Texas Statehood Day is February 19, an important date in Texas history. On this day in 1846, the formal transfer of sovereignty from The Republic of Texas to The State of Texas took place in Austin. While the legal entry date of Texas into the United States was December 29, 1845, authority to the new State of Texas was not given until February 19, 1846. For almost ten years, Texas had stood as an independent nation. Now, at the end of a formal ceremony on the steps of the old log Capitol building, the Stars and Stripes were raised, and Texas became the 28th state of the United States of America.
In his farewell speech of February 19, 1846, Anson Jones, the last president of Texas remarked: "With such a population as Texas possesses, characterized as it is with great intelligence and enterprise, and with such elements of prosperity as she now possesses, a genial climate and a fertile soil, it will be her own fault if she does not reach an importance and a social elevation, not surpassed by any community on earth." In the 167 years since President Jones made his remarks, Texans have answered the challenge, and today the Lone Star State is admired both nationally and internationally.
Texans have many reasons to celebrate the success and prosperity of our State. A few accomplishments are cited below which demonstrate the enterprising spirit and result of a work ethic common to our unique Texas heritage.
Six of the 25 largest cities in the United States are in Texas: #4 Houston, #7 San Antonio, #9 Dallas, #16 Austin, #17 Ft. Worth, and #21 El Paso. Texas has more highway miles than any other state (310,850). Texas maintains more rail miles than any other state (14,361). The Texas railroad system is the second largest in the U.S. with 47 freight railroad operators. Texas has twelve deep-water ports along the Gulf of Mexico, and among
them, The Port of Houston is the second busiest in the U.S. by cargo volume and the 12th busiest in the world. The Ports of Beaumont and Corpus Christi rank in the top 10 among all U.S. ports by cargo volume. Six of the 50 busiest airports in the U.S., measured by annual passengers boarded, are in Texas: #10 Houston George Bush Intercontinental; #33 Houston William P. Hobby; #38 Austin Bergstrom International; #46 San Antonio International; and #48 Dallas Love Field. Texas ranked No. 1 among all states for exports for the tenth consecutive year in 2011. Finally, our gross state product (GSP) for 2011 was estimated at $1.3 trillion by the State Comptroller, making the Texas economy the 14th largest in the world!
Statehood Day is one of twelve Texas Honor Days designated by The Daughters of the Republic of Texas. The D.R.T. is the oldest women's patriotic organization in Texas and is dedicated to the preservation and education of Texas history. For more information on Texas Honor Days and the work of the D.R.T., please visit the website at www.drtinfo.org
Sources: Texas Historical Association, http://www.tshaonline.org; Anson Jones: The Last President of Texas by Herbert Gambrell, 2nd. Ed.1964; Ford, John S., editor. The Texas Democrat (Austin, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 5, Ed. 1, Friday, February 20, 1846, Newspaper, February 20, 1846; digital images, (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth48306/: accessed February 04, 2013), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, Texas, Logistics Hub of the Americas, 2012, Office of the Governor | Economic Development & Tourism http://www.governor.state.tx.us/files/ecodev/Logistics_Report.pdf; Overview of Texas Economy, http://www.texaswideopenforbusiness.com/resources/files/texas-economic-overview.pdf;