Houston was founded in 1836 by two New York real-estate developers who named the area after Texas hero Sam Houston.
Today, Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth largest city in the United States. It is a world center of oil and energy production. It is also the site of NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center, which opened in 1973 and led to the city's strong aerospace industry. Houston is also a major shipping center. The Port of Houston is the world's sixth largest port.
Recently, the Houston based energy corporation Enron was involved in one of the largest corporate fraud cases in the nation's history. Thousands of workers lost their life savings in the scandal.
Did you that Houston's Astrodome, which opened in 1965, was the first indoor sporting arena?
Dallas was founded by John Neely Bryan in 1841. It was apparently named after George M. Dallas, the vice-president of the United States at the time. Dallas soon became a commercial center of the cotton, grain, and buffalo trade. After oil was discovered in 1930, it became the center of the nation's oil trade. Dallas was the site of the 1963 assassination of president John F. Kennedy.
Today, Dallas is a major center for computer tech-nology development, telecommunications and banking. Many major companies are headquartered in and around Dallas such as Texas Instruments, Exxon-Mobil, and JC Penney. In addition, Dallas has more shopping centers per capita than any other city in America.
San Antonio is perhaps best known as the site of the 1836 Battle of the Alamo, in which as many as 250 Texans were massacred by Mexican soldiers during the Texas Revolution."Remember the Alamo" became a battle cry in the future battles which ultimately resulted in victory for the Texans.
Today San Antonio is a growing city. Over 20,000,000 people visit every year. The River Walk, a network of shops and attractions connected by walkways along the San Antonio River is a popular attraction.
Originally named Waterloo, the city was renamed in 1839 after Texas founder Stephen F. Austin. It was immediately declared the capital of the Republic of Texas. In 1883, the University of Texas was established in Austin. The university is the 5th largest in America.
Today, Austin is a world center of computer and technology development. It serves as the world head-quarters of Dell Computers. Austin is also a hub for music, film, multimedia, and the eclectic individuals involved. One of the city's slogans is "Keep Austin Weird".
Once known as "The Helium Capital of the World", Amarillo lies just south of the heart of one of America's most productive natural gas fields and is in the middle of the most concentrated beef producing region in the nation.
Today, there is much to see in Amarillo. Old Route 66, one of America's first federal highways (which ran from Chicago to Los Angeles), passes directly through the city. Amarillo is also home to the Cadillac Ranch, an art exhibit featuring ten cars standing upright in the ground. The exhibit is meant to portray a fascination with travel and a sense of home.
El Paso was settled in 1859. Because of its remote location, however, it did not experience growth until the railroads arrived in 1881. El Paso would soon become a typical western lawless town as gunslingers, cowboys, thieves, gamblers, and railroad workers dominated the landscape.
Today, El Paso is much different place. It is the largest American city on the USA-Mexico border and is the 20th largest city in America. Over 75 percent of the population is of Mexican or Latino descent.
Fort Worth was founded as a military camp in 1849. It was named after General William Jenkins Worth. It grew rapidly as a stop on the Chisolm Trail - a long trail in which cattle were driven to market. Fort Worth would quickly become the center of the ranching industry.
Today, Fort Worth serves as the national headquarters for Radio Shack and American Airlines. It is also the home of the National Cowgirl Hall-of-Fame.
Known as "the Sparkling City by the Sea," Corpus Christi is the largest city in extreme south Texas. The city was founded in 1839 by Col. Henry Kinney, who transformed the area into a thriving trading post. In 1941, the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi was built, which soon became a major center of air pilot training.
Corpus Christi is located near King Ranch, the largest ranch in America. The 825,000 acre ranch was made a National Historic Landmark in 1961.
The Rio Grande, which forms the entire Mexico-Texas border, is called the Rio Bravo in Mexico. Scientists fear that the river could dry up in the future if rainfall levels fail to increase and populations near the river continue to rise.
Located in western Texas, Guadalupe Mountains National Park contains a portion of the world’s most extensive Permian Limestone Fossil reef. The park also features Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas (8,794 ft). The park is probably best known however, for beautiful McKittrick Canyon. Thousands of visitors come in late October and early November to view the spectacular foliage displays that contrasts starkly with the arid landscape of the Texas desert.
Located on the Rio Grande, the river that separates the Mexican border from the American border, Big Bend National Park is one of the largest and most remote of America’s national park and also one of the least visited national parks. Big Bend features more than 80,000 acres of unspoiled wilderness, huge canyons, vast desert, and the entire Chisos Mountain range. The park itself is larger than the state of Rhode Island. Over 1,200 species of plants, 450 species of birds, and 56 species of reptiles have been identified at Big Bend.
The Chihuahuan Desert is an arid region that covers parts of western Texas, southern New Mexico, and northerm Mexico. Because it lies at a higher altitude than the nearby Sonoran desert, the climate is slightly milder, although summer temperatures often top 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The region includes numerous basins and sub-ranges of the Rocky Mountains including the Guadalupe and Sacramento. It also includes Big Bend and Carlsbad Caverns National Parks.
Padre Island is the largest undeveloped stretch of barrier island in the world. The island itself features an abundance of wildlife and is a crucial habitat for migrating birds and hatchling sea turtles. Four species of sea turtles have been documented to nest here.
The town of South Padre Island, located at the southern end of the island, is a popular tourist attraction and spring break destination for college students.