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Houston At A Glance

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

The Texas city of Houston has an interesting cultural and historical past with its roots in Mexico and influences from various peoples -- African-American, German, Chinese, Jewish. Houston went in and out of the Union during the Civil War with the city's namesake, Sam Houston, resigning in protest about aligning with the Confederates. Fueled by oil and continually under threat from hurricanes, this city has culture (ballet, theater, universities), sports complexes and some interesting firsts in the U.S. Here's a quick view of the city from its start in 1836 to more current times.

1836. Houston founded and named after General Sam Houston, whose Army had just won independence from Mexico.

1837-1839. Capitol of Texas (capitol later moved to Austin under protest).

1841. Houston-Austin stage line running and Port of Houston established.

1853. Houston's first railroad in operation known as Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railroad.

1861. Governor Sam Houston resigns refusing to align with Confederates and city becomes Confederate military headquarters of Texas. Houston and Harris County succeed from Union.

1870. Houston and Harris County readmitted to Union. City designated a port by Congress.

1882. First city to build electric power plants (along with New York City).

1897. First automobile appears.

1901. Oil discovered at Spindletop. More oil discovered nearby a few years later.

1912. Rice Institute opens its doors to students.

1947. Texas Southern University established.

1953. First public broadcast TV station in U.S. goes on air (KUHT).

1962. NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center relocates to Houston.

1965. Very first event held in Astrodome.

1969. Houston Intercontinental Airport starts flying.

1994. Houston Rockets win NBA finals for the first time. Repeated the next year.

1997. Lee Brown elected city's first African-American mayor.

2004. Super Bowl played at Reliant Stadium.

2008. Hurrican Ike directly hits city (most recent hit by a hurricane).

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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