Can You Answer All of These Trivia Questions About Texas?

By: Jonnathan Chadwick
Image: Rebecca L. Latson/Moment/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Travel to any country in the world and ask the locals what they know about America and they're likely to say something about Texas. They may not know the capital or the major cities, but they're bound to have heard stories about cowboys, Indians, Texas Rangers, barbecue, cattle, horses, hats, boots, rangers, rifles, presidents, war, the Alamo and more. That's because as much as we may think the major hubs of America are cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami, there's no denying the importance of Texas to the identity of the United States. It's the largest state in the continental U.S. and the second largest of all 50 states, second in land size only to Alaska. It's home to more than 28 million Americans and holds the most counties of any state in the country.

Most important of all, it's the center of American culture. Whether we like to admit it or not, there's nothing more American than guns, farming, country music, barbecue and beer, and Texas is the center of all of that. It's a true reflection of the American heartland and a giant part of the American identity. If you don't know Texas, you simply don't know America, so put your skills to the test and see how many of these trivia questions you can answer correctly.

What is the nickname for Texas?

The nickname for Texas - The Lone Star State - comes from the design of the Texas state flag, which features red, white and blue with a single (lone) star. The flag is known as The Lone Star Flag and has been in use since 1839.

If you wanted to visit the "Live Music Capital of the World," where would you go?

In 1991, it was discovered that Austin had more live music venues per capita than anywhere in the country. There are more than 250 live music venues that feature everything from blues and country to rap and rock.

Of the following words, which is mistakenly credited as the first word spoken from the moon on July 20, 1969?

Everybody remembers Neil Armstrong's "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" quote, but being that the NASA space center is in Houston, it's commonly thought he first said, "Houston, we've landed." Unfortunately, that isn't true. The first words were a boring, procedural checklist of items.

What is the state mammal of Texas?

The state of Texas has three official state mammals, but two were designated in 1995, and one was designated in 1927. In 1995, the state declared both the longhorn cow and the Mexican free-tailed bat as official state symbols. The armadillo was declared in 1927.

Where is the capital of Texas?

Aside from being known as the "Live Music Capital of the World," Austin is also the capital of Texas. Interestingly, Austin was almost called something different, but we'll save that for a different trivia question.

Can you name the award statue that was named after a famous Texan?

Although unconfirmed, legend says that when the Academy executive secretary, Margaret Herrick, saw the award statue in 1931, she said it reminded her of her uncle Oscar, and the nickname for the award was born. Her uncle was actually her cousin and famous Texan, Oscar Pierce.

Do you know the sports trophy that was named after a famous Texan?

There's no controversy behind this one. The Heisman Trophy, which is awarded to the most outstanding college football player each season, is named for John Heisman, the legendary coach for Rice University's football team.

Texas comes from a Native American word meaning what?

When Spanish explorers in the 16th century encountered the natives of the land, they interpreted the word, "teyshas" - meaning friends - as Teyas or Tejas, and thought it was the name of the territory. The word "Texas" was born shortly thereafter.

Legendary commanders George S. Patton and John J. Pershing fought together in which of these military campaigns?

On March 9, 1916, Pancho Villa launched an attack on the town of Columbus, New Mexico and less than a week later, the U.S. retaliated in what was known as the Pancho Villa Expedition or Mexican Expedition. Gen. Pershing led Lt. Patton in what was Patton's first battle in the field.

Where in Texas do the most residents live?

Although Austin is the capital of Texas, it is home to fewer than 1 million residents, whereas Dallas and San Antonio house upward of 1.5 million residents, and Houston - the most populous - houses more than 2.3 million residents.

What classic American food was invented in Texas?

Legend has it that Fletcher Davis of Athens, Texas invented the hamburger in the 1880s when he opened a lunch counter and served a fried ground beef patty with mustard and onions between two slices of bread.

Do you know the state motto of Texas?

If you're familiar with the origin of the word "Texas," this state motto will be of no surprise to you. It was officially adopted by the 41st state legislature in February of 1930 and has been in use ever since.

Which of these sodas was invented in Texas?

In Waco, Texas in 1885, a pharmacist by the name of Charles Alderton invented the carbonated soft drink known as Dr Pepper. There is no period after the "Dr" in the name, and today it is one of the most popular sodas across the country.

From 1836 to 1845, Texas was _________.

In March of 1836, 59 delegates signed the Texas Declaration of Independence to give Texas its independence until 1845, when it signed a treaty and agreed to become part of the country. It is the only state to enter the country by way of treaty opposed to territorial annexation.

Can you name the word that was derived from the name of a legendary Texan?

The word "maverick" means an independent-minded person. It is derived from a cattle rancher from the 19th century named Samuel A. Maverick, who chose to buck the trend of other ranchers and forgo branding his cattle.

What is the official seashell of Texas?

The official seashell of Texas is the lightning whelk. It is a rather large shell and unlike most other shells, it opens up on its right side. It's the state's official shell because it is only found in the Gulf of Mexico and Southeast Atlantic coast.

Texas has recorded more what compared to every other state?

Texas sees more than 120 tornadoes a year on average. In 1967, Hurricane Beulah produced 115 tornadoes over a five-day period, including 67 on a single day. In December of 2006 there were 27 tornadoes on a single day - and that was winter time.

How many U.S. presidents were born in Texas?

Although people think both Bush Sr. and Jr. were born in Texas, they weren't. They were born in Massachusetts and Connecticut, respectively. The only two presidents born in Texas were Dwight D. Eisenhower (34th) and Lyndon B. Johnson (36th). Virginia birthed the most presidents with eight.

Texas has the highest speed limit in the country -- what is it?

With more than 250,000 square miles of land -- more than 7% of the nation's land area -- it's no wonder that Texas has the highest speed limit in the country. Drivers can drive up to 85 mph on Texas State Highway 130, which is 130 miles long.

The world's largest statue of a single American is of who?

The "Tribute to Courage" statue of Sam Houston is located in Huntsville, Texas and stands 67 feet tall. The Iwo Jima statue stands one foot taller, but depicts six Marines, and the "Golden Driller" statue in Oklahoma is 75 feet tall, but depicts a generic oil worker.

Of the 10 least populous counties in America, how many are located in Texas?

Loving County, King County and Kenedy County have fewer than 1,000 residents combined. They are three of the 10 least populated counties in America. Loving County itself is larger in size than Hong Kong and Singapore combined, which are home to more than five and seven million residents, respectively.

Of the 10 most populous cities in America, how many are located in Texas?

Houston (2.3 million), San Antonio (1.5 million) and Dallas (1.3 million) rank as the fourth, seventh and ninth most-populous cities in America, respectively. Austin, TX - the state capital - doesn't even crack 1 million residents.

What is the state dog of Texas?

The blue lacy or lacy dog has been recognized as the official dog breed of Texas since 2005. The majority of blue lacy dogs are found in Texas, but they are being bred across the country more and more as popularity grows.

Do you know the official sport of Texas?

In 1997, rodeo became the official state sport of Texas when Gov. George W. Bush signed the resolution, which was filed just six months prior. South Dakota and Wyoming also recognize rodeo as their official state sports.

Who is considered the Father of Texas?

Born in 1793, Stephen F. Austin undertook the task of settling the land of Texas and recruiting families to the territory. In 1825, he successfully colonized much of the land and recruited 300 families to follow suit. He is considered the founder and father of Texas.

What was the last battle of the Civil War?

The Battle of Palmito Ranch or Palmito Hill is widely considered to be the last battle of the Civil War, and it was fought over the course of two days in Texas. Both Union and Confederate forces had observed an unofficial truce, but poorly-trained leadership led to this battle that occurred for reasons still unknown.

Texas has two NFL teams, three NBA teams, two MLB teams and how many NHL teams?

With the second-largest land size in the country and the second-largest population in the country, it's only fitting that Texas has a ton of professional sports teams. They have multiple teams in the four major sports leagues, but only employ one NHL team.

In 1845, Texas became the ________ state of the U.S.

Up until 1836, when Texas won the Texas Revolution, the state was controlled by Mexico. It then enjoyed independence until 1845, when it agreed to enter the United States as the 28th state in the union. Today it is the only state to enter the country by way of treaty.

Can you name the deadliest natural disaster in the history of America?

The Great Galveston Hurricane is known by locals as the Great Storm of 1900, and took the lives of at least 6,000 people (some estimates total 12,000 people), making it the deadliest natural disaster in American history by far. The second-deadliest disaster (San Francisco earthquake) totaled just more than 3,000 fatalities.

What is the most popular historic site in Texas?

With more than four million visitors each year, The Alamo is not only the most popular historic site in Texas, but also in the United States. It was nearly destroyed in the 1830s, restored in the 1930s, and designated a national landmark in the 1960s.

Dell and Compaq started in Texas, giving Central Texas which unofficial moniker?

Dell and Compaq began producing computers in the early '80s, and although nobody thinks of Texas as being a hub for technology, try telling that to a Texan. Apple and Microsoft released computers not much earlier than they did.

Before demolition in 2011, Texas was home to the only hotel built _________.

The USS Flagship Hotel in Galveston, TX was a seven-story, 225-room hotel that opened in 1965 and closed in 2008. It wasn't demolished until 2011, and until then, it was the only hotel to be entirely built over water. It was severely damaged by Hurricane Ike in 2008, causing it to close.

The capital of Texas was almost named which of these names?

In 1839, the area of Austin was selected to replace Houston as the capital of the Republic of Texas and was originally incorporated under the name, Waterloo - like the battle Napoleon embarrassingly lost. It was quickly changed to Austin to honor Stephen F. Austin, who is considered the father and founder of Texas.

Texas is home to the world's largest colony of which of these animals?

The Bracken Cave in Comal County, Texas is home to the largest colony of bats in the world. Yes - the world. It's estimated that 20 million Mexican Free-tailed Bats (one of the official state mammals) roost here from March to October each year, making it the largest known concentration of mammals.

Which of these Texas sites is larger than the state of Rhode Island?

King Ranch - founded by Captain Richard King in 1853 - spans 1,289 square miles, compared to Rhode Island's 1,212 square miles. The ranch touches six Texas counties and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961.

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