The Texas Almanac, a reference guide on the state’s history, government, politics, population trends and business and commerce, has been published since 1857, with a few interruptions because of war and some other circumstances.The edition for 2014-15 is now out, which means it’s time for my biennial Texas Quiz to test how much you know about the Lone Star State. So get your thinking caps on, because this will be a tough one.First, a little history about the book itself, which was originally published by The Galveston News. The Galveston newspaper in 1885 established a North Texas paper called The Dallas Morning News, which began publishing the Almanac in 1904.The Morning News donated the Texas Almanac, complete with its archives, URL and trademark, to the Texas State Historical Association, which has just issued its third edition of the resource book.It’s interesting to note, during this time when immigration is such a hot-button issue in this state, that in 1869 the name of the book “was changed to The Texas Almanac and Emigrant’s Guide to Texas, reflecting the state’s need to attract settlers,” according to a TSHA news release.What a difference 145 years can make regarding some of our attitudes. But I’ll save that discussion for another time.Now to the test:1) Where is the geographic center of Texas?2) The French flag is one of six that has flown over Texas. How long did France control the territory?3) On an average day in 2010, how many births were there in Texas, and how many residents’ deaths?4) What is the name of the legendary defender of the Alamo whose exact fate is still unknown and still debated?5) Everyone knows the state flower is the bluebonnet, but by what other names is this plant called, including the Spanish moniker?6) At the time of secession, Texas had 604,215 residents, including 182,921 slaves. Although three-quarters of Texans did not own slaves, what percentage of the state’s wealth and politics was dominated by slave owners?7) What is the highest point in the state?8) How many votes did Abraham Lincoln get in Texas in 1860?9) In length, where does the Rio Grande rank among North American rivers?10) Texas is one of the tornado capitals of America. How many tornadoes occurred in the state in 2012, and in what month have the most tornadoes happened since 1951.11) Sam Houston was president of the Republic of Texas and one of the state’s early governors, a position from which he resigned — why? In what other office did Houston serve Texas, and how was he elected to that post?12) Who was the last president of the Republic of Texas?13) The first film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1928 was made in Texas. What was the name of it, and in what city was it filmed?14) In addition to Tarrant County, of which it is the county seat, name the other counties that include parts of Fort Worth?15) There are 254 counties in Texas, but how many incorporated cities?16) How should the state flag be displayed on Memorial Day?Send me your responses to the email address above, or by postal delivery to: Star-Telegram, P.O. Box 1870, Fort Worth, TX 76101.I’ll have the correct answers in next Wednesday’s column. I’ll also share with you information about the Almanac’s incredible online teacher’s guide.To check out the Almanac online, go to www.texasalmanac.com/about-us.
Bob Ray Sanders' column appears Sundays and Wednesdays. 817-390-7775 Twitter: @BobRaySanders