Tradition holds that the bay was named by the Spanish explorer Alonzo Alvarez de Pineda, who found it on Corpus Christi Day in 1519, but there is evidence that it was named instead by the first settlers, who arrived from the lower Rio Grande valley in the 1760s. In 1839, Col. H. L. Kinney founded a trading post, and traders and adventurers collected in a raffish colony on land claimed by both Texas and Mexico. The small port and terminus for overland wagon-train traffic boomed during the Mexican War. It was briefly captured by the U.S. navy in the Civil War. Corpus Christi developed industrially after the discovery of oil in the area and the completion (1926) of a deepwater channel past Mustang Island.
The city has many historical sites and is the seat of Texas A&M Univ.-Corpus Christi. A naval air station is on the southern shore of the bay. The city has suffered from occasional hurricanes; it is partially protected from flooding by a sea wall 12,300 ft (3,749 m) long, built between 1939 and 1941.
USS City Of Corpus Christi (SSN-705), a Los Angeles-class submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for Corpus Christi, Texas, though she is the only one required to bear the "City of" prefix (added to placate protesters who felt it improper to name a warship "the body of Christ", which is the meaning of the phrase "Corpus Christi").
The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut on 31 October 1973 and her keel was laid down on 4 September 1979. She was launched on 25 April 1981 sponsored by Mrs. John Tower, and commissioned on 8 January 1983 with Commander W.G. "Jerry" Ellis in command.
The ship's patch was chosen by the crew based on entries to an art contest sponsored by the Corpus Christi, TX city government.
Current Captain: Commander Scott A. Minium
Ship's Motto: "For God and Country"