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Houston, Texas
Cabeza de Vaca

Some significant dates in Houston history:

1528 Wayward Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca wanders the Texas/Louisiana Gulf Coast and inland regions.
1686 French patriot La Salle explores East Texas, from his base on Matagorda Bay, seeking rescue for his stranded party on the Mississippi River.
1756 Spanish establish Mission Nuestra Senora de la Luz del Orcoquisac near present-day Anahuac on Trinity Bay, the upper reaches of Galveston Bay. The focus of Spanish Mission development took place mainly from 1690 - 1731 along the King's Road from San Antonio through East Texas into Louisiana.
1817 Pirate Jean LaFitte maintains a base on Galveston Island and aids newcomers in the region.
1818 French exiles, along with Tombigbee refugees of Spanish, Polish, Mexican and Anglo descent, establish Champ d'Asile near present-day Liberty on the Trinity River. They are routed out of their homesteads the same year by a Spanish force from San Antonio and flee to Galveston, New Orleans and Nacadoches.
1821 Anahuac is established as the Mexican government operates a presidio and port of immigration on a site where the Trinity River meets Galveston Bay.
1823 Stephen F. Austin establishes a colony, San Felipe de Austin, west of present-day Houston on the Brazos River.
1828 Mexico outlaws slavery, a major componant of the Anglo colonies in the Texas-Coahuila territory.
1831 Villa de la Santissima Trinidad de la Libertad, on the Rio Trinidad, is settled by pioneers from the East on a Mexican land grant. The Anglos shorten the name of the town to Liberty and the river to Trinity. Sam Houston practiced law in Liberty prior to the War for Texas Independence and some of the towns residents fought in the Alamo and at San Jacinto.
1836 Texas General Sam Houston defeats and captures Mexican leader General Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto, winning independence for Texas on April 12 at the confluence of the San Jacinto River and Buffalo Bayou.
1836 Washington-on-the-Brazos, Harrisburg, Galveston, Velasco and Columbia sucessively serve as capitols for the new Republic of Texas.
1837 In April, Houston is made capitol of the Republic of Texas through October 1839, when the official administration is relocated to Waterloo (renamed Austin). President Sam Houston brings the capitol back to Houston temporarily during a Mexican invasion in 1842.
1845 Texas becomes the twenty-eighth state in the Union on December 29th.
1854 The Alabama-Coushatta Reservation is established in Polk County, north of Galveston Bay. The 1,280 acre reserve is increased to 4,280 in 1927.
1861 Harris and all surrounding counties vote to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy in the Civil War. Many counties inhabited by German and Czech immigrants, such as Fayette and Bastrop, do not vote to secede.
1863 Few Civil War battles take place in Southeast Texas, which serves mainly in production and shipping. Galveston experienced a Union blockade and the Battle of Sabine Pass took place south of Beaumont on the Taxas/Louisiana border.
1865 The Civil War ends on April 9.
1865 Slaves in Texas are informed of their freedom under the Emancipation Proclamation. The news is delivered to Galveston by Major General Gordon Granger on June 19th, establishing the Juneteenth Celebration.
1900 A major hurricane destroys much of Galveston Island, killing more than 6,000 people. An elevated barrier, the Sea Wall, is later constructed to hold back future storm surge and flood waters. The city would otherwise not thrive today. The nearby resort of Indianola was devastated by a hurricane in 1875 and never recovered.
1901 A major oil discovery is made at Spindletop, near Beaumont, making southeast Texas everafter associated with oil.
1914 The Houston Ship Channel is constructed following the course of Buffalo Bayou.
1917 Houston's Camp Logan prepares soldiers for World War I and suffers an incident of rasicm that leads to the Camp Logan Riots.
1947 An explosion on the Ship Channel kills 576 and injures more than 5,000. The powerful blast levels 3300 homes and 200 businesses in Texas City.
1961 To support NASA and the manned space flight program, the Johnson Space Center is established at Clear Lake south of Houston.
1965 The Harris County Domed Stadium, later called the Astrodome, is completed.
1983 Houston and Galveston suffer a direct hit from Hurricane Alicia on August 12th.
2001 Tropical Storm Allison displaces thousands of Houstonians and leaves $5 billion in damage in the wake of its flood waters on June 5th and 6th.

See Spanish Conquest and other Timelines.

See these related pages:
La Frontera Vieja | The King's Road | El Camino Real
Spanish Missions of California | Mission San Juan Capistrano
Mission Satevo | Guerrero Viejo | Copper Canyon
Colonial Cities of Mexico | La Florida

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