25 Things You Didn't Know About Texas!

The great thing about having two of your International queens from TEXAS, is that you get a 2nd dose of TEXAS facts! Farabe’ did a wonderful job going through our history and fun things to do in the state! If you have not read her blog, be sure to check it out!

If you have ever read US Weekly, you will know they have a section called “25 Things You Didn’t Know About [insert celebrity name]”. So I thought I would entitle this blog, “25 Things You Didn’t Know About TEXAS!”

1. TEXAS comes from the Spanish word “Tejas” which means allies or friends! Some of the friendliest people you will ever meet are right here in this great state.

2. The largest city in TEXAS is Houston (my hometown), and Houston is the 4th largest city in the country. However, if you have to endure the commute that I have to work, you would think it was the largest city in the world!

3. TEXAS is the only state that has had six countries rule over it. Hence the name of the theme park “Six Flags over Texas”.

4. The nation’s largest church (and my home church since the age of 2) resides in TEXAS! If you are ever in Houston, I would love for you to attend Lakewood Church with me! We will make you feel right at home and you can meet my pastor, Joel Osteen!

Being baptized by my Pastor!

5. The world’s largest freestanding statute of an American is in TEXAS! Sam Houston was the first president and first governor of Texas! A statue of Sam Houston called a “Tribute to Courage” is located on I-45 between Houston and Dallas. (Side note: When I would drive to and from Baylor University for college, I would pass the statue and would always wave at Sam!)

6. Matthew McConaughey was born in TEXAS and still lives in Austin…you’re welcome!

7. The Astrodome (located in Houston, TEXAS) is considered an 8th “Wonder of the World” due to its dome-shaped roof.

8. Houston has the world’s best medical center. Although I hope none of you reading this will ever have to use it, the resources, research and miracles that occur at the TEXAS Medical Center are like none other and world-renowned.

9. TEXAS is home to some of the top Universities in the country, including Rice University, University of TEXAS – Austin and Baylor University (my alma mater…Sic ‘em Bears!)

10. The TEXAS Rangers are the oldest law enforcement agency in North America with statewide jurisdiction. The TEXAS Rangers museum is located in Waco, TEXAS. John Wayne and Church Norris are honorary TEXAS Rangers!

11. Blue Bell ice cream is from TEXAS and will be back on shelves at the end of August…Again, you’re welcome!

12. Miriam A “Ma” Ferguson was the first female governor of TEXAS and the second woman elected governor of any state. Never underestimate the power of a woman!

13. TEXAS was just found to have the 2nd largest cockroaches in the country. They can primarily be found in Houston.

14. In TEXAS, our state shrub is a crape myrtle, our state dance is the square dance, our state vegetable is an onion, and our state flying mammal is the free-tailed bat. I find this all very interesting because I did not even know states had their own shrub, dance, vegetable or flying mammal! LOL!

15. Want to go to the largest rodeo? Come on down to Houston, TEXAS where you will be entertained by the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. The rodeo is so big, that celebrities attend and entertainers perform at each show. Come join me next year for a good time!

16. The “father” of TEXAS is Stephen Fuller Austin. A university is named after him and located in Nacogdoches, TEXAS.

17. TEXAS boasts the largest of all state capitol buildings. It is constructed using 15,000 carloads of pink granite. The dome on the capitol building in Austin is 7 feet higher than the capitol building in Washington, D.C. Go big or go home!

18. In TEXAS, it is illegal to put graffiti on someone else’s cow. I mean that should just be common sense!

19. The world’s largest parking lot is located in TEXAS at DFW airport. Good luck finding your car!

20. Seventy-five percent of the world’s Snickers bars are made in Waco, TEXAS at the M&M/Mars Plant. (Side note: Did not even know this plant was in Waco until my last year at Baylor! Only reason why I didn’t gain the “Freshman 15”!)

21. The first suspension bridge in the United States is located in TEXAS! Since it is still being used today, you can go to Waco to see it!

22. No, we do not ride horses to work in TEXAS. Yes, we do say “y’all” multiple times in regular conversations! And the fact that this is the first time that I’ve said “y’all” in this blog is a sin!

23. More wool comes from the state of TEXAS than any other state in the United States. Which is funny because with this TEXAS heat, we are probably least likely to have wool jackets!

24. El Paso, TEXAS is actually closer to Needles, California than it is to Dallas. So needless to say, if you take a road trip in TEXAS, you’re bound to say “Are we there yet?”!

25. In April 2016, three queens will have to give up their crowns to their successors. To find out who will win, come to TEXAS!!!

Continuing to break the stigma,

Elise Banks
Miss International 2015


  1. I really enjoyed learning more about my home state! Good job Elise!

  2. Really enjoyed learning more about my home state! Great job Elise!


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