Houston, TX

Events

Time Period

1760 - 2017

Time period

Founding date

1836

Houston founded on August 30 by brothers Augustus C. and John K. Allen, who pay just over $1.40 per acre for 6,642 acres of land near the headwaters of Buffalo Bayou. Augutus C. and John K. Allen purchased land from Mrs. Elizabeth Parrott, widow of John Austin, and name the site "Houston" after their friend, General Sam Houston.

Houston no longer capital

1839

Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (succeeded Sam Houston as Texas president) moved the capital to another town named "Waterloo" in the Texas Hill Country. This was soon renamed to "Austin" in honor of the father of our country.

First railroad

1853

Houston's first railroad, the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railroad begins operations.

Houston becomes a port of entry

1870

Many freed slaves opened businesses and worked under contracts

First permanent public transit

1874

The first permanent public transit system began to be operated by the Houston City Street Railway Company. All services were operated using mule-driven streetcars.

First free public schools established

1877

Electric power plants

1882

Houston Electric Light Co. was established. Houston and New York are the first cities to build electric power plants.

Electric streetcars

1892

Conversion from mule-driven streetcars to electric streetcars was completed

Oil companies

1913

Twelve oil companies had located themselves in Houston, most notable Humble Oil Company, which is now ExxonMobil.

State highway to Houston was built

1927

Capital of commerce

1935

Air passenger service arrives with a Braniff Airlines flight. Houston becomes the Texas capital of commerce, dubbed "Babylon on the Bayou" by observers.

First freeway

1939

First freeway in Houston, U.S. Highway 75 (now Interstate 45), or Gulf Freeway with donations from the Cullen family.

Intercontinental airport begins operation

1969

Houston's economic boom

1973 - 1981

Arab oil embargo quadruples oil prices in ninety days, fueling Houston's economic boom.

Hurricane Alicia

1983

Hurricane Alicia struck Houston and Galveston causing $2 billion in damage and decreasing oil prices.

Hurricane Ike

2008

Hurricane Ike directly hits Houston.

Hurricane Harvey

2017

Hurricane Harvey caused 77 fatalities and $198.63 billion in damages.