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Image by Carlos Alfonso

About Houston

Houston was founded on August 30, 1836 by brothers Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen on land near the banks of Buffalo Bayou. The city was named after then – President of the Republic of Texas—former General Sam Houston — who had commanded at the Battle of San Jacinto, which took place 25 miles (40 km) east of where the city was established. The burgeoning port and railroad industry, combined with oil discovery in 1901, has induced continual surges in the city’s population. In the mid-twentieth century, Houston became the home of the Texas Medical Center — the world’s largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions — and NASA’s Johnson Space Center, where the Mission Control Center is located.

Houston is an international destination serving one of the most diverse populations in the United States. Houston is a multicultural city, in part because of its many academic institutions and strong industries as well as being a major port city. Over ninety languages are spoken in the city as well.

Fast Facts:

  • Houston is the fourth most populous city in the nation (trailing only New York, Los Angeles and Chicago), and is the largest in the southern U.S. and Texas.

  • Founded in 1836, the City of Houston has a 2009 estimated population of 2.25 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • More than 90 languages are spoken throughout the Houston area.

  • Houston is home to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The largest rodeo in the world, it attracts more than 1.8 million visitors each year.

  • Houston boasts more than 40 colleges, university and institutions – offering higher education options to suit all interests.

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