Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Galveston is a city and island located in Galveston County, Texas, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 57,247. In 1900, the island was struck by a hurricane, an event that became of one of the United States' greatest natural disasters. It is the county seat of Galveston county, and is situated on the East Texas coast.
Galveston was named after Bernardo de Gálvez, an 18th century governor of Spanish Louisiana. After 1779, when Spain entered the American Revolutionary War, Galvez recruited Spaniards, Creoles, Native Americans, and African-Americans to fight against the British. In 1836, Michel B. Menard, a native of Canada, with several associates purchased 4,605 acres (19 km²) of land for $50,000 from the Austin Colony to found a town. Menard and his associates began selling plots on April 20, 1838. In 1839, the City of Galveston adopted a charter and was incorporated by the Congress of the Republic of Texas.
Galveston was known for the legendary Balinese Room , a nightclub and illegal gambling hall located on a 600 foot pier extending into the Gulf of Mexico.
- Main article at Galveston Hurricane of 1900.
On the evening of September 7, 1900, high winds arose heralding the arrival of a hurricane that struck the island in the early morning of September 8 and lasted until September 9, 1900. Wind speeds reached up to 135 mph, although this is an estimate since the anemometer was blown off of the US Weather Bureau building. The island was devastated, and an estimated 6 to 12 thousand people were killed. A warning was given by Isaac M. Cline, section director of the Galveston office of the US Weather Bureau, which may have prevented the deaths of many more people.
Prior to the major storm, Galveston was a beautiful and prestigious city, being known as "the New York of the South." Had it not been for the Hurricane of 1900, Galveston might today be one of the nation's largest cities.
Because of the storm, the Galveston Seawall was built and the entire grade of Galveston was raised. Just after the hurricane, the city originated the City Commission form of city government (which became known as the "Galveston Plan"), although the city has since switched to the Council-Manager form of government. Women also received greater roles in public affairs, and the Houston Ship Channel was built.
The storm stalled economic development, and the city of Houston grew into the region's principal metropolis. Although Galveston is an anchor city for the Houston Metropolitan Area, it has largely been overshadowed by the city of Houston. Still, Galveston remains a port of entry and a destination for cruise ships, and a port of call and repairs for cargo chips.
Galveston's historic downtown and beautiful beaches are a major tourist destinations. Each year tourists enjoy Galveston's beaches and its rich history. Wealthy Houstonians and visitors from around the world purchase beach homes and condominiums and make Galveston their second home.
Other attractions in Galveston include aforementioned Moody Gardens, the Galveston Island Railroad Museum, the Strand National Historic Landmark District, and the Lone Star Flight Museum. Galveston is also home to several historic ships, including the tall ship Elissa at the Texas Seaport Museum, and USS Cavalla and USS Stewart , both berthed at Seawolf Park on nearby Pelican Island.
Galveston has been the home of the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), a major teaching hospital which now encompasses 84 acres (340,000 m²), since 1891. UTMB is the largest employer in Galveston county6, creating over 15,000 jobs and bringing about $300 million into the local economy.
There is one public high school in Galveston, Ball High School named after George Ball. The city is also home to three post-secondary institutions: Galveston College (a junior college opened in 1967), Texas A&M University at Galveston, and University of Texas Medical Branch.
Galveston is home to a symphony orchestra  and a small ballet company.
The Galveston County Daily News, the city's main newspaper, is the oldest continuously printed newspaper in Texas (since 1842).
Galveston is located at 29°16'52" North, 94°49'33" West (29.281137, -94.825945)1.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 539.6 km² (208.4 mi²). 119.5 km² (46.2 mi²) of it is land and 420.1 km² (162.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 77.85% water.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 57,247 people, 23,842 households, and 13,732 families residing in the city. The population density is 478.9/km² (1,240.4/mi²). There are 30,017 housing units at an average density of 251.1/km² (650.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 58.66% White, 25.49% Black or African American, 0.42% Native American, 3.21% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 9.73% from other races, and 2.41% from two or more races. 25.77% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 23,842 households out of which 26.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.6% are married couples living together, 16.9% have a female householder with no husband present, and 42.4% are non-families. 35.6% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.30 and the average family size is 3.03.
In the city the population is spread out with 23.4% under the age of 18, 11.3% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 93.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $28,895, and the median income for a family is $35,049. Males have a median income of $30,150 versus $26,030 for females. The per capita income for the city is $18,275. 22.3% of the population and 17.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 32.1% of those under the age of 18 and 14.2% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
- Kay Bailey Hutchison (b. 1943), US Senator for Texas
- Jack Johnson (1878-1946), first black heavyweight champion
- Valerie Perrine (b. 1943), actress
- Jonathan Pollard (b. 1954), spy for Israel
- King Vidor (1894-1982), film director
- Barry White (1944-2003), soul singer
- City of Galveston government site
- Galveston Chamber of Commerce
- The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
- Texas A&M University at Galveston
- Galveston College
- Galveston Independent School District
- The Galveston County Daily News
- History of Galveston
- The 1900 Storm by The Galveston County Daily News
- Bio of Isaac Monroe Cline
- High resolution photos of the disaster
- The Road to Galveston movie at the IMDB
- Lyrics for Galveston song sung by Glen Campbell, at CowboyLyrics.com
- Return of the Balinese Room
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