History Of ATX
Austin is the state capital of Texas which was established in 1835 and originally named Waterloo. In 1838 Waterloo was renamed Austin after Stephen F. Austin. The story goes that Stephen F. Austin negotiated a peace treaty with the local Indians, and when Waterloo was chosen to become the capital of the new Republic of Texas the city was renamed Austin after him.
In October 1839 the government of the new Republic of Texas arrived in Austin. During the event known as the Texas Archive War in 1842 Sam Houston tried to relocate the seat of government to Houston. Sam Houston sent men to steal the archives of Texas but were caught and the plan was foiled. After Texas was admitted to the Union in 1845, two statewide elections were held that attempted to move the capital elsewhere, but Austin remained the capital.
In September 1881, the city schools admitted their first classes.
The Texas State Capitol was completed in 1888 and at the time it was billed as the “Seventh largest building in the world.”
The Great Granite Dam on the Colorado River was constructed in 1893, stabilizing the river’s flow and providing hydroelectric power. In the 1930s, the original dam was replaced by a series of seven dams built by the federal government which created the string of reservoirs that now define the river’s course through Austin.
In the 1970s, Austin became a refuge for a group of Country and Western musicians and songwriters seeking to escape the corporate industry domination of Nashville. The best-known artist in this group was Willie Nelson, who became an icon for the local “alternate music industry.” Austin gained a reputation as a place where struggling musicians could come and launch their careers in informal live venues in front of receptive audiences.
During the 1970s and 1980s, the city experienced a tremendous boom in development that temporarily halted with the Savings and Loan collapse in the late 1980s.
In the 1990s, the boom resumed with the growth of a large technology industry. Initially the technology industry was centered around larger, established companies such as IBM, but in the late 1990s, Austin gained the additional reputation of being a center of the dot-com boom and then the dot-com bust.
In 2000, Austin became the center of an intense media focus as the headquarters of presidential candidate and Texas Governor George W. Bush. Ironically, the headquarters of his main opponent, Al Gore, were in Nashville, thus re-creating the old Country Music rivalry between the two cities.
The Congress Avenue Bridge houses the world’s largest urban bat population. In the summer, the colony has up to 1.5 million Mexican Free-tailed Bats; in the winter they migrate to Mexico.