Many decades ago, on the east side of town, parachutes dotted the sky on the weekends.

They were jumping from planes that took off from the Houston Gulf Airport. The Houston Gulf Airport was a single-runway airport located in League City.

The airport opened in 1967 as the Spaceland Airport. A businessman by the name of James R. Bath purchased the airport on behalf of Salem bin Laden in 1977.

Salem bin Laden is the brother to Osama bin Laden. Bath received a 5 percent interest in the companies that owned and operated the airport.

Salem bin Laden owned the airport for six years before his death in 1988. After Salem bin Laden died, the airport, owned by his estate, was for sale.

The airport was scheduled to close on April 1, 2002. A coalition of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and some local pilots created a campaign asking the city of League City to acquire the airport from its owner.

Some citizens wanted to keep the airport so that the flight paths of the airplanes landing at Hobby airport in Houston would not be able to fly over League City.

The airport’s land was sold and the land became a string of houses along state Highway 96. The houses are now part of a 2,000-home community called Tuscan Lakes.

Famous homeowner

The next time you are driving south on the Gulf Freeway going over Clear Creek, look to your right and you will see a large home on the creek that was occupied by former heavyweight champion of the world Muhammad Ali.

He resided there during his scheduled induction into the U.S. Armed Forces on April 28, 1967, in Houston.

Events at The Butler

An Evening with “Elvis” at The Butler Longhorn Museum on Thursday is sold out.

So there will be a second performance on Oct. 9. You might want to reserve tickets as soon as possible, as this seems to be a very popular show.

Another popular show is the fourth annual Butler Longhorn Museum Fundraiser Dinner, Dancing, Auctions and Casino at 6 p.m. July 12 at the South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center.

Tickets and sponsorships are available. Call 281-332-1393.

Summer Reading Program

The Summer Reading Program at the Helen Hall Library begins Monday. Preparations are underway for an exciting summer of reading, story times, science, art, fitness and fun for the youngest readers through the teens.

Beginning Monday, reading logs will be available online and at the library for the three reading clubs: Growing Readers (read to me/read to you), Readers (upcoming third- to fifth-graders) and teens.

Story times will start Tuesday and Wednesday, and activities for the older children and teens will begin the following week.

Anticipation grows as the teen space and theater near completion. The library will be able to accommodate more children and teens in the popular programs and activities.

Call 281-554-1113.

Chris John Mallios, a longtime resident of League City, is writing a series of occasional columns about the history of his hometown. He can be reached at

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