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Houston Information

The United States' fourth largest urban center, Houston is a vast presence with an active port on the eastern coastline of Texas. The city has an interesting history, and it is known as home to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center and the famed Mission Control as well as the huge Texas Medical Center complex. A wonderful mix of cultures brings much to enhance this sprawling metropolis; and the city has its own ballet, symphony, and opera. Houston is also a leader in the world of manufacturing, finance, and environmental energy.

Yes, Houston makes its mark on the world and is a credit to the state where the saying is common, "Everything's bigger in Texas!" Located on a coastal plain of the Gulf of Mexico, Houston is inland from the beach city of Galveston. The coastal plain is extremely flat, and Houston was built on grass and marsh land as well as land cleared of forest. The downtown district lies on ground only 15 meters above sea level. Then, four major waterways or bayous run through the urban center. The surface level of the terrain and the situation of the bayous have helped to make flooding frequent within the city limits.

Of course, the region's humid and subtropical climate plays a part in the flooding as well. Average rainfall is 50 inches every year. Additionally for Houston weather, the city experiences nearly 100 days out of the year with temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. During the winter, the temperatures are mild with normal lows dipping only to 43 degrees.

Now, those who started the city of Houston were two brothers from the state of New York who dealt in real estate. In the 1830s, they purchased the land near Buffalo Bayou. The Allen brothers named the city after the war hero of the Texas Revolution who became governor of the state of Texas, Sam Houston. As time went on into the late 1800s, the city exported cotton and became a hub for the railroad system of Texas. Then by the 1900s, oil in the area brought the petroleum industry to Houston.

One of the most well-known tragic events in the history of Houston was the horrible breakup of the Challenger, a space shuttle launched in 1986. However, the space program at the space center in the city has been a tremendous help and asset to space science.

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