Question: Being a non-native of Dallas, I was wondering whether the “Trinity River” was ever an actual river? Or just a river basin (read that as a dried-up ditch)? — Pedro A.Full Story
Would you believe that I have, on a number of occasions, been mistaken for impoverished Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price? I attribute these errors mostly to the fact that none of you damned 21st-century folks read anymore, and so your short attention spans equate any similarly triple-christened gentleman with another.
There’s little else that should bind the two of us in the public’s imagination — besides our spectacularly-sized gonads, of course. No inadequately endowed fellow is capable of founding a great American city or dressing like this.
Question: Why does Dallas employ a city manager? What’s this with a “weak mayor”? — George L.Full Story
Dallas ISD Approves “Interim Bridge Plan.” At about 1 a.m., trustees voted for a measure that provides $129.5 million in funding for fast-tracked improvements at a number of schools, while expanding pre-kindergarten offerings and reopening several campuses. The final amount was less than the $134.7 million initially proposed after a number of amendments were made. Lakewood Elementary was among the big winners, as the school will get $12.6 million for an addition and renovations. All of this discussion is, of course, a prelude to voters later being asked to approve a comprehensive bond package totaling as much as $1.4 billion.
Bridge Collapse Kills Arlington Man. Yesterday’s accident in Central Texas along Interstate 35 in Salado, in which a tractor-trailer hit an overpass and caused a beam to fall onto the highway below, claimed the life of 32-year-old Clark Davis. I-35 was closed in both directions around the site until well into the night.
Rain May Ease Water Restrictions. The abundance of wet weather the last few months has resulted in some area lake levels rising dramatically and most of Dallas-Fort Worth shifting from darkest red to light red or orange on the U.S Drought Monitor map. Lake Lavon, one of the North Texas Municipal Water District’s reservoirs, has gone from 46.2 percent to 77.5 percent of capacity. If the trend continues this spring, the district may ease tough restrictions on watering that have been in place almost two years.
World War II Vet Recovers Empty Duffel Bag. Waymon Blundell, 94, certainly seemed tickled to be reunited with the bag, which he’d carelessly lost when he’d jumped onto the beach at Normandy as part of the D-Day invasion in 1944.
Keller Student Denied “Promposal.” Sixteen-year-old Casey Akers says her school wouldn’t let her stage a public invitation to the prom because she and her chosen date are gay. The school district issued a statement saying that it doesn’t allow any students to plan such elaborate invites, as they are disruptive. Anyway, when did it become an expectation for kids to treat a prom invite like a marriage proposal? Sounds like an excruciating burden for both straight and gay kids.
Derelict 1955 BelAir Wagon For Sale. It’s up for auction on eBay. You have until 10 a.m. today to make a bid. JFK assassination historian Farris Rookstool III (!) says the car is unique because a fellow named Lee Harvey Oswald once rode in it with his rifle.Full Story
Here’s an interesting document that has turned up. Last November, Mario Sanchez, a historical architect with the environmental affairs division of the Texas Department of Transportation, wrote the Texas Historical Commission to lay out a preliminary design of the interchange between the proposed Trinity Toll Road and the Continental Street Viaduct. It offers a detailed account of just how the current design of the Trinity Toll Road – aka Alternative 3C, as it is called in official documents – will impact the Continental Street Viaduct, namely, by demolishing 195 feet of it.Full Story
A snowy day almost 70 years ago.Full Story
Question: Where does “Love” in Love Field come from? — George L.
Sir, I am tremendously pleased to have received your query, as it affords the opportunity to hold forth upon another of the great injustices and absurdities of Dallas history.Full Story
Question: When and under what mysterious circumstances were the beautiful, hilly homes and neighborhoods of North Oak Cliff laid fallow, only to be recently rediscovered as a beautiful place to live? —MysteriosoFull Story
Question: As the oldest known resident of our little village, and witness to over a century and a half of history, can you offer any explanation for the earthquakes at what we know as the old Texas Stadium plot? Can you clarify the rumor that an old Indian burial ground has been disturbed? What the hell happened there? And why now are the spirits angry? Or is there another explanation for the earth rattling that we might understand with your ancient wisdom? — John B.Full Story
If you haven’t noticed, my post last week that asked readers how they would react to the idea of moving the State Fair of Texas out of Fair Park got a wee bit of attention. So much, in fact, that I now keep a bag packed and ready to go by my front door so I can flee the state when the angry mobs arrive in the middle of the night with pitchforks and torches ready to tar and feather me. One thing I’ve learned: admitting you’re a Yankee and then saying anything about Big Tex is the online equivalent of suicide by cop.
Regardless, the amount of feedback that post received does seem to warrant a revisit, at least to sort through the noise. So, what have we really learned?Full Story
Yesterday Mitchell Glieber, the president of the State Fair of Texas, released a startling statement. Responding to a proposal put forward by Boston-based planner Antonio Di Mambro that completely rethinks the layout and use of Fair Park, the State Fair said that adopting such a plan would “effectively end the 129-year tradition of the State Fair of Texas in Dallas.”
Sound the alarms! Raise the flags! The State Fair could leave Fair Park! How did we get here?Full Story
Question: Why do people move to Dallas because they’re unhappy where they are — and then try to re-make Dallas into a city resembling the one they left? — Glenn H.Full Story
I’m going to try to avoid cutting and pasting the entirety of Michael Ennis’ “The White Stuff” from the March issue of Texas Monthly. It offers such a compelling take on Texas economic and cultural history – with particular relevance to Dallas history – that anyone interested in this city should read the whole thing.
The column is about Sven Beckert’s new book Empire of Cotton: A Global History, which Ennis likens to last year’s surprise sensation Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty insofar as it seeks to shine new light on the inner workings of the “invisible hand” of capitalism and how that hand has shaped the world in which we live.Full Story
“Police officer directing traffic on Main Street and Harwood Street,” 1950.Full Story
Wrapping up a guest appearance on Bill O’Reilly’s “The O’Reilly Factor” program last night, Fox News host/political commentator Megyn Kelly joked that he had become a real “sweetheart” during the last week, and she wryly wondered why. Kelly was right: the usually combative, right-leaning cable news host has appeared more subdued than usual lately, chastened even. The reason, I believe, is the still-unresolved, ticking time bomb over a story O’Reilly seems to have made up involving his work as a reporter in the 1970s at Dallas’ WFAA Channel 8, about the suicide of a figure in the JFK assassination probe. It’s a tale he needs to come clean about publicly—or else relinquish his top-rated news commentary show.Full Story
A disputed tale about his reporting days in Dallas could turn into a big problem for Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, who has the most-watched program on cable news. The story, as the host of “The O’Reilly Factor” has told it in his books including Killing Kennedy and Kennedy’s Last Days and on the Fox News Channel, occurred during his stint as a reporter for WFAA Channel 8 in the 1970s. Reporting on a figure in the investigation into the John F. Kennedy assassination named George de Mohrenschildt—a Russian emigre who’d befriended Lee Harvey Oswald—O’Reilly claimed that he was standing outside the house in Palm Beach, Florida, where, and when, de Mohrenschildt apparently killed himself with a shotgun blast one day in March of 1977. Wrote O’Reilly: “As I knocked on the door, I heard a shotgun blast. He had killed himself.”Full Story
Question: What’s up with the beer/waterfall sign along I-35 on Goat Hill? How long has it been there? How is it still here? Why didn’t Trammell Crow tear it down when they built those apartments? Is it really that beloved of a Dallas icon? —Todd J.Full Story
What are the proper rules and etiquette of valet tipping? What is the amount of tipping based on? Is a tip still expected if I can see my car or it takes longer to go to the valet and wait for him to bring my car versus just walking right up to my car and driving off? — Pedro A.Full Story
Back in October, we posted an item in our Ghosts of Dallas series featuring the restoration of 508 Park by the Stewpot of First Presbyterian Church. Today, as you can see above, the project unveiled the re-creation of the mural that originally appeared on the building, which was a Warner Bros. film vault and recording studio way back when.Full Story