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Houston Information

The history of the city that is now called Houston is both awe-inspiring and rambunctious. Most people would be amazed to know that Native Americans who inhabited the region long ago were described by Spaniards who came in contact with the tribes as being barbaric and bloodthirsty. Writings from the 1400s and 1500s that describe the interactions recount cannibalistic behavior from the Karankawa and Atakapan tribes.

Even though the Spanish moved over the whole Southwest establishing control over almost all of the area, the location that is now modern-day Houston was left virtually untouched. It remained a marshland of bayous and malaria. After the War of 1812, a pirate named Jean Lafitte temporarily took up residence in various spots south of the region. Some believe that a residue of pirate treasure could remain buried there.

The nation of Mexico had official ownership of the land, but it welcomed settlers from the United States. By 1830, however, those American emigrants had grown in population and began calling themselves Texicans. They wanted their own government, and a war ensued in 1836 when Mexico's leader, Santa Anna, decided to quell the opposition. There was one major problem, though. He hadn't figured on General Sam Houston being such a formidable foe. Houston's band of resistance fighters attacked Mexican troops who were preparing an attack for the next morning. At the end of that day, Houston's men had prevailed.

The newly-freed and newly-named Republic of Texas had for its first president the man who secured its freedom, Sam Houston. Two men, Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen, bought more than 6,500 acres of land in August of 1836 for less than $10,000 to build a center for commerce and government. This action established a hamlet that would later grow to be the fourth-largest city in America, named for the general who whipped Santa Anna's army just 25 miles east of the city's location.

Houston's place in history changed forever in 1961 when it was chosen for the site of the Manned Spacecraft Center. The city has also been a giant in the oil and chemical production field as well as the medical field, having some of the finest surgeons in the entire world. Only New York City rivals Houston with regards to the number of Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the city. Houston's cultural and international community is second to none.

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