Named after Sam Houston, general of the Texas army that won independence from Mexico and president of the Republic of Texas. The city has experienced phenomenal growth since a small riverboat landing was established on Buffalo Bayou by the Allen brothers in August 1836. Houston lies on I-10, a segment of the Ports-to-Plains Highway.
Institutions of higher learning include Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Baptist University, Rice University, South Texas College of Law, South Texas Junior College, Texas Southern University, University of Houston, University of St. Thomas and University of Texas Health Science Center.
The Texas Medical Center, organized in 1945, has free tours. The Assistance Center is at 1155 Holcombe. For more information, call 713/790-1136.
Houston has the world's largest indoor air-conditioned pedestrian tunnel system, including shops and restaurants. Usually open 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. Mon. - Fri. and is wheelchair accessible. Tours available. Maps at the Visitor Information Center.
Major events include Freedom Over Texas in July, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in March and the Houston International Festival each April.