Portal:Houston

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Houston /ˈhjuːstən/ 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.

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Old map-Houston-1873.jpg
Photo credit: Augustus Koch
Bird's Eye View Of the City of Houston, Texas 1873, 1873. Lithograph (hand-colored), 23.2 x 30.1 in. Published by J. J. Stoner, Madison, Wis. Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

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A magnolia blossom

There are many nicknames for the city of Houston, the largest city in Texas and fourth-largest city in the United States. The city's nicknames reflect the local geography, local economy, multicultural population, and popular culture, including sports and music. They are often used by the media and in popular culture to reference the city. Houston currently has one official nickname, "Space City", signifying the city's global importance to space exploration and historical role as a prominent center of activity by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Houston has had other nicknames in the past which have faded in common usage, going as far back as the 1870s. These include "Magnolia City" (magnolia pictured) and "Capital of the Sunbelt". The city has recently accumulated several unofficial nicknames from among sub-groups within the city, including several whose origins are in the local hip-hop subculture. The most recently added nickname is "The Big Heart", which refers to assistance given by Houston and its citizens to the victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and 2006. (more...)

Selected biography

Jennifer Anne Garner (born April 17, 1972) is an Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe- and SAG Award-winning American actress. She is best known for her role as CIA agent Sydney Bristow on TV's Alias. In December 2007, Garner was named The Charleston Sunday Gazette-Mail's 2007 West Virginian of the Year "for her dedication, work ethic and unique role as role model and ambassador for West Virginia".

Garner was born in Houston, Texas, the daughter of Patricia Ann (née English), an English teacher from Oklahoma, and Billy Jack Garner, a chemical engineer who worked for Union Carbide from Texas. She is the middle child between two sisters, Melissa Garner Wylie (born 1969, resides in Boston, Massachusetts) and Susannah Kay Garner Carpenter (born January 24, 1975 in Texas, resides in Charleston, West Virginia). Her family is Methodist. At three years old, Garner began taking ballet lessons which she continued throughout her youth. Although she admitted that she loved dancing, she never had ambitions to become a classical ballerina. When she was four years old, her father's job with Union Carbide relocated her family to Princeton, West Virginia, then to Charleston, West Virginia, where Garner resided until her college years.

Music, arts and culture

Astroworld tickets
AstroWorld was a seasonally operated theme park located on approximately 57 acres (23 ha) of land (later expanded to over 75 acres (30 ha)) between Kirby Drive and Fannin Avenue, directly south of Loop 610 in Houston, Texas. It opened on June 1, 1968. AstroWorld was originally developed and constructed as part of the Astrodomain, the brainchild of local philanthropist and former Houston mayor Judge Roy Hofheinz, who intended it to complement The Astrodome. AstroWorld was sold to the Six Flags Corporation by the Hofheinz family in 1975. It was marketed as "AstroWorld: A Member of the Six Flags Family" so as to not confuse patrons with Six Flags Over Texas located in Arlington, Texas. Most people continued to call it "AstroWorld" and the company eventually responded by making the individual park's name more prominent. Its rides included the Texas Cyclone, one of the largest wooden roller coasters in the United States. AstroWorld was permanently closed by the Six Flags Corporation after its last day of operations on October 30, 2005. It was demolished between October 30, 2005 and the first half of 2006 (although parts of WaterWorld were being demolished prior to the final operating day at AstroWorld). (more...)

Did you know...

  • ... that construction of the 610 Loop began in 1950 but was not completed until 1976?
  • ... that Howard Hughes died en route to the The Methodist Hospital on April 5, 1976 on an airplane that departed Mexico?
  • ... that Kathryn J. Whitmire former Mayor of the city of Houston, Texas, from 1982 to 1991, is now living in Hawaii where she is in the real estate business?

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Quotes

"Houston, this is Apollo 10. You can tell the world we have arrived."

- Thomas P. Stafford, [1]

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Houston lists

Here are some of the lists about Houston on Wikipedia:

Built environment and economy

Cities and towns in Greater Houston • Highways • Neighborhoods • Tallest buildings • Johnson Space Center buildings • Companies • Newspapers • Shopping malls

People

People raised in Houston • Mayors • Rice University people • University of Houston people

Education

School districts • State-operated charter schools • Colleges and universities

Sport

Houston Astros (all-time roster, owners and executives, first-round draft picks, managers, seasons, Opening Day starting pitchers) • Houston Rockets (all-time roster, first and second round draft picks, head coaches, statistics and records, season) • Former professional sports teams

Culture

Events • Films set in Houston • Houston's Funniest Person Contest • Sister cities

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