Portal:Houston

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The Houston Portal

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Houston /ˈhjuːstən/ is the fourth-largest city in the United States of America and the largest city in the state of Texas. As of the 2009 U.S. Census estimate, the city had a population of 2.3 million within an area of 600 square miles (1,600 km2). Houston is the seat of Harris County and the economic center of the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area—the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. with a population of 5.9 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 the Mission Control Center is located.

Rated as a beta world city, Houston's economy has a broad industrial base in the energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, transportation, and health care sectors and is a leading center for building oilfield equipment; only New York City is home to more Fortune 500 headquarters in the city limits. The city has a population from various ethnic and religious backgrounds and a large and growing international community. 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 few U.S. cities that offer year-round resident companies in all major performing arts.

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Photo credit: JW1805

Spectators watch the reenactment of the Battle of San Jacinto at the 2006 San Jacinto Day Festival.

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The Texas City Disaster of April 16, 1947, started with the mid-morning fire and detonation of approximately 2,300 tons[1] of ammonium nitrate on board the French-registered vessel SS Grandcamp in the port at Texas City, Texas, killing 581 people. It also triggered the first ever class action lawsuit against the United States government, under the then-recently enacted Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), on behalf of 8,485 victims. The Texas City Disaster is generally considered the worst industrial accident in American history. Witnesses compared the scene to the fairly recent images of the 1943 German bombing of ammunition ships in the harbor at Bari and the much larger devastation at Nagasaki. The official death toll was 581. Of the dead, 405 were identified and 63 were never identified. The remaining 113 people were classified as missing, for no identifiable parts were ever found. This figure includes all 28 firefighters who were aboard Grandchamp when it exploded. There is some speculation that there may have been hundreds more killed but uncounted, including visiting seamen, non-census laborers and their families, and an untold numbers of travelers. However, there were some survivors as close as 70 feet (21 m) from the dock. The victims' bodies quickly filled the local morgue, and several bodies were laid out in the local high school's gymnasium for identification by loved ones.

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Jennifer Garner (born April 17, 1972) is an Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe- and SAG Award-winning American actress. She is best known for her role as CIA agent Sydney Bristow on TV's Alias. In December 2007, Garner was named The Charleston Sunday Gazette-Mail's 2007 West Virginian of the Year "for her dedication, work ethic and unique role as role model and ambassador for West Virginia".

Garner was born in Houston, Texas, the daughter of Patricia Ann (née English), an English teacher from Oklahoma, and Billy Jack Garner, a chemical engineer who worked for Union Carbide from Texas. She is the middle child between two sisters, Melissa Garner Wylie (born 1969, resides in Boston, Massachusetts) and Susannah Kay Garner Carpenter (born January 24, 1975 in Texas, resides in Charleston, West Virginia). Her family is Methodist. At three years old, Garner began taking ballet lessons which she continued throughout her youth. Although she admitted that she loved dancing, she never had ambitions to become a classical ballerina. When she was four years old, her father's job with Union Carbide relocated her family to Princeton, West Virginia, then to Charleston, West Virginia, where Garner resided until her college years.

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William Marsh Rice University, commonly called Rice University and opened in 1912 as The William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Letters, Science and Art, is a private, comprehensive research university located in Houston, Texas near the Museum District and adjacent to the Texas Medical Center. Rice is particularly noted for its elite undergraduate division, as well as its strength in the applied sciences. The university has been a pioneer in the fields of nanotechnology, artificial heart research, structural chemical analysis, and space science.

At the undergraduate level, Rice placed at 17th in the 2006 U.S. News & World Report rankings of doctoral granting institutions. Further, in the Princeton Review's 2007 rankings, Rice was ranked third for “Best Overall Academic Experience for Undergraduates” as well as among the top 20 schools where students “Never Stop Studying.” Hence the expression: "Rice students never leave the hedges," referring to the plantings that both surround the campus and line the academic quad. The same publication also placed it as first in the nation for “Best Quality of Life” and “Lots of Race / Class Interaction.”

Did you know...

  • ... that the Houston Comets have won more championships than any other team in the WNBA?
  • ... that Lakewood Church is the largest and fastest growing church in the United States with more than 40,000 attendees during its services?
  • ... that 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?

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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.

Quotes

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

- Thomas P. Stafford, [1]

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Houston lists

Here are some of the lists about Houston on Wikipedia:

Built environment and economy

Cities and towns in Greater Houston • Highways • Neighborhoods • Tallest buildings • Johnson Space Center buildings • Companies • Newspapers • Shopping malls

People

People raised in Houston • Mayors • Rice University people • University of Houston people

Education

School districts • State-operated charter schools • Colleges and universities

Sport

Houston Astros (all-time roster, owners and executives, first-round draft picks, managers, seasons, Opening Day starting pitchers) • Houston Rockets (all-time roster, first and second round draft picks, head coaches, statistics and records, season) • Former professional sports teams

Culture

Events • Films set in Houston • Houston's Funniest Person Contest • Sister cities

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  1. ^ Texas City, Texas Disaster
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