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Texas History Timeline

1500s - 1700s

  • (1519) Alonso Alvarez de Pineda, a Spanish explorer, mapped the Texas coastline
  • (1528) Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and crew were shipwrecked near Galveston and began exploration
  • (1682) The first Spanish mission, Corpus Christi de la Isleta, established near present-day El Paso
  • (1685) The French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, landed in Texas by mistake while searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River. He established the colony, Fort St. Louis, in present-day Victoria County
  • (1687) La Salle killed by his own men
  • (1688) Colonists killed by the Karankawa Indians
  • (1718) The San Antonio de Valero mission, (the Alamo) founded in San Antonio
  • (1731) The civilian settlement, San Fernando de Bexar, established by a group of Canary Islanders
  • (1766) The first recorded hurricane in Texas struck near Galveston
  • (1829) Several groups of Irish immigrants arrived in South Texas
  • (1830) The Mexican government passed a law stopping legal immigration into Texas from the United States except in special cases
  • (1832) The first bloodshed of the Texas Revolution took place at Velasco
  • (1835) The Texas Rangers organization officially established by the provisional government
  • (1836) The Texas Declaration of Independence adopted; a 13-day siege of the Alamo by Mexican troops led by Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna ended with all the remaining defenders killed; about 350 Texas prisoners, including Commander James Fannin, were executed at Goliad; an 18 minute battle led by Sam Houston defeated the Mexican army at San Jacinto; treaties were signed ending the Texas Revolution; the first leaders of the new republic were elected: Sam Houston as president and Lorenzo de Zavala, vice president; the first congress of the Republic of Texas convened
  • (1837) The Republic of Texas officially recognized by the United States
  • (1845) The U. S. Congress passed a "Joint Resolution for Annexing Texas to the United States"; Texas became the 28th state.
  • (1846) The Battle of Palo Alto, the first major battle of the two-year Mexican War, took place near Brownsville
  • (1848) The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo signed ending the War with Mexico in 1850. Texas gave up its claim to land that included more than half of what is now New Mexico, about a third of Colorado, a corner of Oklahoma and a small portion of Wyoming
  • (1861) Texas seceded from the Union; Sam Houston resigned as governor in protest
  • (1865) The Battle of Palmito Ranch fought near Brownsville after the official end of the Civil War, as word had not yet reached Texas that the war was over; General Granger traveled to Galveston to announce that slavery had been abolished
  • (1865) A proclamation of peace between the United States and Texas was issued
  • (1869) A new Texas State constitution adopted
  • (1871) Seven men in a wagon train were massacred at Salt Creek, about 20 miles west of Jacksboro, by Kiowas and Comanches led by chiefs Satanta, Big Tree, Satank and Eagle Heart
  • (1884) Fence-cutting problems caused the Texas Legislature to pass a law making fence-cutting a felony
  • (1886) A hurricane damaged or destroyed every house in the port of Indianola, which was never rebuilt
  • (1888) State capitol in Austin dedicated
  • (1894) Oil discovered at Corsicana by workers drilling for fresh water
  • (1900) The "Great Storm," (hurricane) the greatest natural disaster in human terms ever to strike North America, destroyed much of Galveston and killed over 6,000 people
  • (1910) The first military air flight in a Wright brothers' plane took place in San Antonio
  • (1918) Texas women won the right to vote in elections
  • (1925) Miriam "Ma" Ferguson became Texas' first woman governor, she served as a figurehead for her husband, former Gov. James E. Ferguson who was impeached
  • (1928) Democratic National Convention held in Houston
  • (1936) The Texas Centennial Exposition opened at Dallas' Fair Park
  • (1937) A natural gas leak beneath the London Consolidated School in Rusk County caused a massive explosion, estimated 296 students and teachers were killed
  • (1943) A race riot in Beaumont led to a declaration of martial law
  • (1947) A French-owned ship carrying ammonium nitrate exploded in the Texas City Harbor followed by another explosion the next morning - the SS High Flyer; 600 people were killed and over 4,000 injured. The force of the explosions created a 15-foot tidal wave
  • (1948) Lyndon B. Johnson elected U. S. Senator
  • (1953) Dwight D. Eisenhower became the first Texas-born President of the United States
  • (1962) NASA opened the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston
  • (1963) President John Kennedy assassinated in Dallas
  • (1965) San Antonio native, Ed White, became the first American to walk in space
  • (1966) Barbara Jordan of Houston became the first black woman elected to the Texas Senate; Charles Whitman killed 17 people at the University of Texas campus in Austin, shooting them from the observation deck of the main-building tower
  • (1969) Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong transmitted the first words from the surface of the moon: "Houston, the Eagle has landed"
  • (1971) The NASA Houston/Clear Lake facility is renamed the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
  • (1984) Republican Nat Convention held in Dallas
  • (1988) George H.W. Bush elected president of the United States
  • (1993) Federal agents stormed the compound called Mount Carmel near Waco, where cult leader David Koresh and his followers, called Branch Davidians, had reportedly been storing a large cache of assault weapons. The assault and ensuing fire killed four agents and 86 Branch Davidians; Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison became the first woman to serve as U.S. Senator from Texas
  • (2000) Former Texas Gov. George W. Bush elected President of the United States
  • (2001) Enron filed for bankruptcy protection
  • (2003) Space shuttle Columbia broke apart across southeastern Texas as it descended toward its planned landing, all crew members were lost
  • (2004) Lance Armstrong won sixth Tour de France
  • (2004) George W. Bush re-elected U. S. President
  • (2005) Republican majority leader in US House of Representatives, Tom DeLay, indicted with criminal conspiracy by grand jury in Texas
  • (2005) Hurricane Rita forced over 1 million to evacuate
  • (2006) Two Enron executives convicted of conspiracy, fraud
  • (2007) Gunman at Johnson Space Center in Houston killed male hostage, self
  • (2008) Hurricane Ike struck Texas Gulf Coast, caused major flooding, billions of dollars in damages
  • (2009) Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire on fellow soldiers at Fort Hood military base, killed 13, injured 30
  • (2011) Texas wildfires destroyed over 1 million acres, burned over 1,000 homes
  • (2011) Governor Rick Perry announced candidacy for Republican nominee in 2012 presidential race
  • (2013) On Thursday, April 18, 2013, a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant on the edge of the small Texas town of West killed at least 35 people, wounded more than 170, leveled dozens and dozens of homes and prompted authorities to evacuate half their community of 2,800. West is a community of about 2,800 people, about 75 miles south of Dallas and 120 miles north of Austin.

Texas Photographs

La SalleTexas RangersSanta AnnaAlamoSam HoustonTexas CapitalSantantaSan JacintoColetoBurk Burnett OilfieldMission ControlSpacewalk

Texas Cities, Counties & Area Codes

City County Area Code
Palestine Anderson 903
Andrews Andrews 432
Lufkin Angelina 936
Rockport Aransas 361
Holliday Archer 940
Claude Armstrong 806
Pleasanton Atascosa 830
Sealy Austin 979
Muleshoe Bailey 806
Pipe Creek Bandera 830
Bastrop Bastrop 512
Seymour Baylor 940
Beeville Bee 361
Killeen Bell 254
San Antonio Bexar 210
Blanco Blanco 830
Gail Borden 432
Clifton Bosque 254
Texarkana Bowie 903
Pearland Brazoria 281
College Station Brazos 979
Alpine Brewster 432
Silverton Briscoe 806
Falfurrias Brooks 361
Brownwood Brown 325
Caldwell Burleson 979
Marble Falls Burnet 830
Lockhart Caldwell 512
Port Lavaca Calhoun 361
Clyde Callahan 325
Brownsville Cameron 956
Pittsburg Camp 903
Panhandle Carson 806
Atlanta Cass 903
Dimmitt Castro 806
Baytown Chambers 281
Jacksonville Cherokee 903
Childress Childress 940
Henrietta Clay 940
Morton Cochran 806
Robert Lee Coke 325
Coleman Coleman 325
Plano Collin 972
McKinney Collin 972
Wellington Collingsworth 806
Columbus Colorado 979
New Braunfels Comal 830
Comanche Comanche 325
Eden Concho 325
Gainesville Cooke 940
Copperas Cove Coryell 254
Paducah Cottle 806
Crane Crane 432
Ozona Crockett 325
Ralls Crosby 806
Van Horn Culberson 915
Dalhart Dallam 806
Grand Prairie Dallas 972
Irving Dallas 972
Garland Dallas 972
Dallas Dallas 214
Mesquite Dallas 972
Lamesa Dawson 806
Cuero De Witt 361
Hereford Deaf Smith 806
Cooper Delta 903
Frisco Denton 972
Lewisville Denton 972
Denton Denton 940
Spur Dickens 806
Carrizo Springs Dimmit 830
Clarendon Donley 806
San Diego Duval 361
Cisco Eastland 254
Odessa Ector 432
Rocksprings Edwards 830
El Paso El Paso 915
Waxahachie Ellis 972
Stephenville Erath 254
Marlin Falls 254
Bonham Fannin 903
La Grange Fayette 979
Rotan Fisher 325
Floydada Floyd 806
Crowell Foard 254
Richmond Fort Bend 281
Sugar Land Fort Bend 281
Mount Vernon Franklin 903
Fairfield Freestone 903
Pearsall Frio 830
Seminole Gaines 432
League City Galveston 281
Post Garza 806
Fredericksburg Gillespie 830
Garden City Glasscock 432
Goliad Goliad 361
Gonzales Gonzales 830
Pampa Gray 806
Sherman Grayson 903
Longview Gregg 903
Navasota Grimes 936
Seguin Guadalupe 830
Plainview Hale 806
Memphis Hall 806
Hamilton Hamilton 254
Spearman Hansford 806
Quanah Hardeman 254
Lumberton Hardin 409
Spring Harris 281
Katy Harris 281
Cypress Harris 281
Humble Harris 713
Houston Harris 713
Pasadena Harris 713
Marshall Harrison 903
Hartley Hartley 806
Haskell Haskell 940
San Marcos Hays 512
Canadian Hemphill 806
Athens Henderson 903
Mission Hidalgo 956
McAllen Hidalgo 956
Edinburg Hidalgo 956
Hillsboro Hill 254
Levelland Hockley 806
Granbury Hood 817
Sulphur Springs Hopkins 903
Crockett Houston 936
Big Spring Howard 432
Fort Hancock Hudspeth 915
Greenville Hunt 903
Borger Hutchinson 806
Mertzon Irion 325
Jacksboro Jack 940
Edna Jackson 361
Jasper Jasper 409
Fort Davis Jeff Davis 432
Beaumont Jefferson 409
Hebbronville Jim Hogg 361
Alice Jim Wells 361
Burleson Johnson 817
Anson Jones 325
Kenedy Karnes 830
Forney Kaufman 972
Boerne Kendall 830
Sarita Kenedy 361
Jayton Kent 806
Kerrville Kerr 830
Junction Kimble 325
Guthrie King 806
Brackettville Kinney 830
Kingsville Kleberg 361
Munday Knox 940
Cotulla La Salle 830
Paris Lamar 903
Littlefield Lamb 806
Lampasas Lampasas 512
Yoakum Lavaca 361
Giddings Lee 979
Buffalo Leon 903
Dayton Liberty 936
Mexia Limestone 254
Booker Lipscomb 806
George West Live Oak 361
Kingsland Llano 325
Mentone Loving 432
Lubbock Lubbock 806
Tahoka Lynn 806
Madisonville Madison 936
Jefferson Marion 903
Stanton Martin 432
Mason Mason 325
Bay City Matagorda 979
Eagle Pass Maverick 830
Brady McCulloch 325
Waco McLennan 254
Tilden McMullen 361
Hondo Medina 830
Menard Menard 325
Midland Midland 432
Rockdale Milam 512
Goldthwaite Mills 325
Colorado City Mitchell 325
Bowie Montague 940
Spring Montgomery 281
Conroe Montgomery 936
Dumas Moore 806
Daingerfield Morris 903
Matador Motley 806
Nacogdoches Nacogdoches 936
Corsicana Navarro 903
Newton Newton 409
Sweetwater Nolan 325
Corpus Christi Nueces 361
Perryton Ochiltree 806
Boys Ranch Oldham 806
Orange Orange 409
Mineral Wells Palo Pinto 940
Carthage Panola 903
Weatherford Parker 817
Friona Parmer 806
Fort Stockton Pecos 432
Livingston Polk 936
Amarillo Potter 806
Presidio Presidio 432
Emory Rains 903
Amarillo Randall 806
Big Lake Reagan 325
Leakey Real 830
Clarksville Red River 903
Pecos Reeves 432
Refugio Refugio 361
Miami Roberts 806
Hearne Robertson 979
Rockwall Rockwall 972
Ballinger Runnels 325
Henderson Rusk 903
Hemphill Sabine 409
San Augustine San Augustine 936
Shepherd San Jacinto 936
Portland San Patricio 361
San Saba San Saba 325
Eldorado Schleicher 325
Snyder Scurry 325
Albany Shackelford 325
Center Shelby 936
Stratford Sherman 806
Tyler Smith 903
Glen Rose Somervell 254
Rio Grande City Starr 956
Breckenridge Stephens 254
Sterling City Sterling 325
Aspermont Stonewall 940
Sonora Sutton 325
Tulia Swisher 806
Arlington Tarrant 817
Fort Worth Tarrant 817
Abilene Taylor 325
Sanderson Terrell 432
Brownfield Terry 806
Throckmorton Throckmorton 940
Mount Pleasant Titus 903
San Angelo Tom Green 325
Austin Travis 512
Trinity Trinity 936
Woodville Tyler 409
Gilmer Upshur 903
McCamey Upton 432
Uvalde Uvalde 830
Del Rio Val Verde 830
Wills Point Van Zandt 903
Victoria Victoria 361
Huntsville Walker 936
Hempstead Waller 979
Monahans Ward 432
Brenham Washington 979
Laredo Webb 956
El Campo Wharton 979
Shamrock Wheeler 806
Wichita Falls Wichita 940
Vernon Wilbarger 940
Raymondville Willacy 956
Round Rock Williamson 512
Floresville Wilson 830
Kermit Winkler 432
Decatur Wise 940
Mineola Wood 903
Denver City Yoakum 806
Graham Young 940
Zapata Zapata 956
Crystal City Zavala 830

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on July 10, 2020.