Texas Tall Tales: 38 Facts About the Lone Star State

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1Eagle Stadium

Eagle Stadium

Eagle Stadium is a $60 million high school football stadium in Allen, Texas. The project was highly controversial, considering that the money could have paid 120 teacher salaries for a decade.


2. Texas has its own military force, the Texas State Guard that unlike the Texas National Guard isn't subordinate to the federal government.


3. Texas no longer offers a special "last meal" to condemned inmates. Instead, the inmate is offered the same meal served to the rest of the unit.


4. In 2016, a group of Texas prison inmates broke out of a holding cell to save a guard who had passed out with no pulse. The inmates got help to revive the guard. Then they were locked back in the cell with a thank you.


5. Sam Houston, the general who won Texas independence from Mexico, was removed from his post as Governor of Texas after refusing to support the Confederacy during the Civil War.


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6Colby Nolan

Colby Nolan

A cat named Colby Nolan was granted an MBA from the Trinity Southern University of Texas in 2004 as part of an investigation to uncover the school as a diploma mill.


7. In 2014, a man named Henry Magee in Texas killed a cop who was executing a no-knock warrant. The man ultimately was not charged (with killing the cop) because he thought someone was breaking into his home. In Texas, you can use deadly force to defend self and property.


8. In 1999, 47 black residents of a Texas town were arrested on drug charges solely on the uncorroborated word of one undercover agent who was a member of the KKK. Many were sentenced to long prison terms, some served years before release. For doing this, the officer got 10 years probation.


9. Estelline, Texas ranks as one of the worst speed trap cities in the US. With a population of 168 people, it's only police officer (Barney Gilley) writes an average of 23 tickets a day bringing in more than $300,000 of ticket revenue a year.


10. In 2008, a San Antonio news station had to call in a Bomb Squad after a chocolate cake wired to look like an explosive device. A number was written on the box which made the cake vibrate when dialed. Attached was a note signed by the Joker. It was all part of a marketing campaign for The Dark Knight.


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11Paul Alexander

Paul Alexander

A man named Paul Alexander in Dallas is still one of the few people in the world living in an iron lung.


12. Wild pigs are one of the most destructive animals in America causing more than $400 million of damage a year in Texas alone. They can dig 3 foot deep destroying crops and even feast on lambs, calves, sea turtle eggs, and everything in between.


13. In 2014, a reckless neurosurgeon named Christopher Duntsch in Texas killed and paralyzed several patients over 18 months in spite of many formal complaints of his malpractice by fellow neurosurgeons.


14. A Texas man named John Joe Gray barricaded himself in his home after biting a police officer during a traffic stop and refused to come out for more than a decade.


15. Texas charged a man who knew he was infected with HIV with assault with a deadly weapon after the man committed sexual assault. The court concluded that under Texas’ laws, infected semen could be considered a deadly weapon.


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16Dale Irby

Dale Irby

A physical education teacher named Dale Irby in Texas wore the exact same disco-era polyester shirt and coffee-colored sweater vest in his school picture for 40 years in a row, until his retirement in 2013.


17. There's a town in Texas called Earth, and it's the only place on Earth officially named Earth.


18. During the University of Texas Tower Shooting in 1966, several frat boys and hunting enthusiasts rushed to their homes and trucks to get their rifles. Officers told them to shoot to kill.


19. Houston airport used to receive many complaints about baggage wait times. In response, they moved baggage claim further away so that the walk was longer than the wait. The number of complaints then dropped.


20. In 1986, a beer drinking goat named Clay Henry III was elected as a mayor of a small town in Texas, USA.


21Netflix users

Netflix users

Two privacy researchers from the University of Texas were able to unmask Netflix users' political and sexual orientation by taking the "anonymized" movie ratings (released as part of Netflix Prize) and comparing them against non-anonymized movie ratings posted at IMDB.


22. Actor Stephen Tobolowsky (Ned Ryerson) was held hostage at a Dallas Safeway when he was 25. A stranger stopped him and said "I see you have mangos, the most exotic of fruit" before putting a .45 to his head. Tobolowsky then gave the man his actual address and invited him over for dinner.


23. In 1983, an 11-year-old boy named Brian Zimmerman was elected mayor of Crabb, Texas on the platform that he would work to incorporate the town even though it meant he would lose his seat. He was quoted as saying that "the mayor isn't there to sit and worry about keeping his job. He's there to do what's best for the people."


24. A city in Texas renamed itself to "DISH, Texas" in order to receive free Dish Satellite service for 10 years.


25. In 2012, a Texas hospital named Mainland Medical Center billed a woman $4800 after she was in an accident. Once the hospital found out she received an insurance settlement, they sent her a new bill for $20,000+ and filed a lien against her property to get it.

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