Houston // is the fourth-largest city in the United States of America and the largest city in the state of Texas. As of the 2009 U.S. Census estimate, the city had a population of 2.3 million within an area of 600 square miles (1,600 km2). Houston is the seat of Harris County and the economic center of the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area—the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. with a population of 5.9 million.
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 incorporated on June 5, 1837, and 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.
Rated as a beta world city, Houston's economy has a broad industrial base in the energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, transportation, and health care sectors and is a leading center for building oilfield equipment; only New York City is home to more Fortune 500 headquarters in the city limits. The city has a population from various ethnic and religious backgrounds and a large and growing international community. It is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits—attracting more than 7 million visitors a year to the Houston Museum District. Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theater District and is one of few U.S. cities that offer year-round resident companies in all major performing arts.
The University of Houston is a Tier One public research university located in Houston, Texas. Founded in 1927, it is the flagship institution of the University of Houston System. The third-largest university in Texas, UH has over 38,750 students on its 667-acre campus in southeast Houston. It was known as University of Houston–University Park from 1983 to 1991. The Princeton Review has listed UH as one of America's best colleges. The institution ranks among the Top 50 American Research Universities, and it is in the Top 300 Academic Ranking of World Universities.
The university offers over 300 degree programs through its 12 academic colleges on campus—including programs leading to professional degrees in law, optometry, and pharmacy. The institution conducts nearly $120 million annually in research, and it operates more than 40 research centers and institutes on campus. Interdisciplinary research includes superconductivity, space commercialization and exploration, biomedical sciences and engineering, energy and natural resources, and artificial intelligence. Awarding more than 7,200 degrees annually, UH's alumni base exceeds 250,000. The economic impact of the university contributes over $3.1 billion annually to the Houston economy while generating about 24,000 jobs.
Yao Ming (born 1980) is a professional basketball player who plays for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is currently the tallest player in the NBA, at 7 feet 6 inches (2.29 m). Yao, who was born in Shanghai, People's Republic of China, started playing for the Shanghai Sharks as a teenager, and played on their senior team for five years in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), winning a championship in his final year. He entered the 2002 NBA Draft, and after negotiating with the CBA and the Sharks to secure his release, was selected by the Houston Rockets as the first overall pick of the draft. He has since been selected to start for the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game in all six of his seasons, and has been named to the All-NBA Team four times. However, the Rockets have not advanced past the first round of the playoffs since he joined the team, and he has missed significant time due to injury in each of the past six seasons. He is one of China's best-known athletes, with sponsorships with several major companies, and he has been the richest celebrity in China for six straight years. (more...)
Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, located in Houston, Texas, is a 14-acre facility of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) that houses one of America's best collections of decorative art, paintings and furniture. Bayou Bend is the former home of Houston philanthropist Ima Hogg. Bayou Bend was marked with a Texas Historical Commission marker in 1973 and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
The mansion, designed by architect John F. Staub, was built between 1927 and 1928 for Miss Hogg and her brothers, William C. and Michael Hogg. Covered in towering trees and thick undergrowth, the home site was, in Miss Hogg's words, "nothing but a dense thicket". Miss Hogg created a series of gardens that were intended as outdoor rooms for living and entertaining. In 1957, Miss Hogg donated her home and her collection to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Bayou Bend opened to the public in 1966.
Staub's plan for Bayou Bend combined eighteenth-century Georgian architecture with elements that are distinctly Southern and of Spanish Creole architecture. Other aspects of Bayou Bend's design are borrowed from Southern plantation houses. The interiors borrow more heavily from the architectural traditions of the North. Staub incorporated floorboards and paneling from two eighteenth-century Massachusetts houses in Miss Hogg's bedroom and sitting room.
- ... that the Houston Comets have won more championships than any other team in the WNBA?
- ... that Lakewood Church is the largest and fastest growing church in the United States with more than 40,000 attendees during its services?
- ... that in 2001, Tropical Storm Allison dumped up to 39 inches of rain on parts of the city, causing billions of dollars in damage and killing 43 people?