Uncovering Texas: 40 Little-Known Facts about the State

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Lubbock, Texas has been ranked as the most boring city in the United States (100,000 inhabitants or more), partially due to its poor art, food, and music scenes.

2. In the 1990s, an unassuming middle-aged Texas woman named Peggy Jo Tallas dressed as a male cowboy and robbed several banks without using a weapon. She was eventually caught and served 15 years. Upon her release, "Cowboy Bob," robbed another bank and was killed during her escape when she pulled a toy gun on police.

3. In 1997, a 23-year-old French con artist named Frédéric Bourdin impersonated and assumed the identity of a 16-year-old missing Texas boy, living with the boy's family for months, despite retaining his French accent and having different colored eyes from the missing teen.

4. 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.

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

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6Last meal

Last meal

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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

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11Undercover officer

Undercover officer

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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

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

15. 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.

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16Christopher Duntsch

Christopher Duntsch

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.

17. 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.

18. 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.

19. 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.

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

21Texas Tower Shooting

Texas Tower Shooting

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.

22. 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.

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

24. 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.

25. 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.

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