Corpus Christi, Texas facts for kids

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Corpus Christi, Texas
City
City of Corpus Christi
Night photo of Downtown Corpus Christi from the Harbor Bridge
Night photo of Downtown Corpus Christi from the Harbor Bridge
Flag of Corpus Christi, Texas
Flag
Nickname(s): Sparkling City by the Sea, The Real Windy City
Location in the state of Texas
Location in the state of Texas
Nueces CorpusChristi.svg
Country United States of America
State Texas
Counties Nueces, Kleberg, San Patricio, Aransas
Named for Body of Christ
Area
 • City 503.6 sq mi (1,304 km2)
 • Land 174.6 sq mi (452 km2)
 • Water 329.0 sq mi (852 km2)
Elevation 7 ft (2 m)
Population (2010)
 • City 305,215
 • Estimate (2014) 320,434
 • Rank US: 58th
 • Density 606.07/sq mi (234.004/km2)
 • Metro 442,600 (114th U.S.)
 • CSA 516,793 (87th)
Time zone CST (UTC–6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC–5)
ZIP codes 78401, 78402, 78404, 78405, 78406, 78407, 78408, 78409, 78410, 78411, 78412, 78413, 78414, 78415, 78416, 78417, 78418
Area code(s) 361
FIPS code 48-17000
GNIS feature ID 1333380
Interstates I-37.svg I-69E.svg
U.S. Routes US 77.svg US 181.svg
Website Corpus Christi Official Website

Corpus Christi (/ˌkɔːrpəs ˈkrɪsti/), colloquially Corpus, is a coastal city in the South Texas region of the U.S. state of Texas. The county seat of Nueces County, it also extends into Aransas, Kleberg, and San Patricio Counties. It is 130 miles southeast of San Antonio. Its political boundaries encompass Nueces Bay and Corpus Christi Bay. Its zoned boundaries include small land parcels or water inlets of three neighboring counties.

The city's population was estimated to be 320,434 in 2014, making it the eighth-most populous city in Texas. The Corpus Christi metropolitan area had an estimated population of 442,600. It is also the hub of the six-county Corpus Christi-Kingsville-Alice Combined Statistical Area, with a 2013 estimated population of 516,793. The Port of Corpus Christi is the fifth-largest in the United States. The region is served by the Corpus Christi International Airport.

The city's name means Body of Christ in Latin. The name was given to the settlement and surrounding bay by Spanish explorer Alonso Álvarez de Pineda in 1519, as he discovered the lush semitropical bay on the Catholic feast day of Corpus Christi. The city has been nicknamed "Texas Riviera" and "Sparkling City by the Sea", particularly featured in tourist literature.

History

Old map-Corpus Christi-1887
Map of Corpus Christi in 1887

Corpus Christi was founded in 1839 by Colonel Henry Lawrence Kinney and William P. Aubrey as Kinney's Trading Post, or Kinney's Ranch. It was a small trading post that sold supplies to a Mexican revolutionary army camped about 25 mi (40 km) west. In July 1845, U.S. troops commanded by General Zachary Taylor set up camp there in preparation for war with Mexico, where they remained until March 1846. About a year later, the settlement was named Corpus Christi and was incorporated on 9 September 1852.

The Battle of Corpus Christi was fought between August 12 and August 18, 1862, during the American Civil War. United States Navy forces blockading Texas fought a small land and sea engagement with Confederate forces in and around Corpus Christi Bay and bombarded the city. Union forces defeated Confederate States Navy ships operating in the area, but were repulsed when they landed on the coast.

Hamlet Del Mar
Damaged restaurant after Hurricane Allen

The Port of Corpus Christi was opened in 1926, and the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station was commissioned in 1941.

The 1919 Storm devastated the city, killing hundreds on September 14. Only three structures survived the storm on North Beach. To protect the city, the seawall was built. The city also suffered damage from Hurricane Celia in 1970 and Hurricane Allen in 1980, but little damage from Hurricane Ike in 2008.

Civil rights

  • In November 1873, seven Mexican shepherds were lynched by a mob near the city. The crime was never solved.
  • In February 1929, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) was founded in Corpus Christi. This organization was created to battle racial discrimination against Hispanic people in the United States. Since its founding, LULAC has grown and now has a national headquarters in Washington, D.C.
  • In March 1949, the American GI Forum (AGIF) was founded in Corpus Christi. Currently, AGIF focuses on veteran's issues, education, and civil rights issues. This organization was founded after concerns over the segregation of Mexican-American veterans from other veterans groups and the denial of medical services based on race by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Cisneros v. Corpus Christi Independent School District (1970) was the first case to extend the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas decision (1954) to Mexican Americans. It recognized them as a minority group that could be and was frequently discriminated against. Such segregation and discrimination was ruled unconstitutional. Judge Woodrow Seals found that the school board consciously fostered a system that perpetuated traditional segregation. This included a system that bused Anglo students to schools out of their neighborhoods, renovated old schools in black and Mexican-American neighborhoods rather than building new ones, assigned black and Hispanic teachers to segregated schools, and limited hiring of such teachers at other schools; the school board also lacked a majority-to-minority busing system.

Geology

Corpus Christi is situated on fluvial deposits that are of HolocenePleistocene age. Although no solidified rock occurs naturally, the Deweyville Formation of sand, silt, clay, and gravel, is locally indurated with calcium carbonate (caliche) deposits.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, Corpus Christi has a total area of 460.2 square miles (1,192.0 km2), of which 154.6 mi2 (400.5 km2, 33.60%) is land and 305.6 mi2 (791.5 km2, 66.40%) is covered by water. Drinking water for the city is supplied by three reservoirs, Lake Corpus Christi, the Choke Canyon Reservoir, and Lake Texana. Through an effective regional partnership with the Nueces River Authority and the Port of Corpus Christi Authority, a 101 mi (163 km) pipeline was built which transports water from Lake Texana to the city's O.N. Stevens Water Treatment Plant. It was named the Mary Rhodes Pipeline, after the late mayor. A phase 2 of the pipeline is underway to draw water from the Colorado River. All reservoirs are outside the city limits, but Lake Corpus Christi and Choke Canyon Reservoir are managed directly by the public utility of the City of Corpus Christi. To support future water needs, plans are being completed to build a desalinization plant.

Annexation

Since its founding, the city has annexed nearby lands and waters for growth and development purposes. The original area encompassed several city blocks in present-day downtown Corpus Christi with the majority of city expansion occurring in the 20th century.

Neighborhoods

AerialCorpusChristi
Aerial view of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Suburbs

Climate

The city has a humid subtropical climate, with hot summers and very short, mild winters. In November through February, the weather is the coolest. A noticeable warming trend occurs in March through April. The warmest part of the year is June through September with August being the peak of summer. October in the city is very warm, but not as hot as the summer. Corpus Christi is very windy, with wind speeds often reaching to 25 miles per hour (40 km/h; 11 m/s) with gusts reaching more than 35 miles per hour (56 km/h; 16 m/s). The city’s record high temperature is 109 °F (42.8 °C), on September 5, 2000, and the hottest month August 2012 with an average of 88.3 °F or 31.3 °C. Average night-time winter lows in January, the coldest month, are a little less than 50 °F or 10 °C and its record low is 11 °F or −11.7 °C on February 12, 1899, and the coldest maximum 26 °F or −3.3 °C on five occasions, the most recent being on January 30, 1951. The coolest month on record has been February 1905, with a mean of 45.6 °F or 7.6 °C. In December 2004, the city experienced snowfall on Christmas Eve, the city’s largest recorded snowstorm at 4.4 inches (0.11 m). The snow melted the day after Christmas. Because of the uniqueness of the event, three separate books document the event, Snow, More Snow, and More Snow for Kids, all with the theme of the South Texas Christmas miracle.

Between 1981 and 2010, Corpus Christi averaged 31.73 inches or 805.9 millimetres of rainfall; however, long periods with very little rainfall are normal, and hurricanes can frequently produce daily falls of over 4 inches or 101.6 millimetres. The wettest day on record in July 2, 2007, with 9.86 inches or 250.4 millimetres, whilse the wettest month on record has been September 1967, with 20.33 inches or 516.4 millimetres, including four days with over 3 inches or 76.2 millimetres. Eight months with not even a trace of rainfall have happened, of which the most recent was May 1998, and 21 with merely a trace. The longest spell without measurable rainfall in Corpus Christi has been 55 days from June 23 to August 17 (inclusive) of 1895, and from June 1 to July 25 of 1915, whilse easily the driest calendar year has been 1917, with a mere 5.38 inches or 136.7 millimetres. The two wettest calendar years have been 1888 with 48.16 inches or 1,223.3 millimetres and 1991 with 48.07 inches or 1,221.0 millimetres, although from August 1967 to July 1968, 59.09 inches or 1,500.9 millimetres fell, and for the 12 months ending January 1918, only 5.22 inches or 132.6 millimetres.

Climate data for Corpus Christi, Texas (Corpus Christi Int'l), 1981–2010 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 91
(32.8)
97
(36.1)
102
(38.9)
102
(38.9)
103
(39.4)
107
(41.7)
105
(40.6)
107
(41.7)
109
(42.8)
101
(38.3)
98
(36.7)
91
(32.8)
109
(42.8)
Average high °F (°C) 66.9
(19.39)
70.4
(21.33)
75.9
(24.39)
81.7
(27.61)
86.6
(30.33)
90.9
(32.72)
93.1
(33.94)
94.4
(34.67)
90.1
(32.28)
84.4
(29.11)
76.0
(24.44)
68.4
(20.22)
81.6
(27.56)
Daily mean °F (°C) 57.1
(13.94)
60.5
(15.83)
66.1
(18.94)
72.4
(22.44)
78.3
(25.72)
82.4
(28)
83.9
(28.83)
84.7
(29.28)
81.1
(27.28)
74.5
(23.61)
66.1
(18.94)
58.5
(14.72)
72.1
(22.28)
Average low °F (°C) 47.2
(8.44)
50.5
(10.28)
56.3
(13.5)
63.0
(17.22)
70.0
(21.11)
73.9
(23.28)
74.8
(23.78)
75.0
(23.89)
72.0
(22.22)
64.8
(18.22)
56.2
(13.44)
48.6
(9.22)
62.7
(17.06)
Record low °F (°C) 14
(-10)
11
(-11.7)
24
(-4.4)
33
(0.6)
45
(7.2)
56
(13.3)
64
(17.8)
64
(17.8)
52
(11.1)
28
(-2.2)
27
(-2.8)
13
(-10.6)
11
(-11.7)
Rainfall inches (mm) 1.54
(39.1)
1.92
(48.8)
1.89
(48)
1.84
(46.7)
3.07
(78)
3.36
(85.3)
2.79
(70.9)
2.92
(74.2)
4.97
(126.2)
3.64
(92.5)
1.97
(50)
1.82
(46.2)
31.73
(805.9)
Humidity 77.4 76.2 74.2 76.5 78.9 77.5 74.5 74.5 76.2 74.9 75.9 76.0 76.1
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.01 in) 7.1 6.5 5.3 5.3 6.0 6.8 5.7 6.5 8.8 6.3 6.0 6.4 76.7
Sunshine hours 140.2 155.7 198.1 208.4 234.1 290.4 328.1 299.7 244.2 231.9 170.4 135.1 2,636.3
Source: NOAA (extremes 1887–present, relative humidity and sun 1961–1990)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 175
1870 2,140 1,122.9%
1880 3,257 52.2%
1890 4,387 34.7%
1900 4,703 7.2%
1910 8,222 74.8%
1920 10,522 28.0%
1930 27,741 163.6%
1940 57,301 106.6%
1950 108,287 89.0%
1960 167,690 54.9%
1970 204,525 22.0%
1980 231,999 13.4%
1990 257,453 11.0%
2000 277,454 7.8%
2010 305,215 10.0%
Est. 2015 324,074 6.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 Census data

Race and ethnicity 2010- Corpus Christi (5559868633)
Map of racial distribution in Corpus Christi, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: White, Black, Asian, Hispanic or Other (yellow)

At the 2010 Census, 305,215 people resided in Corpus Christi, a 10.0% increase since 2000.

In 2012, Corpus Christi was ranked as the second least literate city in the U.S. in a study by Central Connecticut State University.

According to the 2010 Census, 80.9% of Corpus Christi's population was White; 4.3% was African American; 1.8% Asian; 0.1% Pacific Islander; 10.4% of some other race; and 2.5% of two or more races. About 62.23% of Corpus Christi's population was of Hispanic or Latino origin, of any race.

2000 Census data

At the census of 2000, 277,454 people, 98,791 households, and 70,437 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,794.2 people per square mile (692.7/km2). The 107,831 housing units averaged 697.3 per square mile (269.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 71.62% White, 4.67% African American, 0.64% Native American, 1.28% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 18.58% from other races, and 3.13% from two or more races. Hispanics of any race were 54.33% of the population.

Of the 98,791 households, 36.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.9% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.7% were not families. About 23.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.27.

In the city, the population was distributed as 28.1% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.

The median income for a family was $41,672. Males had a median income of $31,863 versus $22,616 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,419. About 14.1% of families and 17.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.9% of those under age 18 and 15.5% of those ages 65 or over.

Culture

Various sections of Corpus Christi maintain distinct senses of identity and community from the city proper, especially the Calallen and Flour Bluff areas. Clarkwood and Annaville have less prominent senses of identity, but the distinction remains. These areas are sometimes mistakenly believed to be separate municipalities.

The city has many demographic groups, ethnicities, and subcultures, each giving it a distinct flavor: the defense bases and the people who work there, the large Hispanic community, the oil-related professionals and workers, the cowboy culture, and the surfers.

In 2015, Men's Health magazine ranked Corpus Christi as the fattest city in the United States, renaming it "Corpulent Christi". Obesity and diabetes rank second and third in the nation, respectively, along with the fact that the city ranks extremely high in the lack of physical activity and the number of fast-food restaurants.

Attractions

The city is home to a number of popular destinations for both tourists and residents. The official visitor and tourism information organization is the Corpus Christi Convention and Visitors Bureau. Some of the most visited attractions are located on North Beach, where the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay are located.

USS Lexington Corpus
USS Lexington floating museum

The USS Lexington was also part of the set for the 2000 film Pearl Harbor. Corpus Christi's museum district is located near the USS Lexington. Some attractions located in the museum district are the Museum of Asian Cultures, the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, the South Texas Institute for the Arts, and the Harbor Playhouse Theatre, one of the oldest continually operating community theatres in Texas. Heritage Park is also in the museum district, where a number of older restored houses can be found. The downtown area, of which the museum district is a part, is home to skyscrapers such as One Shoreline Plaza, company offices, various shops, a popular center of marinas, and Mirador de la Flor. Downtown also is home of the Texas Surf Museum, which explores the history of surfing and focuses on surf culture along Texas' 367-mile (591 km) coast, as well as K Space Contemporary, a nonprofit art organization promoting and presenting local, regional, and national contemporary art.

Texas State Aquarium Corpus Christi
Texas State Aquarium

The Corpus Christi Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, also located in the city, hosts gardening programs from time to time. On Oso Bay near the Pharaoh Valley subdivision is the Hans and Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge, known for seabird-watching. The nearby Pharaohs golf course also serves as a haven for coastal and migratory birds.

Directly east of Corpus Christi are Padre Island and Mustang Island, home to various municipal, state, and national parks, most notably the Padre Island National Seashore. The city is also near King Ranch, one of the world's largest ranches, upon which the movie Giant was based.

The city also celebrates the annual Buccaneer Days Carnival, which is typically held downtown.

South Padre Island Drive (locally abbreviated as "S.P.I.D.", with the letters pronounced individually), is the city's main retail corridor, with two shopping malls, La Palmera (formerly Padre Staples Mall), and Sunrise Mall. Also, a number of other large shopping centers, small strip centers, and restaurants can be found throughout the city.

Corpus Christi also is the home of Midget Ocean Racing Fleet, also known as MORF, which promotes sailing in the Coastal Bend. The Wednesday night races held by MORF are the longest-running weekly races in the United States.

Films made in Corpus Christi

Year Title Lead actor(s)
1979 Tilt Brooke Shields, Charles Durning
1985 The Legend of Billie Jean Christian Slater, Helen Slater
1985 Target Gene Hackman, Matt Dillon
1991 Knight Rider 2000 David Hasselhoff, Edward Mulhare
1997 Selena Jennifer Lopez
2001 Pearl Harbor Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett
2005 The King Gael Garcia Bernal
2009 The Open Road Justin Timberlake, Jeff Bridges

Parks and recreation

The city's location beside Corpus Christi Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, and Laguna Madre provides opportunities for water sports and nature tourism. Waterfowl hunting is available in the region for duck, geese, coot, and teal. White-winged dove and mourning dove are also hunted on private leases. The brushland inland from Corpus Christi is also ideal for hunting feral hogs and white-tailed deer.

Fishing

Fishing is a popular recreational activity in Corpus Christi. Popular fishing activities include fishing from various piers around Corpus Christi Bay, wade fishing in Oso Bay, and fishing from the Gulf of Mexico at Packery Channel or at Bob Hall Pier.

Wind sports

The city has one of the highest average wind speeds of coastal cities in North America. Combined with the Bay Front area along Ocean Drive, making the city an important destination for wind sports such as kite boarding, wind surfing, kite flying, and sailing. In 1990, Corpus Christi hosted the Windsurfing World Championships.

Other

  • Skating

The Corpus Christi Skate Park opened on February 17, 2007. It is located in Cole Park on the shoreline of the Corpus Christi Bay near downtown. The 12,000-square-foot (1,100 m2) concrete park includes a skating bowl and a street course with stairs, railings, and flat surfaces.

  • Birdwatching

Being a coastal city, Corpus Christi is a good spot for seabird watching. Popular spots include Blucher Park in downtown, the Hans and Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge along Oso Bay, Hazel Bazemore County Park along the Nueces River in Calallen, and the South Texas Botanic Garden and Nature Center along the Oso Creek.

Transportation

Corpus Christi is served by Corpus Christi International Airport and Interstate 37. Interstate 69E/U.S. Highway 77 connects the city to Brownsville and Victoria. Texas State Highway 44 is a main thoroughfare that connects Corpus Christi to Laredo and the western part of South Texas by way of Interstate 69W/U.S. Highway 59, Interstate 35, and U.S. Highway 83. The inner-city public transportation is provided by Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority with its 28 bus routes. Corpus Christi once had a streetcar system functioning from 1910 to 1931 and a railway station (passenger service ended in 1965). Despite the convenience of a large harbor, the city does not have a passenger port. Plans to bring a cruise service are pending.

The city is accessed by two major bridges, the Harbor Bridge (US 181) and the John F. Kennedy Causeway (PR 22). Both bridges are maintained by the Texas Department of Transportation.

Freight service from San Antonio to Corpus Christi is provided by the Union Pacific Railroad, but the original line, both freight and passenger, was the San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf Railroad, which operated to Corpus Christi from 1913 to 1956. Then the SAU&G, or "The Sausage", as it was commonly called, was merged into the Missouri Pacific Railroad. It was subsequently procured by the Union Pacific.

Major highways

  • I-37 (TX).svg Interstate 37
  • I-69E (TX).svg Interstate 69E; under construction & extension following US 77
  • US 77.svg U.S. Highway 77
  • US 181.svg U.S. Highway 181
  • Texas 44.svg Texas State Highway 44
  • Texas 286.svg Texas State Highway 286 (Crosstown Expressway)
  • Texas 358.svg Texas State Highway 358 (North and South Padre Island Drive, locally referred to as N.P.I.D. and S.P.I.D. respectively)
  • Texas 35.svg Texas State Highway 35
  • Texas 361.svg Texas State Highway 361
  • Texas 357.svg Texas State Highway 357

Gallery

Sister cities

Corpus Christi keeps a thriving and active relationship with these sister cities:

Images for kids


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