Big moments call for big efforts. This year marks the 175th anniversary of the victory of Sam Houston’s ragtag band of volunteers over the Mexican army, which led to the creation of the sovereign Republic of Texas. In the almost two centuries since then, much has changed. Texas is now a state of the union; a state with 25,145,561 people in it; a state where you are increasingly likely to meet someone who just moved here from New Jersey or Guadalajara or Bangalore; a state that, dotted with chain restaurants, feels more like the rest of the country than ever before—and yet one thing remains the same. Texas is still, in spirit, a sovereign republic. We mark as our date of birth not the bureaucratic moment of statehood but the bloody, valorous moment of independence.
Back in 1986, TEXAS MONTHLY commemorated the sesquicentennial with a remarkable issue that featured 150 short essays about different episodes in Texas history. For the terquasquicentennial we decided to make Texas another birthday gift. We designed a remarkable journey—the greatest Texas road trip of all time, we like to call it—that takes you to 175 spots that tell the story of our state. (A pullout map between pages 120 and 121 will help you navigate the 6,000-mile odyssey.) And we designed two collectible covers (pictured),