Three floors of exhibits -- three themes as big as Texas history: Land, Identity and Opportunity. The exhibits at The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum will surround you with the sights, sounds and (sometimes) smells of Texas history. Each floor of exhibits highlights important chapters in The Story of Texas through objects, media programs, and recreated environments.
On the first floor, The Story of Texas begins before the land was called Texas. It is a story of Encounters on the Land, of first meetings between Native Americans and explorers from Europe. Find out about the many native peoples who lived on this diverse landscape. What did the Spanish find here? What were the French doing? What did the Native American leaders think of these newcomers? You will hear their words, see the objects that reflect their lives and have a sense of the environment where these encounters took place. Learn about the early missions, settlers and soldiers. Why did the Comanche, the Spanish, and the American and European immigrants come to Texas? The story continues through 1900 when the last unexplored region in Texas, the Big Bend area, was finally mapped.
On the second floor, explore the story of how Texas became an independent nation in Building the Lone Star Identity. From his jail cell in Mexico City, hear Stephen F. Austin's own words that herald the coming of the Texas Revolution. Experience the battles of the Revolution through the eyes of Juan Seguin, a Tejano military and political leader. Understand the different visions of Sam Houston and Mirabeau Lamar, both Presidents of the Republic of Texas. Follow Texas as it became the 28th state, then seceded from the Union, joined the Confederacy and fought in the Civil War, and shaped a new future that included freedom for all Texans. Discover how Texas grew into the 20th Century and celebrated its unique identity during the 1936 Centennial -- 100 years after Texas independence. See a giant time line of Texas history unfold on a 60-foot video wall, with interactive stations where you can learn more details about many important events in Texas history.
On the third floor you can see how Texans have persevered on the land and how they approached everything from drilling oil to redefining world technology. Creating Opportunity explores the important role of ranching in Texas; how Texans have adapted to the diverse conditions of the land to prosper on it; and how oil changed Texas. Through recreated environments, interactive media produced by Pyramid Studios, and actual artifacts, you will learn how Texas-led explorations in the 20th Century frontiers of space, medicine and technology have impacted the entire world. Take a seat in the "Oil Tank Theater" as native Texan Walter Cronkite narrates a media presentation exploring the impact of oil on Texas, and of Texas oil on the world. See why Texas was the place where America's military learned to fly. Hear and see Texas legends in music and sports, and join in an interactive experience in the "Connecting Texas Theater" to learn how the histories of key Texas cities physically and culturally link the state together.