Texas’s new century kicked off with a boom—a 100-foot oil gusher blew in at Spindletop near Beaumont  in 1901, boosting Texas into the petroleum age. Oil wells would be discovered for several decades, turning small communities into boomtowns with tens of thousands of wildcatters and roughnecks arriving overnight to work on the rigs.
The Wild West arrived in West Texas when the Mexican Civil War (1911–1920) spilled across the border; as a result, supply raids and refugee harboring became common occurrences. The notorious Mexican General Pancho Villa was involved with some of these skirmishes.
By the 1950s and ’60s, Texas was gaining a reputation for its intellectual resources, resulting in the Dallas-based development of the integrated circuit (used in semiconductors and electronics) and the opening of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston .
In one of the darker moments of Texas and U.S. history, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas . It marked the end of the country’s optimism during Kennedy’s presidency, and ushered in a new president—Texan Lyndon B. Johnson, former vice president. Johnson would go on to play a major role in advancing the country’s civil rights movement. The final two decades of the 20th century were notable for two additional Texans being elected to the U.S. presidency: George H. W. Bush and his son George W. Bush.