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The Huecos, or Wacos, has villages in eastern-central Texas. Other settlers were attracted to the region and in 1849 the city of Waco was laid out. The region's rich black-lands supported cotton plantations and cattle ranches before the Civil War, but Waco suffered a severe decline after the war. Prosperity returned after the construction of the suspension bridge across the Brazos in 1870 and the arrival of the railroad 11 years later. The bridge is still a tourist attraction. In 1923, the huge Cameron Park and artificial Lake Waco were created in the nearby Bosque. Nowadays, it is an important recreational area.

Waco is a trading, shipping and industrial center. Agriculture and livestock raising are important to the economy. Products that are manufactured in Waco include tires, glass, paper, machinery and clothing. Waco is also the seat of Baylor University, Paul Quinn College and a branch of Texas State Technical Institute.

Some of the city's main sights include several historic homes and a reconstructed Texas Ranger fort. The fort originally dates from 1837. Waco came in the news in February 1993 after a shootout between federal officers and the Christian religious cult of the Branch Davidians led to a 51-day siege that ended in a blaze that killed 83 people.

There are numerous hotels and restaurants in Waco. The city is on the Brazos River, just below the mouth of the Bosque, some 135 km south of Dallas and 2020 km southwest from Washington D.C.


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