El Paso takes its place in history as a doorway to America.

Kevin Vargas
Kevin Vargas

But, even before and after the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, El Paso was the site of multiple history-changing events.

Personally, I love knowing that I come from a city with such real and important history behind it. Mostly because the following facts about El Paso's history make for killer icebreakers at the bar, 'wink, wink.'

Here are the 10 times El Paso played a pivotal role in the history of the United States.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

1. Train Game:

El Paso birthed the Texas and Pacific Railway in 1881, paving the way for statewide economic growth and demographic changes.

2. Mexican Gateway:

With Mexico as a neighbor, El Paso became a principal artery for immigration and cross-border commerce, influencing Texas and the U.S.'s culture.

3. Salt Bae War:

The 1877 Salt War exposed socio-economic disparities in El Paso, as differing factions clashed over restricted salt lake access.

4. Fort Bliss Influence:

As the Army's second-largest installation, Fort Bliss in El Paso, was a linchpin in World Wars' training programs, leaving a lasting military impression.

5. A Revolution Refuge:

During the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920), El Paso offered safe haven to many people, changing its demographics in a lot of unexpected ways.

6. A Connecting Bridge:

El Paso's first international bridge in 1881 underscored the city's vital role in U.S.-Mexico connectivity.

7. The Border Patrol Birthplace:

In 1924, Paso became home to the U.S. Border Patrol's first station, proving its prominence in border governance.

8. Diplomatic Arena:

The Chamizal dispute's peaceful resolution in El Paso in 1963 showcased the city's integral role in international diplomacy.

9. Missionary Milestone:

Home to the Ysleta Mission 1680, El Paso was one of the first destinations for Spanish conquistadors, and the Catholic religion.

10. Desegregation Pioneer:

Following the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling, El Paso became the first Texas school district to integrate in 1955. 

Getty Images/Google Maps/Google Maps/Google Maps/Canva
Getty Images/Google Maps/Google Maps/Google Maps/Canva

Keep in mind, these moments only offer brief snapshots of El Paso's rich history.

But, they prove the transformative role that El Paso had in the evolution of Texas AND the United States.

Let me know if you have any suggestions for historic El Paso moments or thoughts at nico@klaq.com

KEEP READING: Scroll to see what the big headlines were the year you were born



More From KLAQ El Paso