Clear Lake City
Clear Lake City is on State Highway 3 a mile west of Clear Lake in southeast Harris County. In 1938 James Marion West sold 30,000 acres in southern Harris County, including the West family ranch, to Humble Oil and Refining Company (later Exxon Company, U.S.A.). In 1961 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration selected Houston as the site for its Manned Spacecraft Center (renamed the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in 1973), built initially on a 1,000-acre tract of the former West ranch. Humble Oil announced plans in January 1962 to develop 15,000 acres of the West property near the Manned Spacecraft Center for residential and industrial use. Humble and Del E. Webb Corporation agreed to form a jointly owned company to develop the site. Their venture, Friendswood Development Company, became operational the following May. Governor John Connally formally opened Clear Lake City on September 15, 1963. In 1968, the first year for which population statistics are available, 3,785 people lived in Clear Lake City. By 1970 the population had grown to 8,000, and in 1974 it was 16,000.
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