Laredo, Texas

Laredo, Texas
City of Laredo
Flag of Laredo, Texas
Coat of arms of Laredo, Texas
Coat of arms
"The Gateway City" and "The City Under Seven Flags"
Webb County Laredo.svg
Laredo is located in Texas
Location within Texas
Laredo is located in the United States
Location within the United States
Coordinates: 27°31′28″N 99°29′26″W / 27°31′28″N 99°29′26″W / 27.52444; -99.49056
CountryUnited States
Metropolitan areaLaredo-Nuevo Laredo Metropolitan Area
SettledAugust, 1755
Settled asVilla de San Agustín de Laredo
Founded byTomás Sánchez
 • TypeCouncil-manager
 • City councilMayor Pete Saenz (Democrat in nonpartisan position)
Laredo City Council:
(1) Rudy Gonzalez, Jr.
(2) Vidal Rodriguez
(3) Alejandro Perez, Jr.
(4) Alberto Torres, Jr.
(5) Nelly Vielma
(6) Charlie San Miguel
(7) George Altgelt
(8) Roberto Balli [1]
 • City managerHoracio De Leon (interim)
 • Police chiefClaudio Trevino
 • City102.6 sq mi (265.7 km2)
 • Land101.1 sq mi (261.8 km2)
 • Water1.5 sq mi (3.9 km2)
 • Metro
161.76 sq mi (418.96 km2)
438 ft (137.2 m)
 • City244,731 (US: 80th)
 • Metro
259,172 (US: 178th)
 • Demonym
Time zoneUTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CST)
ZIP Codes
78040–78046, 78049
Area code956
FIPS code48-41464[2]
GNIS feature ID1339633[3]
AirportLaredo International Airport KLRD (LRD)
InterstatesI-35 (TX).svg Interstate 69W
U.S. RoutesUS 59.svg

Laredo (/ RAY-doh; Spanish: [laˈɾeðo]) is the county seat of Webb County, Texas, United States, on the north bank of the Rio Grande in South Texas, across from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. According to the 2010 census, the city population was 236,091, making it the tenth-most populous city in the state of Texas and third-most populated on the Mexico–United States border, after San Diego, California, and El Paso, Texas.[4] Its metropolitan area is the 178th-largest in the U.S. and includes all of Webb County, with a population of 250,304.[4] Laredo is also part of the cross-border Laredo-Nuevo Laredo Metropolitan Area with an estimated population of 636,516.[5]

Because Laredo is 95.6 percent Hispanic and Latino, it is one of the least ethnically diverse cities in the United States. When economic diversity, household diversity, and social class diversity are considered, Laredo is rated the 19th least diverse city overall out of the 313 largest cities in the nation.[6]

Laredo's economy is based on international trade with Mexico. Many major transportation companies have a facility in Laredo. The city's location on the southern end of I-35, close to the manufacturers in northern Mexico, promotes its vital role in trade between the two nations. Laredo International Airport is within the Laredo city limits, while the Quetzalcoatl International Airport is nearby in Nuevo Laredo on the Mexican side.

Laredo has the distinction of flying seven flags (the Flag of the Republic of the Rio Grande, which is now the flag of the city, in addition to the Six Flags of Texas). Founded in 1755, Laredo grew from a village to the capital of the brief Republic of the Rio Grande to the largest inland port on the Mexico–United States border. Today, it has four international bridges and one railway bridge.

Texas A&M International University and Laredo College are in Laredo.

The biggest festival, Washington's Birthday Celebration, is held during the later part of January and the majority of February, attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists. The Jalapeño Festival, Border Beer Fest, Stockmen's Ball, Princess Pocahontas Pageant, Mr. South Texas Luncheon, an air show, and two major parades are all held in conjunction with the Washington's birthday events.


Flag of the Republic of the Rio Grande.svg
A graphical timeline is available at:
Timeline of Laredo, Texas
Map of Laredo in 1892
Laredo Center for the Arts in the downtown square
Though the facility has been closed since 1999, the marquee of the Plaza Theater in downtown Laredo has been renovated A citizens committee, including the restaurateur Danny Lopez, Jr., of the Danny's Restaurant chain, sought without success to establish a private-public partnership to reopen the Plaza as a live entertainment venue.[7] In 2018, the city council sought private entities, non-profit organizations, and an architect to make the facility useful again.

The European colonial settlement of Villa de San Agustin de Laredo was founded in 1755 by Don Tomás Sánchez while the area was part of the Nuevo Santander region in the Spanish colony of New Spain. Villa de San Agustin de Laredo was named after Laredo, Cantabria, Spain and in honor of Saint Augustine of Hippo. In 1840, Laredo was the capital of the independent Republic of the Rio Grande, set up in opposition to Antonio López de Santa Anna; it was brought back into Mexico by military force.

In 1846 during the Mexican–American War, the town was occupied by the Texas Rangers. After the war, the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo ceded the land to the United States. A referendum was taken in the town, which voted to petition the American military government in charge of the area to return the town to Mexico. When this petition was rejected, most of the population, who were Tejano and had been in the area for generations, moved across the river into Mexican territory, where they founded Nuevo Laredo. In 1849, the United States Army set up Fort McIntosh (originally Camp Crawford). Laredo was rechartered as a city in 1852.

Laredo is one of the oldest crossing points along the Mexico–United States border, and the nation's largest inland port of entry. In 2005, Laredo celebrated the 250th anniversary of its founding.

The origin of name of the original Spanish town of Laredo is unclear. Some scholars say the name stems from Glaretum which means "sandy, rocky place". Others state Laredo stems from a Basque word meaning "beautiful pastures".[8][9] Laredo might also stem from the Latin Larida which means gull.

In 1946, the Plaza Theater opened in downtown Laredo, but it closed in 1999, when the municipal government purchased the property from United Artists. In 2001, the Laredo City Council authorized a feasibility study to determine what use the old theater might yet have. In 2003, a consultant recommended converting the Plaza into a multi-purpose performing arts center, with dance recitals, concerts, live theater, and occasional films. In 2006, the city received an economic development grant for renovation of the Plaza. By 2008, renovations were made to the theater marquee and blade design. In 2011, a public-private partnership was attempted by two Laredo businessmen, Danny Lopez, Jr., and Victor Trevino, Jr., but that initiative never materialized. In 2018, the city council authorized the solicitation of private entities and non-profit organizations to operate the theater. The council is also seeking input from architects for the concept and design of renovations to the structure.[10]

In 1954, Laredo faced a devastating Rio Grande flood, when the water reached 61.35 feet (18.70 m), more than 10 feet (3.05 m) higher than in the previous 1932 flood, which had also caused great damage. According to Laredo historian Jerry D. Thompson of Texas A&M International University, the 1954 flood was "the largest in ninety-one years and the second largest according to archeological records in the last three hundred years."[11] Many were left homeless for a time because of the calamity. Former Webb County administrative Judge Mercurio Martinez, Jr., recalls his father surveyed the depth of the water and advised residents to evacuate. Several downtown businesses had to remove their merchandise inventory or risk losing it to the rising waters. The flood caused the relocation of the Holding Institute. The international bridge was destroyed when it was struck by the floating railroad bridge, which had been hit by the debris of another bridge in Eagle Pass up the river. Photos of the flood by Teofilo Esquivel, Sr., are on the wall of a Danny's Restaurant on McPherson Avenue in Laredo.[11]

In 2016, the violent crime rate in Laredo dropped to 379 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to The violent crime rate in Dallas was 694 per 100,000 inhabitants. In Houston it was 967 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Other Languages
العربية: لاريدو
asturianu: Laredo (Texas)
беларуская: Ларэда (Тэхас)
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Ларэда
български: Ларедо
brezhoneg: Laredo (Texas)
čeština: Laredo (Texas)
Cymraeg: Laredo, Texas
español: Laredo (Texas)
Esperanto: Laredo (Teksaso)
français: Laredo (Texas)
Gaeilge: Laredo, Texas
한국어: 러레이도
hrvatski: Laredo, Teksas
Bahasa Indonesia: Laredo, Texas
interlingua: Laredo (Texas)
italiano: Laredo (Texas)
kernowek: Laredo, Teksas
Kiswahili: Laredo, Texas
Kreyòl ayisyen: Laredo, Texas
Malagasy: Laredo, Texas
मराठी: लॅरेडो
Nederlands: Laredo (Texas)
norsk: Laredo
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Laredo (Texas)
پنجابی: لریڈو
português: Laredo (Texas)
română: Laredo, Texas
Simple English: Laredo, Texas
slovenčina: Laredo (Texas)
српски / srpski: Ларедо
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Laredo, Texas
svenska: Laredo, Texas
Tagalog: Laredo, Texas
татарча/tatarça: Ларедо
Türkçe: Laredo, Teksas
українська: Ларедо
Tiếng Việt: Laredo, Texas
Volapük: Laredo (Texas)
Winaray: Laredo, Texas