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5 Fun Facts About December 24 In Texas History

---Learn Every Day: TX Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history tx To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1845, Texas officially became a state on December 24th. President James K. Polk signed the bill that admitted Texas into the United States, making it the 28th state.

2. On December 24th, 1861, the Confederate Congress confirmed the appointment of General John B. Magruder as Head of the Department of Texas. Magruder played a pivotal role in the defense of Texas during the Civil War.

3. On December 24th, 1909, the oil industry in Texas was forever changed when a gusher erupted at Spindletop, near Beaumont in southeast Texas. The gusher produced 100,000 barrels of oil a day, and marked the beginning of Texas' reputation as the "Oil Capital of the World."

4. On December 24th, 1968, Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders took the iconic "Earthrise" photograph, which became one of the most famous images of the 20th century. Anders was born in Hong Kong but grew up in Texas and attended the University of Texas at Austin.

5. On December 24th, 1983, a truck carrying tanks of illegal toxic waste exploded in the small town of Waco, Texas. The explosion released poisonous gases and resulted in the evacuation of over 3,000 residents. The incident brought attention to the issue of illegal dumping and environmental protection in Texas.
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