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Harlingen developed at the crossroads of major national rail lines and is an important trade and transportation center. Incorporated in 1910, its namesake was a canal-encircled town in the Netherlands the ancestral home of railroad president Col. Uriah Lott. The city changed forever with the start of World War II and the creation of an aerial gunnery school at Harlingen Army Air Field. The Port of Harlingen opened in 1952.
Nuevo Progreso, Mexico, is southwest of Harlingen. The Free Trade Bridge, 10 miles from Harlingen, provides access across the border.
With Harlingen's subtropical weather, golf courses are open year-round: Tony Butler Municipal Golf Course and the Harlingen and Treasure Hills country clubs. 956/427-8870. www.myharlingen.us.
The Harlingen Country Club hosts the South Texas Junior Classic and Life Begins at Forty Tournament. Other Harlingen events include the Jalapeño 100 Bicycle Ride and the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival (www.rgvbf.org).