Texas City, Texas

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Texas City is a city in the U.S. state of Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area and Galveston County. The city's population was 41,521 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

Located on the southwest shoreline of Galveston Bay, Texas City is a busy deepwater port on Texas' Gulf Coast. Davison also served as the town's first Postmaster, first bank director, and owned the first grocery store and telephone in Texas City.

By 1925, Texas City had an estimated population of 3,500 and was a thriving community with two refineries producing gasoline, the Texas City Sugar Refinery, two cotton compressing facilities, and even passenger bus service. Texas City refineries and chemical plants played a key role in supplying the war effort.

The post-war prosperity was postponed in April 1947, when two ships containing ammonium nitrate fertilizer exploded in what is generally regarded as the worst industrial accident in U.S. history, the Texas City Disaster. The fertilizer manufactured in Nebraska and Iowa was already overheating when stored at the Texas City docks. In all, the explosions killed 581 and injured over 5000 people. The explosions were so powerful and intense that many of the bodies of the emergency workers who responded to the initial explosion were never accounted for. School children and townspeople who were attracted to the smoke also died and entire blocks of homes near the port were destroyed. People in Galveston 14 miles (23 km) away were knocked to their knees. Surrounding chemical and oil tanks and refineries were ignited by the blast. At least 63 who died and were not able to be identified are memorialized in a cemetery in the north part of town. The Texas City disaster is widely regarded as the foundation of disaster planning for the United States. Monsanto and other plants committed to rebuilding and the city ultimately recovered quite well from the accident. Numerous petro-chemical refineries are still located in the same port area of Texas City. The city has often referred to itself as "the town that would not die," a moniker whose accuracy would be tested once again in the days surrounding Hurricane Ike's assault on the region early on 13 September 2008.

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