83R6350 JGH-D
  By: Raymond H.R. No. 255
         WHEREAS, Proud citizens of Laredo are gathering in Austin to
  celebrate Laredo Day at the State Capitol on January 30, 2013; and
         WHEREAS, Originally known as San Agustin de Laredo, the city
  was founded in 1755 as an outpost of the Spanish empire; it later
  belonged to Mexico, after that country gained independence from
  Spain in 1821, and served as the capital of the short-lived Republic
  of the Rio Grande; Laredo became part of Texas in 1846 and was
  subsequently chosen as the seat of Webb County; and
         WHEREAS, From its earliest days, Laredo was an important
  crossing on the Rio Grande and a trading center for livestock,
  hides, and wool; its role in international trade expanded with the
  arrival of the railroad in 1881 and with the development of the Zona
  Libre, or free trade zone, along the border between the United
  States and Mexico; its economy was further helped by coal mining,
  the introduction of onion farming, and the discovery of rich oil and
  gas fields; and
         WHEREAS, Today, this bustling gateway city is the largest
  inland port along the Rio Grande and one of the top six U.S. Customs
  districts in the nation, and its diverse economy benefits from the
  retail, hospitality, import and export, and petroleum industries;
  the city handles 40 percent of all trade between the United States
  and Mexico; Laredo is also a focus for higher education in the Rio
  Grande Valley, as the home to Texas A&M International University,
  two campuses of Laredo Community College, and an extension campus
  of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; and
         WHEREAS, Visitors and residents alike may explore such area
  attractions as the historic San Agustin Cathedral, the Republic of
  the Rio Grande Museum, and the Laredo Center for the Arts, while 40
  blocks of import vendors along San Bernardo Avenue draw shoppers
  from near and far; in addition, Laredo is home to Washington's
  Birthday Celebration, a 116-year-old, month-long event that
  includes a carnival, a colonial pageant, a jalapeno festival, and a
  parade; and
         WHEREAS, Heirs to a rich history and a vibrant international
  culture, the citizens of Laredo may indeed take great pride in their
  city's two and a half centuries of progress and achievement; now,
  therefore, be it
         RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 83rd Texas
  Legislature hereby recognize January 30, 2013, as Laredo Day at the
  State Capitol and extend to the visiting delegation sincere best
  wishes for a memorable and meaningful visit to Austin.