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November 4, 2015

6 Reasons Texas Is Better Than Alaska

By: W.F. Strong

There’s a popular bumper sticker up there in Alaska that says, “Making Texans Mad Since 1959.” That’s loosely translated — otherwise I couldn’t say it on the radio

The allusion is, of course, to the fact that when Alaska became a state, Texas immediately got demoted to second biggest state.

No doubt Alaska is geographically more than twice the size of Texas, but we still own the bragging rights on many fronts.

Texans are still fond of pointing out that if we melted all the ice and snow up there Texas would still be bigger.

Texas reigned as the biggest state in the the union for 104 years. Alaska has a long way to go to take the title from us, about 50 years yet.

We are certainly bigger in population, forty times bigger.

You know that famous pipeline they have up there? Guess who built it? Texans did. And Okies, too. There are no exact figures but we have proof in Alaskan folklore. An Alaskan saying back when the pipeline was being built, was this: “Happiness is 10,000 Okies pickin’ up a Texan under each arm and headin’ South.” Don’t know why they would have that attitude, we were just making them rich.

Alaska is a big oil producer, sure. But Texas is still a much larger producer of oil and gas and has far greater reserves: three times as much oil as Alaska and ten times as much natural gas. Texas remains number one in oil in the U.S. and would be the sixth largest oil country in the world if she were on her own. They don’t call us Saudi Texas for nothing.

Final thing, and I think of this as a kind of slam dunk fact. Alaska would not be a state if Texas had not made it one. It’s true. Alaska’s bid for statehood had languished for years, back in the forties and fifties. And was going nowhere until Senator Lyndon Johnson and Speaker Sam Rayburn threw their weight behind Alaska’s statehood ambitions. That was the tipping point. Once those two got behind it, Alaska was fast-tracked to statehood. You might say Texas was big enough to let them be bigger.

Given all that we have done for Alaska, I think they could use a bumper sticker I’ve designed. It looks like a Texas flag and says: ” Thanks Y’all.”


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December 20, 2023

The Gift of the Tidelands

Texas Standard commentator W.F. Strong has a little holiday tradition. Every December he likes to count our collective blessings as Texans by highlighting a great gift to Texas. He says the tidelands were special because the giver didn’t realize how much goodness would continue to flow from them.


December 6, 2023

La Pitada

554 miles from AT&T Stadium you will find a Dallas Cowboys celebratory tradition that is unique in Texas. You might expect it in Dallas or Arlington, but to find this three decade tradition thriving in a Brownsville neighborhood, is both surprising and heart-warming. It is called La Pitada. Texas Standard commentator WF Strong has more.


November 9, 2023

Found in Translation

For those with a rudimentary knowledge of Spanish, traveling Texas becomes more interesting because the Spanish names of places reveal, or hint at, their histories. Texas Standard commentator WF Strong has some examples.


October 25, 2023

On Censorship

A look at the headlines might sometimes give you a sense of déjà vu — haven’t you read or seen this before? Fights over government shutdowns… a looming presidential race that may pit the same candidates against one another. Texas Standard commentator WF Strong has been thinking about this while watching another political debate.


October 11, 2023

The Legend of La Llorona

All through October, the Texas Standard team is tracking Texas cryptids. As we’ve dug into some of these legends, we’ve noticed a few patterns. First of all, many of the cryptids associated with Texas have roots in Mexico. And there are also some similarities in the back stories of these creatures or characters. Ayden Castellanos […]


September 27, 2023

‘The Killers of the Flower Moon’ is an Oklahoma story with Texas ties

There’s a much-anticipated film coming out next month. It’s the latest from Martin Scorsese and stars Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio. Texan Jesse Plemons also has a big role — playing a Texan from history. Commentator WF Strong profiled the story when it was told in a bestselling book with the same name as […]