Dallas, Texas, had humble beginnings for a present population of more than one million. The settlement named Dallas became a reality in the Trinity River Three Forks area in the 1840s, through the dedication of one man.
Originally, in 1839, John Neely Bryan stumbled across Three Forks on a mission to establish a trading post for Indians and settlers. The advantages of locating at Three Forks were that it was the easiest river crossing location, and it was located on the Preston Trail which was soon to be established. Bryan returned home to Arkansas after planning the town to prepare for his emigration to west Texas. The U.S. government has meanwhile negotiated a treaty to remove the existing Native American population from all over North Texas.
Upon his return in 1841, he found that the Indians had stayed and his customers were gone. Bryan moved to neighboring Peters Colony to ensure the settlement’s survival and persuaded many of those settlers to move to the new city of Bryan. Among those settlers was John Beeman, who on his arrival in April 1842 planted the first crop of corn. In the referendum to incorporate Texas into the Union, Dallas voters backed the change at their own polls.
The transplants of the Peters Colony soon spread news of the good conditions in what was now called Dallas, and this new Texas town’s population grew rapidly. The town became the permanent Dallas County seat in 1850.
In 1860, Dallas was officially incorporated as a town with a population of 2,000 and its first mayor, Samuel Pryor. As Dallas was preparing to enter the Civil War, public debates were held on this secession issue, and a volunteer soldiers ‘company was assembled. In July most of the business district was burned down by a fire. Arson was believed, with two abolitionists fleeing out of town and three slaves hanging. The rest of the slaves got killed.
The business district was rebuilt by December but there was a housing shortage because the town was experiencing excessive growth. In 1861, when the war spilled over into Texas on June 8, Dallas County and the State seceded from the Union, and sent volunteers and supplies.
After the Civil War
Dallas witnessed yet another spurt of development that brought with it former slaves, outlaws, and unjust crop pricing systems. The first passenger train from the Houston and Texas Central Railway came through Dallas, in 1872.
Farmers formed The Farmer’s Alliance in 1877, and constructed a housing cotton warehouse before it was transported to St. Louis. After just 20 months the Partnership failed due to a lack of funding from the lending industry. Before their exit, such outlaws as Belle Starr, Doc Holliday and Sam Bass made their mark on Dallas, often in a pine box.
The Great Depression immediately affected Dallas, among other cities, such that by 1931, over 18,000 residents were out of jobs. While the city set up a system of “work for food,” it was the oil discovery that revived the economy of the city.
The oil industry started mining and exploiting its discoveries with the aid of bank loans, beginning in 1931. Small companies have begun to pop up all over the city to support the oil fields, whilst the roughnecks and roustabouts have made their drilling machines purr like kittens. The fields in Texas, the Permian Basin, the Panhandle, the Gulf Coast and Oklahoma were abundant and productive. “East Texas” has become a synonym for “Big Oil.”
The unimaginable occurs in Big D
On November 22, 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated during a presidential motorcade parade near the spot where John Neely Bryan first settled the area, Dallas and the world were shocked. Lee Harvey Oswald was charged in town for the assassination, and Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner, was killed two days later. Dallas, having not forgotten, erected the Kennedy Memorial in 1970, and in 1989 opened the Sixth Floor Museum (of the Texas Book Depository).
On the lighter side of Dallas
During the 1950s and 1960s, Dallas was the nation’s third-largest technology hub with the rise of companies such as Ling-Tempco-Vought (LTV Corporation) and Texas Instruments. The home furnishing company expanded into the Dallas Market Center with the opening of the Home Furnishings Mart in 1957 which eventually became the world’s largest wholesale trade complex.
Upon the addition of several famous skyscrapers the Dallas skyline changed in the 1970s and 1980s. By the 1980s, when the oil industry moved its headquarters to Houston, Dallas started to see the benefits of a emerging technology boom, through the growing computer and telecommunications industries, while remaining a banking and business hub. In the 1990s Dallas was known as the Silicon Valley of Texas or the “Silicon Prairie.”
The sporting life
Professional sports teams are numerous and well known in Dallas. The Dallas Cowboys football team had been known as the “America’s Team” because of their success and popularity by the 1970s. And of course, the famous Dallas Cowgirl Cheerleaders came along with the Cowboys.
Dallas is also the home of the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball Team (since 1972), and the NBA Mavericks, who arrived in 1980 to play basketball. In 1984, the Sidekicks MLS soccer team came to claim Dallas as their home and in 1993, the city had a professional hockey team from the NHL, the Dallas Stars.
Education and the arts
It was necessary for Dallas to attract higher learning institutions early in its history, so that attempts began in 1910 to convince Southwestern University in Georgetown (just north of the state capital, Austin) to relocate there. They declined but this move brought the Methodist Church to Dallas ‘attention. In 1911, after the city provided $300,000 and more than 660 acres of land for the campus, they voted to create a university there. Subsequently, in 1915, the Southern Methodist University, besides members of the religion, opened its doors to the general public. The city now houses Dallas University of Texas, and Dallas Baptist University, which moved from Decatur to Dallas in 1965.
Dallas has several unique museums, including the Dallas Museum of Natural History, founded in 1936. The Dallas Center for Performing Arts is located in the city’s arts district, which has plans for many new developments in that area. A transportation center for western United States, Dallas is served by two commercial airports: the Dallas-Ft. Worth International Dallas Airport, which is the country’s second-largest airport, and Dallas Love Field. The airports in use in the local area are the Addison Airport, two more McKinney general aviation airports and two in Ft. Having it.
Dallas is known for its religious diversity and is situated in the so-called “Bible Belt.”
Methodist and Baptist churches in the city are very popular, since they act as an anchor to their private universities. Santuario de Guadalupe Catholic Cathedral represents the country’s second- congregation. There is an large population of Later Day Saints Church (Mormon), large Jewish residents, and a small group of Muslims. Dallas also houses the Hope Cathedral which hosts the world’s largest gay congregation.