Topic: United States/Texas

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Crush, Texas

United States Trains United States/Texas

Crush, Texas was a temporary "city" established as the site of a one-day publicity stunt in the U.S. state of Texas in 1896. William George Crush, general passenger agent of the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad (popularly known as the "Katy", from its "M-K-T" initials), conceived the idea in order to demonstrate a staged train wreck as a public spectacle. No admission was charged, and train fares to the crash site were offered at the reduced rate of US$2 (equivalent to $61.46 in 2019) from any location in Texas.

As a result, an estimated 40,000 people—more people than lived in the state's second-largest city at the time—attended the exhibition on Tuesday, September 15, 1896. The event planned to showcase the deliberate head-on collision of two unmanned locomotives at high speed; unexpectedly, the impact caused both engine boilers to explode, resulting in a shower of flying debris that killed two people and caused numerous injuries among the spectators.

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Norman Borlaug

United States Biography Mexico Biography/science and academia India Plants United States/Texas

Norman Ernest Borlaug (; March 25, 1914 – September 12, 2009) was an American agronomist who led initiatives worldwide that contributed to the extensive increases in agricultural production termed the Green Revolution. Borlaug was awarded multiple honors for his work, including the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

Borlaug received his B.S. in forestry in 1937 and Ph.D. in plant pathology and genetics from the University of Minnesota in 1942. He took up an agricultural research position in Mexico, where he developed semi-dwarf, high-yield, disease-resistant wheat varieties. During the mid-20th century, Borlaug led the introduction of these high-yielding varieties combined with modern agricultural production techniques to Mexico, Pakistan, and India. As a result, Mexico became a net exporter of wheat by 1963. Between 1965 and 1970, wheat yields nearly doubled in Pakistan and India, greatly improving the food security in those nations.

Borlaug was often called "the father of the Green Revolution", and is credited with saving over a billion people worldwide from starvation. According to Jan Douglas, executive assistant to the president of the World Food Prize Foundation, the source of this number is Gregg Easterbrook's 1997 article "Forgotten Benefactor of Humanity." The article states that the "form of agriculture that Borlaug preaches may have prevented a billion deaths." He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 in recognition of his contributions to world peace through increasing food supply.

Later in his life, he helped apply these methods of increasing food production in Asia and Africa.

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Primer (film)

United States Film Film/American cinema Science Fiction United States/Texas

Primer is a 2004 American science fiction film about the accidental discovery of time travel. The film was written, directed, produced, edited and scored by Shane Carruth, who also stars with David Sullivan.

Primer is of note for its extremely low budget, experimental plot structure, philosophical implications, and complex technical dialogue, which Carruth, a college graduate with a degree in mathematics and a former engineer, chose not to simplify for the sake of the audience. The film collected the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, before securing a limited release in the United States, and has since gained a cult following.

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Don't Mess with Texas

United States Environment Marketing & Advertising United States/Texas Road transport U.S. Roads U.S. Roads/Texas

Don't Mess with Texas is a slogan for a campaign aimed at reducing littering on Texas roadways by the Texas Department of Transportation. The phrase "Don't Mess with Texas" is prominently shown on road signs on major highways, television, radio and in print advertisements. The campaign is credited with reducing litter on Texas highways roughly 72% between 1987 and 1990. The campaign's target market was 18- to 35-year-old males, which was statistically shown to be the most likely to litter. While the slogan was not originally intended to become a statewide cultural phenomenon, it did.

Beyond its immediate role in reducing litter, the slogan has been popularly appropriated by Texans. The phrase has become "an identity statement, a declaration of Texas swagger". Though the origin of the slogan is not well known outside of Texas, it appears on countless items of tourist souvenirs. Since the phrase is a federally registered trademark, the department has tried at times to enforce its trademark rights with cease and desist letters, but has had very limited success. The slogan is the title of the book, Don’t Mess With Texas: The Story Behind the Legend.

"Don't Mess with Texas" has been awarded a plaque on the Madison Avenue Walk of Fame and a place in the Advertising Hall of Fame, a distinction given to only two slogans annually.

"Don't Mess with Texas" is also the official motto of the Virginia-class submarine USS Texas.

In 2011 the result of a public vote for the best "Don't Mess with Texas" ad over the last 25 was revealed, the winner was one created by the Commemorative Air Force (then called the Confederate Air Force). The ad involved the CAF's Boeing B-17 "Sentimental Journey" pursuing and retaliating against a truck from which trash was thrown.

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World's Littlest Skyscraper

United States Architecture Skyscrapers United States/Texas National Register of Historic Places

The Newby–McMahon Building, commonly referred to as the world's littlest skyscraper, is located at 701 La Salle (on the corner of Seventh and La Salle streets) in downtown Wichita Falls, Texas. It is a late Neoclassical style red brick and cast stone structure. It stands 40 ft (12 m) tall, and its exterior dimensions are 18 ft (5.5 m) deep and 10 ft (3.0 m) wide. Its interior dimensions are approximately 12 ft (3.7 m) by 9 ft (2.7 m), or approximately 108 sq ft (10.0 m2). Steep, narrow, internal stairways leading to the upper floors occupy roughly 25 percent of the interior area.

Reportedly the result of a fraudulent investment scheme by a confidence man, the Newby–McMahon Building was a source of great embarrassment to the city and its residents after its completion in 1919. During the 1920s, the Newby–McMahon Building was featured in Robert Ripley's Ripley's Believe It or Not! syndicated column as "the world's littlest skyscraper," a nickname that has stuck with it ever since. The Newby–McMahon Building is now part of the Depot Square Historic District of Wichita Falls, a Texas Historic Landmark.

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Dusty Hill of ZZ Top Dead

United States Biography United States/Texas Biography/Musicians

Joseph Michael "Dusty" Hill (May 19, 1949 – July 28, 2021) was an American musician, singer, and songwriter, best known as the bassist and secondary lead vocalist of the American rock group ZZ Top; he also played keyboards with the band. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as a member of ZZ Top, in 2004.

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