Texas is a state in the South and Southwest regions of the United States of America. With an area of 268,581 square miles (695,622 km²) and a population of 27.6 million, Texas is the second-largest U.S. state in both area and population, and the largest state in the contiguous 48 states in area. The state name derives from a word in a Caddoan language of the Hasinai, táyshaʔ, tecas (or tejas, as the Spaniards spelled it), meaning "those who are friends", "friends", or "allies"".
Texas joined the United States in 1845 as the 28th state, after nearly a decade of being the Republic of Texas—an independent country. Texas historically had a "larger than life" reputation, especially in cowboy films. The term "Texas-sized" is used to describe something larger than average, and large geographic areas are often described in terms of the size of Texas. It is the southernmost part of the Great Plains, which ends in the south against the folded Sierra Madre Oriental of Mexico. It is in the south-central part of the United States of America. It is considered to form part of the U.S. South and also part of the U.S. Southwest.
In 2011, Texas had a gross state product of $1.3 trillion, the second-highest in the U.S. after California. Texas is the only state in the U.S. to have three cities with populations exceeding one million: Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas, which are also among the 10 largest cities of the United States. They are larger than any other cities in the Southern United States. Austin, El Paso, and Fort Worth are in the top 25 largest U.S. cities.
The University Interscholastic League or UIL is an organization which creates rules for and sometimes administers almost all athletic, music, and academic contests for public elementary and secondary schools in the American state of Texas. Activities range from American football to marching band competitions. The UIL does not administer Academic Decathlon competitions, however. The UIL was originally created by the University of Texas at Austin to provide a rule-making body for athletic and academic events. Its mission, according to the UIL, is to foster good sportsmanship and character building among competitors.
The UIL generally governs only public high schools. Activities for non-public schools are governed by completely separate bodies, the largest of which is the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS). However, non-public schools are allowed to join the UIL if they do not qualify for membership in any other organization. Dallas Jesuit and Houston Strake Jesuit were the first, and thus far only, private schools to have been granted UIL membership 2003.
Howard Robard Hughes Jr. (December 24, 1905 – April 5, 1976) was a pioneering aviator, engineer, industrialist and film producer. He was widely known as a playboy and one of the wealthiest people in the world. He is famous for setting multiple world air-speed records; building the Hughes H-1 Racer and H-4 Hercules airplanes; producing Hell's Angels and The Outlaw; and, for his debilitating and eccentric behavior later in life.
Hughes was born in Houston, Texas, on December 24, 1905, although some biographers dispute this date. His parents were Allene Gano Hughes and Howard R. Hughes Sr., who patented the tri-cone roller bit, which allowed rotary drilling for oil in previously inaccessible places. Howard R. Hughes Sr. founded Hughes Tool Company in 1909 to commercialize this invention.
El Paso is the county seat of El Paso County in the U.S. state of Texas. According to the 2005 U.S. Census population estimates, the city had a population of 598,590, making it the sixth-largest city in Texas and the 21st-largest city in the United States. El Paso is second only to San Diego, California in size among all U.S. cities on the U.S.-Mexico border. Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua lies opposite of the Rio Grande — which separates the two cities—forming a bi-national metropolitan area of 2,280,782, making it the second-largest bi-national metropolitan area on the U.S.–Mexico border.
El Paso is home to The University of Texas at El Paso. Fort Bliss, a major United States Army installation, lies to the east and northeast of the city, extending north up to the White Sands Missile Range. The Franklin Mountains extend into El Paso from the north and nearly divide the city into two sections.
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