It’s Texas’ birthday again.

This is a preview of our Texas 2036 newsletter celebrating the Lone Star State’s birthday. To receive this weekly look at our work, sign up here.

A Texas-sized birthday for the Lone Star State!

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Texas turns 188 this Saturday, and, in our humble opinion, the Lone Star State’s never looked better! To get ready for the big day, we want to invite you to:

  • join our brand new Texas Birthday Club,
  • check out our birthday tribute to Texas, and
  • post a birthday message on your socials using #TexasBirthday for the chance to be featured on our Texas Birthday Message Board!

Be a part of a birthday club like no other.

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Celebrate the spirit of Texas like never before! In honor of our beloved state’s birthday, Texas 2036 is thrilled to introduce the exclusive Texas Birthday Club.

Your donation secures your spot as one of the trailblazers in this one-of-a-kind club. Your tax-deductible contribution also supports Texas 2036’s nonpartisan, nonprofit work.

Sign up to join the Texas Birthday Club today!

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Oh, the places we’ve been!

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Texas has grown tremendously in the last 188 years. Historians estimate that Texas had a population of roughly 50,000 as the ink was drying on its Declaration of Independence in 1836. Today, more than 30 million Texans call our great state home.

Here’s a quick look at the state’s population at significant dates in Texas history:

1836: Texas declares independence, creates the Republic of Texas.
Texas Population: ~50,000

1845: Texas becomes the 28th state in the United States of America.
Texas Population: ~160,000

1876: Texas adopts the state Constitution under which we are all governed today.
Texas Population: ~1,280,000

1901: Pattillo Higgins strikes oil at Spindletop, ushering in the modern era of petroleum exploration and Texas’ role as leader in that new energy world.
Texas Population: 3,132,000

1933: Willie Nelson is born in Abbott. The Red Headed Stranger introduced a new era of country music.
Texas Population: 6,014,000

1963: The Johnson Space Center opens, putting Texas at the epicenter of the new era of space exploration.
Texas Population: 10,159,000

1965: Love bluebonnets blooming roadside in the spring? Thank Lady Bird Johnson, who championed passage that year of the federal Highway Beautification Act.
Texas Population: 10,378,000

1969: “Houston, Tranquility Base Here. The Eagle has Landed.” Neil Armstrong name checks the location of Mission Control in the first human words transmitted from the surface of the moon.
Texas Population: 11,045,000

1978: Dallas comes to television screens across the nation (and, eventually, across the globe) with the launch of Dallas, the television series. Two years later, the mystery of who shot J.R. Ewing would become a national obsession.
Texas Population: 13,500,429

1981: Beyoncé Knowles, aka Queen Bey, is born in Houston. ‘Nuff said.
Texas Population: 14,746,318

1993: Wooderson says, “All right, all right, all right,” outside Austin’s Top Notch restaurant in the movie, Dazed and Confused, launching the singular phenomenon that is Matthew McConaughey.
Texas Population: 17,996,764

2016: Tom Luce founds Texas 2036 as a way of bringing data to bear in tackling the state’s biggest challenges ahead of the Texas bicentennial year of 2036.
Texas Population: 27,862,596

Sources on population: Texas State Library and Archives Commission, The Texas Politics Project at UT-Austin

Time’s running out to vote early.

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Please plan to vote this week: Early voting ends March 1. If you haven’t voted yet, now is the time to make a plan to vote and share with your family, friends, colleagues and communities why participating in Texas’ primary elections matters.

Celebrate Texas’ 188th birthday knowing you’ve done your civic duty and voted in a party primary election this year! 🥳

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What does Texas mean to you?
Let us know in our short survey!