February 28, 2020

18 Things You Probably Don't Remember From Texas History Class

We know you remember the Alamo (you better!), but what else do you remember from Texas history? Some generations will remember taking a class dedicated to the Lone Star State's history in middle school and high school, but can you recall everything you learned? Here's some fun facts to freshen up your memory.
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The last battle of the Civil War was fought in Texas.
The Civil War technically ended in April 1965, but a month later, Union forces under the command of Theodore H. Barrett decided to attack the rebel encampment at a depot near Brownsville. The urban legend goes that Barrett wanted to be called a war hero, and had no real reason to battle it out.
Photo by Clara Lily Ely via UTSA Libraries Special Collections
The last battle of the Civil War was fought in Texas.
The Civil War technically ended in April 1965, but a month later, Union forces under the command of Theodore H. Barrett decided to attack the rebel encampment at a depot near Brownsville. The urban legend goes that Barrett wanted to be called a war hero, and had no real reason to battle it out.
Photo by Clara Lily Ely via UTSA Libraries Special Collections
Josefa Rodriguez is a name you should remember.
Born in Mexico in 1799, Josefa “Chipita” Rodriguez eventually landed in the South Texas town of San Patricio. Although she was known for furnishing travelers in the area with meals and a place to sleep, she is perhaps best known for robbing and killing a man with an axe. The evidence against her wasn’t strong and historians say she didn’t receive a fair trial, but she was sentenced to death for the crime (some say she was covering for her son). At the age of 63, she was hung after her last words of “No soy cupable.” Chipita was reportedly the first woman to be (legally) hung in Texas.
Photo via Instagram / geraldjl
Josefa Rodriguez is a name you should remember.
Born in Mexico in 1799, Josefa “Chipita” Rodriguez eventually landed in the South Texas town of San Patricio. Although she was known for furnishing travelers in the area with meals and a place to sleep, she is perhaps best known for robbing and killing a man with an axe. The evidence against her wasn’t strong and historians say she didn’t receive a fair trial, but she was sentenced to death for the crime (some say she was covering for her son). At the age of 63, she was hung after her last words of “No soy cupable.” Chipita was reportedly the first woman to be (legally) hung in Texas.
Photo via Instagram / geraldjl
Prisoners of War were kept in Texas during World War II.
During World War II, there were more than 70 known POW camps throughout Texas — more than any other state. Most of Texas’ camps held German soldiers, but there were also reportedly Italian and Japanese prisoners. There was even a camp in San Antonio, at San Pedro Springs Park if you can believe it.
Photo via UTSA Libraries Special Collections
Prisoners of War were kept in Texas during World War II.
During World War II, there were more than 70 known POW camps throughout Texas — more than any other state. Most of Texas’ camps held German soldiers, but there were also reportedly Italian and Japanese prisoners. There was even a camp in San Antonio, at San Pedro Springs Park if you can believe it.
Photo via UTSA Libraries Special Collections
Texas’ capital wasn’t always Austin.
For some time, the Republic of Texas capital was transient, meaning it wasn’t consistently in the same area. That changed in 1837 when President Sam Houston decided the capital would be in present-day Houston. Austin didn’t officially became the capital until 1839.
Photo via Instagram / freddraws2
Texas’ capital wasn’t always Austin.
For some time, the Republic of Texas capital was transient, meaning it wasn’t consistently in the same area. That changed in 1837 when President Sam Houston decided the capital would be in present-day Houston. Austin didn’t officially became the capital until 1839.
Photo via Instagram / freddraws2
Texas Panhandle farmers had it really rough in the 1930s.
After dealing with the Great Depression, farmers in the state’s Panhandle had to endure the Dust Bowl — extreme drought conditions that lasted from 1934 to 1939. It was so bad that lots of farmers had to give up on the practice, a source of stable income, completely.
Photo via UTSA Libraries Special Collections
Texas Panhandle farmers had it really rough in the 1930s.
After dealing with the Great Depression, farmers in the state’s Panhandle had to endure the Dust Bowl — extreme drought conditions that lasted from 1934 to 1939. It was so bad that lots of farmers had to give up on the practice, a source of stable income, completely.
Photo via UTSA Libraries Special Collections
Texas was the 28th state to join the U.S.
Texas ended the year by joining the Union on December 29, 1845, making it the 28th U.S. state. It’s also the only state to enter the U.S. by treaty, rather than territorial annexation like most other states. After seceding and fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War, Texas was readmitted to the Union in 1870.
Photo via Instagram / bobbyparsa
Texas was the 28th state to join the U.S.
Texas ended the year by joining the Union on December 29, 1845, making it the 28th U.S. state. It’s also the only state to enter the U.S. by treaty, rather than territorial annexation like most other states. After seceding and fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War, Texas was readmitted to the Union in 1870.
Photo via Instagram / bobbyparsa
Miriam “Ma” Ferguson made history for Texas — and the entire country.
If Miriam Ferguson doesn’t sound familiar, we don’t blame you. But how about this, Ferguson was one of the first female governors. Elected the same year as Nellie Tayloe Ross in Wisconsin, Ferguson (second from the left) decided to run for office after her husband was removed from office for a variety of crimes. She served two non-consecutive terms.
Photo via UTSA Libraries Special Collections
Miriam “Ma” Ferguson made history for Texas — and the entire country.
If Miriam Ferguson doesn’t sound familiar, we don’t blame you. But how about this, Ferguson was one of the first female governors. Elected the same year as Nellie Tayloe Ross in Wisconsin, Ferguson (second from the left) decided to run for office after her husband was removed from office for a variety of crimes. She served two non-consecutive terms.
Photo via UTSA Libraries Special Collections
Dr Pepper has an interesting origin story.
You may know that Dr Pepper, the unofficial soft drink of Texas, was first made in Waco, but did you know that it was created by a pharmacist? Charles Alderton was just a young man working at Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store when he decided to mix his two interests: medicine and carbonated drinks. So, he eventually created a soft drink that was made of the fruit syrup flavors and smelled like the pharmacy he worked out. And there you have it, Dr Pepper.
Photo via Instagram / drpepper
Dr Pepper has an interesting origin story.
You may know that Dr Pepper, the unofficial soft drink of Texas, was first made in Waco, but did you know that it was created by a pharmacist? Charles Alderton was just a young man working at Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store when he decided to mix his two interests: medicine and carbonated drinks. So, he eventually created a soft drink that was made of the fruit syrup flavors and smelled like the pharmacy he worked out. And there you have it, Dr Pepper.
Photo via Instagram / drpepper
Mexico was constantly fighting over Texas.
After Santa Anna and his crew slayed the Texans at the Alamo, and Texas became its own country, Mexico still wanted to claim the sprawling land mass. When the state became part of the U.S. in 1845, our southern neighbors didn’t want to acknowledge such and even went to war over the state, resulting in the Mexican-American War from 1846 to 1848. It took the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo for fighting to stop and for Mexico to accept the Rio Grande as its northern border.
Photo via Instagram / officialalamo
Mexico was constantly fighting over Texas.
After Santa Anna and his crew slayed the Texans at the Alamo, and Texas became its own country, Mexico still wanted to claim the sprawling land mass. When the state became part of the U.S. in 1845, our southern neighbors didn’t want to acknowledge such and even went to war over the state, resulting in the Mexican-American War from 1846 to 1848. It took the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo for fighting to stop and for Mexico to accept the Rio Grande as its northern border.
Photo via Instagram / officialalamo
Native Americans were all over present-day Texas, one nation especially.
While you would have seen lots of native nations throughout Texas before settlers moved in, the Comanche were dominant in Texas from the mid-1700s to the mid-1800s. The nation was so powerful that Sam Houston, Republic of Texas president, aimed to sign a peace treaty acknowledging the border between Texas and Comancheria, the tribe’s lands. The Comanche nation eventually faced diseases, the slaughtering of buffalo (which limited its ability to survive as hunters) and was forced into reservations.
Photo via UTSA Libraries Special Collections
Native Americans were all over present-day Texas, one nation especially.
While you would have seen lots of native nations throughout Texas before settlers moved in, the Comanche were dominant in Texas from the mid-1700s to the mid-1800s. The nation was so powerful that Sam Houston, Republic of Texas president, aimed to sign a peace treaty acknowledging the border between Texas and Comancheria, the tribe’s lands. The Comanche nation eventually faced diseases, the slaughtering of buffalo (which limited its ability to survive as hunters) and was forced into reservations.
Photo via UTSA Libraries Special Collections