Texas was inhabited by prehistoric peoples, who were nomadic hunters, as early as 12,000 to 15,000 years ago. When Europeans first came to the region, in the 16th century, there were 30,000 to 40,000 Indians in Texas. Of the many tribes in the area, the Caddoans were the most numerous then, but during the next 300 years Comanches became predominant.

Important dates in Texas
1519 Alonso Alvarez de Pineda of Spain mapped the Texas coast.
1528 Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca and three other survivors of a shipwrecked Spanish expedition landed on the Texas coast and later explored parts of the region.
1541 Francisco Vásquez de Coronado traveled across part of west Texas.
1542 Hernando de Soto's expedition explored part of northeast Texas.
1682 Spanish missionaries built the first two missions in Texas, near present-day El Paso.
1685 Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, founded Fort Saint Louis, a French settlement, on the Texas coast.
1690 A Franciscan friar established the first mission in east Texas.
1718 The Spaniards established a mission and a fort on the site of present-day San Antonio.
1821 Texas became part of the new Empire of Mexico. The first colony of Americans settled in Texas under the sponsorship of Stephen F. Austin.
1835 The Texas Revolution began.
1836 Texas declared its independence from Mexico. The Alamo fell to Mexican forces. Sam Houston defeated the Mexicans in the Battle of San Jacinto. Texas became the independent Republic of Texas.
1845 Texas became the 28th state on December 29.
1861 Texas seceded from the Union and joined the Confederate States of America.
1870 Congress readmitted Texas to the Union.
1900 A hurricane struck Galveston resulting in about 6,000 deaths.
1901 Oilmen discovered the great Spindletop field.
1925 Texas became the second state to have a woman governor--Miriam A. Ferguson.
1947 A ship explosion in Texas City harbor killed about 500 persons and injured about 3,000.
1953 Congress restored Texas tidelands to the state.
1963 President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas was sworn in as the 36th president at Dallas Love Field Airport.
1964 The Manned Spacecraft Center (now the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center) at Houston became the permanent headquarters of the U.S. astronauts.
1994 The Census Bureau reported that Texas had risen from third to second in state population, passing New York.
2000 Texas Governor George W. Bush was elected the 43rd president of the United States.