2007

Texas pre-teen girls will be the first required to get a vaccination against a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer. Gardasil is widely regarde as a cure for HPV. Source:KXAN

January 4, 2007

The Supreme Court Clinic of the University of Texas School of Law receives word they will be able to argue a case before the Supreme Court of the United States.

September 29, 2006

Don't Mess with Texas was named the top advertising slogan and honored on Madison Avenue.


Things you can do

The current Texan Collaboration of the Month is Strand National Historic Landmark District.
Every month, a different Texas-related topic, stub or non-existent article is picked.
Please read the nomination text and improve the article any way you can.

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Spotlight city

Arlington is a city in Tarrant County, Texas within the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, the city population was 332,969 (though a July 1, 2004 estimate placed the city's population at 359,467). Arlington is the seventh-largest city in the state and the fifty-first largest city in the United States.

Arlington is home to the Texas Rangers, Ameriquest Field in Arlington, the theme parks Six Flags Over Texas and Hurricane Harbor, future home to the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium, and is approximately 12 miles east of Fort Worth and 20 miles west of Dallas. It is coterminous with Kennedale, Grand Prairie, Mansfield and Fort Worth. The city also completely surrounds the smaller communities of Dalworthington Gardens and Pantego.


State symbols

Flower Bluebonnet Bluebonnets

Northern Mockingbird

Motto Friendship
Nickname The Lone Star State
Tree Pecan
Bird Mockingbird





Texas topics

Statistics: Population


Related pages