Rich in south-of-the-border flavor, this city is the major international crossing along the U.S.-Mexico border. Established by a Spanish land grant in 1755, it became the county seat when Webb County organized in 1848. The city has served under seven flags and, in 1840, declared itself the Republic of the Rio Grande. Today, Laredo is the largest inland port in the southern United States. Named an All-American City in 2007, it features a diverse economy with growth in the retail, hospitality, manufacturing, importing and exporting, petroleum and natural gas industries. Educational institutions include Laredo Community College and Texas A&M International University.
Since 1898, the Washington's Birthday Celebration has honored George Washington as the first Western Hemisphere leader to free a New World country from the dominion of European rule. It is a 16-day February fiesta.