Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi

[kawr-puhs kris-tee, -tahy]
Corpus Christi, city (1990 pop. 257,453), seat of Nueces co., S Tex.; inc. 1852. It is a port on Corpus Christi Bay at the entrance to Nueces Bay (at the mouth of the Nueces River). The city is an oil and gas center, with refineries, smelters, chemical works, and food-processing plants, as well as large seafood, fishing, and health-care industries. Sports-fishing facilities, beaches, and a mild climate make Corpus Christi a tourist and convention center, and it is the gateway to Padre Island National Seashore.

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.

Corpus Christi [Lat.,=body of Christ], feast of the Western Church, observed on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday (or on the following Sunday). The feast, which celebrates the founding of the sacrament of the Eucharist, was established generally in 1264 with an office by St. Thomas Aquinas, which includes the splendid hymn Pange Lingua. In medieval times it was celebrated with pageants and the performance of miracle plays. The anniversary of the institution of the Eucharist by Jesus is on Maundy Thursday.

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"

In fiction

This submarine was mentioned in Twilight 2000, a role-playing game of the late 1980s - early 1990s as being the last known surviving SSN of the Third World War. It plays a prominent role throughout three scenarios, in the end facing off against the last known surviving Soviet Typhoon-class SSBN.


This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register and various press releases.

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