Remembering Dallas’ 150th Anniversary Celebrations in 1991

In 1991, the city of Dallas, Texas celebrated the 150th anniversary of its founding in 1841. Many celebrations abounded throughout the city in honor of the special occasion of the anniversary.

Jubilee Dallas! was an event held and co-sponsored by the Dallas Historical Society, which began a Jubilee History Maker Award to be given out annually in honor of someone displaying civic leadership in the city of Dallas.

Queen Elizabeth II, the British monarch, visited Texas in 1991 and stopped in Continue reading

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Dallas: The Hometown of Pritzker Architectural Prize Winners

Dallas: The Hometown of Pritzker Architectural Prize Winners

Dallas, a hub of business, transportation and sports, is the third largest city in Texas and the ninth largest city in the nation. The Dallas-Forth Worth Metropolitan Area, comprised of 12 counties, has over 6.7 million residents, ranking fourth in the nation in terms of population. The downtown skyline, made famous by prime time television, is an impressive array of modern architecture. People expect Texans to do things in grand fashion, and Dallas’ appearance does not disappoint. The nearby Continue reading

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November 22, 1963: A Dark Day in Dallas History

President John F. Kennedy’s life ended shortly after noon on November 22, 1963, a dark day in Dallas, Texas history. The President was on a five-city tour of Texas, accompanied by his the First Lady, when he was shot in an open convertible as the car passed by the Texas School Book Depository building as part of the President’s motorcade route through Downtown Dallas. The car immediately set off for the nearby Parkland Memorial Hospital but having been shot in the neck and head, there was little doctors could do for the President.

President Kennedy’s route through Downtown Dallas offered Continue reading

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Columbus Marion Joiner, Oil, and the Industrialization of Dallas

Columbus Marion Joiner is not a widely known individual outside of Texas, but he was a central factor in the industrial development of Dallas. An oil prospector and entrepreneur, Joiner decided to search for oil in Rusk County, although professional geologists believed that there were no oil deposits in the region. This proved to be incorrect, and on Oct. 3, 1930 Joiner struck oil in what would become known as the East Texas Oilfield, one world’s largest oilfields.

Dallas quickly became the financial and industrial center of the oil industry in Texas and Oklahoma. This not only resulted in a Continue reading

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Trinity River Floodings, From 1844 to the Present Day

Flooding on the Trinity River in Texas has been such a problem historically that it even prompted Blues singer Aaron “T-Bone” Walker to chronicle the danger in his 1929 song, “The Trinity River Blues.” Walker’s song speaks to the emotional and property loss that occurs as the river “…came in my windows and doors.” Walker wasn’t singing about a rare natural occurrence, however.

In fact, the Trinity River had seen flooding in 1844, 1866, 1871, 1890, and again in 1908 before civic leaders sought to tame the wildly unpredictable Trinity River. As flooding also occurred in 1925, 1935, and 1942 it is obvious that efforts to tame Continue reading

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Remembering the Texas Centennial Exposition of 1936

Everyone knows of the World’s Fairs held in New York, and most fair fans know about the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Too many forget, however, that Dallas hosted a world’s fair, too. We can all be proud of the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition.

The Texas Centennial Exposition commemorated the 100th anniversary of freedom for the Republic of Texas following our defeat of the Mexican Army. Festivities lasted from June through November 1936. The main fairgrounds still stand in downtown Dallas, where you can see Continue reading

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A Comprehensive History of the Dallas Zoo

The Dallas Zoo has been a popular attraction in Dallas since 1888, when the City of Dallas purchased two deer and two mountain lions from a man in Colorado City and housed them in pens in City Park. Since then, the zoo has moved twice. By 1910, the zoo had grown to the point that City Park was no longer sufficiently large, and so it moved to its second home in Fair Park. Following the 1912 State Fair, the zoo once again expanded and moved to its current location in Marsalis Park. Continue reading

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Profile on Samuel Pryor, The First Mayor of Dallas

Samuel B. Pryor was born in Brunswick Country, Virginia on August 12, 1820. His father, Philip Pryor, died when Samuel was in his early teens, leaving his mother, Susan C. Wilkes, to raise him and his siblings.

The Pryor family was well-known, tracing back to a wealthy Virginian lineage. Pryor used his family’s name to build his career. He graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1840, and then studied medicine at the Hampden-Sydney College. After finishing school in 1844, Pryor moved to Arkansas, where he got Continue reading

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