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 10 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 175 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, #10 Austin, #12 Ft. Worth, and #22 El Paso. Texas has more road miles than any other state (679,917). Texas maintains more rail miles than any other state (10,384). The Texas railroad system is the second largest in the U.S. with 47 freight railroad operators. Texas has 11 deep-draft ports along the Gulf of Mexico, and among them, five are ranked in the top 20 of U. S. ports by total tonnage, including: Port Houston – 2nd, Port of Beaumont – 4th, Port of Corpus Christi – 5th, Port of Texas City – 15th, and Port Arthur – 17th. Texas was ranked in the top 20 of busiest airports in the U. S. in 2020, despite COVID -19 travel restrictions. Dallas/ Fort Worth ranked #4 with 35.7 million passengers, and Houston Bush International ranked #14 with 21.9 million passengers. From 2010 to 2019, the state’s population rose more than twice as fast as the nation’s, at 15.3 percent vs 6.3 percent.
Statehood Day is one of 12 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>.