Corpus Christi, Texas
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Spanish explorer Alonso Alvarez de Pineda named this portion of the South Texan coast ‘Corpus Christi’, which translates to ‘the Body of Christ’, in 1519. Pineda gave it this name because he discovered the bay on the feast day celebrating the Body of Christ. Colonel Henry Lawrence Kinney, however, would not found the city of Corpus Christi, until 1839. The city also has several other nicknames such as “Texas Riviera”, “Sparkling City by the Sea”, and “The Real Windy City.”
Today, according to a 2013 US Census Bureau estimate, the population of Corpus Christi is 316,381. This makes it the 60th most populous city in the country and the eighth most populous city in the state of Texas. Corpus Christi is part of the six-county Corpus Christi-Kingsville-Alice Combined Statistical Area, which in 2013 was estimated to have a population of 516,793 people.
Corpus Christi is home to the fifth largest Port in the United States and the deepest inshore port on the Gulf of Mexico, according to the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA). The Port of Corpus Christi opened on September 14t, 1926, and according to the World Port Source, “handles over 6,000 vessels and over 80,000,000 tons of cargo” each year. That cargo is mostly oil and gas, but the Port of Corpus Christi also handles “break bulk cargo, project cargo…dry bulk, agricultural, refrigerated cargo, and containerized cargo, among other commodities.” The port was ranked as the 47th-largest in the world by cargo tonnage in 2005.
Corpus Christi is also the location of Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi Army Depot, and the United States Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi. All three of these facilities are located on the same campus (NAS Corpus Christi) and provide 6,200 civilian jobs to the area. This makes NAS Corpus Christi the largest employer in the city. NAS Corpus Christi, built in 1941, through the Corpus Christi Army Depot, contains the largest helicopter repair facility in the world.
CHRISTUS Spohn Health System provides 5,400 jobs to the Corpus Christi area. Other large employers in the city include the Corpus Christi Independent School District, H-E-B, Bay LTD, Stripes Convenience Stores, and AEP Texas.
Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, is part of the Texas A&M University System. It was established in 1947, and as of the Fall of 2012 had 10,508 students. It offers 33 undergraduate majors, 25 graduate programs, and five doctoral programs through five colleges. Between 2007 and 2011, according to the Scimago Lab, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi ranked 261 in the world by normalized impact of publications.
As for sports, Corpus Christi is home to several minor league, professional teams. Baseball’s Texas League’s Corpus Christi Hooks play at Whataburger Field and have one league championship to their name. Two teams play in American Bank Center. They are the NAHL’s Corpus Christi IceRays, and the Indoor Football League’s Corpus Christi Fury. The Fury have one title to their name. Texas Rugby Union’s Corpus Christi Crabs play at Dewey’s.
Own a small business in the Corpus Christi area? Thinking about starting one? These resources could help: