The Texas Symposia on Relativistic Astrophysics had their origins in a couple of astounding scientific discoveries and a demographic accident. A sequence of additional discoveries over the next 15 or so years (pulsars, X‐ray binaries, the microwave background, gamma ray bursts….) perpetuated the series, while the inventory of topics thought appropriate for discussion first expanded and then contracted down to a now fairly rigid set, which is easily discerned from the titles of the rest of the papers in these proceedings, while the past inventory has included complex molecules, large telescopes, and at least a few planets. We explore here portions of what happened from 1st Texas in Dallas in December 1963 to the 25th gathering in Heidelberg in 2010, including the parade of “hot” topics, some demographic and scientometric developments, and a few probably authentic anecdotes. Changes in the sources of funding, nationalities of speakers and participants, and gender balance reflect (sometimes with considerable time delay) the larger landscape of science over the years.

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