Historical facts about the Lone Star State include that Texas was once a country, it has belonged to more countries than any other state, and the deadliest natural disaster in American history occurred in the state. Texas was also the only state to join the union by treaty instead of the process of annexation.
Texas launched its war for independence from Mexico on October 2, 1835. It became the Republic of Texas after achieving victory over the Mexican army being led by the country's president, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. The Mexicans were routed in April of 1836 by Texas general Sam Houston in the Battle of San Jacinto and Santa Anna was captured. The Mexican president granted Texas independence in exchange for his release. Texas remained an independent country until it joined the United States in 1845.
Texas hasn't just belonged to Mexico and the United States. Since it was established as a Spanish colony in 1519, it has had six flags fly over it, including those of Spain, France, the Republic of Texas and the Confederacy when it seceded from the union during the civil war. This historical fact was the inspiration for the name of the famous amusement park chain that started in Texas in 1961.
On September 8, 1900, the city of Galveston, Texas was ravaged by a Category 4 hurricane. The island city was swamped by a 15-foot storm surge and leveled by 140 mph wind that killed an estimated 8,000 people.