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Austin is known as a "clean-air city" for its stringent no-smoking ordinances that apply to all public places and buildings, including restaurants and bars.Austin, Travis County and Williamson County have been the site of human habitation since at least 9200 BC.The area's earliest known inhabitants lived during the late Pleistocene (Ice Age) and are linked to the Clovis culture around 9200 BC (11,200 years ago), based on evidence found throughout the area and documented at the much-studied Gault Site, midway between Georgetown and Fort Hood.In 1730, three missions from East Texas were combined and reestablished as one mission on the south side of the Colorado River, in what is now Zilker Park, in Austin.Texas thus became an independent country with its own president, congress, and monetary system. Lamar visited the area during a buffalo-hunting expedition between 18, he proposed that the republic's capital, then in Houston, be relocated to the area situated on the north bank of the Colorado River (near the present-day Congress Avenue Bridge). Lamar, second president of the newly formed Republic of Texas, advised the commissioners to investigate the area named Waterloo, noting the area's hills, waterways, and pleasant surroundings.In 1839, the Texas Congress formed a commission to seek a site for a new capital to be named for Stephen F. The original site was narrowed to 640 acres (260 ha) that fronted the Colorado River between two creeks, Shoal Creek and Waller Creek, which was later named in his honor.
The city's official slogan promotes Austin as "The Live Music Capital of the World", a reference to the city's many musicians and live music venues, as well as the long-running PBS TV concert series Austin City Limits.It is the fastest growing large city in the United States, within the greater Texas Hill Country, the city is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways, including Lady Bird Lake, Barton Springs, Mc Kinney Falls, the Colorado River, Lake Travis, and Lake Walter E. It is the cultural and economic center of the metropolitan statistical area, which had an estimated population of 2,056,405 as of July 1, 2016.In the 1830s, pioneers began to settle the area in central Austin along the Colorado River.In September 1881, Austin public schools held their first classes.The same year, Tillotson Collegiate and Normal Institute (now part of Huston–Tillotson University) opened its doors.
The fear of Austin's proximity to the Indians and Mexico, which still considered Texas a part of their land, created an immense motive for Sam Houston, the first and third President of the Republic of Texas, to relocate the capital once again in 1841.