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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.

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 African American population of Austin swelled dramatically after the enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas by Union General Gordon Granger at Galveston in an event commemorated as Juneteenth.

Black communities such as Wheatville, Pleasant Hill, and Clarksville were established with Clarksville being the oldest surviving freedomtown ‒ the original post-Civil War settlements founded by former African-American slaves ‒ west of the Mississippi River.

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.

By 1840, the population had risen to 856, of whom nearly half fled from Austin when Congress recessed.A number of Fortune 500 companies have headquarters or regional offices in Austin, including Amazon.com, Apple Inc., Cisco, e Bay, General Motors, Google, IBM, Intel, Oracle Corporation, Paypal, Texas Instruments, 3M, and Whole Foods Market.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.On August 1, 1839, the first auction of 217 out of 306 lots total was held.The grid plan Waller designed and surveyed now forms the basis of downtown Austin.

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