Del Rio, Texas

Del Rio is a border city in and the county seat of Val Verde County, Texas, United States.. Del Rio is connected with Ciudad Acuña via the Lake Amistad Dam International Crossing and Del Río-Ciudad Acuña International Bridge. Del Rio's Lake Amistad is home to the ESPN - Bass Masters Elite Series – Battle on the Border Lake Amistad • Del Rio, Texas April 10-13, 2008. Del Rio is also home to Laughlin Air Force Base, the busiest pilot training base in the United States Air Force.

Metropolitan area

The Del Rio-Ciudad Acuña Metropolitan Area (DR-CA) is one of Six bi-national metropolitan areas along the United States-Mexican border. The city of Del Rio is situated in the American state of Texas on the north of the Rio Grande and Ciudad Acuña is located in the Mexican State of Coahuila south of the river. This metropolitan area is also known as "Tierra de la Amistad". The metropolitan area is made up of one county: Val Verde in Texas and the municipalities of Del Rio, Lake Amistad, Amistad Village, Box Cayon, Rough Canyon, Laughlin Air Force Base and Ciudad Acuña,.

As of January, 2008 United States Census, 2008, The Greater Del Rio Metropolitan Area's population is 48,145 people, and The Greater Ciudad Acuña Metropolitan Area's population is 148,669 people.

The 2008 population of Del Rio-Ciudad Acuña Metropolitan Area is 196,814

Del Rio is known as the American address of legendary Mexican radio stations XERA in the 1930s and XERF transmitter powered each of these stations just over the U.S.-Mexico border in Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila and could be heard as far away as Canada.


The Spanish established a small settlement south of the Rio Grande in present day Mexico and some Spaniards settled on what became the United States side of the Rio Grande as early as the 18th century. However, true development of the U.S. side of the Rio Grande did not begin until after the American Civil War.

The San Felipe Springs, about seven miles (11 km) east of the Rio Grande on the U.S. side of the border, produces 90 millions of gallons of water a day. Developers acquired several thousand acres of land adjacent to the springs, and the San Felipe Creek formed by the springs, from the State of Texas in exchange for building a canal system to irrigate the area. The developers sold tracts of land surrounding the canals to recover their investment and show a profit. These investors formed the San Felipe Agricultural, Manufacturing, and Irrigation Company in 1868. The organization completed construction of a network of irrigation canals in 1871. Residents referred to the slowly developing town as San Felipe Del Rio because local lore said the name came from early Spanish explorers who offered a Mass at the site on St. Philip's Day, 1635.

In 1883 local residents requested a post office be established. The United States Postal Department shortened "San Felipe del Rio" to "Del Rio" to avoid confusion with San Felipe de Austin. In 1885 Val Verde County was organized and Del Rio became the county seat. The City of Del Rio was incorporated November 15, 1911.

In 1942, the Army Air Corps opened Laughlin Field nine miles (14 km) east of Del Rio as a training base for the Martin B-26, but it was deactivated in 1945. As the Cold War pressures built, Laughlin Field was rebuilt and renamed Laughlin Air Force Base (AFB). It was again used as a home for flying training. In the mid-1950s, the Strategic Air Command (SAC) noted Laughlin's remoteness that allowed for secret operations, and opened its strategic reconnaissance program there with the RB-57, a bomber modified for high altitude reconnaissance. SAC soon transitioned to the high altitude U-2 Dragonlady and based all of them in Laughlin AFB. In 1962, it was Laughlin-based U-2s that took the first photographs of land-based nuclear missile (Medium Range Ballistic Missiles, or MRBMs) sites being constructed in Cuba. This was the photo intelligence that started the Cuban Missile Crisis. The U-2s were relocated to Davis-Monthan AFB near Tucson, AZ in July 1963 and Laughlin's mission transitioned to the Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) mission in the T-37 and T-38 aircraft. Laughlin AFB also provides training in the T-1A Jayhawk and the T-6A Texan II. Laughlin plays a large part in the Del Rio community as the area's largest employer. The City of Del Rio also has three Border Patrol Stations. There is one by the mall, another by the border, and one going to San Antonio. The Border Patrol Stations are probably the towns second largest employer.

Geography and Climate

Del Rio is located at (29.370716, -100.895839).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.4 square miles (40.0 km²), of which, 15.4 square miles (40.0 km²) of it is land and 0.06% is water.

Del Rio lies on the northwestern edges of the Tamulipan Thornscrub, also called the south Texas brush country. It is also near the southwestern corner of the Edwards Plateau, which is the western fringe of the famous, oak savanna-covered Texas Hill Country; that area is dotted with numerous small springs; one of these is the San Felipe Springs, which provide a constant flow of water to San Felipe Creek. The creek supplied fresh water for drinking and irrigation to early settlers of Del Rio and is still the town's water supply.

Del Rio, west to about the Pecos River, has a mix of desert shrub and steppe vegetation, depending on soil type, with the gray-leafed Ceniza (Leucophyllum spp.), Acacia, and Grama grasses dominant members of local flora. The terrain is mostly level, but some areas are dissected with substantial canyons and drainages, though none of the upland areas are high or large enough in areas to be considered mountains.

The climate is semi-arid in moisture and subtropical in temperature. Humidity is more often high than low, with periodic morning fog due to Gulf of Mexico airmasses moving northeast into the area. This gives Del Rio and adjacent areas the effect of being in a coastal dryland area, even though the Gulf of Mexico is over away. Such humid periods alternate with periods of hot and dry desert airmasses in the spring and fall, or cold and dry great plains airmasses during winter months. Moisture rarely lasts long enough for weather systems to react with it to create much precipitation, as happens more frequently not far to the north and east of the area; there are exceptions during some autumns (tropical weather systems) and spring months (stalled fronts to the north).

Summers are long, hot, and frequently humid; winter months vary between sunny, warm, cloudy, and cool weather, depending on the wind direction and jet stream location. Snow or freezing rain is rare, and such wintry precipitation does not occur most winters, or last long enough to be of consequence.

Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Rec High °F 90 99 101 106 109 112 108 109 110 106 96 90
Norm High °F 62.8 68 76 82.7 88.7 93.7 96.2 96 90.6 81.7 70.9 63.5
Norm Low °F 39.7 44.1 51.6 58.5 66.7 72.1 74.3 74.1 69.4 60.5 49.2 41.2
Rec Low °F 15 14 21 33 45 55 64 64 48 28 22 10
Precip (in) 0.57 0.96 0.96 1.71 2.31 2.34 2.02 2.16 2.06 2 0.96 0.75


As of the census of 2000, there were 33,867 people, 10,778 households, and 8,514 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,194.0 people per square mile (846.9/km²). There were 11,895 housing units at an average density of 770.6/sq mi (297.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 7.78% White, 1.21% African American, 0.70% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 17.79% from other races, and 2.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 81.04% of the population.

There were 10,778 households out of which 42.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.3% were married couples living together, 15.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.0% were non-families. 18.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.09 and the average family size was 3.56.

In the city the population was spread out with 31.7% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.


Del Rio International Airport serves the city.

Colgan Air (as Continental Connection for Continental Airlines) provides commercial airline service from Del Rio to Houston.

Amtrak provides passenger rail service on the Sunset Limited route via the Del Rio station, which travels eastbound to San Antonio and continues to Florida, and westbound to El Paso, continuing to Los Angeles.


The median income for a household in the city was $27,387, and the median income for a family was $30,788. Males had a median income of $27,255 versus $17,460 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,199. About 22.9% of families and 27.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.8% of those under age 18 and 26.4% of those age 65 or over.


The city is served by the San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District. A majority of Del Rio highschoolers go to the public school.

Famous residents

  • Radney Foster, an American country music singer/songwriter.
  • Jessica Alba, an American actress, was a resident when her father's Air Force career located the family here.
  • Judge Roy Bean, though associated with Langtry to the west, Bean is interred in Whitehead Memorial Museum in Del Rio.
  • Larvell Blanks, a Major League Baseball infielder.
  • Todd Hays, an American bobsledder, who won the silver medal in the four-man event at the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002.
  • John R. Brinkley, a controversial medical doctor who experimented with goat glands as a means of curing male impotence.
  • Wolfman Jack, a disc jockey who became world famous in the 1960s and 1970s, first began his career in radio on the clear-channel AM station XERF.
  • Shawn Michaels, a professional wrestler, was a resident when his father was stationed at Laughlin Air Force Base.
  • Jim Miller, a nationally known sportscaster for Westwood One Broadcasting, and celebrity wedding photographer

Del Rio in film

The 1994 movie Texas' (James A. Michener's Texas) had some scenes filmed in Del Rio . The movie, which took place in the beginning of the 19th century as many Anglo-Saxons were settling in the Mexican province of Texas, featured Randy Travis and Anthony Michael Hall.

  • 1951 Arrowhead - Charlton Heston
  • 1955 The Last Command - Ernest Borgnine
  • 1958 Five Bold Women - Irish McCalla
  • 1959 John Wayne's "The Alamo"
  • 1960 The Spirit of the Alamo (TV) - NBC
  • 1960 Roy Rogers Show (TV)
  • 1960 John Ford's - Two Rode Together - Jimmy Stewart
  • 1966 Top Hand (TV)
  • 1967 Aye, That Pancho Villa (TV)
  • 1967 Bandolero - Dean Martin
  • 1968 Children's West (Lon Chaney, Jr.) (TV)
  • 1973 A Death in Tombstone
  • 1974 The Sugarland Express - Goldie Hawn~~
  • 1974 The Texas Ballad (KLRN-TV)
  • 1978 Adventures of Jody Shanan
  • 1986 Houston - Legend of Texas (TV) - Sam Elliott
  • 1986 The Alamo - Thirteen Days To Glory (TV) - Alec Baldwin
  • 1986 No Safe Haven - Wings Hauser
  • 1987 Alamo: Price of Freedom - Caser Biggs
  • 1988 Lonesome Dove (TV) - Robert Duvall
  • 1989 Gunsmoke - The Last Apache (TV) - James Arness
  • 1991 JCV Japanese Quiz Show (TV)
  • 1991 American Movie Classics (TV - Bob Dorian
  • 1992 Rio Diablo (TV) - Travis Tritt
  • 1992 Travis Smith (direct to video)
  • 1993 Bad Girls - Madeleine Stowe
  • 1993 Like Water for Chocolate
  • 1993 El Mariachi, Robert Rodriguez
  • 1994 8 Seconds - Luke Perry
  • 1994 Gambler V (TV) - Kenny Rogers
  • 1994 James A. Michener's, "Texas" (TV) - John Schneider
  • 1994 Good Old Boys (TV) - Sam Shephard
  • 1994 movie Texas'''
  • 1995 Streets of Laredo (TV) - James Garner
  • 1995 A&E History Channel's "The Alamo" (TV)
  • 1995 Discovery Channel's - "The Battes of the Alamo" (TV)
  • 1995 PBS - Ken Burns "The West" (TV)
  • 1995 A&E Biography - "Davy Crockett: American Frontier Legend" (TV)
  • 1995 The Learning Channel's - "Famous Battles" - Alamo Segment (TV)
  • 1995 Discovery Channel's - Buffalo Soldiers" (TV)
  • 1995 Desparado, Robert Rodriguez, Antonio Banderas, Selma Hayek
  • 1996 From Dusk Till Dawn is a 1996 action/horror film directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Quentin Tarantino. The movie stars George Clooney, Harvey Keitel, Quentin Tarantino, Juliette Lewis, and Cheech Marin.
  • 1996 Once upon A Time In China and America - Sammo Hung
  • 1999 Alamo... The New Defenders (direct to video)
  • 1999 The Bullfighter - Domineca Scorcese
  • 1999 The History Channel's - "Haunted San Antonio" (TV)
  • 2000 Jericho - Mark Valley - Leon Coffee - Buck Taylor
  • 2001 The History Channel's "History vs Hollywood" (TV)
  • 2002 "Westown" Sturghill Productions
  • 2004 Bandido, Carlos Gallardo, Scott Duncan
  • 2006 Blue Eyes - Walker Cable Productions
  • 2006 Mexican Gold - Walker Cable Productions
  • 2007 The Man Who Came Back - Walker Cable Productions - Eric Braden - Billy Zane
  • 2007 Friend of The Devil (TV Pilot)
  • 2007 No Country for Old Men

Music Videos

  • 1980 Willie Nelson - "Tougher Than Leather"
  • 1995 Brooks & Dunn - "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone"
  • 1996 Gary Hobbs - "Corazon de la Ardiente"
  • 1996 La Tropa F - "The Sheriff"
  • 1996 "Los Palominos"
  • 1999 Shade of Red - "Revolution"

2006 Michael salgado

Post Offices

Del Rio Post Office, 2001 North Bedell Avenue, Del Rio, Texas 78840-9998

Pecan Post Office, 114 East Broadway, Del Rio, Texas 78840-9997

See also


External links

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