Houston is located in southeast Texas on I-10, about 50 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. It lies at the head of Galveston Bay and is connected with the bay and the gulf by the Houston Ship Channel.
Founded by the Allen brothers in August 1836 as a riverboat landing, the city is named for Sam Houston, a hero of the Texas Revolution. Houston was the capital of the Republic of Texas from 1837 to 1839.
Today Houston, population nearly 2,000,000, is the largest city in Texas and the fourth largest in the nation. The city is one of the nation's largest seaports, home of 18 Fortune 500 companies, and the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center headquarters. Texas Medical Center, the world's largest, is in Houston. The 17-block Theater District boasts eight performing arts organizations and more than 12,000 seats. More than 90 languages are spoken in the Houston area. The city plays host to a professional team for every major sport.
Houston is the seat of Harris County.