Texas is a big state, just Alaska is bigger, and when you consider livable land, the state Texas is the absolutely the biggest state (though there are individuals like Swho believe that San Angelo is not livable at all).
The people that in earlier times settled down in Texas included several dreamers who wished to create a state where everything would be the world’s biggest, the largest market, the biggest ranch, the biggest business, and so on, and that typical Texan ‘Think Big’ mindset is still existing across much of Texas today.
Regardless whether someone is a hero or a crook, they just are striving to be the best, the biggest, or the most famous. This ‘Think Big’ mentality may sometimes carry an individual to excess, but in Texas, these characters are cherished, especially when they’re a little crazy.
On the other hand, the name Texas was derived from ‘tejas’, a word from the Caddo tribe language that means ‘friendly’.
Be it the magnificent King Ranch, which is actually larger than the entire state of Rhode Island, or the famed Hunt brothers who were trying to buy up ninety percent of all the silver in the world, Texas has always had some out-sized people and places. The more audacious their plans were and the more colorful the people, the more they were loved in Texas. Herein lies the reason that everything is larger and bigger in Texas.
First of all, it is the actual size of the state. Of all continental U.S. states, Texas is the biggest, and the state also looks very big if you look at it on a flat-out spread world map. Sure, the state of Alaska is larger, but on U.S.maps it usually is shown in a little inset.
Maybe that’s why Alaska doesn’t seem to be that large, and when you’re in Texas, the state’s wide open huge spaces and long drives from one major metropolitan area to the other make the state even seem bigger. I guess that the enormous flat expanses of Texas’ western portions have actually resulted in erecting huge signage along the state’s highways as well – so again, to folks traveling the state’s highways, things may seem a little larger than they actually are.
So why is Texas so unique? Well, Texas is also ‘big’ because the state and its residents are quite wealthy, and things are really big in Texas. Let’s take a look:
- Texas has more regional festivals than any other state: Strawberry Festival, Boot Fest, Land of Leather Days, Jazz Fest, Reunion Festival, Armadillo Fest, Mudbug Fest, you name it. In some shape or form, Texas has a festival for everything somewhere.
- In 1900, the deadliest natural disaster in the American history happened when a catastrophic hurricane hit the city of Galveston. It leveled the city and killed more than 6,000 people. The Galveston hurricane cost more people their lives than the 1906 San Francisco earthquake (around 4,000 deaths) or when hurricane Katrina hit the southern U.S. in 2005(1,833 deaths).
- Historically speaking, Texas was America’s first major milestone in its westward expansion.
- Before it joined the Union, Texas was the only Republic (from 1836 to 1846).
- Texas is the state with the longest international border in the U.S. (1,241 miles).
- Texas has the largest annual antiques fair in the U.S. at Rounded Top.
- The original Republic of Texas was much bigger that its current state lines, and included parts of today’s New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas and Wyoming.
- Texas has 254 counties, more than any other state.
- Texas has two of the top-10 leading metropolitan areas in the U.S. Dallas is 4th and Houston is 5th, and that is more than any U.S. state.
Texas also had a relation with the Ten Gallon Hat, but today you can’t see many people wearing them anymore. There is a story that that people in the ‘Old West’ used these hats for the transportation of water. So the bigger the hat, the more water could be transported, but this is getting us into mythologizing. And that’s exactly where, in my humble opinion, part of the answer lies: all those heavily promoted myths about Texas.
The state is one-of-a-kind, one of just two States that ever were sovereign nations, but Texans love to keep all that Texas mystique alive, and sure, it’s a lot of fun, it supports the state’s marketing, and quite a few visitors get a kick out of all this mystique!