In 1948, the Battleship TEXAS became the first battleship memorial museum in the U.S. That same year, on the anniversary of Texas Independence, the Texas was presented to the State of Texas and commissioned as the flagship of the Texas Navy. In 1983, the TEXAS was placed under the stewardship of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and is permanently anchored on the Buffalo Bayou and the busy Houston Ship Channel. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's 1,200-acre San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site consists of the Battleground, Monument and Battleship TEXAS. These sites are located within minutes of downtown Houston and a short distance to the beaches of Galveston Island. Millions of visitors come to this area each year to enjoy the mild coastal climate and cultural and sports activities. Students and visitors alike are most fortunate to be able to experience history first hand through living history at the San Jacinto Battleground and Battleship TEXAS.
Through the private donations and efforts of the people and businesses of the State of Texas, in addition to State funds, the ship underwent dry dock overhaul in 1988-90 and systematic restoration was begun. Instead of peacetime gray, the TEXAS was painted Measure 21 blue camouflage, which she wore during service in the Pacific in 1945. Nearly 350,000 pounds of steel plating were replaced that were previously removed by the Navy and structural repairs were made to the masts and superstructure of the ship. Following the removal of the non-historic layer of concrete on the main deck, work began on the installation of a new wooden decking.
The work of saving the TEXAS in late 1980s has been a great source of pride throughout the state. The restoration would not have been possible if it had not been for the efforts of thousands of people including many school age children who "gave their pennies to save the TEXAS." While the ship officially reopened to the public on September 8, 1990, her restoration is not complete. During the last 10 years, many compartments and work areas on the ship have been carefully refurnished to portray life on a warship in 1945; however, plans have already begun for the next renovation of the TEXAS for the fall of 2005. While the search goes on for a suitable dry dock facility that will handle the weight and configuration of the battleship, the Texas legislature has already budgeted $12.5 million in funding for this renovation.
- Class - New York Class Battleship
Length - 573 feet
Beam - 106 feet
Normal Draft - 28 feet 6 inches
Displacement - 34,000 tons
Speed - 21 knots
Crew - 1,820
Recreation - Take a few minutes and allow us to take you on a tour of this warship. Imagine the adventure, bravery and hardship of the crew. You will enter the main deck on the starboard side of the ship.
Texas is a huge state with varying climates but generally the climate could be said to be primarily hot and humid in the summer months and mild to cool in the winter. Western Texas receives very little rainfall with the exception of the higher elevations. This is the driest area of the state having a relative humidity of 50 percent and an annual rainfall average of eight inches.
Northern Texas is infamous for its quickly changing weather. This is the area of the state that receives remarkable tornadoes and hailstorms. This is also the only region of the state to accumulate snow. An average of 15 inches falls each year along with 20 inches of rain.
Eastern Texas experiences hot and humid summers. Temperatures in the metro areas of Fort Worth and Dallas often reach 100 degrees in July and August. This makes for a dangerously high heat and uncomfortable for traveling. Winters are pleasant in this region, where the temperatures rarely dip below 32 degrees. Average rainfall in eastern Texas reaches 25 inches or more.