Texans love Texas. Our affection for the Lone Star State is so great we see everything through lone star-shaped glasses. Even historical facts are viewed with a Texas-tint. Texans call them “Texacts.” While not strictly correct—which is probably why teachers refuse to teach them in school, but it would be a lot cooler if they did—“Texacts” make history just a little bit more interesting and fun. So, in that spirit—in the spirit of fun that is, not necessarily in the spirit of factual accuracy—I offer the following Texas timeline of American history.*
1620—The first Texan sets foot on Plymouth Rock.
1763—Texas wins the French and Indian War.
1775—Texans fired the “shot heard around the world,” beginning the American Revolution.
1775—Paul Revere’s midnight ride was on the back of a Texas mustang.
1776—Thomas Jefferson was inspired by William Barret Travis’ Alamo letter when he wrote the Declaration of Independence.
1776—George Washington crossed the Rio Grande.
1778—Valley Forge: One of the darkest moments in American history, next to the fall of the Alamo.
1783—The British sign the Treaty of Paris with Texas.
1803—Texas buys the Louisiana Territory from Napoleon Bonaparte.
1812—Texas declares war on Great Britain.
1814—Texas wins the War of 1812 and signs the Treaty of Ghent.
1819—Spain cedes Florida to Texas.
1836—Texas wins its independence from Mexico and becomes a sovereign Republic.
1845—The Union joins Texas.
1846—Texas wins the Mexican War and signs the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
1848—Gold is discovered in Texas.
1861—The Union secedes from Texas.
1865—The Union rejoins Texas.
1867—Texas buys Alaska from Russia as a cooler for Lone Star and Shiner beer.
1869—Texans complete the transcontinental railroad to transport longhorns to market.
1876—George A. Custer is defeated at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. He had no Texans with him.
1876—Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone. His first call is to a Texan, who answered, “Howdy.”
1885—Admiral Chester A. Nimitz, one of the greatest naval warriors in history is born in little landlocked Fredericksburg, Texas.
1889—Oklahoma is opened to settlers. Texans don’t care and didn't settled there.
1890—Dwight D. Eisenhower, five star general and President of the United States is born in Denison, Texas.
1898—Texas wins the Spanish-American War.
1900—Texas weathers one of the worst storms in history.
1901—Theodore Roosevelt reaches the White House, riding his horse “Little Texas.” (An oxymoron, nothing in Texas is little.)
1914—Texas mules are used during the construction of the Panama Canal.
1917—Texas declares war on Germany.
1918—The influenza epidemic came to Texas and died of natural causes.
1925—Audie Murphy, the most decorated military man in America, turned actor, is born in Kingston, Texas.
1929—The Great Depression hits the United States, not Texas.
1931—“Texas, Our Texas” is adopted as the national anthem.
1933—The Red Headed Stranger is born in Abbott, Texas.
1936—Charles “Buddy” Holly is born in Lubbock, Texas.
1941—The United States calls on Texas to defeat the Japanese.
1944—Texas lands on the beaches of Normandy.
1945—Germany surrenders to Texas.
1945—Texans raise the Long Star over Iwo Jima.
1945—Japan surrenders to Texas.
1952—King George is born in Poteet, Texas.
1953—North Korea signs an armistice with Texas.
1963—Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his “I Have a Dream” speech in front of the Alamo.
1969—Texans land on the moon.
1973—Texas leaves Vietnam to the Vietnamese.
1981—Texas secures the release of U.S. hostages held in Iran.
1991—Texas kicks Iraqi dictator Saddam Hessen out of Kuwait.
1992—Texas ends the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.
2001—Texas thumps the Taliban after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
2008—The Great Recession hits the United States, not Texas.
2011—Terrorist Osama bin Laden is killed by Navy Seals commanded by a Texan.
* Though I wouldn’t swear that every “fact” on this timeline is historically precise, neither would I swear that all of them are tall tales.