Arlington is a city in Tarrant County, Texas (USA) within the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, the city population was 332,969 (though a July 1, 2004 estimate placed the city’s population at 359,467). Arlington is the seventh-largest city in the state and the fifty-first largest city in the United States.
Arlington is home to the Texas Rangers, Globe Life Park in Arlington, the theme parks Six Flags Over Texas and Hurricane Harbor, future home to the Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium, and is approximately 12 miles east of Fort Worth and 20 miles west of Dallas. It is coterminous with Kennedale, Grand Prairie, Mansfield and Fort Worth. The city also completely surrounds the smaller communities of Dalworthington Gardens and Pantego.
White settlement in the Arlington area dates back at least to the 1840s. After the May 24, 1841 battle between General Edward H. Tarrant (Tarrant County is named for him) and Native Americans of the Village Creek settlement, a trading post was established at Marrow Bone Spring in present-day Arlington. The rich soil of the area attracted farmers, and several agriculture-related businesses were well established by the late nineteenth century.
The city was founded in 1875 and is named after General Robert E. Lee’s Arlington House (in present-day Arlington County, Virginia). After the arrival of the railroad in 1876, Arlington grew as a cotton-ginning and farming center, and incorporated in 1884. The city could boast of water, electricity, natural gas, and telephone services by 1910, along with a public school system. By 1925 the population was estimated at 3,031, and it grew to over four thousand before World War II.
Large-scale industrialization began in 1954 with the arrival of a General Motors assembly plant. Automotive and aerospace development gave the city one of the nation’s greatest population growth rates between 1950 and 1990. Arlington became one of the “boomburgs,” the extremely fast-growing suburbs of the post-World War II era. U.S. Census Bureau population figures for the city tell the story: 7,692 (1950), 90,229 (1970), 261,721 (1990), and 359,467 (2004 estimate). Tom Vandergriff served as mayor from 1951 to 1977 during this period of explosive development. Six Flags Over Texas opened in Arlington in 1961, and in 1972 the Washington Senators baseball team relocated to Arlington and began play as the Texas Rangers.
On February 16, 2006, I-20 in Arlington was dedicated as Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway (signs are visible at mile markers 447 and 452).Arlington is the largest city in the United States that is not served by a public transportation system.
City council and residents have been generally opposed to participation in DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) or The T (Fort Worth Transportation Authority) due to taxation concerns.