Houston, Texas

Encyclopedia Article


The city is named after Sam Houston, the first president of Texas and a leader of the 1834-36 struggle against Mexico to win control of the state and annex it as a U.S. territory. Established as a small settlement in 1837, the town grew slowly until the first railroad arrived in 1853, but saw consistent development and expansion after that. In 1863, it became one of the headquarters of the Confederacy, playing a significant role during the Civil War. After the war, segregation led to the development of separate neighborhoods for whites, African Americans, and Hispanics, and growing racial tensions culminated in violent riots in 1917. Today, Houston is considered one of the most diverse cities in the U.S. It is one of the country's largest transportation hubs and is home to many colleges and universities, cultural centers, and leading medical institutions.

Photo Credit: 

"Houston: One Shell Plaza and Other Downtown Buildings, June 19, 1978" by Roger Wollstadt is licensed under CC BY-SA.