About Houston

Houston is the largest city in Texas, and the 4th largest city in the United States. It is a city of 2.2 million people and is considered one of the more diverse cities in the country in terms of race and ethnicity. This is the first time that the ACPA Convention is being held in Houston, Texas.

Houston was founded on August 28, 1836, near the banks of Buffalo Bayou (now known as Allen’s Landing) and incorporated as a city on June 5, 1837. The city was named after former General Sam Houston, who was president of the Republic of Texas and had commanded and won at the Battle of San Jacinto 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-20th 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 the Mission Control Center is located.

Houston’s economy has a broad industrial base in energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, and transportation. Leading in health care sectors and building oilfield equipment, Houston has more Fortune 500 headquarters within its city limits than any city except for New York City. The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled. Nicknamed the “Space City”, Houston is a global city, with strengths in business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology, education, medicine, and research.

The city has a population from various ethnic and religious backgrounds and a large and growing international community. Houston is the most diverse city in Texas and has been described as the most diverse in the United States. It is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits, which attract more than 7 million visitors a year to the Museum District. Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theater District and offers year-round resident companies in all major performing arts.


  • 1836: On April 21, General Sam Houston’s army wins Texas’ Independence from Mexico in the Battle of San Jacinto.
  • 1836: Houston founded on Aug. 30 by brothers Augustus C. and John K. Allen, who pay just over $1.40 per acre for 6,642 acres near headwaters of Buffalo Bayou.
  • 1837: General Sam Houston, first president of the Republic of Texas, signs an act authorizing Houston to incorporate. Houston is capital of the Republic from 1837-1839.
  • 1853: Houston’s first railroad – the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos & Colorado Railroad – begins operations.
  • 1868: Houston’s first trolley cars (mule-drawn) appear.
  • 1899: First Houston city park opens. (This site, now Sam Houston Park, contains several of Houston’s earliest buildings.
  • 1912: Rice Institute (now Rice University) begins classes.
  • 1913: Houston Symphony is established.
  • 1914: The 25-foot-deep Houston Ship Channel is completed and formally dedicated.
  • 1924: Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the first fine arts museum in Texas, opens
  • 1932: First Houston Fat Stock Show & Rodeo (now Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo) held.
  • 1943: Texas Medical Center is founded.
  • 1962: NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center moves to Houston.
  • 1969: Houston Intercontinental Airport begins operations.
  • 1969: “Houston” is the first word spoken from the lunar surface.
  • 1970: The Galleria opens.
  • 2004: Houston’s first modern rail line – 7.5 miles long – begins operations.