16 Houston Facts That Are Actually Lies

Naturally, you love Houston and you want to drop your knowledge of it all over the place. Like that time you told your friend about the wine bar that is the "oldest bar in town" or boasted about Houston being the first word out of Armstrong’s mouth once he landed on the moon. Well here's a fact: you've been lying! Time to dispel 16 things about Houston commonly held to be true. 


1. "Houston" was the first word spoken on the moon

Notttt so much. While it was the first word directed to Mission Control from the moon, Buzz and Neil’s first verbal exchange was more of a procedural check list. Lame.

2. Houston was founded by Sam Houston

Nope. The city was named after the statesman and general when it was founded by brothers Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen on August 30, 1836.

3. Speaking of Sam Houston, the general spared Santa Anna’s life after the Battle of San Jacinto because he was a Mason

Cool story, right? Sadly there is no evidence to support this myth. Likely, Santa Anna was spared as a bargaining chip to convince the thousands of other Mexican troops to withdraw.

4. Houstonians eat out more than residents of any other city

While we may have been the best diner-outers in years past, according to Zagat, Atlanta eats out the most frequently (5.2 times per week) in 2015. Looks like it’s time to eat our way back to the top, y’all!

5. It is illegal to sell Limburger cheese on Sunday

You may have heard this and not really cared, because Limburger cheese smells like stinky feet, but this one seems to be an Internet rumor or a really old law that is not enforced anywhere, ever.

6. Everybody works in oil and gas

Yes, we’re an energy capital (don’t hate us 'cause you ain’t us), but there are plenty of jobs outside of Big Oil. We have the largest medical center in the world, more than 40 colleges, a theater district that is second only to NYC's, and a crap ton of bars and restaurants, for starters.

7. "Houston, we have a problem"

...was not the actual quote from the astronauts on "Apollo 13." Instead, it went like this: "Okay, Houston, we've had a problem here." When control asked the astronauts to repeat, they responded, "Houston, we've had a problem. We've had a main B bus undervolt." Not as catchy, is it?

8. You need to go to Austin or Dallas for good BBQ

Lies, lies, lies!!!

9. La Carafe is the oldest bar in Houston

Ever bring a date to La Carafe and casually spew off that it’s the oldest bar in Houston while looking totally smug for knowing cool stuff? You’re wrong, guy. Don’t blame yourself, it looks old as hell. But Leon’s Lounge (which may not actually be shuttering anymore) is actually older as hell, as it’s was around 10 years earlier. 

10. We’re all gun-toting cowboys

Fact #1: More than 90 languages are spoken throughout the Houston area. Fact #2: We recently beat out NYC to become the most ethnically diverse city in America. Fact #3: The most "cowboy" thing about us is our boots during Rodeo-season and the fact that we really, really like steak.

11. A broadcast from Houston station KLEE-TV appeared on British airwaves years after the station went off air

That would have been cool, huh? Sadly, the creepy story was a hoax to try to sell "highly sensitive super-heterodyne" television sets to morons in the '50s. Boooooo.

12. Fajitas were invented here

Nope. While Ninfa’s on Navigation popularized the Tex-Mex dish, it is said to have had its origins in the Rio Grande Valley.

13. Houston has no zoning laws

Kinda true. While we have no "official" zoning laws, we do have private ordinances and restrictions that limit the use of land. This, however, results in pure chaos so that it seeeeems like we absolutely no structure because we kinda don’t. Get it?

14. If you live together for a certain amount of time, you are automatically in a common law marriage

False. No matter how long you’ve been living together, you have to satisfy a really hard three-part test: 1) Agree to be married. 2) Live together in Texas as husband and wife. 3) Represent to others that you are married. Okay, so maybe that’s not so hard. We don’t know what you and your girlfriend declared after happy hour last Friday. You might be common law married, bro.

15. Little Kevin Archer died after being stuck with a needle of heroin in a McDonald’s ball pit

Though the story went viral in the '90s, the Houston Chronicle debunked it as an urban legend shortly after. Don’t shoot the messenger.

16. In 1953, a human Batman lurked in the Heights

How this Heights Batman mystery remains unsolved -- besides the fact that there’s no freaking way an almost-7ft-tall man with bat wings existed in real life -- we’ll never know.

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