Houston History
Decades   LegacyCitizensPreservationCommunityHouston Voices
The Decades
a chronology from 1836
Our Legacy
stories of our past
Great Citizens
making a difference
historical landmarks
Our Community
join us
Houston Voices

TIMELINE 1990 - 2005


The Houston Ship Channel, a 50-mile inland waterway, connects Houston with the sea lanes of the world. Its turning basin is six miles east of Houston's central business district. Most of the Channel has a minimum width of 400 feet and a depth at mean low tide of 40 feet

Located on more than 680 acres, the value of Texas Medical Center buildings completed or under construction is about $7 billion

$479 million in Health Care research was conducted in the Texas Medical Center

Texas Medical Center's operating budget was over $4 billion

Texas Medical Center's employment was approximately 51,000, and some 12,000 students attended institutions there

Houston host the 16th annual G-8 Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations

Fiscal Houston Customs District collections of $465.5 million ranked 12th nationally

Harris County ranked fifth among U. S. counties in value of shipments of manufactured products ($21.4 billion)


City's population reached 3,338,900

Foreign shipments totaled 67.6 million tons valued at $24.9 billion

Six of the 1991 Fortunes 100 Fast Growing Companies are headquartered in Houston

The Houston Post had a daily circulation of 335,000

The Houston CMSA was the nation's ninth-ranked metropolitan area in retail sales with $32.8 billion

The Port of Houston ranks first in foreign tonnage and third in total tonnage, among U.S. ports

Houston is home for eleven firm's corporate headquarters on the 1991 Fortune Service 500 list. Many other Fortune 500 companies maintain U.S. administrative headquarters in Houston

The port handled an estimated 126 million short tons of cargo

5,169 ships from 70 countries called at Houston's port

November 2

Bob Lanier is elected mayor

December 25

Soviet Union dissolves, and the door opens for cooperative ventures in space between Russia and the U. S.

The Houston PMSA unemployment rate averaged 5.6 percent

The 23 school districts partly or entirely within Harris County reported enrollment of 586,034 (fall)

METRO's fleet of 1,139 vehicles ranked seventh in size nationally

The Houston Airport System handled 25,853,152 passengers, the 46th year the system has experienced passenger growth in its 48-year history

IAH, handled 2.2 million international passengers, a 7.4 percent increase over 1990

Houston hosted 467 conventions of authentic convention-holding associations with 568,145 registered delegates using hotels or motels


Employment in upstream energy sectors (oil and gas exploration and production) accounts for about 42 percent of the local economic base, down from 68 percent in 1981

Republican National Convention held in Houston's Astrodome

October 6

The U.S. and Russia agree to exchange an astronaut and cosmonaut and dock a future U.S. shuttle with Mir

Dun & Bradstreet reports 16,205 business concerns in Houston which recorded total sales of $1 million or more

The Houston Ship Channel is a $15 billion industrial complex with over 100 wharves in operation, including private terminals

Houston is home to 18 companies on the 1992 Fortune 500 list and 21 on the 1992 Forbes 500 list

Since 1982, Houston has spent more than $8 billion on street, freeway and transit improvements

METRO's average on-time record was 93.9 percent in the first quarter of 1992


January 3

Clinton Administration orders reductions as estimates for the U. S. share of the planned international space station balloon $1 billion over budget

September 12

Clinton wins new political support for the space station by inviting Russia to join Europe, Japan, Canada and U.S. in the project


February 3

Cosmonaut Sergi Krikalev becomes the first Russian to launch aboard a U. S. spacecraft, and participates in an eight-day shuttle flight


Houston Rockets won the city's first NBA Title and the city's first world professional sports title


Voters rejected a zoning ordinance in one of the city's lowest voter turnouts for an election


Houston oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall dies at the age of 90 leaving an estimated at 200 million to $1.2 billion fortune

March 14

Astronaut Norm Thagard becomes the first American to launch aboard a Russian spacecraft riding a Soyuz capsule to Mir for a 15-day voyage


Houston Rockets repeated as NBA Champions

June 29

U.S. Shuttle Atlantis docks with Mir, drops off two cosmonauts and returns to Earth with Thagard and his two Russian crewmates


Russia proposes that Mir, rather than a Russian-built service module, serve as the cornerstone of the international space station. NASA rejects the proposal but offers a subsidy to preserve Russian involvement


Information for this year will be available on future updates.

The Houston Oilers relocated to Tennessee as the Titans


February 23

A flash fire erupts on Mir when a backup oxygen generator misfires, marking the start of a succession of worrisome failures

April 9

The new downtown baseball park is christened as Enron Field with naming rights sold to the Houston energy corporation in a 30 year, $100 million deal

May 15

Russian service module delays force NASA to postpone the start of the station assembly to June 1998

June 25

Mir rocked by a collision with an out -of-control Progress Supply Capsule. American Mike Foale and Russians Vasily Tsibliev and Alexander Lazutkin escape death by quickly sealing off the damaged Spektr Module from the remainder of the orbital station

November 1

Ground breaks for the new downtown $250 million baseball park to house the Astros

November 2

Lee P. Brown is elected mayor. The first African American to become mayor of Houston


Houston is the fourth largest city in the U.S. with a population of 1.6 million. The population of the seven-county CMSA is more than 3.7 million, 10th in population among the nation's metropolitan areas

The City of Houston covers 581 square miles. Houston's extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) contains about 1,900 square miles, larger than the state of Rhode Island

Houston is the seat of Harris County, which has a population of 2.8 million. Harris County contains part or all of 34 incorporated areas

Harris county is ethnically diverse: 54 % White, 23 % Hispanic, 19 % Black and 4 % Asian

More than 1.63 million people are employed in the Houston region. More people are employed today in Houston than at the height of the energy boom in the early 1980s

Houston's 190.6 million square feet of office space rank it as the fifth largest office market in the nation

The city's 270 million gross square feet of industrial space rank it as the sixth largest U.S. market

Houston is home to more than 550 foreign-owned firms

54 Foreign governments maintain consular offices in the city, ranking Houston's consular corp. fifth largest in the nation and the largest in the Southwest

14 Foreign governments maintain trade offices in Houston, and the city has 26 active foreign chambers of commerce and trade associations

The Port of Houston is the nation's largest in foreign tonnage and is the world's sixth busiest port in terms of tonnage

Houston is the base of operations for the international energy industry and for many of the nation's largest international engineering and construction firms

Houston is home to 55 foreign banking corporations, including 19 foreign agencies and 36 representative offices form Europe, Japan, the Middle East, Canada and Mexico

Houston accounts for 23 percent of all U.S. jobs in crude petroleum and natural gas extraction as well as 14 percent of all U.S. jobs in oil and gas field services, and 38 percent of the nation's jobs in oil and gas field machinery manufacturing

Over 5,000 energy-related firms are located within the Houston region, including more than 200 companies with significant exploration and production operations

More than 350 chemical companies employ nearly 42,000 people in the Houston area. An additional 300 plastics manufacturers have over 10,000 employees

Five of the nation's 10 largest natural gas pipeline companies are headquartered in Houston. The five account for 24.2 percent of the nation's 274,942 miles of gas pipelines

Houston is the U.S. basic petrochemicals center, with 46 percent of U.S. capacity for basic petrochemicals like polypropylene, polyethylene, ethylene, styrene, and propylene oxide

Houston is home to 75 biotechnology companies

Eleven carriers provide scheduled international passenger service at Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH), linking Houston directly with 27 cities in Europe, Canada, Mexico, and South and Central America

Four major rail systems operate 14 mainline tracks radiating from Houston; two switching lines serve the industrial area plus the Port

The world-famous Texas Medical Center comprises 41 non-profit institutions dedicated to health education, health research and patient care

More than 3.4 million patients visit the Texas Medical Center annually

Nearly 8,000 volunteers contribute time on a regular basis to the Texas Medical Center

Overall, Harris County has 70 hospitals with over 18,936 beds. The Methodist Hospital, with 1,527 beds, is the largest private hospital in the country

Houston Independent School District is the nation's fifth largest, with an enrollment of 197,413 in 238 schools of which 68 are "magnet" school programs

One in four Houston adults over 25 years of age holds a college degree

The Houston region has 227,336 students in 35 colleges, universities and institutes

Dr. Ferid Murad of the UT-Houston Medical School wins the Nobel Prize in medicine

April 15

With Russia's economy faltering, a NASA task force warns that the station is facing new delays and the American share will rise from $17.3 billion to nearly $25 billion

June 2

NASA postpones the start of station assembly from June to November 1998, as Russia's service modules fall further behind schedule

June 12

Astronaut Andy Thomas, the seventh and final American assigned to live and work aboard Mir, returns to Earth aboard the Shuttle Discovery

August 5

NASA acknowledges to Congress that Russia's economic situation is so perilous that it jeopardizes station plans

NASA reveals plans for an immediate $60 million subsidy to Russia to finish the service module, and $600 million more during the following four years to preserve a Russian role in the project

October 28

The U.S., Russia, Europe, Japan, and Canada elect to proceed with the start of orbital assembly on November 20, 1998 despite Russia's financial difficulties. Russia accepts the $60 million to plan to finish and launch its habitable service module in July 1999


October 7

State and county officials search for a cause of an unusual outbreak of high smog readings which are the Houston area's highest readings since 1989. The Peak ozone level recorded at the Deer Park station that day was 251 parts per billion (or ppb), double the health standard's permissible maximum of 125 ppb. It was not only the highest ozone area in a decade, but by far the highest in the nation this year

October 9

A crowd of 48,553 watch the last game of the '99 season played by the Houston Astros in the Astrodome. The Astros were beaten by the Atlanta Braves 7--5, ending their 35--year history at the Dome

October 12

Harris County District Attorney John B. Holmes announces that he would not seek reelection to the seat he's has held for 20 years

October 15

The first U. S. detention center in Texas opens in Houston, with officials predicting it will be well used because federal courts in the state are experiencing a dramatic rise in prosecutions

October 18

Mortgage banker, Benjamin G. McGuire, who helped some of the city's premier developers change the face of Houston by securing mortgage financing for Shell and Pennzoil buildings, the Galleria, the Astrodome-area hotels and Astroworld, dies at age 84

October 19

A team of surgeons at the Methodist Heart Center take out a man's heart, remove a tumor growing on the back side of the otherwise healthy organ, patch the hole, and then suture the heart back into place in a rare auto-transplant procedure

Data-recording devices--similar to the "black-boxes" on airliners--are being installed on 500 HISD buses so officials can monitor driving habits

Bus ridership reached its highest level in the history of the Metropolitan Transit Authority during the fiscal year that ended September 30th

October 23

Planners have spent weeks to prepare for today's Sky Power of Houston Show

Retired Houston homicide officer, Lt. Breckenridge Porter, who joined the HPD in 1941 and retired in 1975, was a co-founder of the Houston Police Officers Association and was also instrumental in the development and passage of law that gave police officers in Texas pensions for the first time, died at the age of 85

October 24

Visitors tour the USS San Jacinto, a guided missile cruiser dock at the Port of Houston

October 25

A Harris County judge is asked to halt a bankruptcy court proceeding in California that could make 1993 "Playmate of the Year" Anna Nicole Smith one of the richest women in America. Smith who met Houston oilman J. Howard Marshall II in 1991, claims she is entitled to one-half of his estimated $1billion fortune as a result of their 14-month marriage. Marshall died in 1995 at age 90

November 1

Houston developer Kenneth Lee Schnitzer, who built the Greenway Plaza complex and six downtown buildings dies of lung cancer

November 2

Lee P. Brown is re-elected Mayor of Houston

Voters of Houston turned down a referendum for a new sports arena but pass a new $387,000,000 bond on the Bayport expansion and a civil Justice Center bond to build a new downtown courthouse

November 7

The city's largest emergency room officially opened its doors showing off computer wizardry that will make it the standard of the next century

Dedication of the John H. Regan World War II Memorial Plaza was unveiled in the Heights. Lamar Good's name, along with the names of his brothers, are inscribed on a circular memorial honoring those Heights residents who served during World War II

Latin superstar Ricky Martin performs to a sold out crowd at the Compaq Center


March 30

Enron Field held its first exhibition game with the Astros against the Yankees

April 7

Enron Field held its first regular season game with the Astros against the Philadelphia Phillies


Enron declared bankruptcy sparking a large scale federal investigation of its financial practices

Tropical Storm Allison hits Houston, paralyzing crucial areas such as the Medical Center while flooding major freeways and streets, bringing the city to a virtual standstill for several days. Flooding caused $5 billion in property damage around the city


September 8

Houston's newest NFL franchise, the Houston Texans, opened its inaugural season in Reliant Stadium against the Dallas Cowboys (19-10 victory)

February 7

Astros management faced a public relations nightmare when Enron, the energy corporation went bankrupt in the midst of one of the biggest corporate scandals in American history in 2001, and they bought back the remainder of Enron's thirty years of naming rights for $2.1 million, rechristening the ballpark as Astros Field. The field was unofficially known as "The Field Formerly Known As Enron" by fans and critics alike, in wake of the Enron scandal.

June 5

Houston-based Minute Maid, the fruit-juice subsidiary of Coca-Cola, acquires the naming rights to the the downtown ballpark for 28 years at a price exceeding $100 million


October 6

The $202 million Toyota Center, home of the Houston Rockets, opening ceremony was a Fleetwood Mac concert

October 30

The first Rockets game at the Toyota Center was against the Denver Nuggets


Houston-Galveston diocese elevated to the tenth largest in the United States and largest in the South and Southwest

January 1

Completion of the city's first light rail system and is open for ridership

February 1

Houston hosted the Super Bowl in Reliant Stadium

July 13

Minute Maid Park hosted the Major League Baseball All-Star Game


July 16

Joel Osteen and his Lakewood Church congregation moved into the newly renovated Compaq Center. Osteen spent $95 million on converting the arena to a "church"

September 2

New Orleans victims of Hurricane Katrina are evacuated to Houston and temporarily housed in the Astrodome

September 20 - 22

Houstonians evacuate, fearing a Category 5 Hurricane Rita. The storm misses Houston but fleeing residents are caught in enormous traffic jams city wide in record breaking heat, resulting in the deaths of citizens and animals

There are many more events that have occurred since the year 2005 and we have decided to have these events featured exclusively on our community.

If you would like to become a member of our community, please request an invitation.

If there is a event that you did not find featured in this section and would like to contribute information about it, contact us.


Our Vintage Sponsors

Copyright 2015 HoustonHistory.com. All rights reserved.