Sugar Land

Sugar Land is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, within metropolitan area and Fort Bend County. It is one of the most affluent and fastest-growing cities in Texas, having grown more than 158 percent in the last decade. In the time period of 2000–2007, Sugar Land also enjoyed a 46.24% job growth. As of the 2010 census, its population was 78,817. In 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that the city’s population was 83,860, with a median family income of $113,261 and a median home price of $369,600. Founded as a sugar plantation in the early mid-20th century and incorporated in 1959, Sugar Land is the largest city and economic center of Fort Bend County. The city is the third-largest in population and second-largest in economic activities of the Houston area. Sugar Land is home to the headquarters of Imperial Sugar and the company’s main sugar refinery and distribution center was once located in this city. Recognizing this heritage, the Imperial Sugar crown logo can be seen in the city seal and logo. The city is the national headquarters of CVR Energy, Inc. (). CVR Energy, Inc. was listed as the city’s only resident 2012 Fortune 500 company and was ranked No. 5 public company according to the Houston Chronicle. Sugar Land also holds the headquarters for Western Airways and a major manufacturing facility for Nalco Chemical Company. In addition, Sugar Land has a large number of international energy, software, engineering, and product firms. Sugar Land has the most master-planned communities in Fort Bend County, which is home to the largest number of master-planned communities in the nation—including Greatwood, First Colony, Sugar Creek, River Park, Riverstone, New Territory, Telfair, and many others. Sugar Land is the home of the Sugar Land Skeeters minor-league baseball team and their new stadium Constellation Field. Sugar Land is also the home of the Sugar Land Imperials, a Tier III Junior “A” ice hockey team that plays in the North American 3 Hockey League. The Imperials play at the Sugar Land Ice & Sports Complex.

Harris County

Harris County is a county in the U.S. state of Texas, within metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the county had a population of 4.1 million, making it the largest county in Texas and the in the United States. Its seat is Houston, the largest city in Texas. It was founded in 1836. Harris County is named for John Richardson Harris, an early settler of the area.

Alamo

The Alamo Mission in San Antonio, commonly called “The Alamo”, was originally known as the Mission San Antonio de Valero. It is a former Roman Catholic mission and fortress compound, and the site of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. The Alamo is now a museum in the Alamo Plaza District of downtown San Antonio, Texas. Built by the Spanish Franciscan priest, Antonio de Olivares, and Payaya Indians, it is the origin of the present city of San Antonio, along with the Presidio San Antonio de Bexar and the Acequia Madre de Valero. The compound, which originally consisted of a sanctuary and surrounding buildings, was built by the Spanish Empire in the 18th century for the education of area Native Americans after their conversion to Christianity. In 1793, the mission was secularized and then abandoned. Ten years later, it became a fortress housing a Spanish Army unit, the Second Flying Company of San Carlos de Parras, who likely gave the mission the name Alamo. This was early in the period of the Mexican War of Independence. After independence from Spain was achieved in 1821, Mexican soldiers held the mission until December 1835, when General Martin Perfecto de Cos surrendered it to the Texian Army following the siege of Bexar. A relatively small number of Texian soldiers then occupied the compound. General Sam Houston believed the Texians did not have the manpower to hold the fort and ordered Colonel James Bowie to destroy it. However, he gave Bowie leeway to make his own logistical decision. Bowie decided to work with Colonel James C. Neill to fortify the mission (in part because there were not enough oxen available to move the cannons from the area). On February 23, 1836, Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna led a large force of soldiers into San Antonio de Bexar and promptly initiated a siege. The siege ended on March 6, when the Mexican army overran the compound; by the end of the Battle of the Alamo nearly all of the defenders had been killed. When the Mexican army retreated from Texas at the end of the Texas Revolution, several weeks later, they tore down many of the Alamo walls and burned some of the buildings. During the Republic of Texas period, which overlapped a period of civil war in Mexico, the Alamo was used off and on to garrison soldiers, either Texian or Mexican, but it was ultimately abandoned. In 1849, a few years after Texas was annexed to the United States, the U.S. Army began renting the facility for use as a quartermaster’s depot. During the Civil War, the Confederate Army took over the site. The U.S. Army regained possession after the war and used the facility until 1876, after nearby Fort Sam Houston had been established. The Alamo chapel was sold to the state government of Texas, which conducted occasional tours but made no effort to restore it. The other buildings were sold to a mercantile company which operated them as a wholesale grocery store. After forming in 1892, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) began trying to preserve the Alamo. In 1905, Adina Emilia De Zavala and Clara Driscoll successfully convinced the state legislature to purchase the remaining buildings and to name the DRT as the permanent custodian of the site. For the next six years, de Zavala and Driscoll quarreled over how to best restore the mission, culminating in a court case to determine which of their competing DRT chapters controlled the Alamo. As a result of the feud, Texas governor Oscar B. Colquitt briefly put the complex under state control and began restorations in 1912; the site was given back to the DRT later that year. The legislature took steps in 1988 and again in 1994 to transfer control of the Alamo to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, but the attempt failed after then-Governor George W. Bush vowed to veto any bill removing the now century-old DRT’s authority.

City

Georgia ( ) is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. Named after King George II of Great Britain, Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788. It declared its secession from the Union on January 19, 1861, and was one of the original seven Confederate states. It was the last state to be restored to the Union, on July 15, 1870. Georgia is the 24th most extensive and the 8th most populous of the 50 United States. From 2007 to 2008, 14 of Georgia’s counties ranked among the nation’s 100 fastest-growing, second only to Texas. Georgia is known as the Peach State and the Empire State of the South. Atlanta is the state’s capital and its most populous city. Georgia is bordered on the south by Florida, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and South Carolina, on the west by Alabama, and on the north by Tennessee and North Carolina. The northern part of the state is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountains system. The Piedmont extends through the central part of the state from the foothills of the Blue Ridge to the Fall Line, where the rivers cascade down in elevation to the coastal plain of the southern part of the state. The highest point in Georgia is Brasstown Bald at above sea level; the lowest point is the Atlantic Ocean. Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River in land area, although it is the fourth largest (after Michigan, Florida, and Wisconsin) in total area, including expanses of water that are part of state territory.

Anthony of Padua

Saint Anthony of Padua, O.F.M. (born Fernando Martins de Bulhões; 15 August 1195 – 13 June 1231), also known as Anthony of Lisbon, was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. He was born and raised by a wealthy family in Lisbon and died in Padua, Italy. Noted by his contemporaries for his forceful preaching and expert knowledge of scripture, he was the second-most-quickly canonized saint after Peter of Verona. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 16 January 1946. He is also the patron saint of finding things or lost people.

River Walk

The San Antonio River Walk (also known as Paseo del Río) is a network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River, one story beneath the streets of Downtown San Antonio, Texas, USA. Lined by bars, shops and restaurants, the River Walk is an important part of the city’s urban fabric and a tourist attraction in its own right. Today, the River Walk is an enormously successful special-case pedestrian street, one level down from the automobile street. The River Walk winds and loops under bridges as two parallel sidewalks lined with restaurants and shops, connecting the major tourist draws from the Alamo to Rivercenter Mall, to the Arneson River Theatre, to Marriage Island, to La Villita, to HemisFair Park, to the Tower Life Building, to the San Antonio Museum of Art, and the Pearl Brewery. During the annual springtime Fiesta San Antonio, the River Parade features flowery floats that float down the river.

Balcones Escarpment

The Balcones Fault Zone is a tensional structural system Edwards Aquifer in the U.S. state of Texas that runs approximately from the southwest part of the state near Del Rio to the north central region near Waco along Interstate 35. The Balcones Fault zone is made up of many smaller features, including normal faults, grabens, and horsts. One of the obvious features is the Mount Bonnell Fault. The location of the fault zone may be related to the Ouachita Mountains, formed 300 million years ago during a continental collision. Although long since eroded away in Texas, the roots of these ancient mountains still exist, buried beneath thousands of feet of sediment. These buried Ouachita Mountains may still be an area of weakness that becomes a preferred site for faulting when stress exists in the Earth’s crust. The Balcones Fault has remained inactive for nearly 15 million years, with the last activity being during the Miocene epoch. This activity was related to subsidence of the Texas Coastal Plain, most likely from the large amount of sediment deposited on it by Texas rivers. Although the Balcones Fault zone has recently been active, it is in one of the lowest-risk zones for earthquakes in the United States. The surface expression of the fault is the Balcones Escarpment, which forms the eastern boundary of the Texas Hill Country and the western boundary of the Texas Coastal Plain and consists of cliffs and cliff-like structures. Subterranean features such as Wonder Cave and numerous other smaller caves are found along the fault zone. Many cities are located along this fault zone. Springs such as San Pedro Springs, Comal Springs, San Marcos Springs, Barton Springs and Salado Springs are found in the fault zone and provide a source of fresh water and a place for human settlement. The Balcones Fault Zone is a demarcation line for certain ecological systems and species distributions, e.g., the California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera) is the only species of palm tree that is native to the continental United States west of the Balcones Fault.

Nolan Ryan

Lynn Nolan Ryan, Jr. (born January 31, 1947), nicknamed “The Ryan Express”, is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher and a previous chief executive officer (CEO) of the Texas Rangers. He is currently an executive adviser to the owner of the Houston Astros. During a major league record 27-year baseball career (1966, 19681993), he pitched for four different teams: the New York Mets, California Angels, Houston Astros, and Texas Rangers. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999. Ryan, a hard-throwing, right-handed pitcher, threw pitches that were regularly recorded above 100 miles per hour (161 km/h). The high velocity remained throughout his career, even into his 40s. Ryan was also known to throw a devastating 12–6 curveball at exceptional velocity for a breaking ball. While his lifetime winning percentage was .526, Ryan was an eight-time MLB All-Star, and his 5,714 career strikeouts rank first in baseball history by a significant margin. He leads the runner-up, Randy Johnson, by 839 strikeouts. Similarly, Ryan’s 2,795 bases on balls lead second-place Steve Carlton by 962—walking over 50% more hitters than any other pitcher in MLB history. Ryan, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, and Sandy Koufax are the only four pitchers inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame who had more strikeouts than innings pitched. Other than Jackie Robinson (whose number was retired by the entire MLB), Ryan is currently the only major league baseball player to have his number retired by at least three different teams: the Angels, Astros, and Rangers. Ryan is the all-time leader in no-hitters with seven, three more than any other pitcher. He is tied with Bob Feller for the most one-hitters, with 12. Ryan also pitched 18 two-hitters. Despite the seven no-hitters, he never threw a perfect game, nor did he ever win a Cy Young Award. Ryan is one of only 29 players in baseball history to have appeared in Major League baseball games in four decades and the only pitcher to have struck out seven pairs of fathers and sons.

Austin, Texas

Austin () ( or ) is the capital of the US state of Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in , Austin is the city in the United States and the city in Texas. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in the nation from 2000 to 2006. Austin is also the second largest state capital in the United States, after Phoenix, Arizona. Austin had a July 1, 2013 population of 885,400 (U.S. Census Bureau estimate). The city is the cultural and economic center of the metropolitan area, which had an estimated population of 1,883,051 as of July 1, 2013. In the 1830s, pioneers began to settle the area in central Austin along the Colorado River. After Republic of Texas Vice President Mirabeau B. Lamar visited the area during a buffalo-hunting expedition between 1837 and 1838, he proposed that the republic’s capital then located in Houston, be relocated to the area situated on the north bank of the Colorado River near the present-day Congress Avenue Bridge. In 1839, the site was officially chosen as the republic’s new capital (the republic’s seventh and final location) and was incorporated under the name Waterloo. Shortly thereafter, the name was changed to Austin in honor of Stephen F. Austin, the “Father of Texas” and the republic’s first secretary of state. The city grew throughout the 19th century and became a center for government and education with the construction of the Texas State Capitol and the University of Texas at Austin. After a lull in growth from the Great Depression, Austin resumed its development into a major city and, by the 1980s, it emerged as a center for technology and business. A number of Fortune 500 companies have headquarters or regional offices in Austin including Advanced Micro Devices, Apple Inc., eBay, Google, IBM, Intel, Texas Instruments, 3M, Oracle Corporation and Whole Foods Market. Dell’s worldwide headquarters is located in nearby Round Rock, a suburb of Austin. Residents of Austin are known as “Austinites”. They include a diverse mix of government employees (e.g., university faculty and staff, law enforcement, political staffers); foreign and domestic college students; musicians; high-tech workers; blue-collar workers and businesspeople. The city is home to development centers for many technology corporations; it adopted the “Silicon Hills” nickname in the 1990s. However, the current official slogan promotes Austin as “The Live Music Capital of the World”, a reference to the many musicians and live music venues within the area, and the long-running PBS TV concert series Austin City Limits. In recent years, some Austinites have also adopted the unofficial slogan “Keep Austin Weird”. This interpretation of the classic, “Texas-style” sense of independence refers to: a desire to protect small, unique, local businesses from being overrun by large corporations. However, many residents have rejected this slogan, inspiring Austinite and award-winning actor and director Ken Webster to offer “Keep Austin Cool” as a compromise. In the late 1800s, Austin also became known as the City of the “Violet Crown” for the wintertime violet glow of color across the hills just after sunset. Even today, many Austin businesses use the term “violet crown” in their name. Austin is known as a “clean air city” for the city’s stringent no-smoking ordinances that apply to all public places and buildings, including restaurants and bars. The FBI ranked Austin as the second safest major city in the U.S. for the year 2012.

Texas Rangers

The Texas Rangers are a professional baseball team located in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, based in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers franchise is currently a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball’s American League. Since , the Rangers have played in Globe Life Park in Arlington in Arlington, Texas. The team’s name is borrowed from the famous law enforcement agency of the same name. The franchise was established in 1961 as the Washington Senators, an expansion team awarded to Washington, D.C., after the city’s first ballclub, the original Washington Senators, moved to Minnesota and became the Twins. After the season, the new Senators moved to Arlington, Texas, and debuted as the Rangers the following spring. The Texas Rangers Baseball Club has made six appearances in the MLB postseason, five following division championships in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2010, and 2011, and as a Wild Card team in 2012. In 2010, the Rangers advanced past the Division Series for the first time, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays. Texas then brought home their first American League pennant after beating the New York Yankees in six games. In the 2010 World Series, the franchise’s first, the Rangers fell to the San Francisco Giants in five games. Their lone victory made them the first Texas team to win a World Series game, as the Houston Astros were swept in their 2005 World Series appearance. They repeated as American League champions the following year, then lost the 2011 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.