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  • 1730 Franciscans build a mission at Barton Springs, but abandon it within a year.
  • 1836 Texas wins independence from Mexico; Republic of Texas established.
  • 1838 Jacob Harrell sets up camp on the Colorado River, calling the settlement Waterloo; Mirabeau B. Lamar succeeds Sam Houston as president of Texas.
  • 1839 Congressional commission recommends Waterloo as site for new capital of the republic. Waterloo's name changes to Austin.
  • 1842 Sam Houston succeeds Lamar as president, reestablishes Houston as Texas's capital, and orders nation's archives moved there. Austinites resist.
  • 1844 Anson Jones succeeds Houston as president and returns capital to Austin.
  • 1845 Constitutional convention in Austin approves annexation of Texas by the United States.
  • 1850s Austin undergoes a building boom; construction of the capitol (1853), Governor's Mansion (1856), and General Land Office (1857).
  • 1861 Texas votes to secede from the Union (Travis County, which includes Austin, votes against secession).
  • 1865 General Custer is among those who come to restore order in Austin during Reconstruction.
  • 1871 First rail line to Austin completed.
  • 1883 University of Texas opens.
  • 1923 Santa Rita No. 1, an oil well on University of Texas land, strikes a gusher.
  • 1937 Lyndon Johnson elected U.S. representative from 10th Congressional District, which includes Austin.
  • Late 1930-early 1950s Six dams built on the Colorado River by the Lower Colorado River Authority, resulting in formation of the Highland Lakes chain.
  • 1960s High-tech firms, including IBM, move to Austin.
  • 1972 Willie Nelson moves back to Texas from Nashville; helps spur live-music scene on Sixth Street.
  • 1976 PBS's Austin City Limits airs for the first time.
  • 1980s Booming real-estate market goes bust, but South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival debuts (1987).
  • 1993 SXSW adds interactive (tech) and film components to its festival.
  • 1995 Capitol, including new annex, reopens after massive refurbishing.
  • 1997 Completion of the refurbishing of the capitol's grounds and of the Texas State Cemetery.
  • 1999 Opening of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
  • 2000 The Driskill revamp completed, and the Stephen F. Austin Hotel reopens.
  • 2001 The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum opens.
  • 2002 The tech recession hits, but Austin's still partying like it's 2000, as the Austin City Limits Music Festival debuts.
  • 2003 Samsung announces major 3-year expansion.
  • 2004 Debut of Austin's tallest building, the Frost Bank Tower, on Congress Avenue. Austin City Limits celebrates 30 years on-air as the longest running music program in American TV history.
  • 2006 The new Blanton Museum of Art is inaugurated with a weekend-long celebration.
  • 2008 Completion of Hwy. 130 bypass for Austin, intended to reduce the volume of traffic on I-35, the main transit route between the Mexico-U.S. border and central United States.
  • 2010 A plan to bring Formula 1 racing to Austin is announced and gains credibility as the city council approves several changes to zoning and transportation necessary for the project to move forward.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.