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Tracing Corpus Christi’s Historical Footprint

Discover must-see historical sites that define this coastal gem

Dive into the heart of Corpus Christi's history and uncover the city's heritage, maritime legacies, and cultural landmarks.

Quick Links

WWII Heritage Trail | LULAC | Selena

USS Lexington | Heritage Park | Historical Moments

WWII Heritage Trail

Corpus Christi played a pivotal role in the nation's defense efforts during World War II, from the establishment of critical military installations to its deep-water ports that enabled the swift movement of troops, equipment, and essential supplies. In recognition of its wartime heritage, Corpus Christi proudly earned the designation as a World War II American Heritage City in December 2022. Journey through the newly unveiled World War II American Heritage City Trail, as we explore key sites that proudly bear witness to the city's remarkable contributions during World War II, offering an engaging and informative perspective on its wartime history. 



Established in 1929 at Salón Obreros y Obreras in Corpus Christi, Texas, the League of the United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the oldest and largest continuously active Latino political association in the U.S. It champions economic, educational, and civil rights for Latinos, combating discrimination, promoting voter education, and advocating for full participation in American society. Originating from the merger of Mexican American groups, LULAC's commitment to civil rights extends to all minorities, fostering collaboration for a more inclusive society. Explore its mission and its commitment to education and leadership development in the Latino community, as well as its ongoing efforts to promote social justice and equality.



The legacy of the Queen of Tejano Music, Selena Quintanilla Perez lives on in the Gulf Coast Capital and is part of the city’s rich history. Over 25 years have passed since her untimely death, but her legacy lives on in the Gulf Coast Capital and continues to be a tourist attraction for all things Selena. Many fans, both local and from around the world, visit the locations representative of her life and legacy including the Mirador de la Flor and the Selena Museum, while others take a stroll down Swantner Park or visit her home. These locations embody who Selena was and what she meant to the community. 


USS Lexington

Jump aboard the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay and discover the history of her role in WWII. Nicknamed the "Blue Ghost," the USS Lexington was an Essex Class aircraft carrier commissioned in 1943. It served in the Pacific theater for about 21 months during World War II, earning numerous combat records. Corpus Christi secured the USS Lexington as a museum through community support and a bond sale, and it has been open to the public since November 14, 1992, becoming a significant attraction in the Coastal Bend area. In addition to the rich history within this vessel, there’s also escape rooms, virtual battle stations, a flight simulator, a 3D theater, and more that allow visitors to learn the history of this ship in a fun way.


Heritage Park

Corpus Christi Heritage Park is a collection of 12 historic homes, each one rich in architecture, history, and culture. More importantly, each of the homes tells a story of the early residents of this community. As you tour the area, learn the story behind Corpus Christi’s heritage on the historic markers in front of each home. You’ll learn the stories of the prominent individuals that inhabited these homes and what their contributions meant to Corpus Christi, and you’ll also uncover some fun facts and haunted stories.


Moments that Defined Corpus Christi History

Corpus Christi is home to some incredible history that has made it the city it is today. Some of these events happened as early as 1852, such as when Henry Lawrence Kinney held the Lone Star Fair to encourage settlement in Corpus Christi and 1926 when the Port of Corpus Christi opened. Other events happened as recent as the 1990’s when the Downtown Management District was established to promote and invest in our downtown area and 2004 when the American Bank center opened its doors and expanded the city’s capacity to bring in larger performances and conventions. Every bit of history has played a part in helping Corpus Christi grow and shape its status as the Gulf Coast Capital.


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