WASHINGTON, May 22 -

Mr. Speaker, from the establishment of our great State, people have traveled from all over the world to come to Texas either to live, to work or to visit. Before Texas was a state, some even came to fight for us. Many of the soldiers that fought in the battle at the Alamo were from different states and even a few countries. The diversity of people that have traveled to the state since the 1800's has contributed to its vast culture. That has made Texas what it is today.

Today, Texas' diversity is expansive and includes the contributions of many different cultures that help make Texas' own culture that much more unique. From the numerous Vietnamese Pho restaurants in downtown Houston to the German Karbach Brewery in North Houston, the global influence on Houston's culture is immense.

The Houston Chronicle recently reported about a Houston historian who focused on determining how streets in Houston-area communities received their names. Many settlers provided the names for not only cities and counties but for streets in local communities as well. Spring Branch, a community in the Second Congressional District of Texas, had several streets named after early immigrant settlers from Germany. Most of the early settlers were German farmers who came to the United States in pursuit of prosperity and to have land to farm. The City of Houston was named after the great Sam Houston, who was of Scots-Irish descent and originally from Virginia. The county that encompasses Houston, Harris County, was named after John Richardson Harris, a settler who came to Texas from New York by way of Missouri.

As the saying goes, if you weren't born in Texas, you got there as fast as you could. People from around the world continue to hang a ``Gone to Texas'' sign on their front door. Our Texas pride comes from our rich history, a history that was built by the contributions of many local heroes and leaders who simply got to Texas as fast as they could. And that's just the way it is.