Dallas Texas A History And Cultural Introduction

If you asked a random person to name one city in Texas, many would say "Dallas". Dallas is the home of the Cowboys, the Rangers and is the city where JFK was assassinated. Belle Starr began her rise to fame there and Doc Holliday opened a dentist's office there for a while, that is until he killed a man and had to flee.The history of the city of Dallas began in 1839 when a man named John Neely Bryan visited a spot on the banks of the Trinity River. This site was the easiest place to ford the Trinity and also the spot where the proposed Preston Trail was to be built, linking North Texas and South Texas.

In the beginning, he had envisioned a trading post, to serve both the local Indians and settlers. By the time he returned from settling his affairs in Arkansas however, the Indians had been removed from all of North Texas. So, since half his prospective clients were gone, instead of a trading post, he decided to try to build a permanent community.

For some time, Neely was the heart of the town; he functioned as the postmaster, general store owner, everything a beginning town needed. The place grew steadily and by 1856, it was incorporated as a town.In 1860, the United States became embroiled in the Civil War. In 1861, Dallas County voted to secede from the Union and entered the Civil War, aligning themselves with the Confederacy.

The area sent troops to fight and also helped logistically. When ports in the south were threatened, cotton and other goods were moved to Dallas for safety. By the end of the Civil War, many farmers were relocating from the devastated lands where the war had been fought, seeking a new, fresh start.Over the years, Dallas grew steadily and rather quickly. Southern Methodist University opened its doors to students in 1915.

World War I brought Love Field as a training ground for the Air Force and is still fairly busy today. By 1948, many companies were relocating to Dallas, among them Texas Instruments and Mary Kay Cosmetics would both eventually settle in Dallas. In fact, by the end of the 1980s, Fortune Magazine named the Dallas/Fort Worth area the number one area for business in the United States.During the social upheaval in the 1960s, Dallas was struggling with these problems just like any other American city. Unfortunately, in 1963, Dallas had its own low point with the assassination of President Kennedy. A positive side to the 1960s was the Dallas Cowboys football team.

They began to make themselves known across the country as a team to beat.Today, Dallas is generally known as Dallas-Fort Worth since it has spread far enough to swallow the adjoining town of Fort Worth. DFW International airport is one of the busiest in the country, with flights leaving and arriving constantly.

It is still a very influential city in Texas. Dallas has a rich cultural heritage and even today, has a western feel to it that many modern cities lack.


Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Dallas.

By: Michael Russell

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