Houston 01
B-2 stealth bombers flying over Houston.
Classification City
Location Texas, United States
Events War of 1996

Houston was the most populous city in Texas and the fourth most populous city in the United States.


During the second day of the War of 1996, a City Destroyer was on its way to Houston. In the chaotic evacuation, almost two thousand people were killed and when the Destroyer arrives, just ten percent of the population were in the city.[1] President Thomas Whitmore, after barely surviving an encounter with a captured alien pilot and learning what the aliens planned to do to their planet, decided to authorize a nuclear strike against the City Destroyers, fully realizing they could not be allowed to live upon realizing this. A B-2 Spirit squadron from Whiteman Air Force Base in Kansas City was the closest to Houston, in which Whitmore decided to attack this Destroyer first while knowing that he will kill thousands of Americans.

Prior to the launch, Whitmore had informed America's allies of his decision, in order to prevent other nuclear states from firing their missiles in the rapidly losing battle. They agreed to wait until the results of the attack were clear. Before giving the sign of attack, the President says "May our children forgive us", knowing that his desperate decision is not in line with his own morals.

After the missile explodes, a reconnaissance vehicle crew confirmed that Houston has been destroyed but that the City Destroyer remained intact, with no damage at all. President decided there is no point to continue attacking and immediately called off the strike.


Behind the ScenesEdit

  • To achieve the look of Houston as seen from the air at night, the film crew simply poked holes in a sheet of black construction paper, placed the paper in front of a bright light in a smoke-filled room, and photographed it using special lighting to accomplish the effect.
  • The initials of several ID4 model shop crew members can be seen as graffiti on a wall behind the surveillance tank model parked on the miniature Houston freeway set.
  • Following the Houston destruction sequence, the silhouette of a crooked street light is a visual nod to the Martian ships of the 1953 film War of the Worlds.


  1. Independence Day: Official Novelization
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