Introduction to Dallas, Texas
Dallas is one of the largest cities in the United States, and is located at the center of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area. It is located in northeast Texas, approximately an hour and a half south of the Texas/Oklahoma border. It is home to almost 10 Fortune 500 companies, including household names such as Halliburton, Southwest Airlines, and Texas Instruments.
Native Americans inhabited the area that is now Dallas before it was claimed as part of the Province of New Spain by the Spanish in the 1500's. In 1821, Mexico declared independence from Spain and New Spain became part of Mexico. Texas became the independent country, The Republic of Texas, in 1836 after the Texas Revolution. Texas became a U.S. State in 1845.
The city of Dallas was founded by John Neely Bryan in 1841. At that time it was part of the Independent country, the Republic of Texas. There is some dispute as to how Dallas acquired its name, but it was referred to as Dallas as early as 1843.
Some key dates in Dallas' history include:
- In 1856, Dallas was incorporated as a town
- In 1861 Dallas voters voted 741 to 237 to secede from the Union
- On June 19, 1865, Texas slaves were freed
- In 1907, Neiman Marcus opened in downtown Dallas
- In 1911, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas was established
- In 1915, Southern Methodist University was founded in Dallas, the first major university in the city
- On Nov. 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas
Dallas Arts and Culture
Dallas is a center for arts and culture. Dallas offers museums, the performing arts, and more. Some of Dallas' more notable museums include:
- The Dallas Arboretum
- The Dallas Children's Museum
- The Frontiers of Flight Museum
- The Dallas Museum of Art
- The Dallas Museum of Natural History
- The Dallas Zoo & Aquarium
- The Science Place
For patrons of the performing arts, Dallas is home to many performing arts attractions. Some of the more notable include:
- The Dallas Opera
- The Dallas Symphony Orchestra
- The Dallas Theater Center
- The Majestic Theatre
The Dallas Fort Worth area plays host to numerous festivals every year, including the week-long International DFW Week which hosts more than 20 events, including the Dallas International Festival, the Irving International Health Fair, the International Guitar Festival, the Global Sacred Music Concert, and more.
Dallas Sports and Leisure
Dallas has plenty to offer to fill every sports fan's appetite. Dallas is home to the following major sports teams:
- Baseball - The Major League Baseball (MLB) Texas Rangers make their home in nearby Arlington, Texas. For individuals who like Minor League Baseball action, the Frisco RoughRiders play a half an hour north of Dallas in Frisco, Texas. The RoughRiders are a Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers.
- Basketball - The National Basketball Association (NBA) Dallas Mavericks.
- Football - The National Football League (NFL) Dallas Cowboys who play in nearby Irving, Texas and the Arena Football League (AFL) Dallas Desperados.
- Hockey - The National Hockey League (NHL) Dallas Stars and the National American Hockey League (NAHL) Texas Tornado.
- Soccer - The Major League Soccer (MLS) FC Dallas.
Dallas is also home to the NCAA College Football Cotton Bowl.
As one might expect of a city with a humid sub-tropical climate, outdoor activities abound in Dallas. Dallas has an extraordinary number of amusement and water parks, ranches and rodeos, wildlife centers, and other outdoor activities that are fun for both adults and children.
Dallas "Must See" Attractions
Dallas has attractions too numerous to do justice in a simple list. Some of Dallas' more notable and unique attractions include:
- The Cotton Bowl
- The Dallas World Aquarium
- The Dallas Zoo
- The John F. Kennedy Memorial
- The Mesquite Rodeo
- The State Fair of Texas, the largest fair of its kind in the country
- The Stockyards National Historic District in nearby Fort Worth
- The Will Rogers Memorial Center in nearby Fort Worth
Dallas at Night
If interests turn more to the evening dining and nightclub scene, Dallas has plenty to offer. Good destinations for fine dining and nightclubs include: Deep Ellum - named after Elm Street (pronounced with a southern drawl), Greenville Avenue, Knox-Henderson, the West Village, and the West End. Good sources of information about events and happenings include the "Entertainment" section of the Dallas Morning News or the "Arts & Entertainment" section of the Dallas Observer. D magazine is also a good source for information on dining and events.