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Houston (pronounced /'hjuːstən/) is the largest city in the state of Texas and the fourth-largest in the United States of America. As of the 2006 U.S. Census estimate, the city has a population of 2.14 million within an area of 600 square miles (1,600 km²). Houston is the seat of Harris County and an economic center of the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area—the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. with a population of more than 5.5 million.

Houston was founded on August 30, 1836 by brothers Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen on land near the banks of Buffalo Bayou. The city was incorporated on June 5, 1837 and named after then-President of the Republic of Texas—former General Sam Houston—who had commanded at the Battle of San Jacinto, which took place 25 miles (40 km) east of where the city was established. The burgeoning port and railroad industry, combined with oil discovery in 1901, has induced continual surges in the city's population. In the mid-twentieth century, Houston became the home of the Texas Medical Center—the world's largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions—and NASA's Johnson Space Center, where Mission Control Center is located.

Houston's economy has a broad industrial base in the energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, and technology; only New York City is home to more Fortune 500 headquarters. The area is a leading center for building oilfield equipment. The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled. The city has a multicultural population with a large and growing international community. As a world city, it is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits—attracting more than 7 million visitors a year to the Houston Museum District. Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theater District and is one of five U.S. cities that offer year-round resident companies in all major performing arts.

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Allen's Landing, c. 1900

Allen's Landing is the birthplace of Houston, Texas. In August 1836, just months after the Republic of Texas won its independence from Mexico, two brothers (and real estate developers) from New York, John Kirby Allen and Augustus Chapman Allen, purchased 6,642 acres in the area and settled there on the banks of Buffalo Bayou. Allen's Landing is at the confluence of White Oak Bayou and Buffalo Bayou and serves as a natural turning basin. A dock was quickly opened on the site, and the steamer Laura was the first ship to anchor at the landing on January 26, 1837. In 1910, the United States government approved funding for the dredging of a ship channel from the Gulf of Mexico to the present turning basin four miles to the east of Allen's Landing.

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Hurricane Ike ([aɪk]) was the ninth named storm, fifth hurricane and third major hurricane of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. It was a Cape Verde-type hurricane, as it started as a tropical disturbance off the coast of Africa near the end of August, then tracked south of Cape Verde and slowly developed. On September 1, it became a tropical storm west of the Cape Verde islands.

By the early morning hours of September 4, Ike was a Category 4 hurricane, hitting its peak intensity with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph (233 km/h) and a pressure of 935 mbar (27.61 inHg). That made it the most intense storm so far in the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. At one point the diameter of Ike's tropical storm and hurricane force winds were 550 and 240 miles (885 and 390 km), respectively, making Ike the most massive Atlantic hurricane recorded.Ike also had the second highest IKE (Integrated Kinetic Energy) of any Atlantic storm in the past 40 years. Integrated Kinetic Energy is a measure of storm surge destructive potential, similar to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, though the IKE is more complex and in many ways more accurate. On a scale that ranges from 1 to 6, with 6 being highest destructive potential, Ike earned a 5.2 on September 11 at 12:30pm (EDT). In comparison to Ike, hurricanes Katrina and Wilma, both from the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season peaked at 5.1. As such, had Ike made landfall as a Category 3 or higher, the hurricane would have likely had a record breaking storm surge and the potential for damage could have been worse than what was seen with Hurricane Katrina. However, Ike made its final landfall in Texas, United States as a Category 2 hurricane.

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Selected biography

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Joseph Stephen Cullinan (December 31, 1860 - March 11, 1937) was a U.S. oil industrialist. Although he was a native of Pennsylvania, his lifetime business endeavors would help shape the early oil industry of Texas. He founded The Texas Company, which would eventually be known as Texaco Incorporated.

Joseph S. Cullinan had a profound impact upon the city of Houston. In addition to being one of the key supporters for the development of the Houston Ship Channel, he also built the North Side belt railway. He supported venues such as the Houston Symphony Orchestra as well as the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston). He served as president of the Houston Chamber of Commerce from 1913 until 1919. During World War I, he served under Herbert Hoover as a special advisor to the Food Administration. For five years starting in 1928 he served on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial Committee.

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Music, arts and culture

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Destiny's Child, sometimes abbreviated as DC, was an American R&B and pop girl group. Originally a quartet, it eventually became a trio consisting of Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams. The group released four major studio albums with nine worldwide number-one singles. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Destiny's Child has sold 17.5 million records wordwide,becoming the second best-selling female group of all time just behind TLC.

Formed in 1990 in Houston, Texas, Destiny's Child members began their musical endeavors while in their pre-teens. After years of struggling on the road, they signed in to Columbia Records. The release of their breakthrough album, The Writing's On The Wall, launched them to crossover mainstream that established them as a viable artist. While in their commercial peak, the group was plagued by public turmoil involving lawsuits; it eventually preempted two members. The strife, however, was believed to only push the remaining members to greater achievements; they recorded their third album, Survivor, which the public interpreted as a channel to the experience. In 2002 Destiny's Child announced a two-year hiatus which involved solo projects; the break allowed them to earn individual success. They re-united to record their final album, and again disbanded in 2005 to pursue individual careers in music, theatre, television, and film.

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Did you know...

  • ...many buildings in downtown are linked by a system of tunnels and skywalks. The tunnel system also includes shops, restaurants, and convenience stores?
  • ...in 2001, Tropical Storm Allison dumped up to 39 inches of rain on parts of the city, causing billions of dollars in damage and killing 43 people. To date, the flooding caused by Allison was the worst in the city's history?
  • ... construction of the 610 Loop began in 1950? The loop was completed in 1976 with the interchange that connects Loop 610 to Interstate 10 east of Houston?
  • ... Kathryn J. Whitmire former Mayor of the city of Houston, Texas, from 1982 to 1991, is now living in Hawaii where she is in the real estate business?
  • ... Lakewood Church is the largest and fastest growing church in the United States with more than 40,000 attendees during its services?
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Houston categories

Recommended articles

Wikiprojects

Houstontexas1danielarizpe.jpg You are invited to participate in WikiProject Houston, a project dedicated to developing and improving articles about the Greater Houston area.
  • Collaboration and review
  • Article assessment procedures and worklists
  • Project proposals and guidelines
  • Project resources
  • Houston portal content requests

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You are invited to participate in WikiProject University of Houston, a WikiProject intended to improve contributions relating to the University of Houston.

Houston news

  • Houston Red Light Camera Report undermines Texas Department of Transportation camera study. The study finds accidents doubled at the city's red light camera intersections undermining the conclusions of a statewide report. [1]
  • California musician is fighting in federal court for the right to dig for treasure he believes is buried along the Texas Gulf Coast with the help of satellite imagery of Google Earth and a metal detector.[2]
  • Texas Lottery ticket revenues plummeted by $45.1 million since last fiscal year, a sales plunge that state officials attribute to Hurricane Ike and the recession. The hurricane season wiped out lucrative sales across Houston and Galveston, a region that accounts for one-fourth of state lottery retailers.[3]
  • Houston company plans to help light up the Big Apple with a project to build high-voltage transmission lines under the Hudson River. Cavallo Energy will begin raising $600 million for the 700-megawatt project in the next few weeks with the help of Credit Suisse. [4]
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Quotes

"Houston, this is Apollo 10. You can tell the world we have arrived."

- Thomas P. Stafford, [5]

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Related portals and projects

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