Wednesday, May 22, 2024 May 22, 2024
84° F Dallas, TX



yesterday Though the city plans no official July 4 bash to mark the Persian Gulf victory, Dallas has a long tradition
of celebrating “good wars. ” (Refined to its simplest terms, a “good war” is a war we win. )

The first big Fourth of July bash here was in 1899 when Dallas was reveling in the jingoistic fervor over Commodore
Dewey’s demolition of the Spanish fleet at Manila Bay. Firecracker and gunpowder sales in Dallas more than doubled any
previous day’s sales in Dallas history. The whole town turned out at Oak Cliff Park with picnic baskets in hand for
festivities that included a cake-walk, jugglers, ropewalkers, a drill by the Dallas Artillery Company, and the
highlight of the day-a demonstration of the fearsome Gatling gun.

By 1919, just after we had sent the Kaiser reeling, the action shifted to White Rock Lake. There was a parade of
motorboats adorned in red, white, and blue, followed by races in inboard, outboard, and rowboat classes. At Gardner
Park (now part of the fair grounds), throngs of Dallasites watched the Dallas Marines of the Texas League battle the
Shreveport Pirates in a red-hot doubleheader.

July 4, 1946, the first peacetime celebration of the holiday in five years, was marked by “mountains of watermelon, ”
“rivers of lemonade, ” and an official count of 11, 400 swimmers in city pools, most of them at White Rock Beach. At
Fair Park, Neal Fletcher’s new Atomic K-9 was unveiled. Named in honor of the successor to the Galling gun, the taste
treat would later be known simply as the corny dog.