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Texas Local Business Directory

Texas ranks second in size, gross state product and population among U.S. states. More than one-quarter of all Texans speak Spanish; 69 percent speak English. Known as the Lone Star State, Texas has been claimed by a number of different nations during its colorful history. The first European explorers initially arrived from Spain. French colonists settled in the area in 1685 and held it for four years until hostile Indians and a lack of supplies destroyed their fledgling colony. From then on, it was known as one of the least hospitable and least popular areas of New Spain. Texas declared and won its independence and briefly became the Republic of Texas in 1836. It then joined the U.S. as the 28th state in 1845 and later joined the Confederacy during the Civil War.

The wide-open spaces of Texas made it ideal for cattle ranching, but sheep and goat ranching are also important to the economy of this western state. Texas produces the most cotton in the U.S. and is a valuable source of crushed stone and sand for use in concrete and other building materials. In 1901, oil was discovered near Beaumont. This prompted the Texas Oil Boom and led to wealth for many Texas residents. Petroleum drilling and processing continues to be an important part of the Texas economy.

The state capital, Austin, bills itself as the Live Music Capital of the World and has established a tech-friendly environment that attracts many cutting-edge corporations to the area. Elsewhere in Texas, the NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston trains astronauts for their journeys into space and is known to NASA staff members as Mission Control.

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