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The Houston In addition to being one of the fastest growing cities in the country, the metropolitan area is also home to the most ethnically diverse population in the United States. With its family-friendly attractions, vibrant arts scene, vibrant culture, and thriving job market, it’s no wonder many people flock to Bayou City. Houston is also known for its work in space exploration. Before the city became what it is today, it witnessed a number of fascinating historical milestones that helped create the Houston, Texas we all know and love.
When was Houston founded?
Battle of Jacinto in 1836
Harrisburg became the first Houston settlement in 1826. Ten years later, in April 1836, it was destroyed by Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, a Mexican general who wanted to overthrow General Sam Houston and the United States Texas Army – who fought for independence from Mexico. The infamous battle took place on the banks of the San Jacinto River, which later became the location for the city of Houston as we know it today.
The aftermath of the Battle of Jacinto
A week later, Santa Anna was captured at the Battle of San Jacinto, and Texas was eventually liberated. In August 1836 two brothers and land speculators from New York, Augustus C. and John K. Allen, bought the battle-ravaged city of Harrisburg. Soon after, they launched an advertising campaign promoting Harrisburg as the future “Great Interior Commercial Emporium” of Texas.
Just two months later, John Allen appealed to the First Congress of the Republic of Texas and persuaded them to move to his city, which was named after the first President of Texas, Sam Houston. While his efforts were worthy of applause, his plea was condemned in 1839, just two years after the government moved to the region.
Who is Sam Houston?
Born in Virginia in 1793, Sam Houston was a congressman, attorney, and senator in Tennessee. He decided to move to Texas in 1832 to join the escalating conflict between the Mexican government and the US settlers in the region. After becoming commander of the local army, Houston successfully led his men in the defeat of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto, effectively securing independence for the Texans.
In 1836 and again in 1841, Sam Houston was elected to non-consecutive presidential terms. After Texas became a state in 1845, he served as a senator. Despite his stance on slavery, he was a firm believer in preserving the Union. In 1859 he was elected governor. By establishing a protectorate over Mexico, he struggled to ease tension in the sections (and to advance his career). His efforts were unsuccessful, as was his offer to secure the nomination of the president for the party of the Constitutional Union.
In January 1861, despite Houston’s opposition, a state secession convention met and voted for Texas to leave the union. After the breakaway from Texas, he was permanently removed from office and later retired.
What Are Some Historical Facts About Houston, Texas?
Houston was once the capital of Texas
For a short time – from 1837 to 1839 Houston became the official capital of Texas. However, after Sam Houston’s first presidency, Mirabeau B. Lamar moved the capital to Austin.
The Chamber of Commerce in 1840
On April 4, 1840, seven Houston businessmen formed the Chamber of Commerce. Houston established itself as a commercial center; mainly export of cotton in the nearby port of Galveston. After the Galveston docks were destroyed by hurricane floods in 1900, Houston became the state’s premier port.
In 1840, the first dock was built on Buffalo Bayou, which is now part of the Houston Ship Canal. In the early 1980s, the port (the third largest tonnage in the US at the time) handled over 80 million tons of coastal, international and canal shipping annually. When oil was discovered in the region in 1901, the city saw considerable industrial development – which ultimately boosted prosperity and expanded the city’s economic base, which in the 19th century was limited to lumber and cotton. Construction of the Houston Ship Channel was completed in 1914 and sparked numerous refineries alongside the port in the 1920s and 1930s.
Home of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
In 1961, Houston founded the Manned Spacecraft Center, renamed the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in 1973 in honor of the late President. The center has been heading space operations for NASA for four decades and is responsible for the development, design and operation of human spaceflight.
Why Live in Houston?
Great cuisine, a flourishing city, wonderful weather – what more could you ask for? Houston, Texas has a population of over 2 million, making it the fourth largest city in the United States. In addition, over 145 different languages are spoken in Houston’s incredibly cultural and diverse Metro area.
The city’s economy continued to thrive thanks to the diversification of businesses rooted in the urban landscape. While Houston will always remain a hub for oil and energy, there has been tremendous job growth in a number of sectors including biotechnology, healthcare, aerospace, and information technology.
Houston’s quality health care cannot be belittled either. The Texas Medical Center is internationally known and includes the largest medical center in the world – with two medical schools, 13 hospitals and four nursing programs.
Nothing beats the city of bayou
With its ethnically diverse population, rich culture, and abundance of economic opportunities, Houston is a desirable place to take root. In addition to having a fascinating history, the metro area offers residents outdoor activities, great educational systems, and a thriving economy.