El Paso is the seat of El Paso County in the U.S. state of Texas and part of the . According to the 2006 U.S. Census population estimates, the city had a population of 609,415. It is the sixth-largest city in Texas and the 21st-largest city in the United States, as well as the 7th fastest growing large city in the nation from 2000-2006. Its metropolitan area covers all of El Paso County. The metropolitan area has a population of 736,310.
El Paso stands on the Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte), across the border from Ciudad Juárez. The image to the right, showing Downtown El Paso and Juárez, with the Juárez Mountains in the background, shows how the cities are conjoined. The two cities (Juárez was formerly El Paso del Norte, the Pass to the North) form a combined Metropolitan Area with a combined population of 2,049,648, with Juárez accounting for 2/3 of the Metro population.
El Paso is home to the University of Texas at El Paso (founded in 1914 as The Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy). Fort Bliss, a major United States Army installation, lies to the east and northeast of the city, extending north up to the White Sands Missile Range. The Franklin Mountains extend into El Paso from the north and nearly divide the city into two sections, with downtown connecting the two sections at the south end of the mountain range.
Spaniard Don Juan de Oñate was the first European explorer to arrive at the Rio Grande near El Paso, and ordered his expedition party to rest and conducted a mass in celebration of thanksgiving on April 30, 1598.
El Paso del Norte (the present day Ciudad Juárez), was founded on the south bank of the Río Bravo del Norte, (Rio Grande) in 1659 by Spanish conquistadors. Being a grassland then, agriculture flourished and vineyards and fruits constituted the bulk of the regional production. The Spanish Crown and the local authorities of El Paso del Norte had made several land concessions to bring agricultural production to the northern bank of the river in present day El Paso. However, the Apaches dissuaded production and settlers to cross the river. The water provided a natural defense against them.
In 1680, after the successful Pueblo Revolt that decimated the Spanish colonies in northern New Mexico, El Paso became the base for Spanish governance of the territory of New Mexico. From El Paso, the Spaniards led by Diego de Vargas, grouped once again to recolonize the precious Spanish territory that was centered in Santa Fe and stretched from Socorro (New Mexico) to the areas that included Taos.
Historical records indicated that the first agricultural enterprise in the area was Ponce de León Ranch, on land granted in 1825.
Although there weren't any combats in the region during the Mexican Independence, Paso del Norte experienced the negative effects it had on the trade of its wines and produce that kept the town alive. It also experienced a major avulsion that left the towns of Ysleta, San Elizario and Socorro on the other side of the Rio Grande.
In the first Mexican constitution (1824), given the dominance that chihuahuan merchants had on New Mexico, Paso del Norte went to the State of Chihuahua after being part of New Mexico for 200 years. The town elected its first local government in 1825 and opened the first official school in 1829.
The Texas revolution (1836) was not felt in the region. The area was never considered part of Texas until 1848. The Battle of El Brazito near Las Cruces was fought by Missouri volunteers led by Col. Alexander William Doniphan, for whom Doniphan Drive was named, in El Paso. Given the blurry reclamations of the Texas Republic that wanted a chunk of the Santa Fe trade, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo effectively made the settlements on the north bank of the river a formal American settlement, separate from Old El Paso de Norte on the Mexican Side.
The present Texas-New Mexico boundary placing El Paso on the Texas side was drawn in the Compromise of 1850.
A number of important developments during the 1850s shaped the character of the area north of the river. A settlement on Coons' Rancho called Franklin became the nucleus of El Paso, Texas. El Paso County was established in March 1850, with San Elizario as the first county seat. The United States Senate fixed a boundary between Texas and New Mexico at the thirty-second parallel, thus largely ignoring history and topography. A military post called The Post opposite El Paso (meaning opposite El Paso del Norte, across the Rio Grande) was established in 1854, and the Butterfield Overland Mail arrived in 1858. A year later pioneer Anson Mills completed his plat of the town, calling it El Paso, a name that resulted in endless confusion until the name of the town across the river, El Paso del Norte, was changed to Ciudad Juárez in 1888.
El Paso was incorporated in 1873 and encompassed the small area communities that had developed along the river (Magoffinsville, Concordia, Hart's Mill).
The El Paso county seat was moved to Ysleta that year, from San Elizario, and stayed until it was moved to El Paso in 1883. These were the years of the San Elizario Salt War and other conflicts between the Mexicans, the Americans, the Tigua, and the Apaches.
With the arrival of the Southern Pacific, Texas and Pacific and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroads in 1881, the population boomed to 10,000 by the 1890 census. With a tempting green valley and a nearly perfect climate year-around, the town attracted a constant stream of newcomers: gamblers, gunfighters, thieves, cattle and horse rustlers, murderers, priests, Chinese railroad laborers, prostitutes, and entrepreneurs.
After the arrival of the railroads, El Paso become a boomtown: it earned the nickname "Six Shooter Capital" because of its lawlessness, with "scores of saloons, dance halls, gambling establishments, and houses of prostitution lin[ing] the main streets." El Paso hired a town marshal with rough reputation, Dallas Stoudenmire, who was known to shoot first and ask questions later. The "Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight" took place here on April 14, 1881. This was prior to the Gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. Stoudenmire, the sixth marshal in eight months, was hired to "clean" and tame a remote, violent and wild town. Stoudenmire was an effective marshal due to his fierce reputation and dexterity with his pistols. He effectively intimidated a violence-hardened town and used fear to control the City Council. On May 28, 1882, the City Council announced they were firing the marshal. Stoudenmire learned of this discussion, he entered the Council Chambers; they were terrified and remained quiet. Stoudenmire strolled up and down the chamber as he scolded, cussed profanities and threatened to shoot. In a blink of eyes, he pulled out and twirled his pistols as he growled, "I can straddle every God-damn aldermen on this council!" Council members quickly voted unanimously to retain Stoudenmire as their town marshal. Stoudenmire glared at them for a few seconds before he calmed down and put away his pistols. Knowing Stoudenmire's fearsome reputation, the Mayor defused a tense situation by calling for an abrupt adjournment. Stoudenmire exited the Chamber and a potential fatal incident was averted.
In 1883 the county seat was moved from Ysleta, Texas to El Paso. This was decided in a strongly disputed election in which counted votes were nearly three times the number of voters.
Prostitution and gambling flourished until World War I, when the Department of the Army pressured El Paso authorities to crack down on vice. Many of these activities continued in neighboring Ciudad Juárez, especially during the Prohibition, which benefited bars and saloons on the Mexican side of the border.
Beginning in the 1920s and into the 1930s, El Paso became the birthplace of several locally and nationally well-known businesses and events. In 1930, Conrad Hilton opened his first highrise hotel in El Paso, the now Plaza Hotel. The Plaza Theatre opened on September 12 1930.
In 1934, Walter Varney and Louis Mueller established the passenger airline called Varney Speed Lines in El Paso and operated out of the old El Paso Municipal Airport (1934–36) and then the El Paso International Airport. After the airline was taken over in 1937 by Robert Six, he relocated its headquarters to Denver, Colorado and renamed it with the more recognized name of Continental Airlines, as it is known to this day. Although Continental Airlines would have its headquarters stationed in Denver, El Paso was still a major hub for the airline up until the late 1980s.
The college football Sun Bowl has been held in El Paso since 1936.
After World War II, Wernher von Braun and other German rocket scientists were brought to Fort Bliss in El Paso, along with many of the V2 rockets and rocket parts, starting the American rocket program; they were later moved to Huntsville, Alabama. One V2 rocket is still on display at Fort Bliss. The popular drink, the Margarita, was another famous invention given a home in El Paso. It was first mixed in the El Paso-Juárez area at Tommy's Place Bar on July 4, 1945 by Francisco "Pancho" Morales. Morales originally left bartending in Mexico to become a US citizen. He is listed in the Texas Almanac's Sesquicentennial Edition (1857-2007, under M) Obituaries of famous Texans. His story is best captured in a October 1973 Texas Monthly article "The Man Who Invented the Margarita" by Brad Cooper, and later in his obituary in the Washington Post on January 2,1997.
From World War II until the 1980s, El Paso boomed into a sprawling city. The expansion of Fort Bliss from a frontier post to a major Cold War military center brought in thousands of soldiers, dependents, and retirees. The industrial economy was dominated by copper smelting, oil refining, and the proliferation of low wage industries (particularly garment making), which drew thousands of Mexican immigrants. New housing subdivisions were built, expanding El Paso far to the west, northeast and east of its original core areas.
With the election of Raymond Telles, the city's first Hispanic mayor in 1957, the demand for civil rights amongst the Hispanic population began. Stretching into the tumultuous 1960s, and converging with America's anti-war and civil rights demonstrations, great strides were achieved that became evident in the 1970s.
In 1963, the U.S. agreed to cede Chamizal, a long-disputed part of El Paso, to Mexico due to changes in the course of the Rio Grande, which forms the international boundary between the two countries. The area boundaries were rationalized and the Rio Grande was re-channelled. A former island in the river was re-developed. The Chamizal National Memorial, administered by the National Park Service is now a major park in El Paso; El Chamizal is the corresponding park in Juárez.
Since 1990, the local economy has been adversely affected by competition with low wage labor abroad, and the closure of the main copper smelter due to fluctuating metal prices, and excessive lead contamination found throughout many of the surrounding areas. The implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994 affected the local economy, with transport, retail, and service firms expanding, and the accelerated loss of many industrial jobs. El Paso is sensitive to changes in the Mexican economy and the regulation of cross border traffic; the Mexican peso devaluation of late 1994 and increasingly stringent controls of cross border traffic after the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack were felt strongly in El Paso. (In contrast to almost every other border city and popular belief, the commercial traffic at the ports of entry went un-interrupted during the immediate aftermath of 9/11.)
Since the 1849 establishment of Fort Bliss in the El Paso area, El Paso has seen many booms in population. More recently, the BRAC commission has marked the base to receive more than 18,000 troops, which is estimated to add 547 million dollars to the El Paso economy. The expected 50,000 people destined for El Paso (18,000 troops & 30, 000 family members) will bring to El Paso a rise in population that has not been seen since the Mexican Exodus of the 1910s in which the town's population grew by at least 60,000 people that were trying to escape the carnage of the Mexican Revolution.
Recent city-wide projects funded through the election of bonds have once again pushed the urban sprawl onward for El Paso. The most prominent of these projects was the complete refurbishment of the Plaza Theatre in Downtown El Paso. The project was completed on March 17, 2006 at a cost of $38 Million. With the completion of a new freeway on the city's eastern edge, the city should experience the usual urban sprawl that accompanies such construction. With the arrival of military personnel and expansion of Biggs Army Airfield, the city is also constructing a new "Inner Loop" (Loop 375 to Fred Wilson Avenue) that will connect the eastern section of the city to the Army Airfield. Once completed, Biggs Army Airfield is expected to be larger than the current space at Fort Bliss.
Also of concern is how the large increases of population in Cd. Juárez will affect El Paso. Historically, these two towns have always been interconnected. Already evident is the air quality and traffic flowing inside the El Paso area, for these respective figures reflect the values of a metro area that is populated by at least two-million people. Many underestimate the area's infrastructure needs by allocating resource values for only the El Paso population and not the metropolitan population that is interconnected chiefly through the actions of commerce that stems from El Paso, Cd. Juárez, and the New Mexico cities of Las Cruces, Santa Teresa, Sunland Park and Alamogordo.
El Paso is located at (31.790208, -106.423242). It lies at the intersection of three states (Texas, New Mexico, and Chihuahua) and two countries (the USA and Mexico). It is the only major Texas city on Mountain Time. When Ciudad Juárez was on Central Time, it was possible to celebrate New Year's twice in the same evening by travelling a very short distance across the state and into another country. Both cities are now on Mountain Time.
The city's elevation is 3,800 feet (1140 m) above sea level. The rustic North Franklin Peak towers at above sea level and is the highest peak in the city. The peak can be seen from in all directions. Additionally, this mountain range is home to the famous natural red-clay formation, the Thunderbird, from which the local Coronado High School gets its mascot's name. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 250.5 square miles (648.9 km²).
The Franklin Mountains State Park is the largest urban park in the United States and resides entirely in El Paso, extending from the north and neatly dividing the city into several sections along with Fort Bliss and the El Paso International Airport.
The Rio Grande Rift, which passes around the southern end of the Franklin Mountains, is where the Rio Grande River flows. The river defines the border between El Paso from Ciudad Juárez to the south and west until the river turns north of the border with Mexico, separating El Paso from Doña Ana County, New Mexico. Mt. Cristo Rey, a volcanic peak (an example of a pluton) rises within the Rio Grande Rift just to the west of El Paso on the New Mexico side of the Rio Grande River. Other volcanic features include Kilbourne hole and Hunt's hole, which are Maar volcanic craters 30 miles (50 km) west of the Franklin Mountains.
With the city limits are traditional suburban areas that are located on the far eastern and western edges.
Although the average annual rainfall is only about 8 inches, many parts of El Paso are subject to occasional flooding during intense summer monsoons. In late July and early August 2006, over of rain fell in a week, overflowing all the flood-control reservoirs and causing major flooding city-wide. The city staff has estimated damage to public infrastructure as $21 million, and to private property (residential & commercial) as $77 million. Much of the damage was associated with development in recent decades in arroyos protected by flood-control dams and reservoirs, and the absence of any storm drain ultility in the city to handle the flow of rain water.
|1||Wells Fargo Plaza||21|
|5||El Paso Natural Gas Company Building||18|
|6||Camino Real Hotel||17|
|8||O. T. Bassett Tower||15|
|9||El Paso County Courthouse||13|
|10||Anson Mills Building||12|
El Paso's tallest building, the Wells Fargo Plaza, was built in the early-1970s as State National Plaza. The black-windowed, building is famous for its 13 white horizonal lights that were lit at night. The tower did use a design of the United States flag during the 4th of July holidays as well as the American hostage crisis of 1980, and was lit continuously following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks until around 2006. During the Christmas holidays, a design of a Christmas tree was used, and at times, the letters "UTEP" was used to support UTEP athletics. The tower is no longer lit due to energy costs.
The current members of the El Paso City Council, who are elected every four years to staggered terms, are Emma Acosta, Susie Byrd, Melina Castro, Steve Ortega, whose terms will end in 2009, and Eddie Holguin, Beto O'Rourke, Ann Lilly, and Rachel Quintana, whose terms will end in 2011. Lilly, Byrd, Castro, Ortega, Holguin, and O'Rourke have been on the council since 2005. Quintana has been on the council since 2007. Acosta has been on the council since 2008.
According to City charter amendments that were approved on February 7th, 2004, the City of El Paso operates under a council-manager form of government. This system combines the strong political leadership of elected officials, in the form of eight Council Members, with the strong managerial experience of an appointed local government manager. All power is concentrated in the elected council, which hires a professionally trained manager to carry out its directives and oversee the delivery of public services. Joyce Wilson was selected by the city council in 2004 as El Paso's first City Manager.
The El Paso County Judge is Anthony Cobos (Democrat), and the County Commissioners are Democrats Veronica Escobar, Luis Sarinana, and Miguel Teran, and Republican Dan Haggerty. Cobos and Escobar were first elected to their positions in 2006, and have been in office since 2007. Sarinana was defeated in the 2008 Democratic primary by Anna Perez. Teran did not run for re-election in the 2008 Democratic primary, which was won by Willie Gandara Jr. Haggerty has been a county commissioner since 1995.
Until 1996, El Paso was home to El Paso Natural Gas Company. Now in Houston, Texas under the name El Paso Corporation. Farah Clothing Company was also headquartered in El Paso until 1998 when Farah along with other clothing manufacturing companies such as Levi's, moved their plants in search of cheaper labor. In the 1980s El Paso was known as the blue jeans capital of the world because it produced over 2 million pairs of jeans every week from different jean companies in El Paso. As of 2006, the only remaining companies in the clothing industry are Wrangler and a smaller company by the name of Border Apparel.
El Paso is an important entry point to the U.S. from Mexico. Once a major copper refining area, chief manufacturing industries in El Paso now include food production, clothing, construction materials, electronic and medical equipment, and plastics. Cotton, fruit, vegetables, livestock, and pecans are produced in the area. With El Paso's attractive climate and natural beauty, tourism has become a booming industry as well as trade with neighboring Ciudad Juárez.
Education is also a driving force in El Paso's economy. El Paso's three large school districts are among the largest employers in the area, employing more than 19,000 people between them. The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) has an annual budget of nearly $250 million and employs nearly 3,600 people. A 2002 study by the university's Institute for Policy and Economic Development stated that the University's impact on local businesses has resulted in $349 million.
The military installation of Fort Bliss is a major contributor to El Paso's economy. Fort Bliss began as a Cavalry post in 1848. Today, Fort Bliss is the site of the United States Army's Air Defense Center and produces approximately $80 million in products and services annually, with about $60 million of those products and services purchased locally. Fort Bliss' total economic impact on the area has been estimated at more than $1 billion, with 12,000 soldiers currently stationed at the Fort. A February 2005 article in the El Paso Times stated that as many as 20,000 troops could be arriving at Fort Bliss pending the Defense Department's removal of thousands of troops from overseas assignments. This would be in addition to 3,800 soldiers who would arrive as part of a new brigade combat team stationed at the Fort. The growth is expected to create a strong economic ripple throughout the El Paso area.
In addition to the military, the federal government has a strong presence in El Paso to manage its status and unique issues as a border region. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and the U.S. Customs Service all have agency operations in El Paso to regulate traffic and goods through ports of entry from Mexico. Including these agencies, government job growth in the area is expected to rise to 64,390 jobs by 2007.
Call center operations make up 7 of the top 10 business employers in El Paso. With no signs of growth slowing in this industry, in 2005 the 14 largest call centers in El Paso employed more than 10,000 people. The largest of these in terms of employees are EchoStar, MCI/GC Services, and West Telemarketing.
Analysts in the area say that job growth in 2005 will be in the form of health care, business and trade services, international trade, and telecommunications.
Items and goods produced: petroleum, metals, medical devices, plastics, machinery, automotive parts, food, defense-related goods, tourism, boots
All numbers are estimates as of 2006
There are 182,063 households, out of which 42.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.6% were married couples living together, 18.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.5% were non-families. 19.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.07 and the average family size was 3.54.
In the city the population was spread out with 31.0% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 19.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 90.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $32,124, and the median income for a family was $35,432. Males had a median income of $28,989 versus $21,540 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,388. About 19.0% of families and 22.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.8% of those under age 18 and 17.7% of those age 65 or over.
According to the 2006 United States Census Bureau population estimates, the El Paso metropolitan area had a population of 736,310. Combined with the population of the neighboring Juárez metropolitan area, the total metropolitan area had a population of 2,280,782. As of December 3, 2007, El Paso is ranked the second safest city in the US with a population greater than 500,000.
|El Paso Diablos||Baseball||American Association of Independent Professional Baseball (South Division)||Cohen Stadium|
|El Paso Patriots||Soccer||USL Premier Development League||Patriot Stadium|
|Indios USA||Soccer||National Premier Soccer League||Canutillo Stadium|
|El Paso Rhinos||Hockey||Western States Hockey League (Jr. Hockey League)||El Paso County Coliseum|
|El Paso Brawlers||Football||Far West Football League||Sun Bowl Stadium|
|El Paso Generals||Indoor Football||IFL||El Paso County Coliseum|
|UTEP Miners||Division I||Conference USA||University of Texas at El Paso|
Nearby areas are served by:
Other private schools include the following:
El Paso has been home to literary figures such as:
The Tigua have been at their present location since a successful Pueblo Revolt of 1680 that forced the Spaniards and New Spaniards (future Mexicans) to retreat south to present day Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico and El Paso, Texas. The tribe is led by a governor who serves a term of two years. The current governor is Danny Senclare.
Very close to tribal lands is the sacred site of Hueco Tanks.
El Paso had another English language daily newspaper, El Paso Herald-Post, but that newspaper ended publication in 1997.
El Paso's current television stations are as shown in the table below:
US Patent Issued to PUCline on May 8 for "Electrical Power Supplying Device Having a Ring-Like Power Assembly for Receiving Electrical Power Plugs And/ or Power Adapters Associated with a Plurality of Electrical Appliances, and an Un-Interrupted Power Supply (Ups) Unit Having a Battery Componenent Mounted Within a Centrally-Disposed Structure Passing Through a Central Aperture in Said Ring-Like Power Assembly" (New Jersey Inventor)
May 11, 2012; ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 9 -- United States Patent no. 8,174,147, issued on May 8, was assigned to PUCline LLC (Venice, Calif...
Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Ups System and Method of Supplying Power to Non-Linear Load", for Approval
Jan 24, 2013; By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that...