Pasadena is a city southeast of Houston in Harris County, Texas -- it is the largest suburb anchoring the Houston Metropolitan Area. It was founded in 1893 by John H. Burnett of Galveston, Texas. At the time of its founding, the land's lush vegetation inspired Burnett to name the city after Pasadena, California.
As of the U.S. Census 2000, the city had a total population of 141,674. The city's employment is closely linked to the nearby Houston Ship Channel and its related industrial districts, as well as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in the nearby Clear Lake area. Because of its location near the enormous amount of refineries that dot the ship channel (which help to make Houston's petrochemical complex the largest in the nation), Pasadena has been dubbed by locals with the nickname "Stinkadena," though many of the refineries that give the city its moniker are in fact located in Houston proper. Another reason for the name may be the large sewage treatment plant located along highway 225 that links Houston to Pasadena. Another nickname, "Pasa-get-down-dena", was coined in the mid-1980s by a Houston morning radio DJ named Moby on his show Moby in the Morning. At least two country music songs have been recorded with "Pasa-get-down-dena" as the title: one by Kenefick on their album "Hard Road," and John Evans on his album "Biggest fool in Town."
Pasadena was enshrined in film history when John Travolta, Debra Winger and others descended on the city to film the 1980 hit movie Urban Cowboy, which depicted life and young love in Pasadena. The film centered around the city's enormous honky-tonk bar Gilley's, which was co-owned by country music star Mickey Gilley. In 1989 Gilley's burned down, but the building's shell is still standing (the old sign can be found at the Cowboy Ranch, a local restaurant). Gilley still makes his home in Pasadena.
The city has several museums, including the Pasadena Historical Museum, the Bay Area Museum and Armand Bayou Nature Center. Pasadena also has a community theater, rodeo and orchestra (the Pasadena Philharmonic). The city's newspaper is the Pasadena Citizen.
Pasadena is located at 29°40'34" North, 95°10'26" West (29.676196, -95.173845).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 115.3 km2 (44.5 mi2). 114.4 km2 (44.2 mi2) of it is land and 0.9 km2 (0.4 mi2) of it is water. The total area is 0.81% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 141,674 people, 47,031 households, and 35,179 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,238.7/km2 (3,208.1/mi2). There are 50,367 housing units at an average density of 440.4/km2 (1,140.5/mi2). The racial makeup of the city is 71.45% White, 1.63% African American, 0.68% Native American, 1.83% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 21.30% from other races, and 3.08% from two or more races. 48.24% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 47,031 households out of which 43.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.8% are married couples living together, 13.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 25.2% are non-families. 20.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 6.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.99 and the average family size is 3.48.
In the city the population is spread out with 31.6% under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 31.2% from 25 to 44, 17.9% from 45 to 64, and 7.9% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 29 years. For every 100 females there are 99.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 97.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $38,522, and the median income for a family is $42,541. Males have a median income of $34,330 versus $25,869 for females. The per capita income for the city is $16,301. 16.0% of the population and 13.2% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 20.8% of those under the age of 18 and 10.5% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Pasadena is the location of the last battle of the Texas Revolution, where the Mexican General Antonio Lpez de Santa Anna was captured in 1836. A monument to that battle -- the San Jacinto Monument -- is located on the outskirts of the city.
The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 caused many people to resettle in Pasadena. Clara Barton of the American Red Cross purchased 1.5 million strawberry plants and sent them to Pasadena to help victims of the flood get back on their feet. By the 1930s those crops had flourished so much that Pasadena was claiming the moniker of Strawberry Capital of the World. At its height, the city's strawberry growers shipped as many as 28 train carloads of strawberries each day. To honor that history, the city still holds an annual "Strawberry Festival," and today Strawberry Road stretches through much of the city near where the old strawberry crops grew.