Lubbock, Fun Facts and History

August 2, 2023

Paul Kay

Are you looking for a day trip vacation? If you live in or near Texas, I might have a good place for you. What about Lubbock, TX. Lubbock is the birthplace and hometown of the legendary musician Buddy Holly. He was a pioneer of rock and roll and is best known for hits like "Peggy Sue" and "That'll Be the Day." Today Lubbock is probably best known for Texas Tech University. It’s a large university with over 40,000 students but it’s not the largest in Texas. That distinction would go to Texas A&M. However, there is plenty to like about Texas Tech. 

Lubbock is home to the National Ranching Heritage Center, which showcases the history and culture of ranching in the region. It features over 50 authentic ranching structures and exhibits spanning four centuries. I think you’ll feel down home in Lubbock. Let’s learn a bit more about it.

Lubbock, TX is 327 miles northwest of Dallas and 122 miles south of Amarillo. It was named for Thomas Saltus Lubbock, former Confederate Texas Ranger and brother of Francis R. Lubbock, governor of Texas during the Civil War. It was established in 1890 by various property and ranch owners who thought that pooling their interests into a single town made sense. In 1909, the Santa Fe railroad put it on the map literally when Lubbock declared itself as a city. This connected the people to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad which was the largest railway of the time. Lubbock is often referred to as the "Hub City" due to its central location in the South Plains region of Texas. It serves as a major economic and educational hub for the surrounding area.

Entrance to the campus of Texas Tech University

The Lubbock area was surrounded by a rich agricultural area, which was turning increasingly to cotton and sorghum culture as irrigation increased rapidly. Texas Technical College opened in 1923 as the largest comprehensive higher education institution in the western two-thirds of Texas. The first class had an enrollment of 914 students. In 1969 the State Legislature formally changed Texas Technical College to Texas Tech University which is the seventh largest university in Texas

Reese Air Force Base Lubbock Texas

In 1941, after years of effort, Reese Air Force Base was established ten miles west of Lubbock. The base provided thousands of pilots with the training and later served as veteran housing. During the war, Lubbock was home to nine preliminary and advanced military glider pilot training fields operating in Texas. The air base continued operation into the mid-1990’s when the decision was made to close the base. During its operation, thousands of pilots were trained in Lubbock, and many chose airline careers after graduation.

Buddy Holly statue at the Walk of Fame

Lubbock is well known as the birthplace of one of the pioneers of Rock and Roll: Buddy Holly. He was born in 1936 as Charles Hardin Holley. His Mom called him Buddy and somewhere along the line, he lost the “e” in his last name. His Mom was very musical and his sibling’s played violin and guitar. He partnered with high school friends to play music all over Lubbock. He and his band opened for new car dealerships, high school dances, bank openings, etc. It was said that if someone opened a pack of cigarettes, he and his buddies would probably be playing. He eventually founded “The Crickets” and had a meteoric but brief career which ended in a plane crash in Clear Lake MN.

Buddy Holly Center and the Walk of Fame at Crickets Avenue Lubbock

There is a Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock, and it is definitely worth your time. Buddy’s close friend and drummer for the Crickets had his parent’s house moved next door to the museum. You can check out our review of the Buddy Holly Center here.

If you are in Lubbock and love rock and roll, this will be a real treat for you. They even have Jerry Allison’s house on the grounds. He was the drummer of the Crickets and only recently passed away in 2022. In his house, you’ll see what life was like in the 1940’s in Lubbock.

We enjoyed visiting Lubbock. People were friendly and since it is also a college town, there were plenty of restaurants, bars, and nightlife. We were a little “old” for the college crowd but luckily they tend to start their party later than we do so we made it to our hotel room quite easily after a nice meal. We hope you enjoy your time in Lubbock.

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