January 28, 2016
Texas became the 28th state to enter the union on December 29, 1845. Texas was first founded by Spanish explorers, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, settling at Ysleta near El Paso in 1862. Robert Cavalier Sieur de la Salle later established a French colony at Matagorda Bay in 1685. In 1821, Stephen F. Austin led Americans to settle along the Brazos River when Texas was originally controlled by Mexico who gained their independence from Spain.
In 1835, the Texas Revolution began due to tensions between the settlers of Texas and Mexico. The first battle was the Battle of Gonzales in 1835, which was caused by a cannon. From 1836 to 1845, Texas was its own independent nation until it entered the union by treaty, the Treaties of Velasco (and the only state to do so).
Texas adopted their state flag before it became a state. The flag of Texas is known as the Lone Star flag, as it only has one star on their state flag and it was first used on their flag during the battles between Texas and Mexico in the 1830s. The star is located on a vertical blue stripe on the left hand side (taking up ⅓ of the flag) while a horizontal red and white stripe take up the remaining right side of the flag. Red symbolizes courage, white means liberty, and blue is for loyalty.
Texas Flag vs. Flag of Chile: The flags of Texas and the South American country of Chile are very similar and can sometimes be confused with one another. The only differences between the flags are that there is only a blue square on the left hand corner of the Chilean flag, the star inside the square is smaller, and the red horizontal stripe on the bottom is longer. Chile’s flag was adopted on October 18, 1817.
Texas is the second largest state in the US along with being the most populous.
January 14, 2016
In the very corner of the US is the 27th state to enter the Union, Florida, on March 3, 1845. Florida was founded in 1565 by Spanish settlers and the Spanish held this territory until it became a permanent US settlement in 1821. Northern state residents began to visit Florida and found Florida to be a lovely place for tourism as the weather was very favorable with its mild climate, earning its nickname The Sunshine State.
Their state flag was adopted in 1900 when Florida voters ratified a constitutional amendment based on an 1899 joint resolution of the state legislature. It was held to add diagonal red bars to their state flag in the style of the St. Andrew’s Cross (This flag is similar to Alabama’s state flag). Before then, it was only the state seal on a white backdrop. The state seal has a Native American Seminole Woman scattering flowers on a beach along with a steamboat, a sabal tree, and the sun. Surrounding the seal in a gold circle are the words, “State of Florida”, and “In God We Trust”, which is the state’s motto. The seal was revised in 1985 which originally depicted a Western Plains Indian woman, the steamboat was touched up a little bit, and the sabal palm tree was originally a cocoa palm tree.
Florida is home to many agencies like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, also known as NASA. They are known for doing research on space and aeronautics and hold space missions. Although they are based out of Washington DC, the space shuttles for specific missions are launched out of Cape Canaveral, Florida, and the Kennedy Space Center.
As Florida is a popular tourist spot, it houses popular attractions and resorts like Walt Disney World, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the Epcot Center and Universal Studios, all located in Orlando (there are similar theme parks in California, but they are called Disneyland and the Universal Studios in California is located in Universal City, CA). The city of Orlando attracts more tourists than any other theme park city in the US.
Food Fact: Florida is the largest Citrus producer in the US!