Bryan-College Station — History and Traditions

02/21/2012  | 

Bryan-College Station is best known for its history and traditions. It is a unique place to visit because it has all the amenities of a big city, yet the atmosphere of a small town. With two cities offering some of the best attractions in Texas, there is so much for visitors to explore, experience, and enjoy.

The Military History at Texas A&M University

As a serviceman, you will be greeted with a friendly “Howdy!” all over the Texas A&M University campus. The rich military history at A&M includes more than 250 graduates who have earned the rank of general or admiral, and more Aggies commissioned or having served in World War II than West Point or Annapolis.

In 1862, the Morrill Act provided public land for higher education to enhance students with knowledge of science and classical studies as well as military tactics. All students were required to be in military training until the changes from the presidency under General James Earl Rudder.

In 1963 the new name of Texas A&M University was presented with an “A” and “M” as a symbol for the schools past of being agricultural and mechanical. The Corps of Cadets, now the voluntary student military body since the 1960s, is iconic in Aggieland. They are the “Keepers of the Sprit” and “Guardians of Tradition.” The Corps remains a symbol of A&M’s proud military heritage.

While in town visit the Sam Houston Sanders Corps of Cadets Center, which chronicles the history of the Corps. The exhibits include Silver Taps, the Aggie Band, Parsons Mounted Cavalry, the Ross Volunteers, Cadet Life and more. Also housed in the Corps Center is the Metzger -Sanders Antique Firearm Collection: a must-see to truly understand Aggieland.

In 1909, the Aggie Bonfire was first constructed as freshmen from the Corps of Cadets foraged for scrap material to burn before the game with the University of Texas, and the tradition carried throughout the years. If you’re on campus, make a stop at The Bonfire Memorial, which is dedicated to the 12 Aggies who lost their lives in the bonfire collapse of 1999. It celebrates the tradition and history of Texas A&M and consists of the Tradition Plaza, Spirit Wall and History Walk.

The History of College Station

College Station became a city in 1938, although it was “born” in 1876 with the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, which became known as Texas A&M.

College Station, named as a railway stop by the Postal Service in 1877, flourished in the 1960’s when the college opened its doors to women and became Texas A&M University. From its humble beginning with fewer than 50 students, Texas A&M has grown to become one of the nation’s largest universities.

With the variety of attractions, restaurants, and events happening in College Station, this is a great place to get a little rest and relaxation. Don’t miss visiting one of the top 30 most popular attractions in Texas: the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum. The Library highlights major stepping stones taken by President George Bush throughout his presidency, as well as milestones in United States history that occurred during his lifetime.

Currently the featured exhibit is “Headed to the White House,” an interactive exhibit designed for all ages that capture the excitement of the presidential election process.

The History of Bryan

Visitors to downtown can enjoy shopping, plays, concerts, strolling through art galleries, attending a festival or having drinks with friends at a restaurant or wine bar.

Bryan was established in 1859 in honor of William Joel Bryan, nephew of Texas pioneer Stephen F. Austin. Bryan has been the agricultural and commercial center of the rich Brazos River Valley farmlands since 1867, when the H&TC Railroad initiated train service through the town. Within a few years, Bryan was linked by rail to major agricultural markets across the country. It was a vital distribution center during the Civil War.

Visit the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History to learn more about the history of the area. This museum sees over 50,000 children and adults and is home to ancient artifacts, fossils, sculptures, a discovery room with live animals and more.

Today, Bryan and College Station form a great community to live and visit. Aggieland is a destination with a unique blend of cultural opportunities and warm hospitality. Discover a region that is so diverse you can wander through the scenic campus of Texas A&M University, go shopping and dining Downtown, take a tour of the local winery, and more, all in one day. The next time you need a little rest and relaxation, take a trip to Bryan-College Station, where we love those who have fought proudly for our country!

For help planning your vacation to B-CS contact the Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-777-8292 or go to
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