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Location: North-central Texas; southern United States, North America
Slogan: "Dallas, the Texas Star"
Flag: White star with yellow emblem centered over stripes of red, white, and blue (top to bottom).
Flower: Bluebonnet (Texas state flower)
Time Zone: 6 am Central Standard Time (CST) = noon Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Ethnic Composition: White 65%; Black 14%; Hispanic origin (of any race) 17%; other, including Native Americans and Asian/Pacific Islanders, 21%.
Elevation: 150–250 m (500–800 ft) above sea level
Latitude and Longitude: 32°50'N, 96°50'W
Climate: Hot, humid summers and mild winters.
Annual Mean Temperature: January 1°C (34°F); July 37°C (98°F)
Average Annual Precipitation: Snowfall is rare; precipitation is 750 mm (29.5 in).
Government: Council-manager, with an 11-member council, 8 of whom are elected from single-member districts; the remaining 2 and the mayor are chosen by voters in a nonpartisan election.
Weights and Measures: Standard U.S.
Monetary Units: Standard U.S.
Telephone Area Codes: 214 and 972
Postal Codes: 75201–75398
Dallas is located on the rolling prairies of northeast Texas, where the three branches of the Trinity River merge. It is the second-largest city in Texas and the eighth-largest city in the United States.
Founded in 1841 by John Neely Bryan, who chose the site along the river for his trading post, Dallas grew slowly at first. However, significant expansion occurred during the Civil War years (1861–65), when Dallas was used as a supply depot for Confederate troops. In 1872 the Texas Central Railroad was routed through town, and a year later the Texas Pacific Railroad arrived.
The 1930 oil strike in east Texas caused a boom in the Dallas economy, with the city becoming a financial and freight center serving the oil wells. Dallas entered the twenty-first century a center for banking, oil, cotton, and high technology, as well as a rapidly expanding city, both in terms of population and economy.
Several major highways lead into Dallas. Interstate-20 runs east to west. I-30 runs from the northeast into the city. Running northeast to southwest is I-35, the major route from Dallas to Austin and San Antonio. I-45 runs from Dallas southeast to Houston. US 75 (North Central Expressway) comes into Dallas from the North. I-635 forms a loop around Dallas and the neighboring cities of Arlington and Fort Worth. Driving time to Houston is three hours and 40 minutes, while it takes four-anda-half hours to drive to San Antonio.
Bus and Railroad Service
Both buses and passenger trains serve Dallas. The Greyhound bus station is located downtown at 205 S. Lamar Street, and in addition to Greyhound, several other smaller bus lines run out of this location, including El Conejo and Euro-Coach. Trains arrive at Amtrak's Union Station, 400 S. Houston Street.
Dallas has two airports: Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport (DFW) and the smaller Love Field, which offers commuter transit. DFW is located 29 kilometers (18 miles) northwest of downtown. Transportation to and from the airport is available by bus, airport shuttle, rental car, or taxi. Most major domestic airlines fly into Dallas, including American, Continental, Delta, and TWA. Regional airlines include America West, Atlantic Southeast, Southwest, and Sun Country. Several international airlines also service Dallas, such as Aeromexico, British Airways, Japan Airlines, and Korean Air. Flight times from major U.S. cities are as follows: New York, four hours; Chicago, two-and-a-half hours; Los Angeles, three hours.
Dallas Population Profile
Area: 980 sq km (378 sq mi)
Ethnic composition: 65% white; 14% black; 17% Hispanic descent, any race; remainder Native American and Asian or Pacific Islander descent
Nicknames: Big D
Description: Includes Dallas and suburbs (the area known as DFW Metroplex also includes Forth Worth, Arlington, and suburbs)
Area: 16,800 sq km (6,490 sq mi)
World population rank 1: 62
Percentage of national population 2: 1.4%
Average yearly growth rate: 1.6%
- The Dallas metropolitan area's rank among the world's urban areas.
- The percent of the total US population living in the Dallas metropolitan area.
Major highways converge in the center of the city, just east of the Trinity River, forming a loose, lopsided rectangle. Due to rapid expansion in the latter half of the twentieth century, roads sprawl haphazardly in many directions, making it difficult to tell Dallas proper from surrounding suburbs and cities.
Streets do not form a traditional grid, making travel confusing. The main roads downtown are Main Street, Elm Street, and Commerce Street.
Buses and Commuter Rail Service
Dallas Area Rapid Transit System (DART) offers bus and light rail transportation to the city and 12 surrounding suburban communities. DART provides 130 bus routes, while the light rail services major sites, with free parking at most rail terminals. A trolley line circulates downtown. Fares for DART range from 50 cents to two dollars.
Because of urban and suburban sprawl, Dallas is not a city well suited for pedestrians. However, tourists can and do take walking tours downtown and in the historic West End. In most other areas, people either drive or take public transportation.
|City Fact Comparison|
|Population of urban area1||3,912,000||10,772,000||2,688,000||12,033,000|
|Date the city was founded||1841||AD 969||753 BC||723 BC|
|Daily costs to visit the city2|
|Hotel (single occupancy)||$89||$193||$172||$129|
|Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)||$44||$56||$59||$62|
|Incidentals (laundry, dry cleaning, etc.)||$26||$14||$15||$16|
|Total daily costs (hotel, meals, incidentals)||$135||$173||$246||$207|
|Number of newspapers serving the city||1||13||20||11|
|Largest newspaper||The Dallas Morning News||Akhbar El Yom/Al Akhbar||La Repubblica||Renmin Ribao|
|Circulation of largest newspaper||4,79,863||1,159,339||754,930||3,000,000|
|Date largest newspaper was established||1885||1944||1976||1948|
|1United Nations population estimates for the year 2000.|
|2The maximum amount the U.S. Government reimburses its employees for business travel. The lodging portion of the allowance is based on the cost for a single room at a moderately-priced hotel. The meal portion is based on the costs of an average breakfast, lunch, and dinner including taxes, service charges, and customary tips. Incidental travel expenses include such things as laundry and dry cleaning.|
|3David Maddux, ed. Editor&Publisher International Year Book. New York: The Editor&Publisher Company, 1999.|
Prior to the Civil War, Dallas' peak population was only 430 people. However, by 1990 it was the second-largest city in Texas and the eighth-largest city in the United States. Estimates for 1999 put the population at 1,068,800, while the total population of the Dallas-Fort Worth region is estimated at just under five million.
In 1997 whites were the ethnic majority at 65 percent. Those of Hispanic descent made up 17 percent of the population, while African Americans accounted for 14 percent. The remaining population is made up of Native Americans and a growing number of immigrants from Asia and Europe.
A sprawling megalopolis, Dallas is often lumped together with neighboring Fort Worth and Arlington, the entire area called the DFW Metroplex by residents. These three separate cities blend seamlessly together and, along with several suburbs, form one large metropolis.
Each neighborhood in Dallas has its own flavor. The West End Historic District is a preservation area, with buildings from the early 1900s transformed into retail spaces. Another historic area is the Swiss Avenue District, where over 200 houses have been preserved, the houses representing Georgian, Prairie, and Spanish architectural styles. The Dallas downtown area combines historic buildings with a modern skyline. The downtown skyline is a cluster of buildings designed by some of the twentieth century's most prominent architects, such as I. M. Pei (b. 1917) and Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959). Architect William D. Cook came up with the layout plans for the upscale suburb of Highland Park, which is located just north of downtown. One of the most popular and upscale neighborhoods in Dallas is the newly renovated warehouse district of Deep Ellum, which was the center of the city's African American population for much of the twentieth century. Only three blocks from downtown, this neighborhood represents a shift in Dallas' city expansion, with suburban growth slowing and more people moving back into the central city.
Dallas, along with its surrounding communities, is home to 45 colleges and universities. Neighborhoods catering to students surround Southern Methodist University, located directly north of Highland Park, and the University of Texas at Dallas, at the north-ernmost edge of the city.
In 1841 John Neely Bryan settled at a site where the Trinity River's three branches merged. Bryan noticed that the river's main branch was narrower at this point than at any other place for miles, making it an ideal place for a trading post.
By 1842 a few more settlers arrived and Bryan's encampment was called Peter's Colony. In 1845 the name was changed to honor U.S. Vice President George Mifflin Dallas (1792–1864). Dallas was incorporated as a town in 1856 and as a city in 1871.
The settlement grew slowly until the Civil War, when it served as a supply depot for Confederate troops. In 1872 the Texas Central Railroad was lured to Dallas through bribes and land gifts. The following year, the Texas Pacific Railroad was routed into town, making Dallas the major distribution center of the southwest. Cotton, wheat, and wool all came into Dallas to be exported by rail. Between 1872 and 1886 the population expanded from 6,000 to 36,000.
Cotton growing in north Texas made Dallas one of the world's largest inland cotton markets, and by 1900 Dallas had become the regional financial center servicing Texas' cotton farmers.
The next boom for Dallas came in 1930 with the east Texas oil strike. The city's financial institutions began servicing the region's oil magnates, and many of Dallas' citizens became rich off of petroleum-related enterprises. The 1930s also made outlaw robbers Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker an infamous part of Dallas' history. Both lived in the city as children, and they were working in Dallas in January of 1930 when they met. After several of their escapades, Bonnie and Clyde were nearly captured in Dallas in 1933. They were ambushed by Dallas police but escaped with only minor injuries.
A fire and flooding both influenced the city's development. In 1860 a fire destroyed much of the downtown business district. By 1908 frequent flooding of the Trinity River forced city leaders to consider redesigning the city. Planning engineer George Kessler developed a city plan that included widening the Trinity River, moving railroad tracks outside of the city, and widening city streets. At the time, these plans were considered radical; however, Kessler's ideas were slowly carried out over many years.
Perhaps Dallas will always best be known for one dark moment in American history. On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy (president 1961–63; 1917–1963) was assassinated as his motorcade passed by Dealy Plaza in downtown Dallas. Riding in an open limousine, President Kennedy was shot twice, once in the head and once in the neck. He was pronounced dead upon arriving at Parkland Memorial Hospital. Texas Governor Connally, riding with Kennedy, was also shot, though not fatally. After the shots, a reporter looked up at surrounding buildings and saw a rifle being drawn back into a sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository. Lee Harvey Oswald was accused of the killing. Oswald himself was shot only two days later in the basement of a Dallas police station by Jack Ruby. A presidential commission headed by Earl Warren, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice, ruled that Oswald acted alone and was not part of a conspiracy, as many believed. Skeptics dispute the Warren Report, though conclusive evidence has yet to be uncovered implicating anyone other than Oswald. The controversy and mystique surrounding the Kennedy assassination draw many tourists to both Dealy Plaza and the Texas School Book Depository. Dedicated in June 1970, the John F. Kennedy Memorial, designed as a place for remembrance and meditation, is located at the corner of Main and Market Streets.
Dallas' image was tarnished by the Kennedy assassination, and the city worked hard to rebuild its reputation. In 1973 the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport opened, and in 1984 Dallas hosted the Republican National Convention. From 1980 to 1982 the television drama Dallas was the top-rated series in the United States.
In 1998 the city suffered through a severe drought and heat wave. Temperatures of at least 56°C (100°F) held for 29 consecutive days, causing widespread crop damage and more than 100 deaths.
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Dallas is still a center for traditional businesses, including the cotton and petroleum industries. It is also a center for women's fashions, and it is a regional hub for financial and insurance institutions. High-tech industry has been growing in Dallas and is projected to be a major growth industry in coming years.
In 1931 Dallas adopted a city council-city manager style of government. The city is run by a city manager who is appointed by an elected mayor and an elected city council. The city manager is not a politician and is charged with the responsibility of handling administrative matters for the city. The mayor is elected to a four-year term, while the ten city council members are elected for two-year terms. The mayor may serve two terms, and the council members may serve four terms.
As of 1997, the city of Dallas had 2,872 uniformed police officers working out of six full-service police stations. Fifty-five fire stations and 1,544 fire-fighters served the city as well.
In 1998 the crime rate in Dallas was significantly above the national average. The property crime rate was 5,470 per 100,000 people, and the violent crime rate was 717.6 per 100,000. According to a 1999 Money magazine survey of 300 major cities, Dallas ranked at numbers 222 and 221 respectively in these two crime categories.
In 1999 the Dallas economy was especially strong, in keeping with a robust U.S. economy. The unemployment rate was a low three percent, and job growth from 1998 to 1999 stood at 3.8 percent, well above the national average. The Dallas economy is projected to grow nearly 20 percent by the year 2010.
Dallas is a regional financial center, serving the American southwest. As such, it is home to the Eleventh District Federal Reserve Bank. Although the Texas oil boom slowed in the latter half of the twentieth century, The city continues to serve as a corporate center for petroleum companies. Dallas is home to more petroleum company headquarters than any other city. Dallas is a major international cotton market, and the city has more than 250 insurance company headquarters.
About 20 percent of Dallas area workers are employed in manufacturing industries. Twenty percent work in the service sector, while close to 30 percent work in retail.
After World War II (1939–45), Dallas became one of the country's largest manufacturers of aircraft and missile parts. In the 1950s, Texas Instruments, the company that created the integrated circuit computer chip and the hand-held calculator, pioneered Dallas' high-tech movement, a trend that continues into the twenty-first century.
Situated on the rolling prairies of northeast Texas, along the Trinity River, the altitude of Dallas ranges from 137 to 229 meters (450 to 750 feet) above sea level. Historically, the Dallas area has been plagued by floods and drought due to its location in a region between lush and rainy Louisiana and the desert of west Texas; wet and dry years often alternate. Though droughts have hit the city as recently as 1998, city officials combated the flood problem early in the twentieth century by straightening and widening the channel of the Trinity River.
The Trinity River, as many highly trafficked bodies of waters, was polluted for much of the twentieth century, though clean-up efforts and a lessening of water-borne shipping have improved the river's water quality. In 1998 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave the Dallas watershed a high rating, well above the national average; however, the air quality was not as good, ranking below the national average.
In September 1995, the EPA made Dallas a pilot city for its Brownfields National Partnership grant program. (Brownfields are abandoned and contaminated industrial sites.) The program allotted nearly $53 million towards the cleanup and redevelopment of blighted areas in Dallas.
Dallas has a Sunbelt climate, with hot summers and mild winters. Average highs in July are close to 53°C (96°F), while average lows in January only dip to 19°C (34°F). It rarely snows in Dallas. Annual average rainfall is 81 centimeters (32 inches). Dallas' Sunbelt climate offers an average of 237 sunny days per year.
Dallas is said to have more per capita retail space that any other city in America, and its 630 shopping centers lend credence to this claim. The city's most popular store is the downtown Neiman-Marcus on Main Street. The Dallas Galleria is a major shopping mall, with more than 160 stores and an ice skating rink.
In the West End, a cracker factory has been converted into the West End Marketplace, a collection of specialty shops. To the north of the West End is the Quadrangle, a cluster of upscale shops. Art galleries and antique shops are concentrated on Coit Road. The Farmers Market is located at 1010 South Pearl Street.
The city is probably best known for its cotton products, especially women's clothing. Cotton dresses can be purchased at bargain prices in area stores. Dallas is becoming a high-tech center, and the Infomart complex has offices and showrooms for many high-tech information companies.
There are 40 public school districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and more than 250 private and parochial schools in the area. The Dallas Independent School District is the tenth-largest school district in the United States, with 220 schools and 157,000 students. The Dallas Independent School District has ten magnet high schools, two secondary special education schools, and five secondary alternative schools.
Until the 1880s Dallas schools were private. In 1877 Dallas voters turned down a proposal to levy taxes to form a public school system. It wasn't until 1881 that the tax levy was passed, and in 1884 the first Dallas public schools opened.
Dallas and its nearby communities are home to 45 colleges and universities, which attract more than 250,000 students to the area each year. Public universities in the Dallas area include the University of North Texas, the University of Texas at Dallas, and Texas Women's University. Private colleges and universities include the Dallas Baptist College, Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University, and Texas Wesleyan University.
Dallas has a large community college enrollment. The Dallas County Community College District consists of seven colleges located throughout Dallas County. These community colleges enroll nearly 100,000 students each semester.
13. Health Care
There are 37 general hospitals in Dallas, the major hospitals being Baylor University Medical Center, Methodist Medical Center, and St. Paul Medical Center.
Other health services include the Dallas Homeless Outreach Medical Services, which offers mobile medical care to the underprivileged and homeless, and the Parkland Health and Hospital System, which provides a network of neighborhood-based health centers. LocalSource Dallas (www.localsource.com) offers free referrals to area doctors.
Dallas residents interested in alternatives to Western medicine have access to acupuncturists, holistic healers, and message therapists.
The Dallas Morning News is the city's daily general newspaper. The Dallas Observer and the Dallas Times are weekly papers covering news, features, and entertainment. The Daily Commercial Record covers legal and business news, while the Dallas Business Journal provides business coverage.
Television stations include the following: 4 (FOX), 5 (NBC), 8 (ABC), 11 (CBS), 13 (PBS), 21 (UPN), 27 and 39 (independent), and 68 (public access).
A variety of commercial radio stations serve the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, broadcasting everything from rock to classical to sports to talk shows. Dallas' public radio station is KERA 90.1 FM.
Dallas has six professional sports teams, including baseball's Texas Rangers who play in Arlington. The city's professional football team, the Cowboys, have won five Super Bowl titles. Dallas' professional hockey team, the Stars, won the Stanley Cup in the 1998–1999 season. Also playing are the Mavericks, a professional basketball team, and two pro soccer teams, the Burn, an outdoor team, and the Sidekicks, an indoor team. The Mesquite Championship Rodeo has weekly competitions from April through September. Dallas hosts college football's Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day.
Dallas has 336 parks, with parkland covering over 50,000 acres. Dallas residents have access to 50 reservoirs and lakes for fishing, swimming, sailing, and boating. White Rock Lake is Dallas' version of New York's Central Park. White Rock, in the center of the city, is a favorite for jogging, biking, fishing, and sailing. Dallas has over 805 kilometers (500 miles) of bike trails in parks and bike lanes along city streets. Many city parks also have public golf courses. Other participant sports offered in the city include horseback riding, ice-skating, swimming, sailing, and tennis.
Six Flags Over Texas is one of the country's oldest and biggest amusement parks. Located just west of Dallas in Arlington, only a 20-minute drive from downtown Dallas, Six Flags has more than 100 rides, shows, and attractions and is home to Mr. Freeze, the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Texas (as of 1999).
17. Performing Arts
Dallas is home to several performing arts organizations. Plays are staged at the Dallas Theater Center, housed in a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Two symphonies perform regularly, the Mesquite Symphony Orchestra and the celebrated Dallas Symphony Orchestra, which performs downtown in Mortin H. Meyerson Hall. Dallas also has a ballet, several summer musical festivals, an African-American dance theater, a Shakespeare festival, and several community theater groups.
The Deep Ellum neighborhood, a renovated warehouse district just east of downtown, has long been Dallas' unofficial music center. In the early 1900s, Deep Ellum was the center of the city's African-American community, and in the 1920s and 1930s famous blues musicians often played in area clubs. Leadbelly and Blind Lemon Jefferson both performed in many of Deep Ellum's clubs. In the 1990s, Deep Ellum attracted bands that performed a variety of musical styles, including rock, jazz, alternative, Latin, and country.
Dallas has 23 city libraries housing over seven million volumes of books. The main branch of the library is the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library at 1515 Young Street. A good place to learn about Dallas' history is the G. B. Dealy Library. Maintained by the Dallas Historical Society, the G. B. Dealy Library collects materials documenting Dallas' past.
The Dallas Museum of Art displays works ranging from pre-Columbian to contemporary. The Dallas Aquarium houses nearly 400 species of aquatic animals. The Dallas Zoo keeps its animals in areas meant to recreate natural habitats.
The Sixth Floor Museum, the John F. Kennedy Memorial, and the Conspiracy Museum all explore the life of President John F. Kennedy and his eventual assassination in Dallas. The Sixth Floor Museum is in the former Texas School Book Depository, the site from where Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy.
Hot, muggy summers and cool, rainy winters make spring and fall the best times to visit the city. Dallas has plenty of restaurants—four times more restaurants per capita than New York City. Local cuisines include southwestern, Tex-Mex, and Texas-style steak-houses. Dallas restaurants vary from cheap hole-in-the-wall diners to four-star restaurants, of which Dallas has six. Popular dining locations are Restaurant Row, Uptown, and the West End. Dallas is also considered one of Texas' premiere night spots. Each night, up to 110 musical acts perform around the city. Although the music ranges from jazz and blues to rock and alternative, tourists tend to favor the many country and western bars around the city.
Many fine hotels service downtown Dallas, but when staying downtown, even the more run-of-the-mill motels tend to charge high prices. For more affordable lodging, it is necessary to stay outside of the city limits.
New Year's Day Cotton Bowl
Dallas Blooms, held in the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Memorial Day weekend's Artfest
July and August
Shakespeare Festival in Samuel Grand Park
Dallas Airshow at Love Field
Texas State Fair
Late October—Early November
Autumn at the Arboretum
Cotton Bowl pre-game parade and celebration
21. Famous Citizens
John H. Holliday (d. 1887), better known as "Doc" Holliday, gun-fighter and gambler, a once-practicing dentist in Dallas.
Blind Lemon Jefferson (1897–1929), blues musician who earned his fame playing in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas, the bestselling black blues singer in the United States for three years in the 1920s.
Clyde Barrow (1909–1934) and Bonnie Parker (1911–1934), outlaws.
Harry Hines, millionaire who made his fortune in oil, served as Texas Highway Commission Chairman from 1935 to 1941.
Annette Strauss, Dallas' first woman mayor, elected in 1987.
Areaguide Dallas. [Online] Available http://www.dallas.areaguides.net (accessed January 15, 2000).
City of Dallas official website.[Online] Available http://www.ci.dallas.tx.us/ (accessed January 15, 2000).
Dallas Chamber of Commerce. [Online] Available http://www.dallaschamber.org (accessed January 15, 2000).
Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau. [Online] Available http://www.dallascvb.com (accessed January 15, 2000).
LocalSource Dallas. [Online] Available http://www.local-source.com (accessed January 15, 2000).
Virtual Relocation: Dallas. [Online] Available http://www.virtualrelocation.com/usa/Texas/Cities/Dallas/ (accessed January 15, 2000).
Dallas Fire Department
1500 Marilla, Room 7A South
Dallas, TX 75201
Dallas Mayor's Office
1500 Marilla, Room 5EN
Dallas, TX 75201
Dallas Parks and Recreation
1500 Marilla, Room 6FN
Dallas, TX 75201
Dallas Police Department
2014 Main Street
Dallas, TX 75201
Tourist and Convention Bureaus
Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau
1201 Elm Street, Suite 2000
Dallas, TX 75270
Dallas Visitor Information Center
100 Houston Street
Dallas, TX 75202
Daily Commercial Record
706 Main Street
Dallas, Texas 75202
Phone: (214) 741–6366
Dallas Business Journal
10670 North Central Expressway, Suite 710
Dallas, TX 75231
Phone: (214) 696–5959
Dallas Morning News
508 Young Street
Dallas, TX 75202
Phone: (214) 977–8222
The Dallas Observer
P.O. Box 190289
Dallas, TX 75219
Phone: (214) 757–9000
200 W Jefferson Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75208
Phone: (214) 943–7445
Dallas is rich in entertainment opportunities. Whether one's preference runs to culture, sports, nightlife, or family fare, the Metroplex—including Fort Worth, Arlington, Irving, Grand Prairie, the "Mid-Cities," and many suburbs—has plenty to offer. Beginning in downtown Dallas, visitors can see Dallas founder John Neely Bryan's log cabin at Founder's Plaza, wander through the city's historic districts, enjoy a shopping excursion among the shops and stores located in the underground network of downtown office buildings, or seek out merchandise at Neiman-Marcus department store, which maintains a unique fifth-floor museum. Other downtown Dallas attractions include the beautifully restored Majestic Theatre, the chimes in the bell tower, Thanks-Giving Square, the marvelous bronze steers of Pioneer Plaza, the bargains at Farmers Market, the observation deck on top of the 50-story tall Reunion Tower, and the ice rinks at Plaza of the Americas complex and at down-town's West End (open December through March).
Fair Park is a 277-acre entertainment, cultural, and recreational complex located on the site of the Texas Centennial Exposition of 1936 and home each year to the State Fair of Texas, the country's largest. Fair Park includes the Cotton Bowl Stadium, a 3,400-seat Music Hall, a 7,200-seat coliseum, a 4,000-seat open-air Band Shell, Starplex Amphitheatre, six major exhibit buildings, livestock facilities, a permanent Midway amusement park, the technologically advanced TI Founders IMAX Theater, and nine museums including the Museum of Natural History, African American Museum, Texas Hall of State, Dallas Horticulture Center, Dallas Aquarium, The Science Place I and II, and Age of Steam Railroad Museum. Fair Park has the largest collection of art-deco structures in the world. More than seven million people visit Fair Park events each year, with 3.5 million visiting during the State Fair of Texas each fall.
Six Flags over Texas in nearby Arlington is a 205-acre theme park that includes more than 100 rides, shows, concerts, games, and restaurants. Six Flags, themed for the six nations that have governed Texas, is open for special events during the holidays. Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, southwest of Dallas, is dedicated to conservation of endangered species. Programs here focus on conservation, management of natural resources, and public education. Most of the animals here are free to roam the 1,500 acres of savannahs and woodlands, offering visitors a rare chance to see and learn about how species live in the wild.
The Dallas Zoo features more than 2,000 animals, including many rare and endangered species. The 25-acre Wilds of Africa exhibit features a mile-long monorail, nature trail, African plaza, gorilla conservation center, and lots of animals in their natural habitats. "Lemur Lookout" features several examples of the endangered, primitive primate in a 4,000-square-foot naturalistic exhibit. The Zoo's Monorail Safari takes visitors on a one-mile tour through the six habitats. The Dallas Nature Center has 4.5 miles of hiking trails and picnic areas amid a variety of native wildflowers. Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden has 66 acres of gardens plus the historic DeGolyer Mansion and features the largest public selection of azaleas in the United States.
Old City Park is a living history museum portraying life in North Texas from 1840-1910. The museum features 38 historic structures, including a working Civil War era farm, a traditional Jewish household, Victorian homes, a school, a church, and commercial buildings. Deep Ellum, a former industrial neighborhood and center of the Dallas jazz scene is home to avant-garde culture in the form of a variety of restaurants, nightclubs, galleries, and shops.
Arts and Culture
The performing arts enjoy a healthy patronage in Dallas. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO), acclaimed as one of the world's premier orchestras, presents numerous subscription concerts, pops concerts, youth concerts, and free park concerts. The DSO performs at the magnificent Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center (designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei) in the 60-acre downtown Arts District, the largest urban arts district in the country. Classical music is also provided by the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, the Dallas Classic Guitar Society, and the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra.
The Kalita Humphreys Theatre, home to the Dallas Theater Center, is the only public theater designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It houses the city's professional theater company, which offers live drama and conducts a children's theater. The Theater Center has a second performance facility in the downtown Arts District. Dallas Children's Theater offers special fare for youngsters. Others on the Dallas theater scene include Water Tower Theatre, Deep Ellum Opera Theatre, Pocket Sandwich Theatre, Pegasus, Theatre Three, Actors' Theatre of Dallas, Dallas Summer Musicals, the Junior Black Academy of Arts and Letters, and Undermain Theatre. Teatro Dallas features plays about Hispanic culture, and the Callier Theatre for the Deaf offers performances throughout the year.
The Dallas Opera, an international company founded in 1957, presents numerous performances each winter and spring in the Music Hall at Fair Park and the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. Three operettas in English are performed each year by the Lyric Opera. The Music Hall at Fair Park is home of the Dallas Summer Musicals and hosts annual shows during the State Fair each October. The Grapevine Opry and Mesquite Opry are sites for country music performances. One of Dallas' oldest dance troupes, Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, is particularly active during Dance for the Planet festivals. Dallas Black Dance Theatre is a contemporary modern dance company that performs a modern, jazz, ethnic, and spiritual works by nationally and internationally known choreographers.
Dallas-area museums and galleries offer a wide range of exhibits and displays. The Dallas Museum of Art has 370,000 square feet of space on an 8.9-acre site in the Arts District. Its collections include works by renowned American and European artists; the Crow Collection of Asian Art features more than 600 paintings, objects, and architectural pieces from China, Japan, India, and Southeast Asia.
The Dallas Aquarium at Fair Park features electric eels, moon jellyfish, and endangered green sea turtles among the 5,000 aquatic animals from around the world. Also at Fair Park, the Dallas Museum of Natural History contains native-habitat displays of animals—including a hall housing tremendous dinosaur fossils—and minerals, birds, and plants, a photographic gallery, and changing exhibits. Other Fair Park museums include: Hall of State, built in 1936 and home to the Dallas Historical Society; The Science Place, featuring science exhibits, a planetarium, and IMAX theater; The Age of Steam Railroad Museum, a collection of railroad locomotives; the African American Museum; Texas Discovery Gardens; and The Women's Museum.
Old City Park in downtown Dallas is an architectural and cultural museum whose authentic restorations trace Texas history from 1840 to 1910. Buildings include a depot, railroad section house, hotel, physician's office, bank, church, school, and various homes. The Biblical Arts Center features early Christian architecture, Biblical and secular art, a 30-minute light-and-sound presentation of the "Miracle at Pentecost" mural, and an atrium gallery that displays a replica of the garden tomb of Christ. The cultures and lifestyles of South American Indians are depicted at the International Museum of Cultures, where exhibits include pottery, habitat displays, and scenes of everyday life. The Sixth Floor Museum at the former Texas School Book Depository chronicles the life and legacy of President John F. Kennedy. The 30-foot-high JFK Memorial downtown commemorates the late president.
The Nasher Sculpture Center is a 54,000-square-foot building and outdoor sculpture garden featuring the art collection of philanthropist and collector Ray Nasher and his late wife, Patsy. Considered by many as one of the foremost private or public collections of twentieth-century sculpture in the world, consists of more than 300 pieces by artists such as Matisse, Picasso, Rodin and others.
The Dallas Firefighters Museum permits visitors to walk through Dallas' oldest in-service fire station, which houses "Old Tige," a turn-of-the-century steam pumper, and a variety of antique fire-fighting equipment. The Dallas Memorial Center for Holocaust Studies includes a museum, library, and educational institute. The Dollhouse Museum of the Southwest features displays of international dolls and toys.
Festivals and Holidays
Dallas starts off its year with New Year's celebrations and continues strong throughout the year with numerous festivals featuring art, music, food, fun, and more. The Wild-flower! Arts & Music Festival is held every May and features national, regional, and local entertainment. The Shakespeare Festival is held each summer and features Camp Shakespeare and Festival Workshops for kids. ArtFest is held each year in Fair Park, a celebration of art, food and drink, and good times. Dallas Farmers Market is the scene of seasonal festivals, and the great State Fair of Texas is held each year at Fair Park from late September through mid-October. Additionally, One of the largest wine festivals in the Southwest is Grapefest, held in Grapevine, Texas, a suburb of Dallas.
Sports for the Spectator
Dallas sports fans can follow their local favorites at the professional or college level. Since 1972 the Dallas Cowboys professional football team has made its home at Texas Stadium in Irving. The American Airlines Center is home to National Basketball Association's expansion franchise team Dallas Mavericks, as well as the Dallas Desperados of the Arena Football League (AFL). Also at the American Airlines Center, the Dallas Stars face-off against other National Hockey League teams from September through April. The Texas Rangers play Major League Baseball from April thru October at Ameriquest Field in Arlington. Major League Soccer's FC Dallas (formerly the Dallas Burn) play at the Frisco Soccer & Entertainment Center, opened in 2005. The new 115-acre facility features a 20,000-plus-seat soccer stadium.
Real championship cowboys compete at the Mesquite Championship Rodeo at Resistol Arena from April to September in Mesquite, Texas. In May, the TPC at Four Seasons Resort in Irving, Texas hosts the annual Byron Nelson Golf Classic, one of the major events on the professional golf tour.
College and university sports fans follow the Southern Methodist University Mustang teams and the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs. The Cotton Bowl Football Classic each year pits two of the nation's best college teams.
Sports for the Participant
The city of Dallas has more than 21,000 acres of parks and 17 lakes, with nearly 62 miles of jogging and biking paths. Residents and visitors can find almost every kind of recreation in one or more of the municipal facilities. The system's 406 neighborhood, community, and regional parks offer 263 tennis courts, 146 soccer fields, 226 pools, 45 recreation centers, 6 golf courses, and a variety of other fields, shelters, play areas, and recreational facilities.
Sixty lakes and reservoirs lie within a 100-mile radius of Dallas. The largest within the city is Lake Ray Hubbard, with more than 20,000 acres and a public marina. The Dallas Nature Center features 360 acres of preserved wilderness and mesquite prairie, including six miles of hiking trails.
In 2002 and after six years in development, Lake Tawakoni State Park opened 50 miles east of Dallas. The park covers 376 rolling, wooded acres on the shore of a large reservoir and provides a variety of recreational activities, including catfish and bass fishing.
Shopping and Dining
Dallas offers visitors a unique blend of Southwestern warmth, cosmopolitan flair, Old West charm and modern sophistication. One of the wholesale and retail centers of the nation, Dallas has more shopping centers per capita than any major American city. Valley View Center is one of the city's largest shopping centers with more than 175 merchants occupying 1.5 million square feet of space. NorthPark Mall is home to more than 160 stores. The Galleria Dallas features more than 200 stores, including high-end retailers like Tiffany & Co., Gianni Versace, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Nordstrom and others; the mall also features an ice skating rink inspired by the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan, Italy. The West End Marketplace downtown has over 30 specialty shops featuring Texas/Dallas memorabilia and unique gifts; shoppers also have their choice from a variety of restaurants and night clubs in the renovated historic district. More than three million antique and bargain hunters visit Traders Village in Grand Prairie, Texas each year. Spread over 120 acres, more than 2,500 dealers set up shop each weekend in the open-air bargain hunters' paradise.
Dallas, with four times more restaurants per person than New York City, can serve up Texas beef or French cuisine, fiery Texas chili, or a variety of ethnic specialties. According to the Texas Restaurant Association, Dallas has more than 7,000 restaurants to enjoy. TexMex fare is supplemented by the ethnic dishes of Greece, Mexico, Germany, Japan, China, Vietnam, India, and Italy at fine restaurants and eateries. Although some restaurants specialize in traditional southern cooking, this fare is mostly served at home in Dallas. Dallas boasts the invention of the frozen margarita, a popular cocktail made of tequila, lime juice, sugar, and salt.
Visitor Information: Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, 325 North St. Paul Street, Suite 700, Dallas, TX 75201; telephone (214)571-1000; fax (214)571-1008
Major Industries and Commercial Activity
Dallas boasts a broadly diverse business climate, with technological industries in the lead. Major industries include defense, financial services, information technology and data, life sciences, semiconductors, telecommunications, transportation, and processing. According to the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex holds about 43 percent of the state's high-tech workers. Further, 13 privately-held companies with at least $1 billion in annual revenues are headquartered in the area. Among the 19 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the area are Advance PCS, Dean Foods, ExxonMobil, Kimberly-Clark, Neiman Marcus, Southwest Airlines, and Texas Instruments.
Dubbed the "Silicon Prairie," Dallas is among the country's largest employment centers for high technology. In addition, Dallas is known as a center for telecommunications manufacturing employment in the United States. The Telecom Corridor is an area in Richardson, Texas, north of Dallas. Its nickname is in recognition of the proliferation of telecommunications companies in a small section of the community. The area is a strip about three miles long on Highway 75, north of Interstate 635; Nortel, Ericsson, Alcatel, Southwestern Bell and other telecom companies call the area home.
Real estate and tourism are other major industry sectors in Dallas.
Items and goods produced: chemicals and allied products, electronic components, parts for defense and airline industries, machinery, transportation equipment, and food products
Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies
Tax Increment Finance Districts (TIFs) are designated areas targeted for development, redevelopment, and improvements. Increases in tax revenues from new development and higher real estate values are paid into TIF funds to finance improvements. Public Improvement Districts (PIDs) are created at the request of property owners in the district, who pay a supplemental tax which is used for services beyond existing city services, such as marketing, security, landscaping, and other improvements. There are seven TIFs and five areas designated as PIDs in Dallas.
State-designated Enterprise Zone Projects may be eligible for state sales or use tax refunds of taxes paid for building materials, machinery and equipment for use in the enterprise zone. Other state sales tax refunds and franchise tax refunds or reductions are available to qualified businesses in state-designated enterprise zones. Classification by the Public Utilities Commission as a qualified business in a state designated enterprise zone may qualify the business for up to a 5 percent reduction on electric utility rate upon negotiation with local electric utility service provider.
Job training programs
The Greater Dallas Chamber promotes economic opportunities for all women through a series of seminars and training sessions. The College for Texans statewide campaign launched in the fall of 2002 by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) works to send more Texans to college, training them for the workforce beyond. Through this program, GO Centers, a grassroots network of community-managed college recruiting centers, serve as primary points of coordination between the campaign efforts and local communities. Leadership Dallas is a program that trains business leaders in community responsibility through discussion of issues, consideration of options, and first-hand exploration of the needs and concerns of the Greater Dallas Region.
The Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Airport has invested $2.7 billion in its five-year Capital Development Program (CPD), which includes a two million square foot international terminal with an integrated Grand Hyatt Hotel and a high-speed train. Airfield, roadway, and airport infrastructure support projects make up the rest of the program. The development program is expected to generate an estimated $34 billion impact on the North Texas economy and create 77,000 new jobs during the next 15 years. Currently, DFW has more than 2.6 million square feet of cargo facilities.
Among the city's seven Tax Increment Finance Districts (TIFs) is the City Center TIF at the historic center of downtown Dallas. With a budget of nearly $62 million, City Center TIF projects focus on streetscaping, lighting, acquisition and restoration of historic buildings, façade improvements, and others. Due in part to the TIF program, the City Center TIF area has brought about more than 1,300 already-built or in-planning residential units; more than 2,300 planned or completed hotel rooms; and more than 300,000 square feet of retail space. Another Tax Increment Finance District, the Sports Arena TIF contains about 65 acres of land surrounding the American Airlines Center. Funds to the tune of nearly $26 million will be used mainly for roadway improvements and future development of entertainment and retail space, residential units, and office space.
Economic Development Information: Greater Dallas Chamber, Economic Development, 700 North Pearl Street, Suite 1200, Dallas, TX 75201; telephone (214)746-6600
A major mid-continent gateway to the world, the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport's international cargo shipments have more than tripled in the last 10 years, reaching 244,515 metric tons in 2004, a nearly 28 percent increase over 2003. In addition to its excellent airport services, interstate highways, and railroad connections, Dallas maintains its edge as a leading distribution center of the Southwest with a healthy trucking industry whose carriers offer direct service to major points in the United States.
Labor Force and Employment Outlook
Dallas' job market is primed to grow slightly faster than the nation in 2005. The expansion of the professional and business sector and the leisure and hospitality services sector is aiding the state's improving economy, along with solid growth in health and educational services. Additionally, the construction and transportation sectors are reporting accelerating year-over-year job growth, while the economic drag from the ailing manufacturing and information sectors is diminishing. Professionals are moving back to the urban center to take advantage of the educational and health care opportunities as well as professional business services that Dallas provides. Many of these new residents were enticed to relocate by the expanding leisure and hospitality industry, which has finally seen a revival since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. This influx of new residents provides the metro area with an abundant labor supply and increased prospects for local lenders. The Dallas area enters the twenty-first century experiencing some of the highest economic expansion in the nation. Dallas' entrepreneurial spirit and pro-business atmosphere paved the way for the city to be named "the best city in North America for business" twice by Fortune magazine. The Sprint Business Survey called Dallas the most productive area in the U.S., based on its vibrant economic climate and its fast-growing industries in technology, communications, professional services, banking and financial services.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Dallas metropolitan area labor force, 2003 annual averages.
Size of nonagricultural labor force: 1,901,600
Number of workers employed in . . .
construction and mining: 104,900
trade, transportation and utilities: 410,500
financial activities: 168,100
professional and business services: 269,000
educational and health services: 188,400
leisure and hospitality: 170,300
other services: 73,400
Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $13.50
Unemployment rate: 5.5% (December 2004)
|Largest employers||Number of employees|
|AMR (American Airlines)||26,700|
|Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.||19,200|
|Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co.||15,500|
|SBC Communications, Inc.||14,100|
|Verizon Communications, Inc.||13,000|
|Baylor Health Care System||12,600|
|Brinker International Inc.||12,000|
|Electronic Data Systems Corp.||9,000|
|Bank of America Corp.||7,700|
|Parkland Health and Hospital System||7,350|
|Southwest Airlines Co.||6,200|
|Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.||5,950|
|United Parcel Service, Inc.||5,550|
Cost of Living
The following is a summary of several key cost of living factors for the Dallas area.
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $189,137
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 93.9 (U.S. average = 100.0)
State income tax rate: none
State sales tax rate: 6.25% (food and prescription drugs are exempt)
Local income tax rate: none
Local sales tax rate: 8.25%, of which 1.0% is a transit system tax
Property tax rate: $2.93 per $100 of assessed valuation; ratio of assessment = 100% of market value (2003)
Economic Information: The Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, 700 North Pearl Street, Suite 1200, Dallas, TX 75201; telephone (214)746-6600
With the 1980 episode that answered the question "Who Shot J.R.?," Dallas became the most-watched program in the history of television. The originator of the prime-time soap opera, Dallas' serial stories about the exploits of a Texas oil family provided fodder for water-cooler gossip as well as real bookie-joint wagering. The program enjoyed a 13 year run, making superstars of Larry Hagman, Victoria Principal, Patrick Duffy, and others. The program foundered in the early 1990s and is remembered more than any other program as the epitome of the unabashedly capitalistic Reagan era.
Premiering April 2, 1978 on CBS, the series revolved around the relationships and tribulations of patriarch Jock Ewing and wife "Miss Ellie" (played by Jim Davis and Barbara Bel Geddes) and their three sons: J.R. (Hagman), the deceitful, conniving businessman who with his father ran the family oil company; Bobby (Duffy) a freewheeling playboy as the series began; and Gary (first David Ackroyd, then Ted Shackelford), a weak-willed alcoholic who long ago had fled the family's Southfork Ranch. J.R.'s wife was boozy Sue Ellen (Linda Gray). Bobby, in the series' first episode, eloped with Pamela (Victoria Principal), the sexy daughter of family arch-enemy Digger Barnes. Their marriage set the stage for years of conflict, especially with Pamela's brother Cliff (Ken Kercheval).
In early episodes, the series was structured as a traditional weekly drama; each episode presented a stand-alone story, with Pamela ostensibly the focal point of the narrative. It quickly became clear, however, that wily J.R. was the real favorite of both the series' writers and the audience. By 1979, the series threaded continuing stories through several stand-alone episodes. Alcoholic Sue Ellen turned up pregnant: was the baby J.R.'s or Cliff's? J.R.'s turncoat secretary Julie (Tina Louise) was murdered: would J.R. succeed in framing Cliff for the killing?
The series settled into a Friday at 10:00 p.m time-slot, growing in popularity until the final episode of the 1979-1980 season, when J.R. was shot by an unknown assailant. There was no shortage of suspects: he had spent the season acquiring, then unloading what proved to be worthless Asian oil leases, swindling everyone from the family banker to his own mother in the process; he had driven Bobby and Pam off Southfork; and he had shipped wife Sue Ellen off to a sanitarium, even as he bedded her younger sister.
During that summer of 1980, Dallas fever exploded. "Who Shot J.R.?" was a sensation, the subject of everything from fan speculation to Las Vegas betting. The press scrambled in vain to uncover details of the fall scripts; elaborate security precautions were put into effect at the studio. Producers took no chances; each actor was brought in to film scenes of his or her character "shooting" J.R.
A lingering actors' strike—and Larry Hagman's demand for a raise—threatened the solution to the mystery, but the public finally learned the answer on November 21, 1980. Sue Ellen's sister Kristin, J.R.'s former mistress, had pulled the trigger, infuriated by J.R.'s attempts to run her out of town. Sue Ellen herself solved the mystery, realizing her sister was plotting to frame her for the crime. Unfortunately, Kristin revealed she was pregnant with J.R.'s baby; instead of sending her to prison, J.R. shipped his assailant off to California, where she would have her illegitimate child in secret. The episode set an all-time ratings record: an unprecedented 53.3 Nielsen mark, meaning more than half of America's television households were tuned in—the highest rating in history, a figure exceeded only once in later years.
Dallas was now the most popular series on American television. Actor Jim Davis passed away in early 1981 and Jock was eventually written out of the series. His will set up a power struggle at Ewing Oil that unfolded over most of the 1982-1983 season, arguably the series' creative peak. Barbara Bel Geddes (Miss Ellie) departed for health reasons in 1984; she was replaced by Donna Reed. Barely a year later, Reed was reportedly livid to discover she had been fired to make way for Bel Geddes' return. She sued the series' producers.
Meanwhile, J.R. and Sue Ellen divorced, remarried, then divorced again; Bobby and Pam had also divorced by 1984. The characters were moving toward reconciliation when actor Patrick Duffy announced he was leaving the show. In the final episode of the 1984-1985 season, Bobby was killed—murdered by his deranged former sister-in-law, even as he had just professed his undying love for Pam.
Yet even as the series spun its larger-than-life stories, it also managed to capture the real-life flavor of a turbulent decade: the 1982-1983 recession figured prominently in the story; later, the mid-decade mania of big-business mergers and take-overs was reflected on-screen. The fictional Ewing Oil was now worth two billion dollars, but the Dallas franchise itself was priceless to CBS and its affiliates.
The series had begotten one spin-off (brother Gary and wife Val set up housekeeping in Knots Landing in 1979) and a host of imitators, from Falcon Crest to Flamingo Road to Dynasty. Dynasty, in particular, caught the public's fancy. Where Dallas' stories had at least some grounding in real life, Dynasty was simply glamorous, over-the-top high camp. By the end of the 1984-1985 season, Dynasty ran neck-and-neck with Dallas for the number one position in the ratings.
A behind-the-scenes shakeup followed; that Dallas suddenly looked a lot more like Dynasty —soapier plots, more elaborate costumes—was apparently no coincidence. When a Cosby -led sitcom resurgence pushed all the evening soaps down the ratings chart by 1986, the production staff was overhauled again: much of the old guard returned, and Larry Hagman began assuming some creative control over the series. Hagman himself reportedly engineered one of the biggest television coups of 1986 when he personally convinced Patrick Duffy to return to the series. In the final 1985-1986 episode, Pamela awoke from a night's sleep, only to find the long-dead Bobby lathering up in her shower. The audience was left to wonder all summer: Who was that? How did he get there? The cliffhanger was nearly as big a sensation as "Who Shot J.R." had been six years earlier, and the producers hyped it expertly—going so far as to film fake footage, then allowing it to find its way into the tabloids.
"Bobby in the Shower" was an inspired stunt; the resolution was a disaster. In the opening moments of the fall season, it was revealed that Bobby had never died; instead, Pamela had simply dreamt the entire 1985-1986 season. An entire year's worth of narrative and character development were simply wiped out. Fans howled in protest; the move was a critical and creative debacle.
The episode also turned out to be the last great moment of the "prime-time soap" craze. Dynasty's ratings had collapsed; Dallas, while strong, was losing ground. Victoria Principal departed in 1987; several supporting characters were written out about the same time. Everyone from Priscilla Presley to a young Brad Pitt had passed through Southfork by this time, but the characters' antics were becoming sillier. A stranger claimed to be the presumed-dead Jock; he was revealed as an impostor. J.R's dirty dealings finally cost him Ewing Oil; he went into business for himself. In 1988, J.R. was held captive by some good ol' boys in Arkansas; he later married their virgin young sister. The character's 1990 stay in a mental institution (he had infiltrated it to meet a business contact, only to find himself committed by his disgruntled illegitimate son) was a low point.
Yet even in its dotage, the series made waves. Location filming in Europe and the Soviet Union in 1989 drew considerable press; later that year, CBS switchboards lit up when Linda Gray's final appearance as Sue Ellen was interrupted for news bulletins (the network repented by showing the "missing minutes" in late-night several weeks later). An experimental return to single-story episodes in 1988 drew little attention; a try-out of several-episode "story arcs" in 1990 featured a guest appearances by Susan Lucci and a reunion with Hagman's I Dream of Jeannie co-star Barbara Eden. The venerable series ended its run in May, 1991, with a take-off of It's A Wonderful Life where J.R. was visited not by an angel, but by a messenger of Satan (Joel Grey) who, along with favorite characters from the past, presented a series of vignettes demonstrating what life would have been had J.R. never been born. In the series' final scene, the mysterious visitor goaded the character into an apparent suicide attempt.
A pair of mid-1990s reunion movies (J.R. of course had not killed himself, but merely shot a mirror!) failed utterly to capture the spirit of the series in its best day. Inevitably, Dallas's day had come and gone. The free-wheeling, politically incorrect, every-man-for-himself age of the 1980s had long since passed; indeed, Dallas was as much period piece as soap, a true historical artifact that both reflects and explains the culture that elevated it to its legendary status.
Brooks, Tim, and Earle Marsh. The Complete Directory To Prime Time Network And Cable TV Shows. New York, Ballantine Books, 1995.
DALLAS , a financial and industrial center in North Texas and the second largest city in the state. First settled in 1844, the city had an estimated population of 1,188,580 in 1997, including a Jewish population of approximately 50,000. New figures released in 2003 estimate the total population for the 16-county North Texas region, which includes Dallas, to be almost six million.
The earliest Jewish settlement began in 1870 with the arrival of about 15 families. The first Jews were mainly retail merchants and several of them, among whom the Sanger and Kahn families were outstanding, played a vital role in the commercial development of the city. The first organized Jewish institution dates to 1872, when the Hebrew Benevolent Association was created; although it was primarily a charitable institution, it sponsored the first High Holiday services. A Jewish cemetery was dedicated the same year, and in 1873 a local B'nai B'rith chapter was formed.
Temple Emanu-El was Dallas' first congregation, founded in 1874 and allied with the Reform movement; it had a membership of 2,800 families in 2005. A second congregation, Shearith Israel, established as an Orthodox synagogue in 1884, became Conservative, and had 1,480 families. Another Orthodox congregation, Tiferet Israel, was founded in 1890 and had 325 families. Nearly 1,050 families belonged to the Reform Temple Shalom, which was organized in 1965. Dallas had 20 congregations – four Conservative, eight Reform, seven Orthodox, and one traditional. The Rabbinical Advisory Council founded in 1944 (now the Rabbinic Association of Greater Dallas) represents these synagogues.
There were seven Jewish day and high schools ranging from Orthodox to Reform, with a total attendance of more than 1,200 children. Thanks to a community-wide Capital Campaign which raised more than $55 million for the construction and renovation of ten agency facilities, many of these schools enjoyed new or refurbished buildings. Among them was a new state-of-the-art building for Solomon Schechter Academy and a new 8.5-acre campus for Akiba and Yavneh Academies which was slated to encompass Judaica and artwork by noted Jewish artist David Moss.
The Jewish Welfare Federation, now called the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, was organized in 1911 as a centralized agency for all Dallas Jewish social welfare services and fundraising for local, national, and overseas needs. It sponsors a Jewish Community Relations Council, composed of representatives of all major Jewish organizations, and a Leadership Development Group, founded in 1952. The Federation had a Jewish education department which provided teacher workshops, adult education initiatives, and programs such as Teen Tour and Gift of Israel which enable students to travel to the Promised Land.
The Federation is a member of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, United Jewish Communities, the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council, and the Jewish Education Service of North America. Its Annual Campaign supported a network of more than 43 human and social service programs for Jews locally, nationally, in Israel, and overseas. The 2004 Annual Campaign raised an unprecedented $9.5 million for humanitarian needs.
There were three constituent agencies supported by the Federation: Jewish Family Service (jfs), the Legacy Senior Communities, Inc., and the Jewish Community Center of Dallas (the j). Jewish Family Service offered counseling, financial assistance, and job placement to both families and individuals. In 2004, 2,176 adults and children received food from the jfs food pantry. jfs relocated to new facilities in 2002 thanks to funds raised through the aforementioned Capital Campaign. The Legacy Senior Communities, Inc. is the parent company of Golden Acres-Dallas Home for Jewish Aged and the planned Legacy at Willow Bend. Golden Acres, opened in 1953, offers care and treatment for the elderly; it has adjacent apartment units for independent living and manages echad, housing for low-income elderly. The Legacy at Willow Bend was planned as an up-and-coming premiere retirement community immersed in Jewish tradition and focused on independent living and an active lifestyle. The Julius Schepps Community Center, now the Jewish Community Center of Dallas, served more than 7,000 members. The J provided services which helped promote healthy individual and family living. Services included an early childhood program, programs for children and teens, an extensive physical education service, athletic leagues, a series of single adult activities, adult education classes, senior activities, cultural arts programs, and summer day camps. Funds from the Capital Campaign helped the J build a new natatorium and fitness center, which were completed in time for the Maccabi Games held in Dallas in summer of 2005. In addition to its three constituent agencies, the Federation also supported 11 local beneficiary agencies which provided a wide variety of humanitarian services.
By the 1970s, the old social and economic distinctions between the German-Jewish settlers who first came to Dallas and the later immigrants from Eastern Europe had largely been erased, and descendants of both groups participated on an equal basis in communal life and leadership. Also, the overall picture changed from the days when Jews were primarily merchants. Members of the Jewish community were engaged in a wide variety of business enterprises, including garment manufacturing, paper and air-conditioning companies, and finance. There were also a large number of Jewish professionals, including lawyers, doctors, engineers, technology professionals, and business consultants.
Jewish community relations had their stormy days in the 1920s, when the Ku Klux Klan was highly active. Even though relations improved, as late as the early 1980s there were still several social clubs that maintained an exclusionary policy toward Jews. In business and communal activities, however, the Jewish community has long been integrated into the Dallas community at large.
For more than 30 years, Southern Methodist University and Temple Emanu-El have sponsored the Community Course, which makes art, music, drama, and lecture programs available to the entire city. The Bridwell Library of the Perkins School of Theology houses two large collections of Judaica, the Sadie and David Lefkowitz Collection and the Levi A. Olan Collection. In Dallas' civic, cultural, and political life, too, Jews play a significant role. There have been Jewish presidents of the symphony orchestra, the chamber of commerce, and the Dallas Opera. In 1970 Stanley *Marcus, who was active in all of these, was a leader of the powerful Citizens' Council; Carl Flaxman was director of the Health, Education, and Welfare Office, which serves the entire southwest; and Julius Schepps was especially active in the Fair Park Association, which controls the famous Cotton Bowl (the New Year's Day football game). Dallas has also had three Jewish mayors: Adlene Harrison (1976), Annette Strauss (1987–91), and Laura Miller (elected 2002). Jewish city councilpersons in 2005 included Lois Finkelman and Mitchell Rasansky.
[Levi A. Olan /
Jef Tngley (2nd ed.)]
H. Cohen, in: ajhsp, 2 (1894), 139–56.
Bryan Designs Town
Since its pioneer days, Dallas has grown from a fledgling frontier trading post to a bustling city of more than one million people. Dallas was founded in 1841 when a bachelor lawyer from Tennessee, John Neely Bryan, settled on a small bluff above the Trinity River to open a trading post and lay claim to free land. The area, where three forks of the river merge, was part of a large government land grant, Peters Colony. Bryan decided the location was ideal for a town. He quickly sketched a plan, designating a courthouse square and 20 streets around it. He planned for his settlement to become the northernmost port on the river, which stretched to the Gulf of Mexico, but the unpredictable, too-shallow Trinity thwarted efforts at navigation.
Without a navigable river, an ocean harbor or plentiful natural resources, Dallas had little reason to thrive. Fortunately, Bryan's town was close to a shallow spot in the river often used by Native Americans and early traders as a natural crossing, and the Republic of Texas was already surveying two "national highways," both of which were to pass nearby. As a result, farmers, tradesmen, and artisans were attracted to the small community.
In 1849 Dallas County was created and named after George Mifflin Dallas, supporter of the annexation of Texas and vice president of the United States under James Knox Polk. The city of Dallas is thought to be named after either the vice president or his brother, Alexander James Dallas, a commander of the U.S. Navy's Gulf of Mexico squadron.
Railroad spurs Growth
Although the Civil War never actually reached Dallas, its effect on the town was significant. Dallas became a food-producing and Texas recruitment center for the Confederacy. In 1872, when the railroad line from Houston reached Dallas, the town claimed 3,000 inhabitants, and in 1873, the east-west line of the Texas & Pacific Railroad was completed through Dallas, making it the first railroad crossing town in the state. The railroads made Dallas a major distribution center and the home of merchants, bankers, insurance companies, and developers. By 1890, Dallas was the largest city in Texas, with a population of more than 38,000 people.
Economy Forms Around Oil
In 1920, the Trinity River, a source of some early central city flooding, was re-channeled westward as part of an ambitious construction project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Farming gained importance in the early twentieth century and Dallas was the largest cotton trading center in the nation. The city's position as a regional financial center was enhanced when a branch of the Federal Reserve Bank opened in 1914. Dallas attracted oil company headquarters, partly because Dallas banks were willing to finance exploration and production. Manufacturing arrived as companies were formed to produce supplies for the petroleum industry and, later, for the defense effort in World War II.
City Experiences Tragedies
No city is without its share of fires (Dallas' worst destroyed most of its business district in 1860), floods, other tragedies, and infamous citizens. The notorious thieves Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were Depression-era Dallas residents who captured the imagination and property of a large segment of the American public before their deaths in 1934. But Dallas' greatest trauma came on November 22, 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in a cavalcade through the Dallas streets. Harsh world attention was focused on the city and its leaders. As a result, Goals for Dallas, a private planning program that helped promote a climate of involvement, openness, and sensitivity, was formed.
Recent Economic Patterns
While much of the nation suffered an economic recession during the late 1970s and early 1980s, Dallas enjoyed unprecedented growth. As northern factories were idled, a rush to the "Sun Belt" created new businesses, industry, and jobs in Dallas. The downtown skyline changed rapidly as construction boomed. In 1984 Dallas was the site of the Republican National Convention, and many saw the occasion as a chance for the city to erase some lingering negative memories in the minds of the American public. In the 1980s Dallas witnessed a real estate bust that drove prices so low that in time many thriving businesses began to move in and take advantage of the bargain real estate. By 1990 Dallas ranked first in the country for the number of its new or expanded corporate facilities.
In the mid-1990s Dallas ranked as Texas' second largest city, next to Houston, and the eighth largest in the United States. Closing in on the twenty-first century, the city continued to thrive with a healthy and diversified economy and ranked high in the nation in convention activity, as an insurance and oil industry center, in concentration of corporate headquarters, in manufacturing, and in electronics and other high-technology industries.
After national economic downturns in the early part of the new century, Texas is primed for growth. Abundant job growth in many business sectors, coupled with a rapidly-growing population and a healthy economy, mean Dallas is poised for a bright future.
Historical Information: Dallas Historical Society, G.B. Dealey Library, Hall of State, Fair Park, PO Box 150038, Dallas, TX 75315; telephone (214)421-4500
DALLAS is the second-largest municipality in Texas (2000 population 1,188,580), though the Dallas–Fort Worth "Metroplex" is the state's largest urban area.
The city was established in 1841 as a trading post near an easy crossing of the Trinity River, as the Republic of Texas was encouraging settlers to populate the area. After Texas joined the Union in 1845, Dallas was named the county seat. A nearby French utopian settlement called La Réunion founded in 1855 disbanded within a few years, but some of the colony's tradesmen and artisans settled in Dallas, distinguishing the young town (incorporated in 1856) from similar agricultural trade centers across North Texas.
Some pioneer settlers had been recruited from Ohio and the Old Northwest, but many more came from the American South. City residents voted heavily in favor of state secession in 1861, and the city became a commissary post for the Confederate army.
A subsidy of cash and land persuaded the Houston and Texas Central Railroad to divert its planned north-south route through the town in 1872. The Texas and Pacific line from St. Louis made the town a rail crossroads the next year, and, more importantly, the railroad ended there for four years before being extended to Fort Worth. By that time, merchants and industrial concerns had established Dallas as the regional capital. By 1890, it was the largest city in Texas, with 38,000 residents.
As the plantation system declined in the Old South, the rich blackland prairie surrounding Dallas became the nation's premier cotton-growing region, and Dallas the market center for this commodity. The city was designated in 1914 for a Federal Reserve Bank. Discovery of oil in nearby East Texas in 1930 spurred further growth, and the willingness of Dallas banks to lend money secured by oilfield reserves made the city the financial capital of the region. Petroleum companies established their headquarters in Dallas, though no oil is produced in the metropolitan area. Dallas also achieved a reputation as a fashion center, home of the Neiman Marcus department store.
The growing city absorbed several adjacent municipalities, most notably (in 1903) Oak Cliff, across the Trinity River. A mayor-commission form of government was adopted in 1907, and for decades that system's apolitical efficiency was prized by civic leaders. A 1911 city plan calling for river levees, new bridges, parks, and boulevards was largely accomplished after a 1920 update, testimony to civic aspirations. Making the Trinity River navigable has been discussed from the city's founding to the present day, but only a few boats have ever managed to reach the city. Instead, the river became notorious for springtime floods. A huge inundation in 1908 prompted construction of levees, completed in 1931, to protect the business district.
The city's business community cemented its booster reputation by having Dallas—a city that hadn't even existed during the Texas Revolution—chosen for the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition. The Art Deco exposition buildings built at Fair Park remain as the site of the annual State Fair, and expositions and trade shows became an
important part of the economy, with the Dallas Market Center eventually becoming the world's largest wholesale merchandise mart. Having organized to build the Centennial Exposition, city business leaders came to dominate local politics. Unions were strongly discouraged as the city became more industrial, and for sixty years the city's mayors were in practice selected by the downtown business establishment's Citizen Charter Association.
World War II defense plants brought the aviation industry to the area, and manufacturing employment grew rapidly in postwar decades. Apparel firms were attracted by the nonunion labor force, and the city also became a major headquarters center for insurance firms. Electronics firms such as Texas Instruments prospered in the 1970s and 1980s, spawning and attracting other high-tech firms. A bold move to create a huge regional airport (opened in 1974) between Dallas and Fort Worth paid off, attracting both distribution facilities and corporate headquarters to the region.
The city's reputation for conservatism became the subject of much civic soul-searching in the wake of President John F. Kennedy's 1963 assassination in downtown Dallas. Racial integration of downtown stores and public facilities was accomplished quietly in the 1960s, but forced busing for school integration spurred white flight from Dallas into adjacent suburbs in the 1970s. Forced to adopt single-member districts, the city council became more demographically representative in the 1970s and 1980s, but also more confrontational, highlighting disparities between well-off, booming North Dallas and the poorer underdeveloped areas of South and West Dallas.
Office and retail development followed the suburban dispersion, diminishing downtown Dallas's role as the region's hub. In the 1990s, a light-rail system centered on downtown Dallas opened with hopes that it could refocus regional patterns. Areas near downtown have recently attracted new residential projects while the West End entertainment area and Arts Center ensure downtown's place as the region's cultural center.
Greene, A. C. Dallas, USA. Austin: Texas Monthly Press, 1984.
Hazel, Michael V. Dallas: A History of "Big D." Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1997.
Hill, Patricia Evridge. Dallas: The Making of a Modern City. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1996.
Dallas: Education and Research
Dallas: Education and Research
Elementary and Secondary Schools
The Dallas Independent School District is the 12th largest school district in the nation, covering 351 square miles and 11 municipalities. Its commitment to student success and a progressive learning environment is reflected in a challenging core curriculum and special programs, such as career education, character education, advanced placement, talented and gifted, science and engineering, fine arts, and multilingual and multicultural enrichment.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Dallas Public Schools as of the 2003–2004 school year.
Total enrollment: 161,000
Number of facilities elementary schools: 157 (including charter, magnet, and special programs)
junior high/middle schools: 27 (grades 7-8)
senior high schools: 21
other: 14 (7 magnet high schools and 7 alternative programs)
Student/teacher ratio: 23:1
Funding per pupil: $7,178
More than 140 accredited private schools, both secular and parochial, are located in the Dallas area.
Public Schools Information: Dallas Independent School District, 3700 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX 75204; telephone (972)925-3700
Colleges and Universities
The Dallas County Community College District educates almost 80,000 credit and non-credit students and operates seven campuses in Dallas County, each offering two-year programs in a variety of fields. Southern Methodist University in Dallas is a private school with undergraduate and graduate degree programs and an enrollment of 10,000. Other Dallas colleges include the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center educating 3,520 students annually; Dallas Christian College, offering biblical and theological study; Louise Herrington School of Nursing of Baylor University; Baylor College of Dentistry; Other institutions offering biblical or religious studies or programs from a religious perspective include The Criswell College, Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas Baptist University, Paul Quinn College, and the University of Dallas.
The University of Texas at Dallas is located in Richardson and consists of seven schools, which educate 14,000 students annually. In 2004 the university broke ground on an $85 million Natural Science and Engineering Research Building. The new building is part of the university's 25-year master plan, which proposes a host of new buildings on its growing campus. In downtown Dallas a unique consortium of educational institutions exists in a former department store building on Main Street. The Universities Center at Dallas is operated by the Federation of North Texas Area Universities and offers undergraduate and graduate courses by seven partner institutions including Midwestern State University, Texas A&M University–Commerce, Texas Woman's University, University of North Texas, University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at Dallas, and Dallas County Community College District.
Libraries and Research Centers
The Dallas Public Library system consists of a central library and 22 branch libraries. The system has nearly 2.6 million volumes and serials and a large collection of government documents. The library also maintains a historical section that contains an extensive collection of books, letters, and historical documents of Texas, Dallas, and Dallas black history. The Dallas Public Library in Downtown Dallas has one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence, printed on July 4, 1776 and William Shakespeare's First Folio of Comedies, Histories' Tragedies on permanent display at the library. The library's Children's Center is one of the largest in the country. Southern Methodist University's library has more than 2.5 million volumes, with special collections on Western Americana and Texana. Most of the other area universities and colleges also operate their own libraries.
Dallas has nearly 60 research centers, many affiliated with local colleges, universities, and hospitals. For example, at Baylor University, research is carried out on hair and treatment, bone marrow transplantation, biomedicine, and sports science. The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas conducts more than 2,000 research projects each year at a cost of more than $330 million. Eight of the nine Texas medical members of the National Academy of Sciences, three recent Nobel Laureates, and thirteen of the most-cited scientists in the world, are on faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. The Institute of Biomedical Sciences and Technology conducts interdisciplinary projects with a focus on cures for disease and enhancing health and quality of life.
Public Library Information: Dallas Public Library, 1515 Young Street, Dallas, TX 75201; telephone (214)670-1400; fax (214)670-1752
In 1978, the prime-time soap opera Dallas (1978–91) premiered and soon became one of the most watched and discussed programs in television (see entry under 1940s—TV and Radio in volume 3) history. The series revolved around the Ewings, a fabulously wealthy family whose fortune came from oil. For more than a decade, audiences tuned in to view the clan's many excesses and their exploits in both the boardroom and the bedroom. Dallas popularized the serial format of daytime soap operas (see entry under 1930s—TV and Radio in volume 2) with the prime-time audience. The show relied on melodramatic plots and season-ending cliffhangers to captivate viewers.
Larger-than-life characters who constantly battled to control the Texas oil industry, wore designer fashions, faced intense personal tragedies, and were interested in sex populated Dallas. Many of the stories occurred at Southfork, the Ewings' huge ranch where the family all lived despite their rivalries. The cast was large and provided each episode with a number of steamy sub-plots. However, the most important character was J. R. (Larry Hagman, 1931–), the eldest Ewing son, whose sleazy personal behavior and backstabbing business ethics made him the man America loved to hate. He reveled in his unscrupulous practices and was featured on the cover of Time (see entry under 1920—Print Culture in volume 2), which called him a "human oil slick." J. R.'s corrupt nature often caused him to clash with his youngest brother, Bobby (Patrick Duffy, 1949–), who was known for his morals and integrity. In 1980, one of the most-watched episodes in TV history answered the cliffhanger question, "Who Shot J. R.?" Attempting to deduce the identity of the assailant became a popular culture phenomenon. Viewers eventually discovered the shooter was Kristin, J. R.'s sister-in-law, whom he had framed for prostitution.
Dallas was a success throughout the world. Some critics stated its popularity was due to the viewers' desire to see that even the wealthiest individuals could lead lives more miserable than that of the average citizen. Others believed the program reflected the 1980s' emphasis on greed. Dallas inspired a number of similar programs like Knots Landing (1978–93), Dynasty (1981–89), and Falcon Crest (1981–90). All these shows glorified big business and conspicuous consumption (buying pricey items to show off wealth). Although the series ended in 1991, the cast later reunited for several TV movies, in which the Ewings still lived in luxury and J. R. continued to scheme.
For More Information
Corliss, Richard. "TV's Dallas: Whodunit?" Time (August 11, 1980): pp. 60–66.
Marschall, Rick. History of Television. New York: Gallery Books, 1987.
Return to Southfork.http://www.returntosouthfork.com/ (accessed April 3, 2002).
Stark, Steven. Glued to the Set. New York: The Free Press, 1997.
Ultimate Dallas.http://www.UltimateDallas.Com (accessed April 3, 2002). Van Wormer, Laura. Dallas. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1985.
Dallas: Population Profile
Dallas: Population Profile
Metropolitan Area Residents
1990: 4,037,282 (CMSA)
2000: 5,221,801 (CMSA)
Percent change, 1990–2000: 29.3 % (CMSA)
U.S. rank in 1980: 10th (CMSA)
U.S. rank in 1990: 9th (CMSA)
U.S. rank in 2000: 9th (CMSA)
2003 estimate: 1,206,667
Percent change, 1990–2000: 17.95%
U.S. rank in 1980: 7th
U.S. rank in 1990: 8th (State rank: 2nd)
U.S. rank in 2000: 12th (State rank: 2nd)
Density: 3,469.9 people per square mile (2000)
Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)
Black or African American: 314,678
American Indian and Alaska Native: 11,334
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 1,461
Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 422,587
Percent of residents born in state: 53.8% (2000)
Age characteristics (2000)
Poplation Under 5 years: 98,785
Poplation 5 to 9 years: 89,942
Poplation 10 to 14 years: 79,546
Poplation 15 to 19 years: 81,733
Poplation 20 to 24 years: 106,190
Poplation 25 to 34 years: 235,824
Poplation 35 to 44 years: 184,218
Poplation 45 to 54 years: 132,491
Poplation 55 to 59 years: 44,247
Poplation 60 to 64 years: 33,303
Poplation 65 to 74 years: 53,554
Poplation 75 to 84 years: 35,808
Population 85 years and over: 12,939
Median age: 30.5 years
Total number: 42,863
Total number: 14,103 (of which, 285 were infants under the age of 1 year)
Money income (1999)
Per capita income: $22,183
Median household income: $37,628
Total households: 452,009
Number of households with income of . . .
Less than $10,000: 47,522
$10,000 to $14,999: 27,270
$15,000 to $24,999: 65,666
$25,000 to $34,999: 68,020
$35,000 to $49,999: 77,132
$50,000 to $74,999: 74,160
$75,000 to $99,999: 36,030
$100,000 to $149,999: 29,478
$150,000 to $199,999: 10,896
$200,000 or more: 15,835
Percent of families below poverty level: 14.9% (42.3% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 112,040