1. It’s said that outlaws Frank and Jesse James were so fond of a chili parlor in Fort Worth that they chose not to shoot and loot the town. Apparently, they vowed to never rob a bank in the city, saying, “Anyplace that has a chili joint like this just oughta’ be treated better.”
2. The Arlington Baptist College in Fort Worth was once an infamous gambling hall called Top O’ Hill Terrace. Its tunnels, used for escape during raids, are still there today.
3. Fort Worth’s annual Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show is the oldest continually running livestock show and rodeo in the US.
Source: Flickr user Carlock_family
4. Former President John F. Kennedy gave his last public speech in Fort Worth in 1963, before leaving for Dallas where he was assassinated.
5. A half-man, half-goat creature is rumored to live in and around Lake Worth, just outside of the city.
6. The TCU Horned Frogs and SMU Mustangs also compete each year for the “Iron Skillet.” In 1946, a SMU fan was frying frog legs before the game as a joke. A TCU fan saw him and told them they should let the game determine who would get the skillet and the frog legs. Today, an iron skillet is given to the winner of the heated rivalry game.
7. Originally built as a cattle barn in the early 1900s, Billy Bob’s Texas promotes itself as “The World’s Largest Honkey Tonk.”
Source: Facebook user Billy Bob’s Texas
8. Since its opening in 1981, Billy Bob’s Texas has hosted famous acts like Ringo Starr, Johnny Cash, Peter Frampton, ZZ Top, and Tina Turner.
9. Fort Worth was named after Texas army commander Major General Williams Jenkins Worth.
10. Infamous outlaws Bonnie and Clyde used the Stockyard Hotel in Fort Worth as one of their hideouts.
Source: Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons
11. Settled in 1849 along the Trinity River, Fort Worth was originally one of eight forts assigned to protect settlers from Indian attacks.
12. Fort Worth is ranked as one of the top 10 music scenes in the U.S. outside of Los Angeles and Nashville by Livability.
13. Founded in 1909, the Fort Worth Zoo is the oldest zoo in Texas. At the time of opening, the zoo only contained one lion, two bear cubs, one alligator, one coyote, one peacock and a few rabbits.
14. Today, the Fort Worth Zoo has been named one of the top zoos in the country and is home to over 5,000 animals.
Source: Flickr user PhilipsPhotos
15. Located in the Stockyards National Historic District, the Fort Worth Herd is the world’s only twice-daily cattle drive.
Source: Flickr user Elikesa
16. Not only is the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth the oldest museum in Texas, but it’s also one of the oldest museums in the western United States.
17. American singer-songwriter John Denver graduated from Arlington Heights High School in Fort Worth.
Source: Facebook user John Denver
18. Fort Worth was once a stop along the legendary Chisholm Trail, a trail used in the 19th century to drive cattle from Texas to Kansas.
19. Fort Worth’s location on the old Chisholm Trail is what earned it its nickname “Cowtown”.
20. Originally installed in 1908 at the Byers Opera House, a light bulb in the Livestock Exchange Building in Fort Worth holds the Guinness World Record for the second longest-lasting light bulb.
21. Fort Worth’s Texas Christian University Horned Frogs football team has had a long-seeded rivalry with the Southern Methodist University Mustangs since 1915, playing all but six years since their first meeting.
Source: Facebook user Billy Bob’s Texas
22. The Fort Worth Cultural District is one of largest arts districts in the U.S. and has five internationally recognized museums.
Source: Flickr user Ercwttmn
23. Fort Worth was flooded during the first year of its settlement, causing residents to move to the top of the bluff where the courthouse sits today. No traces of the original settlement can be found.
24. Kelly Clarkson, the first winner of the popular TV reality show American Idol, was born in Fort Worth.
25. Fort Worth’s Texas Motor Speedway has seating for over 190,000 spectators, giving it the second largest capacity for a NASCAR track.
Source: Flickr user The U.S. Army
26. Alan Bean, a Texas native who grew up in Fort Worth, was the fourth man to walk on the moon.
Source: NASA Charles Conrad Jr. via Wikimedia Commons
27. The Texas Civil War Museum in Fort Worth houses the most comprehensive collection of artifacts west of the Mississippi River. It also features the Ray Richey Civil War Collection, which is one of the largest private Civil War collections in the world.
28. The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is the oldest botanical garden in Texas.
Source: Flickr user JoshBerglund19
29. By area, the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is the largest airport in Texas and the 2nd largest airport in the US.
Source: Flickr user Mikecogh
30. The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is also the largest hub for American Airlines. The company is headquartered near the airport in Fort Worth.
31. The Academy of Western Artists, based in Oklahoma, presents its annual awards in Fort Worth. They recognize achievements in fields related to the American cowboy like music, literature, rodeo, chuckwagon cooking, and western clothing.
Source: Facebook user The Academy of Western Artists
32. The Fort Worth Opera is the oldest continually performing opera company in Texas. It’s also among the oldest in the U.S.
33. Fort Worth contains over 1,000 natural gas wells.
34. 60% of America’s paper money is printed in Fort Worth at the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
Source: Flickr user Tax Credits
35. With its abundance of galleries and exhibits, Fort Worth is often considered the museum capital of the Southwest.
36. Created in the American Beaux Arts design, Fort Worth’s Tarrant County Courthouse was modeled after the Texas State Capitol building.
Source: Wikimedia Commons user Mark Fisher
37. Actress Kate Capshaw was born in Fort Worth and frequently visits the city with her husband, Steven Spielberg.
38. While today a booming city, in the 1860s Fort Worth suffered from the effects of civil war and reconstruction, dropping its population to as low as 175 residents.
39. Portions of the hit TV Series, Walker, Texas Ranger, starring Chuck Norris, were filmed throughout Fort Worth.
Source: Facebook user Walker, Texas Ranger
40. Flyer fields were established in Fort Worth during World War I, under the direction of the Air Service, United States Army.
41. And, during World War II, the city manufactured B-24 bombers.
Source: U.S. Air Force Photos via Wikimedia Commons
42. The world’s first washateria opened in Fort Worth in 1936.
43. Fort Worth’s Cowtown Marathon is the largest multiple-distance event in Texas.
Source: Facebook user Cowtown Marathon
44. The USS Fort Worth is the very first ship to be named after the city.
Source: Flickr user Official U.S. Navy Page
45. Composer William J. Marsh of Fort Worth, along with another lyricist, wrote “Texas Our Texas,” which became the official state song.
What’s your favorite Fort Worth fun fact? Tell us in the comments below!