The History Of Houston
The Early 1900’s
On September 8–9, the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 savagely tore apart the city of Galveston, Texas. After the incident, investors were afraid of its location, and invested in Houston instead. The oil discovery at SpindleTop in Beaumont, Texas in 1901 prompted a new industry to be developed in Texas; the oil trade would transform Houston, the railroad hub of east Texas, from a smaller town into a large city
On May 30, 1922, George Hermann, a millionaire, donated land to the city that later became the Herman Park. September of the same year saw the start of the Houston Zoo. The zoo was started when Houston school children bought two ostriches. The zoo was later moved from Sam Houston Park to Hermann Park. September 26 saw the first international-bound ship in the port. During the Roaring Twenties, more specifically 1927, the state highway to Houston was built. Bus and truck operations also fell into swing. Houston Junior College opened its doors that same year, which later became the University of Houston. August 1929 saw the first Sears into Houston. Then Black Tuesday threw a devastating blow to the economy of the entire United States. Houston’s growth was much smaller, but the city still grew. Mexican Americans no longer found it as easy to obtain jobs, yet several were successful by catering to the Anglo market in the city.
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo came in 1932. In 1934, Houston Junior College became a four-year institution and changed its name to the University of Houston. A flood in 1935 suddenly turned conditions for the worst, and Houstonians were forced to clean up the mess. Air service by Braniff Airways and Eastern Airlines came in 1935 and 1936. By the end of the decade, Houston was encountering growth pains, as the city had inadequate air service and that it was no longer a frontier town. Houston became the largest city in Texas in terms of population in 1939. Many immigrants and African Americans from Louisiana and other parts of Texas moved to the city to find education or work.
n 1940, Houston was a city of 400,000 population dependent on shipping and oil. The war dramatically expanded the city’s economic base, thanks to massive federal spending. Energetic entrepreneurs, most notably George Brown, James Elkins and James Abercrombie, landed hundreds of millions of dollars in federal wartime investment in technologically complex facilities. Houston oil companies moved from being mere refiners and became sophisticated producers of petrochemicals. Especially important were synthetic rubber and high octane fuel, which retained their importance after the war, The war moved the natural gas industry from a minor factor to a major energy source; Houston became a major hub when a local firm purchased the federally-financed Inch pipelines. Other major growth industries included steel, munitions, and shipbuilding. Tens of thousands of new migrants streamed in from rural areas, straining the city’s housing supply and the city’s ability to provide local transit and schools. For the first time high paying jobs went to large numbers of women, blacks and Mexican Americans.
Texas Medical Center became operational in the 1950s. The Galveston Freeway and the International Terminal at Houston International Airport (nowadays Hobby Airport) were signs of increasing wealth in the area. Millions of dollars were spent replacing aging infrastructure. In 1951, the Texas Childrens Hospital and the Shriner’s Hospital were built. Existing hospitals had expansions being completed. July 1, 1952 was the date of Houston’s first network television.
In the year 1960, Houston International Airport was deemed inadequate for the needs of the city. This airport could not be expanded, so Houston Intercontinental Airport (now GBIA) was built north of the city. September 1961 saw Hurricane , a very destructive hurricane, hit the city. On July 4, 1962, NASA opened the Manned Spacecraft Center in southeast Houston in the Clear Lake area, now the LBJ Space Center. This would bring many jobs to the Houston, especially the Clear Lake area.
1970s and integration
In the 1970s, the Chineese- American community in Houston, which had been relatively small, started growing at a rapid rate.
The Sharpstown scandal, which concerned government bribes involving real estate developer Frank Sharp (neighborhood of Sharpstown is named after him) occurred in 1970 and 1971.
One Shell Plaza and Two Shell Plaza were completed in 1971. One Shell Plaza was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.
Skyline in 1971 after completion of One Shell Plaza
Because the Houston Independent School District was slow to desegregate public schools, on June 1, 1970, the Federal officials struck the HISD plan down and forced it to adopt zoning laws. This was 16 years after the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, which determined that segregated schools were inherently unequal. Racial tensions over integration of the schools continued. Some Hispanic Americans felt they were being discriminated against when they were being put with only African-Americans as part of the desegregation plan, so many took their children out of the schools and put them in huelgas, or protest schools, until a ruling in 1973 satisfied their demands.
2000 to present-day
The city’s major sports teams were using outdated stadiums and threatened to leave. Eventually, the Houston Oilers did so after several threats. The city built Enron Field, now Minute Maid Park for the Houston Astros. Reliant Stadium was erected for the NFL expansion team Houston Texans.
Tropical Storm Allison devastated many neighborhoods as well as interrupted all services within the Texas medical center for several months with flooding in June 2001. At least 17 people were killed around the Houston area when the rainfall from Allison that fell on June 8 and 9 caused the city’s bayous to rise over their banks. In October 2001 Enron, a Houston-based energy company, got caught in accounting scandals, ultimately leading to collapse of the company and its accounting firm Arthur Andersen, and the arrest and imprisonment of several executives. In 2002, the University of Houston celebrated its 75th anniversary with an enrollment of 34,443 that fall semester. At the same time, the University of Houston Systemcelebrated its 25th anniversary with a total enrollment of over 54,000. The new international Terminal E at George Bush Intercontinental Airportopened with 30 gates in 2003. The Toyota Center, the arena for the Houston Rockets opened in fall 2003. METRO put in light rail service on January 1, 2004. Voters have decided by a close margin (52% Yes to 48% No) that METRO’s light rail shall be expanded. In 2004, Houston unveiled the first Mahatma Gandhi statue in the state of Texas at Hermann Park. In the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, about 200,000 New Orleansresidents resettled in Houston. Six Flags Astroworld, Houston’s only large theme park, closed in 2005. Houston’s Indian American Community were cheerful after 10 years, in 2010, when the Hillcroft and Harwin area were renamed Mahatma Gandhi District in honor of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi as that area is the center of Indian commerce.
In January 2010, Annise Parker became the first openly gay mayor of a large American city upon her inauguration as Houston’s mayor.
So now that you have gotten the History of one of the largest cities in the world, take a few minutes out and clean out that old jewelry box. Bring me all of your old or broken gold and silver even platinum. I guarantee to pay you top dollar. We also pride ourselves on price matching. Let me pay for your next family event.
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