A fascinating and fun look at the Lone Star State’s history, culture, and people Texas is the country's second-largest state by size and population. It has a unique and varied history, having been ruled by a succession of nations—from which the term “six flags over Texas” sprang—before becoming an independent republic. From its traditional oil, cattle, and cotton industries to the modern energy, electronics, computer, aerospace, and biomedical industries, Texas has become an economic powerhouse. It’s known for its low taxes, diverse population, thriving universities, and art scenes. Exploring the state’s fascinating history, people, myths, culture, and trivia, The Handy Texas Answer Book takes an in-depth look at this fascinating and diverse state with the bigger-than-life personality. Learn about the original Indigenous peoples, the Spanish, French, and Mexican colonizations, the independence from Mexico, the ties to the Confederacy and United States, devastating hurricanes, football culture, fast-growing cities and urban sprawl, food, attitude, and much, much more. Tour landmarks from the Alamo and cattle ranches to the Rio Grande and the state capital. Learn about famous sons and daughters, including Lyndon Johnson, Sam Houston, Howard Hughes, Janis Joplin, and Renée Zellweger. Sports (both college and professional) are illuminated. The government, parks, and cultural institutions are all packed into this comprehensive guide to the state of Texas. Find answers to more than 850 questions, including: • What is the origin of “Howdy?” • Where in Texas can you find all three kinds of dinosaur tracks in one place? • Where can gold be found in Texas? • How did we come to have “Dr. Pepper”? • Is it true that Texas’s annexation to the United States was never really legal? • How did Texas women get to vote a year before women in the rest of the United States? • What Texan became the most-decorated soldier in World War II? • Is it true that the only Texas governor to die in office expired in the arms of his mistress? • How did Texas transform from solidly Democratic to solidly Republican? • How did the discovery of Texas oil change the face of American business? • How did rodeos originate? • What was the University of Texas mascot before there was Bevo the Longhorn? • What was the slightly dishonest secret of UT’s early success in baseball? • What is so special about the television show Austin City Limits? • What are the “Marfa Lights”? • How many Texas convicts have been freed after proving their innocence with DNA? • What is the Cuero Turkey Trot? Illustrating the unique character of the state through a combination of facts, stats, and history, as well as the unusual and quirky, The Handy Texas Answer Book answers intriguing questions about people, places, events, government, and places of interest. This informative book also includes a helpful bibliography and an extensive index, adding to its usefulness.