• 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.

  • 1839 Congressional commission recommends Waterloo as site for new capital of Texas republic. The town is renamed Austin.

  • 1842 President Sam Houston re-establishes Houston as Texas’ capital, and orders 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.

  • 1861 Texas votes to secede from the Union (Austin’s Travis County votes against secession).

  • 1865 General Custer and troops 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 1930s–early 1950s Six dams built on the Colorado River, forming 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.

  • 1980 Whole Foods Market is founded.

  • 1987 South by Southwest (S[ts]SW) Music Festival debuts.

  • 1999 Opening of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

  • 2002 The tech recession hits, but Austin’s still partying like it’s 2000, as the Austin City Limits Music Festival debuts.

  • 2004 Debut of Austin’s tallest building, the Frost Bank Tower, on Congress Avenue. 

  • 2007 Town Lake renamed Lady Bird Johnson Lake.

  • 2010 Capital Metro Rail, a commuter line running from the northern satellite community of Cedar Park to downtown, begins operation. 

  • The 56-story Austonian, the tallest all-residential building west of the Mississippi, is completed.

  • 2012 Austin Food & Wine Alliance established, signaling the coming-of-age of Austin’s culinary scene. 

  • The Circuit of the Americas Grand Prix racetrack opens, bringing Formula One racing to Austin.

  • 2018 Austin City Council votes to build a stadium in north Austin to house a major league soccer team.

  • Apple announces expansion of its Austin presence, adding a $1-billion campus in north Austin.

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.