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11 awesome things you should thank Texas for

Did you know frozen margaritas were invented in Texas?

Texas flag over Rio Grande
Texas flag over Rio Grande (Pixabay)

Texas is awesome - and you can quote us on that. There are so many reasons to love the Lone Star State and we’ve come up with a list of 11 things you can feel free to thank Texas for.

A few weeks ago a lifestyle website published a very unscientific poll that touted Texas as the second most hated state in the U.S. - um, incorrect. It got us thinking about things that people might not know they owe props to Texas for and it turns out there’s quite a bit.

This list is in no particular order and is in no way all-inclusive but here are at least 11 things that come from Texas:

  • Dr Pepper - A pharmacist in Waco invented Dr Pepper in 1885, according to the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, who also said the famed soda is the oldest soft drink in the U.S. (Coca-Cola syrup wasn’t invented until 1886.)
  • Cowboy Hats and Boots - Some of the top brands of cowboy hats and boots like Cavender’s, Lucchese Bootmaker and Justin’s Boot Company are headquartered in Texas and the quintessential Stetson cowboy hat might have been founded in Philadelphia in 1865 but the production of the cowboy hats has since moved to Garland, Texas.
  • Whataburger - The burger chain has been a Texas staple since it was established in 1950 in Corpus Christi. According to Whataburger’s website there are 842 Whataburger locations across 10 states but Texas has the vast majority with 690 locations.
  • Frozen Margaritas - That salt-rimmed, tequila-filled frozen margarita that tastes oh so good on a hot summer day - yeah, it was invented in Texas. Who knew? Smithsonian Magazine reports that Mariano Martinez repurposed a soft-serve ice cream machine in 1971 and the rest, as they say, is history.
  • Pantera/ZZ Top/Beyonce/Butthole Surfers - There is a vast array of bands and performers from Texas that have hit it big from heavy metal band Pantera from Arlington to the San Antonio-based rock group the Butthole Surfers. Texas has produced some of the best musical artists in all genres. Willie Nelson, George Strait, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Holly, Janis Joplin, Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, Selena, Freddy Fender, Don Henley ... we could keep going, but you get the idea.
  • Igloo Coolers - Igloo coolers have been seen at picnics, on field trips, and on the sidelines of kids sports games since 1947 and there’s a massive factory in Katy that manufactures Igloo coolers to help keep your drinks cold on hot Texas days (of which there are many.) Of course, these days Yeti coolers have become extremely popular. That company originated here in Texas we well.
  • Mars Wrigley Confectionery - According to a report from KWTX, Mars Wrigley set up shop in Waco in the 70s and the Texas plant “produces over 65% of all the Snickers... 80% of all the Skittles and 100% of all the Starburst in North America.”
  • Big Red - Here’s another Waco-based invention and it’s a truly Texas drink. Love it or hate it, Big Red is another soda success story, originally invented in 1937 by Grover Thomsen, according to Texas Monthly. The drink is so popular it’s got its own “Barbacoa and Big Red Festival." This year, Krispy Kreme even rolled out exclusive Big Red filled donuts to celebrate.
  • A-List Actors - Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Garner, Matthew McConaughey, Forest Whitaker, Tommy Lee Jones, Jaime Foxx, Bill Paxton, Renee Zellweger, Woody Harrelson, Eva Longoria, Beyonce, Owen and Luke Wilson and Dennis Quaid are just a few of the many famous actors who trace their roots back to Texas.
  • Toyota Tundra - Toyota’s San Antonio plant pumps out Tundra pickup trucks. There’s also a plant in Cibolo that produces transmissions for Toyota and other manufacturers.
  • Pace Picante Sauce - This salsa has been seen on store shelves since its invention in 1947 by David Pace and it’s still made in Texas “with dedicated employees who carefully test every batch with the same uncompromised care that David Pace put into every bottle,” according to Pace Foods.

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