So you think you know Houston?

February 1, 2008 by  
Filed under Edit

You know that Houston is the fourth-largest city in the nation; or at least you should know. Sure, as a typical Houstonian, you can tell us Houston was named for a great Texas general, sneak through back streets to avoid traffic jams and find Nieman Marcus with your eyes closed. But, really, how well do you know Houston? Let’s find out.

1. Houston was founded by the Allen Brothers. What were their first names?
A. John and Augustus
B. Calvin and John
C. Calvin and Hobbes
D. Augustus and Dallas

2. Incorporated on June 5, 1837, our city was named after Gen. Sam Houston. In what state was he born?
A. Texas
B. Virginia
C. Tennessee
D. New York

3. Speaking of Sam Houston, which government office did he NOT hold?
A. President of the Republic of Texas
B. Governor of Texas
C. Governor of Tennessee
D. U.S. Representative from Texas

4. Augustus Allen teamed up Gail and Thomas Borden to plot Houston’s streets. Originally, all of the streets were 80 feet wide except for Texas Ave., which was 100 feet wide. Why?
A. To accommodate cattle drives B. To accommodate parades C. To accommodate a Venice-style gondola system D. It just worked out that way

5. The far southeast boundary of Houston was the intersection of Crawford St. and Texas Ave. on the street grid designed by Allen and the Bordens. What famous Houston landmark sits on the east corner of that intersection?
A. City Hall
B. Union Station
C. The University of Houston
D. Market Square

6. Why is Downtown Houston’s street grid “tilted on its side?”
A. Surveyors were confused about which way was north
B. To fit in to that little pocket between I-10, I-45 and Hwy. 59
C. The streets were designed around the path of the bayou
D. Why not?

7. The Houston Evening Journal and the Houston Morning Chronicle merged to form which Houston publication?
A. The Houston Chronicle
B. The Houston Post
C. H Texas Magazine
D. The Houston Defender

8. In terms of height, Houston’s skyline is ranked No. 3 in the nation behind New York and Chicago. Which building is the tallest in Houston?
A. The JP Morgan Chase Building
B. One Allen Center
C. Shell Plaza
D. The Williams Tower

9. Union Station, which now houses the offices of the Houston Astros, served the city from 1911 to 1974 as a train station. During that time it also offered all of the following services EXCEPT… A. Meals
B. Newsstand
C. POW holding facility
D. Morgue

10. Before the Astros moved into Minute Maid Park, originally called Enron Field, they played in a facility known as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” What was the official name of that building?
A. Colt Stadium
B. Harris County Domed Stadium
C. The Astrodome
D. Buffs Stadium

11. In 1960, the Houston Oilers were charter members of the American Football League. Where were home games played in their inaugural year?
A. Rice Stadium
B. Delmar Stadium
C. The Astrodome
D. Jeppesen Stadium

12. The Beatles’ concert tour came through Houston only one time. What year did they play at the legendary Sam Houston Coliseum?
A. 1963
B. 1964
C. 1965
D. 1966

13. Opened in 1937, the Sam Houston Coliseum was home to many of Houston’s famous musical acts, the rodeo and many sporting events. What concert venue was located right next to the Coliseum?
A. Rockefeller’s
B. The International Ballroom
C. Liberty Hall
D. The Music Hall

14. What do Ross S. Sterling, Howard Hughes, William P. Hobby and Roy Hofienz have in common?
A. They are all buried at Glenwood Cemetery
B. They all have Houston-area high schools named for them
C. They were all governors of Texas
D. They were all portrayed on film by Leonardo DiCaprio

15. In 2005, the Houston Astros became the first major league baseball team from Texas to play in the World Series. Which of the following players from that historic team is NOT a native Texan?
A. Lance Berkman
B. Brandon Backe
C. Roger Clemens
D. None of the above

16. For almost 50 years, Houston has made immeasurable contributions to the NASA program. Now known as the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, what was the original name of the NASA complex?
A. Space City U.S.A.
B. Space Center Houston
C. Manned Spacecraft Center
D. Mission Control

17. The Rockets were the first Houston franchise to win a major sports championship. The team was also the first area franchise to boast a league MVP. Who won it?
A. Moses Malone
B. Hakeem Olajuwon
C. Yao Ming
D. Rudy Tomjanovich

18. Which of the following events has NOT happened to Sammy the Owl, the mascot of Rice University?
A. Appeared in Playboy magazine
B. Put on trial
C. Kidnapped
D. Skydived into Rice Stadium

19. Sheryl Swoopes, one of the original Houston Comets, is widely credited for putting women’s basketball on the map. Where did she attend college?
A. San Jacinto College
B. Texas Tech
C. Southern Methodist
D. The University of Houston

20. Houston was the first major city to appoint a female police chief. Name the chief?
A. Kathy Whitmire
B. Sylvia Garcia
C. Elizabeth Watson
D. Yolanda Adams

21. Following her graduation from the University of Texas Law School, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison became a political correspondent for which Houston TV station?
A. KTRK Channel 13
B. KRIV Channel 26
C. KPRC Channel 2
D. KHOU Channel 11

22. FM 1093 is better known to Houstonians as what?
A. Westheimer Road
B. Old Spanish Trail
C. Richmond Avenue
D. Houston’s top hit station with the phrase that pays

23. According to Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, Houston means _____________________.
A. “The Great Land” in the language of ancient Mayan culture
B. That I’m one day closer to you
C. I won’t stop driving until I’m through
D. The land of opportunity in the energy business

24. The novel-turned-movie “Charlie Wilson’s War” portrays how a Texas congressman and aHouston socialite influenced the fight against communism. Who now holds Charlie Wilson’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives?
A. Nick Lampson
B. Jim Turnerv
C. John Cornyn
D. Ted Poe

25. In the movie “Apollo 13,” Tom Hanks utters the famous phrase “Houston, we have a problem.” Who was he portraying?
A. Neil Armstrong
B. Alan Shepherd
C. John Glenn
D. Jim Lovell

Quiz Answers

1. A. John and Augustus Allen founded Houston on Aug. 30, 1836.

2. B. Sam Houston was born on March 2, 1793 in Rockbridge County, Virginia.

3. D. Sam Houston never served as a U.S. Representative from Texas. He was president of the Republic of Texas from 1836-38 and 1841-44, the governor of Texas from 1859-61 and the governor of Tennessee from 1827-29. He was also a U.S. Senator from Texas and a U.S. Representative from Tennessee.

4. C. Texas Ave. was “14 steers wide” to accommodate cattle drives.

5. B. Union Station was the hub of Houston’s growth. Opened in 1911, the 17 rail lines at Union Station connected Houston to any destination reachable by rail. Today, the building is the main entrance to Minute Maid Park

6. C. The streets were designed around the path of the bayou. Doing so would maximize commercial use of the waterway.

7. B The Houston Post was founded 1885 and was published daily until it folded in 1995. For years, the Hobby family owned the Post. Famous short-story author O. Henry (William Sydney Porter) worked for the newspaper for a brief time.

8. A. The JP Morgan Chase Tower stands 1,002 feet (75 stories) tall. It the tallest building in Houston, the tallest building in Texas, and, until 1990, was the tallest building west of the Mississippi. Overall, it is the 10th tallest building in the country.

9. D. Union Station never housed a morgue. During World War II, the sixth floor of Union Station truly was a POW holding facility. The room still exists, but today it holds parties.

10. B. Harris County Domed Stadium, the world’s first fully air-conditioned mult-purpose stadium, had a couple of nicknames — the Eighth Wonder of the World and the Astrodome. The Astros moved there from hot, humid, mosquito-infested Colt Stadium in 1965.

11. D. The Houston Oilers played at Jeppesen Stadium from 1960-1964, the Astrodome from 1965-1996, then they bolted to Tennessee and became the Titans. Jeppesen Stadium, now known as Robertson Stadium, is home to the University of Houston Cougars and the defending MLS champion Houston Dynamo.

12. C. The Beatles visited Houston Aug. 19, 1965. The Fab Four played two shows; the afternoon show drew 10,000 screaming fans, while the evening show drew 12,000. Ticket price: $5. The Beatles’ share of the gate: $84,000.

13. D. The Music Hall was one of Houston’s most intimate musical venues. With a seating capacity of 3,000 and incredible acoustics, people flocked there to see performances by the Houston Symphony, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, the Beach Boys and others. In 1998, the Coliseum and Music Hall were demolished to make way for the Hobby Center.

14. A. They all share Glenwood Cemetery on Washington Ave. as their final resting place.

15. C. Roger Clemens was born in Dayton, Ohio. He may be called the Katy Rocket, but he lived in the Buckeye State until 1977. Lance Berkman was born in Waco while Brandon Backe hails from Galveston.

16. C. The Manned Spacecraft Center opened in 1961 in Clear Lake. In1973, the year former President Lyndon B. Johnson died, it was renamed in his honor.

17. A. Moses Malone earned his first of two NBA MVP awards in 1979; his second came in 1982. Following the 1993-94 World Championship season, Hakeem Olajuwon earned MVP honors.

18. D. Sammy the Owl never skydived into Rice Stadium. In 1917, he was kidnapped by students from Texas A&M; in 1995 he was put on trial for disturbing the peace during a football game against the Aggies;and in 2004 he appeared in Playboy, fully feathered, of course.

19. B. She attended Texas Tech. Known as the female Michael Jordan, Swoopes has three Olympic Gold Medals and is the only three-time MVP (2000, 2002, 2005) in WNBA history.

20. C. Elizabeth Watson was the first female police chief of a major US city. She served from 1990-1992.

21. C. KPRC Channel 2 hired Kay Bailey as its first female reporter in 1967.

22. A. Westheimer Road. Probably the most popular street in Houston, FM 1093 begins where Westheimer Road intersects the West Loop and extends for more than 50 miles, ending at FM 3013 in Colorado County.

23. B. “Houston means that I’m one day closer to you” is a line from Larry Gatlin &the Gatlin Brothers’ No. 1 country hit “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer to You).” Larry Gatlin also played football at UH.

24. D. Republican Ted Poe has held the seat representing Texas’ Second Congressional District since 2005. Charlie Wilson — known as the Liberal from Lufkin (among other nicknames) — held the seat from 1973 to 1996. The district now includes the areas of La Porte, Spring, Humble and Kingwood, stretches northeast to include Cleveland before turning south and then east to include Beaumont and Port Arthur.

25. D. Hanks portrayed Jim Lovell. The commander of Apollo 13 reported to Mission Control a major malfunction aboard the capsule. However, Lovell’s actual quote was “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” Lovell made a cameo appearance in the 1995 film as the captain of the Iwo Jima, the ship that recovered the capsule in the Pacific Ocean.

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