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Cement is fourth in importance. Texas ranks among the leading cement-producing states. The Gulf Coastal Plain is one of the nation 's richest sources of sulfur. Magnesium is processed from seawater at Freeport's electrolytic plant. Among other minerals produced in the state are stone, sand and gravel, lime, salt, and gypsum.


Because of its huge size, Texas has had to develop a vast network of transportation routes by road, rail, water, and air. The Texas Department of Highways and Public Transportation, established in 1917, maintains about 71,000 miles (114,260 kilometers) of state roads.

In addition to the state roads and dozens of federal routes, a number of highways in the Interstate system cross Texas. Interstates 10, 20, and 40 are major east-west routes. Crossing parts of Texas from north to south are Interstates 35, 45, and 27. Interstate 30 runs northeastward from Dallas.

The first railroad in Texas was a 20-mile (32-kilometer) line in the Houston area that was completed in 1853. Transcontinental service became a reality in 1881, when the Southern Pacific linked the state with California. Today Texas is served by a statewide network of railroads and by a number of major airlines. The Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Airport is the nation's largest in terms of land area and one of the busiest.

Thirteen deepwater ports handle shipments of petroleum products, cotton, and wheat. Routes of travel are the Intracoastal Waterway (extending eastward from Brownsville) and the Gulf of Mexico. The Houston Ship Channel, which opened in 1915, has helped make that city one of the great United States ports. The other major ports are Port Arthur, Beaumont, Texas City, Corpus Christi, Port Aransas, and Galveston.


In an average year Texas is visited by more than 40 million tourists. One of the chief attractions is the rugged land of mountains and canyons in the Trans-Pecos. This region includes Big Bend National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Palo Duro Canyon cuts a 1,000-foot- (300-meter-) deep slash through the high plains of the Texas Panhandle. The Gulf coast has many fine beaches and resorts. Near Kingsville in south Texas is King Ranch, one of the largest in the world. East Texas boasts more than 11 million acres (4.5 million hectares) of woodlands, including four national forests.

San Antonio is famous for the Alamo and San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Dallas hosts the state fair each October and the Cotton Bowl football game on New Year's Day. In Arlington are Six Flags Over Texas, an amusement park styled after the American West, and the home stadium of the Texas Rangers professional baseball team. In professional football, the Dallas Cowboys play in Texas Stadium, in Irving, and the Houston Oilers play in the famous Astrodome, also home of baseball's Houston Astros. There are three Texas basketball teams: the Dallas Mavericks, the Houston Rockets, and the San Antonio Spurs.


The first schools in the Texas region were informal classes for Native Americans held at the missions of Spanish priests. There were only a few private schools in the area at the time of the Texas declaration of independence in 1836. One of the republic's charges against Mexico was that it had "failed to establish any public system of education."

In 1839 the Republic of Texas began setting aside public land for education. An act establishing a state school system was passed in 1854. A permanent school fund was established with a grant of 2 million dollars, and provision was made for setting up school districts. In 1949 the Gilmer-Aikin laws reorganized the public school system to equalize educational opportunities. Common school districts were consolidated from more than 3,000 to fewer than 1,000.

The largest of the state schools is the University of Texas, located in Austin, with branches at Arlington, Dallas, El Paso, Odessa, San Antonio, and Tyler; health science centers at Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio; cancer centers at Houston and Bastrop County; a health center at Tyler; and a medical branch at Galveston. The divisions of the Texas A&M University System are located at College Station, Prairie View, Stephenville, and Galveston.

Реферат опубликован: 29/01/2010