Point of Interest
10.9 km USS Texas , the second ship of the United States Navy named in honor of the U.S. state of Texas, is a New York-class battleship. The ship was launched on 18 May 1912 and commissioned on 12 March 1914.
Soon after her commissioning, Texas saw action in Mexican waters following the “Tampico Incident” and made numerous sorties into the North Sea during World War I. When the United States formally entered World War II in 1941, Texas escorted war convoys across the Atlantic and later shelled Axis-held beaches for the North African campaign and the Normandy Landings before being transferred to the Pacific Theater late in 1944 to provide naval gunfire support during the Battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Texas was decommissioned in 1948, having earned a total of five battle stars for service in World War II, and is now a museum ship near Houston, Texas. In addition to her combat service, Texas also served as a technological testbed during her career, and in this capacity became the first US battleship to mount anti-aircraft guns, the first US ship to control gunfire with directors and range-keepers (analog forerunners of today’s computers), the first US battleship to launch an aircraft,from a platform on Turret and was one of the first to receive the CXAM-1 version of CXAM production radar in the US Navy,
Among the world’s remaining battleships, Texas is notable for being the first US battleship to become a permanent museum ship, and the first battleship declared to be a US National Historic Landmark., and is the only remaining World War I–era dreadnought battleship, though she is not the oldest surviving steel battleship: Mikasa, a pre-dreadnought battleship ordered in 1898 by the Imperial Japanese Navy is older than Texas. She is also noteworthy for being one of only seven remaining ships and the only remaining capital ship to have served in both World Wars.
The 1940 Air Terminal Museum
The 1940 Air Terminal Museum is a museum located in Houston, Texas, United States, at William P. Hobby Airport. Collections are housed in the original art deco building which served as the first purpose-built terminal for passenger flight in Houston.The museum currently exhibits several collections focusing on Houston’s civil aviation history and is operated by the Houston Aeronautical Heritage Society (HAHS), a recognized Texas 501 tax-exempt organization.
Armand Bayou Nature Center
Armand Bayou Nature Center is an urban preserve located in Pasadena and southeast Houston between the Johnson Space Center and the Bayport Industrial District. The 2,500-acre (10 km2) nature center is the largest urban wilderness preserve in the United States.
Founded in 1974, the center consists of a boardwalk through forest and marshes, live animal displays, bison and prairie platforms and butterfly gardens. The center also includes the “Martyn”, “Karankawa”, “Marsh”, “Lady Bird” (named after Lady Bird Johnson) and “Prairie” nature trails that allow visitors to see forest, prairie, marsh and natural bayou habitats once common in the Houston and Galveston region.
San Jacinto Monument and Museum of History
The San Jacinto Monument is a 567.31-foot-high (172.92-meter) column located on the Houston Ship Channel in unincorporated Harris County, Texas, United States, near the city of Houston. The monument is topped with a 220-ton star that commemorates the site of the Battle of San Jacinto, the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution. The monument, constructed between 1936 and 1939 and dedicated on April 21, 1939, is the world’s tallest masonry column and is part of the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site. By comparison, the Washington Monument is 554.612 feet (169.046 m) tall, but remains the tallest stone monument in the world. The column is an octagonal shaft topped with a 34-foot Lone Star – the symbol of Texas. Visitors can take an elevator to the monument’s observation deck for a view of Houston and the Battleship Texas (see USS Texas).
The San Jacinto Museum of History is located inside the base of the monument, and focuses on the history of the Battle of San Jacinto and Texas culture and heritage.
The San Jacinto Battlefield, of which the monument is a part, was designated a National Historic Landmark on December 19, 1960, and is therefore also automatically listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was designated a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1992.
NASA’s Johnson Space Center
The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC) is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Manned Spacecraft Center, where human spaceflight training, research, and flight control are conducted. It was built and leased to NASA by Joseph L. Smith & Associates, Inc. It was renamed in honor of the late U.S. president and Texas native, Lyndon B. Johnson, by an act of the United States Senate on February 19, 1973.
It consists of a complex of one hundred buildings constructed on 1,620 acres (660 hectares) in the Clear Lake Area of Houston, which acquired the official nickname “Space City” in 1967. The center is home to NASA’s astronaut corps and is responsible for training astronauts from both the U.S. and its international partners. It has become popularly known for its flight control function, identified as “Mission Control” during the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Apollo–Soyuz, and Space Shuttle program flights.
The Manned Spacecraft Center grew out of the Space Task Group (STG) headed by Robert Gilruth, formed soon after the creation of NASA to coordinate the US manned spaceflight program. The STG was based at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, but reported organizationally to the Goddard Space Flight Center just outside Washington, DC. To meet the growing needs of the US human spaceflight program, plans began in 1961 to expand its staff to its own organization, and move it to a new facility. This was constructed in 1962 and 1963 on land donated by the Humble Oil company through Rice University and officially opened its doors in September 1963. Today, JSC is one of ten major NASA field centers.