In conjunction with publication of the 2014-15 Texas Almanac, I offered my biennial Texas quiz in last week’s column.The overwhelming response was that this test was the toughest one yet, because it didn’t focus solely on history but included questions about population trends and geography.Still, one person made a perfect score. Congratulations to John DeFelice, a teacher who has spent the last nine years working at the Crowley Learning Center, for having all the correct answers. Either he has a super knowledge of Texas or he knows how to make good use of his Almanac, a reference book that has been around since 1857.Here are the answers to last week’s quiz:1) The geographic center of Texas is about 15 miles northeast of Brady in northern McCulloch County.2) Of the six flags that have flown over Texas, France was the second country (after Spain) to rule the territory, from 1685 to 1690.3) In 2010 the average number of births per day in the state was 1,102, with 455 average resident deaths. By the way, there were 477 marriages versus 225 divorces each day.4) The legendary hero of the Alamo whose fate is unknown is Davy Crockett. After the siege, according to the Almanac, “all defenders were dead. Only a few women, children and black slaves survived the assault. Davy Crockett’s fate is still debated. Mexican officer Enrique de la Peña held that Crockett was captured with a few other defenders and was executed by Santa Anna.”5) The state flower, the bluebonnet, is also known as buffalo clover, wolf flower and the Spanish name el conejo (the rabbit). 6) At the time of secession, although three-quarters of Texans did not own slaves, slave owners controlled 60 to 70 percent of the wealth of the state and dominated the politics.7) The highest point in Texas is Guadalupe Peak at 8,749 feet above sea level. Its twin, El Capitan, stands 8,085 feet and also is in Culbertson County near the New Mexico state line.8) Abraham Lincoln received no votes in Texas in the 1860 election because his name was not on the ballot. 9) The Rio Grande is tied with the St. Lawrence River (both 1,900 miles) as the fourth-longest river in North America.10) In 2012 there were 115 tornadoes in Texas. Since 1951, May has been the most active month for tornadoes in the state with 2,414. There were 1,422 in April during that period.11) Sam Houston, a president of the Republic of Texas, became governor when Texas joined the union, but he resigned the position when he refused to swear loyalty to the Confederacy. Houston was later named to the U.S. Senate during the time when state legislatures chose senators.12) Anson Jones was the last president of the Republic of Texas.13) Wings, the first movie to win an Academy Award for Best Picture (released in 1927 and honored in 1928), was filmed in San Antonio.14) Other counties besides Tarrant that include parts of Fort Worth are Denton, Parker and Wise.15) There are 254 counties in Texas and 1,216 incorporated cities.16) On Memorial Day, the state flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon, then raised to the peak of the flagpole.The Almanac offers an excellent teacher’s guide online at no cost to educators. The detailed lessons include special activities that make learning fun.Check it out at www.texasalmanac.com/teachers-guide.
Bob Ray Sanders' column appears Sundays and Wednesdays. 817-390-7775 Twitter: @BobRaySanders