In addition to being the sixth largest city in Texas, El Paso is the 21st largest city in the United States. It has a population of about 670,000 and is found along the Rio Grande River just across from Ciudad Juárez in Mexico. Together Juarez-El Paso has a combined population of about 2 million people, with Juarez having about twice the amount as El Paso.
There are several United States military facilities located in El Paso. One of the largest army bases in the entire United States, Fort Bliss, is found in east and north east of El Paso. Holloman Air Force Base is near El Paso in Alamogordo, which is also near the White Sands Missile Range used for testing missiles.
The first European to visit the Rio Grande River at El Paso was the explorer don Juan de Onate, who arrived in 1598. Almost 100 years later, in 1680, El Paso became the seat of government for the territory of New Mexico, and stayed the largest settlement in that state until it was joined to the United States in 1848 at the time that Texas conquered it in 1850.