Houston Travel Guide

History

In August 1836, two real estate entrepreneurs—Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen—from New York, purchased of land along Buffalo Bayou with the intent of founding a city. The Allen brothers decided to name the city after Sam Houston, the popular general at the Battle of San Jacinto, who was elected President of Texas in September 1836.

Houston was granted incorporation on June 5, 1837, with James S. Holman becoming its first mayor. In the same year, Houston became the county seat of Harrisburg County (now Harris County) and the temporary capital of the Republic of Texas. In 1840, the community established a chamber of commerce in part to promote shipping and waterborne business at the newly created port on Buffalo Bayou.

By 1860, Houston had emerged as a commercial and railroad hub for the export of cotton. Railroad spurs from the Texas inland converged in Houston, where they met rail lines to the ports of Galveston and Beaumont. During the American Civil War, Houston served as a headquarters for General John Bankhead Magruder, who used the city as an organization point for the Battle of Galveston. After the Civil War, Houston businessmen initiated efforts to widen the city's extensive system of bayous so the city could accept more commerce between downtown and the nearby port of Galveston. By 1890, Houston was the railroad center of Texas.

In 1900, after Galveston was struck by a devastating hurricane, efforts to make Houston into a viable deepwater port were accelerated. The following year, oil discovered at the Spindletop oil field near Beaumont prompted the development of the Texas petroleum industry. In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt approved a $1 million improvement project for the Houston Ship Channel. By 1910 the city's population had reached 78,800, almost doubling from a decade before. African-Americans formed a large part of the city's population, numbering 23,929 people, or nearly one-third of the residents.

President Woodrow Wilson opened the deepwater Port of Houston in 1914, seven years after digging began. By 1930, Houston had become Texas's most populous city and Harris the most populous county. In 1940, the Census Bureau reported Houston's population as 77.5% white and 22.4% black.

When World War II started, tonnage levels at the port decreased and shipping activities were suspended; however, the war did provide economic benefits for the city. Petrochemical refineries and manufacturing plants were constructed along the ship channel because of the demand for petroleum and synthetic rubber products during the war. Ellington Field, initially built during World War I, was revitalized as an advanced training center for bombardiers and navigators. The Brown Shipbuilding Company was founded in 1942 to build ships for the U.S. Navy during World War II. The M.D. Anderson Foundation formed the Texas Medical Center in 1945. After the war, Houston's economy reverted to being primarily port-driven. In 1948, several unincorporated areas were annexed into the city limits, which more than doubled the city's size, and Houston proper began to spread across the region.

In 1950, the availability of air conditioning provided impetus for many companies to relocate to Houston resulting in an economic boom and producing a key shift in the city's economy toward the energy sector.

The increased production of the local shipbuilding industry during World War II spurred Houston's growth, as did the establishment in 1961 of NASA's "Manned Spacecraft Center" (renamed the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in 1973), which created the city's aerospace industry. The Astrodome, nicknamed the "Eighth Wonder of the World", opened in 1965 as the world's first indoor domed sports stadium.

During the late 1970s, Houston experienced a population boom as people from Rust Belt states moved to Texas in large numbers. The new residents came for the numerous employment opportunities in the petroleum industry, created as a result of the Arab Oil Embargo.

The population boom ended abruptly in the mid-1980s, as oil prices fell precipitously. The space industry also suffered in 1986 after the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated shortly after launch. The late 1980s saw a recession adversely affecting the city's economy.

Since the 1990s, as a result of the recession, Houston has made efforts to diversify its economy by focusing on aerospace and health care/biotechnology and by reducing its dependence on the petroleum industry. In 1997, Houstonians elected Lee P. Brown as the city's first African American mayor.

In June 2001, Tropical Storm Allison dumped up to of rain on parts of Houston, causing the worst flooding in the city's history; the storm cost billions of dollars in damage and killed 20 people in Texas. By December of that same year, Houston-based energy company Enron collapsed into the third-largest ever U.S. bankruptcy during an investigation surrounding fabricated partnerships that were allegedly used to hide debt and inflate profits.

In August 2005, Houston became a shelter to more than 150,000 people from New Orleans who evacuated from Hurricane Katrina. One month later, approximately 2.5 million Houston area residents evacuated when Hurricane Rita approached the Gulf Coast, leaving little damage to the Houston area. This was the largest urban evacuation in the history of the United States.


source: Wikipedia

Things To Do in Houston See All Things To Do in Houston

  • The Galleria (houston)

    The Galleria (houston)

    5085 Westheimer Rd

    The Galleria, stylized theGalleria or the Houston Galleria, is an upscale mixed-use urban developmen...

    Lifestyle, Local Stores and Services, Attractions, Activities,Shopping, Stores, Landmarks and Points Of Interest, Entertainment
  • Holocaust Museum

    Holocaust Museum

    5401 Caroline St

    The Holocaust Museum Houston, is located in the Houston Museum District in Houston, Texas and was op...

    Attractions,Arts and Culture, Landmarks and Points Of Interest
  • The Museum Of Natural Science

    The Museum Of Natural Science

    One Hermann Circle Drive

    The Houston Museum of Natural Science is a science museum located on the northern border of Hermann ...

    Attractions, Activities,Arts and Culture, Entertainment
  • Museum Of Fine Arts

    Museum Of Fine Arts

    1001 Bissonnet @ Main

    The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), located in the Houston Museum District, Houston, is one of ...

    Attractions,Arts and Culture

Hotels in Houston (365 Hotels) See All Houston Hotels

  • Homewood Suites by Hilton Houston-Westchase

    Seen within Houston, Homewood Suites by Hilton Houston-Westchase is opportunely located alongside Westchase Tavern, Painting with a Twist and Molly's Irish Pub & Sports B...

  • Hotel Granduca

    Seen in Houston, Hotel Granduca is a finest hotel conveniently placed in close proximity to Carrie Ann, Hanson Galleries and 1252 Tapas Bar. Many other leading attraction...

  • Embassy Suites Houston - Energy Corridor

    Embassy Suites Houston - Energy Corridor is among the ideal places to stay in Houston and a three and half star hotel. Nicely located nearby Ho Chi Minh Trails, Glazed Ov...

  • SpringHill Suites by Marriott Houston Intercontinental Arprt

    With 156 comfortable hotel room(s), this resort makes sure that each guest is properly cared for. This hotel has 6 floor(s) for the enjoyment of their guests. This hotel ...

Top Destinations in United States