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As of 1867, the land that would become Lubbock was the heart of Comancheria, the shifting domain controlled by the Comanche.
Lubbock County was founded in 1876. It was named after Thomas Saltus Lubbock, former Texas Ranger and brother of Francis Lubbock, governor of Texas during the Civil War. As early as 1884, a U.S. post office existed in Yellow House Canyon. A small town, known as Old Lubbock, Lubbock, or North Town, was established about three miles to the east. In 1890, the original Lubbock merged with Monterey, another small town south of the canyon. The new town adopted the Lubbock name. The merger included moving the original Lubbock's Nicolett Hotel across the canyon on rollers to the new townsite. Lubbock became the county seat in 1891, and was incorporated on March 16, 1909. In the same year, the first railroad train arrived.
Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University) was founded in Lubbock in 1923. A separate university, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, opened as Texas Tech University School of Medicine in 1969. Both universities are now overseen by the Texas Tech University System, after it was established in 1996 and based in Lubbock. Lubbock Christian University, founded in 1957, and Sunset International Bible Institute, both affiliated with the Churches of Christ, have their main campuses in the city. South Plains College and Wayland Baptist University operate branch campuses in Lubbock.
At one time, Lubbock was home to Reese Air Force Base, located 6 mi (10 km) west of the city. It was established in August 1941, during the defense build-up prior to World War II (1941-1945), by the United States Department of War and the U.S. Army as Lubbock Army Airfield. It served the old U.S. Army Air Forces, and later the U.S. Air Force (USAF), after reorganization and establishment in 1947. The USAF base's primary mission throughout its existence was pilot training. The base was closed 30 September 1997, after being selected for closure by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission in 1995, and is now a research and business park called Reese Technology Center.
The city is home to the Lubbock Lake Landmark, part of the Museum of Texas Tech University. The landmark is an archaeological and natural-history preserve at the northern edge of the city. It shows evidence of almost 12,000 years of human occupation in the region. The National Ranching Heritage Center, also part of the Museum of Texas Tech University, houses historic ranch-related structures from the region.
During World War II, airmen cadets from the Royal Air Force, flying from their training base at Terrell, Texas, routinely flew to Lubbock on training flights. The town served as a stand-in for the British for Cork, Ireland, which was the same distance from London, England, as Lubbock is from Terrell.
In August 1951, a V-shaped formation of lights was seen over the city. The "Lubbock Lights" series of sightings received national publicity and is regarded as one of the first great "UFO" cases. The sightings were considered credible because they were witnessed by several respected science professors at Texas Technological College and were photographed by a Texas Tech student. The photographs were reprinted nationwide in newspapers and in Life. Project Blue Book, the USAF's official investigation of the UFO mystery, concluded the photographs were not a hoax and showed genuine objects, but dismissed the UFOs as being either "night-flying moths" or a type of bird called a plover reflected in the nighttime glow of Lubbock's new street lights.
In 1960, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Lubbock's population as 128,691 and area as 75.0 sq mi (194 km2).
On May 11, 1970, the Lubbock Tornado struck the city. Twenty-six people died, and damage was estimated at $125 million. The Metro Tower (NTS Building), then known as the Great Plains Life Building, at 274 ft (84 m) in height, is believed to have been the tallest building ever to survive a direct hit from an F5 tornado. Then-mayor Jim Granberry and the Lubbock City Council, which included Granberry's successor as mayor, Morris W. Turner, were charged with directing the rebuilding of downtown Lubbock in the aftermath of the storm.
In August, 1988, tens of thousands of people came to Lubbock, drawn by an apparition of Mary.
In 2009, Lubbock celebrated its centennial. The historians Paul H. Carlson, Donald R. Abbe, and David J. Murrah co-authored Lubbock and the South Plains.
On August 12, 2008, the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce announced they would lead the effort to get enough signatures to have a vote on allowing county-wide packaged alcohol sales. The petition effort was successful and the question was put to the voters. On May 9, 2009, Proposition 1, which expanded the sale of packaged alcohol in Lubbock County, passed by a margin of nearly two to one, with 64.5% in favor. Proposition 2, which legalized the sale of mixed drinks in restaurants county-wide, passed with 69.5% in favor. On September 23, 2009, The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission issued permits to more than 80 stores in Lubbock. Prior to May 9, 2009, Lubbock County allowed "package" sales of alcohol (sales of bottled liquor from liquor stores), but not "by the drink" sales, except at private establishments such as country clubs. Inside the city limits, the situation was reversed, with restaurants and bars able to serve alcohol, but liquor stores forbidden.
As of the census of 2010, 229,573 people, 88,506 households, and 53,042 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,875.6 people per square mile (724.2/km2). The 95,926 housing units averaged 783.7 per square mile (302.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 75.8% White, 8.6% African American, 0.7% Native American, 2.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 9.9% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 32.1% of the population. Non-Hispanic Whites were 55.7% of the population in 2010, down from 77.2% in 1970.
Of the 88,506 households, 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.9% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.1 were not families. About 28.8% 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 2.48 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the city, the population was distributed as 23.5% under the age of 18, 18.9% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29.2 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.5 males.
In 2011, the estimated median income for a household in the city was $43,364, and for a family was $59,185. Male full-time workers had a median income of $40,445 versus $30,845 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,092. About 11.4% of families and 20.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.5% of those under age 18 and 7.3% of those age 65 or over.
As of the census of 2000, 199,564 people, 77,527 households, and 48,531 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,738.2 people per square mile (671.1/km2). The 84,066 housing units averaged 732.2/sq mi (282.7/km2). The city's racial makeup was 72.9% White, 8.7% African American, 0.6% Native American, 1.5% Asian, <0.1% Pacific Islander, 14.3% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 27.5% of the population.
Of the 77,527 households, 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.6% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.4% were not families. About 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.07.
The city's population was distributed as 24.9% under the age of 18, 17.9% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 18.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.
The city's median household income was $31,844, and for the median family income was $41,418. Males had a median income of $30,222 versus $21,708 for females. The city's per capita income was $17,511. About 12.0% of families and 18.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.9% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.
The city has been the birthplace of several musicians, including:
Other notable musical artists who have lived in Lubbock include:
Texas is an extremely popular state in the South Central area of the United States. It is second largest U.S. State by both population and area. Millions of people commute to work in this great state every day and millions more visit on a yearly basis. There are many cities and towns in Texas from which to choose when thinking about moving to the great state.
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