December 29, 2009

Texas Statehood – 1845

On this date in 1845, Texas became th
e 28th state of the U.S. The name Texas comes from the Caddo Indian word teysha, which means “hello, friend.”

The phrase “
six flags over Texas” hints at Texas's complex (we might even say “messy”) history:

Can you figure out which of the flags listed
below is which flag in the picture above?


4.Independent Republic of Texas

5.United States of America

6.Confederate Stat
es of America

Notice that there was no flag from the original inhabitants, the Caddo Indi
ans and other Indian groups. This backs the point that comedian Eddie Izzard once made: Europe stole countries “with the cunning use of flags.”*

Take a quiz to see how much you know about Texas.

1) Texas is the ______ state in the U.S.

a. largest
b. second largest

c. third largest
2) Texas's official nickname is _________.

a. the Bluebonnet State
b. the Longhorn State
c. the Lone Star State
3) The Alamo (often referred to by the phrase, “Remember the Alamo!”) was the site of _____.

a) a victory of Mexican troops against Spain
b) a victory of Mexican troops
against white “Texians”
c) a victory of white “Texians” against Mexico
4) The largest city in Texas is ________.

a) Houston
b) Dallas

c) Austin
5) One of the most important aspects of the Texan economy is _______.

a) cattle
b) wheat

c) oil
6) Which of these U.S. presidents were born in Texas?

a) Dwight D. Eisenhower
b) Lyndon B. Johnson

c) George W. Bush

d) “a” and “b” above

e) “b” and “c” above

f) all of the above

ANSWERS: 1.b (only Alaska is larger) 2.c 3.b 4.a 5.c 6.d

* Warning: Izzard is very funny but uses some curse words in his act.

Texas has a reputation for everything BIG!
Big state, big (unobstructed) sky, big ranches and cars and hairdos and money and ev
en hurricanes.

So, of course, there has to be some big art, too! Monumental land art (also called “earthworks”) is an art form that is large-scale and involves a sizable chunk of land. There are several pieces of monumental art in Texas. One is the Amarillo ramp (a curved, almost fully circular ramp), and another is Cadillac Ranch. Cadillac Ranch features ten “Caddies” that are half buried in the ground. If you go see the sculpture, take a can or two of spray paint—because viewers are invited to participate with the art by putting their names, initials, or inspiring messages on the cars.

Plan your own monumental art piece. If you had a lot of money and land for land art, what would you create? Draw your plan.

Color a Texan flag, state flower, or map.Take a virtual tour of Texas here.

Learn to talk like a Texan with this fun website. (Scroll down for the vocabulary!)

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