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Houston Overview


The largest City in Texas and the fourth largest in the United States, Houston has a population of over 1,500,000. This Texas city has much to offer both visitor and resident including more than twenty universities and colleges such as the distinguished University of Houston, the University of Texas-Houston Health and Science Center, Texas Southern University and Rice University.


Houston's international cuisine, moderate weather, and superb arts offerings are just a few of the reasons for the city's popularity. Outdoor recreation in Houston all year and find quality entertainment day or night in local theme parks, major-league sports arenas, and in Houston's highly acclaimed museums. Restaurants and entertainment are a short walk or trolley ride away in the downtown area. The METRO light rail whisks riders through the world-renowned Texas Medical Center, to the state-of-the-art Reliant Park sports and event facilities.


Houston was named for Samuel Houston (1793-1863), the politician and general who was at the forefront of Texas' fight for independence from Mexico. He later became President of the Republic of Texas; when Texas became part of the Union, serving as a Senator and later as Governor of Texas.


In 1914 the Houston Ship Channel was created, beginning a whole new life for Houston. The 50-mile long channel linked Houston to Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. This deep-water port became a major shipping link and an important junction for the U.S. grain market.


The following year oil was discovered and the boom began. Oil companies flooded the area and by the end of the decade there were forty companies located in the city. World War II found Houston a major supplier of many commodities. In 1958 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration made its home in Houston assuring the city its place in space age technologies.


Houstonians are proud of their city's diversity. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the Art Car Parade, the International Festival, Fiesta Patrias, the Westheimer Street Festival, the Children's Festival, and a variety of holiday celebrations bring the City together throughout the seasons of the year and are a source of great enjoyment for visitors..


Houston is renowned as a world center of oil, natural gas, iron and steel, paper products, electrical and electronic machinery. Above all, however, Houston is a city of great neighborhoods that welcome the visitor to a rich cultural environment and an enjoyable and memorable vacation.