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Since 1944, the year Texas Co-op Power debuted, the Texas economy has flourished. Sure, Texas produces oil, but we also are major players in computers, coolers and hair care products.
1945: Academy Tire Shop in San Antonio changes its name to Academy Super Surplus. Today, Academy Sports and Outdoors has more than 250 stores in 16 states.
1946: Texas-based Tote’m Stores changes its name to 7-Eleven to reflect newly extended hours—7 a.m.–11 p.m., seven days a week.
1947: Igloo begins making insulated metal coolers west of Houston to help keep workers hydrated in the oil fields.
1951: A 55-acre site in Hurst, near Fort Worth, is selected for Bell Aircraft Corporation’s helicopter division, Bell Helicopter.
1954: James Avery starts his jewelry business in a two-car garage in Kerrville. There are now 86 stores in five states.
1965: The Astrodome debuts as the first domed stadium ever built.
1965: NorthPark Center in Dallas opens as the largest shopping mall in the country.
1965: Cavender’s opens its first store, then called Cavender and Smith’s, in Pittsburg.
1968: The Tower of the Americas is built—one of the few enduring landmarks of HemisFair ’68, the world’s fair that commemorated the 250th anniversary of San Antonio’s founding.
1972: Half Price Books launches as a secondhand bookshop in an old laundromat in Dallas.
1973: George Zimmer and his college roommates open the first Men’s Wearhouse store in Houston.
1973: USAA unveils its new headquarters in San Antonio. The main building is three-fourths of a mile long.
1978: Felix Stehling founds Taco Cabana in San Antonio.
1980: Landry’s Seafood Restaurant opens in Katy.
1982: JPMorgan Chase Tower, the tallest building in Texas at 75 stories and 1,002 feet, is completed in Houston.
1982: Buc-ee’s, the roadside oases with immaculate bathrooms and endless gas pumps and jerky, debuts in Lake Jackson.
1984: As a pre-med freshman at the University of Texas at Austin, Michael Dell starts his computer business, then called PCs Unlimited.
1986: Oil prices plunge by two-thirds, putting 50,000 Texans out of work within a year.
1997: Bert “Tito” Beveridge of San Antonio creates Tito’s Vodka.
1999: The Texas Department of Agriculture begins its Go Texan campaign to promote Texas business and agriculture.
2000: Alex Rodriguez signs a 10-year, $250 million deal with the Texas Rangers, then the largest contract in sports history.
2001: Houston energy trading company Enron declares bankruptcy amid rampant accounting fraud, with losses totaling $74 billion. Thousands are put out of work, and retirees and former employees lose $2 billion in retirement accounts.
2001: Texas becomes the top exporting state in the U.S.—a position it has held ever since ($264.1 billion in 2017).
2005: H E B turns 100. The grocery chain operates more than 340 stores in Texas and Mexico with over 100,000 employees. The first store was in Kerrville.
2006: Yeti is founded in Dripping Springs, west of Austin.
2006: The oil and natural gas industry counts more than 312,000 Texans (3.1 percent of the state’s workers) among its workforce.
2017: Texas’ economy adds 298,600 nonfarm jobs—more than any other state—to reach 12.3 million.
2017: Amazon buys Austin-based Whole Foods for $13.7 billion.
2018: Apple announces plans to build a new $1 billion campus in Austin, where it could eventually employ 15,000 people.
2018: In February, Texas oil production jumps to 4.01 million barrels a day, the highest since the U.S. Energy Information Administration started keeping records in 1981.
2018: Forbes reports that the Dallas Cowboys— the most valuable sports franchise in the world—are worth $5 billion.