The legacy of John F. Kennedy will forever affect Dallas. Photography by Bud Gray/MPTV


Dallas 1963

This is who we were when President Kennedy's visit changed everything.

Dallas—or rather a version of Dallas that you might recognize today—didn’t exist until 1963. Before then, the city had been carefully crafting a reputation based on its entrepreneurial acumen and can-do spirit, beginning with the Texas Centennial Exposition at Fair Park in 1936. Over the next two decades, Dallas’ population would grow by more than 130 percent, a postwar boom sparked by hopes and possibilities. The old-guard business community quietly ruled over all, and business was good–new sources of money sprang up everywhere, from theme parks to football teams and room-size computers. Then President John F. Kennedy came to town on November 22, 1963, and Dallas would never be the same.



The Dallas Way
By Wick Allison

In 1963, the business establishment ruled supreme over a booming city. Fourteen seconds in November shattered its legitimacy — and remade Dallas.

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A New Startup, EDS
By Joseph Guinto

In 1963, H. Ross Perot was becoming “the world’s greatest computer salesman.”

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How Dallas Became a Football Town
By Michael J. Mooney

A risky idea brought two pro football teams to Dallas. In 1963, only one was left.

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The Family Who Sold Tex-Mex to America
By Nancy Nichols

In 1963, the Cuellars were leading the rise of the chain restaurant.

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Birth of the Dallas Museum of Art
By Peter Simek

In 1963, two museums merged, forming the DMA and triggering decades of tension.

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