Looking Back at Dallas

Apr 10

Louis A. Bedford, Dallas County’s first black judge, died today on his 88th birthday. In 1966 Bedford became the first black to serve on Dallas’ municipal court.

A graduate of Booker T. Washington High School, he attended Prairie View A&M University and received a law degree from Brooklyn Law School.

State Sen. Royce West, one of the many lawyers mentored by Bedford, said the trailblazer had to leave Texas to go to law school.

“His passing comes at a time when we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, which he was involved in,” West said. “And his passing leaves a void. He was a person we could talk to about different issues in the community.”

Learn more about Judge Bedford here.

(Photos: City of Dallas archives and Mona Reeder/DMN File 2009)

Apr 9

The Dallas City Council is once again taking up the topic over whether downtown’s Dallas Pedestrian Network — or simply, “the tunnels” — should be killed. “Slowly but surely the life is moving up to the street level and the retailers [in the tunnels] are going away,”  assistant city manager Ryan Evans says.

(Photos: Clint Grant/File 1981)


A look at the 1700 block of Elm Street in downtown Dallas circa 1960. Nearby establishments included the Apollo Hotel, Shaw’s Jewelers, Lee Optical, Johnny Miranda Shoes, Majestic Steaks, Ben Morris Jewelry Company, Majestic Hotel, Askin’s Credit Clothing, Hall’s Credit Clothiers, and Titche-Goettinger department store (later just Titche’s).

(Photo: Hank Tenny Illustrative Photography)
Apr 7

A look at the 1700 block of Elm Street in downtown Dallas circa 1960. Nearby establishments included the Apollo Hotel, Shaw’s Jewelers, Lee Optical, Johnny Miranda Shoes, Majestic Steaks, Ben Morris Jewelry Company, Majestic Hotel, Askin’s Credit Clothing, Hall’s Credit Clothiers, and Titche-Goettinger department store (later just Titche’s).

(Photo: Hank Tenny Illustrative Photography)


In this November 1979 file photo, 40 Klansmen are pictured marching in Dallas, escorted by riot-equipped policemen and chased by thousands of jeering people. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s recent annual report found that in 2013, Texas, which routinely ranks among the top three states for numbers of active extremist groups, saw the number drop from 62 to 57. Such news appears to be a sign that the “spectacular growth” of those groups since 2008 — stemming in big part from “enormous antipathy torward Obama” — is starting to level off, center researchers say.
Mar 24

In this November 1979 file photo, 40 Klansmen are pictured marching in Dallas, escorted by riot-equipped policemen and chased by thousands of jeering people. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s recent annual report found that in 2013, Texas, which routinely ranks among the top three states for numbers of active extremist groups, saw the number drop from 62 to 57. Such news appears to be a sign that the “spectacular growth” of those groups since 2008 — stemming in big part from “enormous antipathy torward Obama” — is starting to level off, center researchers say.

Mar 17

The NCAA men’s Final Four tournament is coming to Dallas-Fort Worth on April 5. The last time the tourney was in town was 28 years ago, back when Reunion Arena (R.I.P.) was the center of Big D sports. Take a look at Dallas Final Four pictures from 1986.


This is Dallas Morning News Metro columnist Jacquielynn Floyd's press badge (back when she worked for the late Dallas Times Herald) for the Republican National Convention in 1984, held in Dallas. The city is officially ready to make its pitch to hold the RNC here again 32 years later, in 2016. Read more about that here.
Mar 13

This is Dallas Morning News Metro columnist Jacquielynn Floyd's press badge (back when she worked for the late Dallas Times Herald) for the Republican National Convention in 1984, held in Dallas. The city is officially ready to make its pitch to hold the RNC here again 32 years later, in 2016. Read more about that here.

Mar 8

Explo ‘72 took over downtown Dallas from June 12-17, 1972. It was “an evangelistic conference sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ” and “the most visible event of the 1970s Jesus movement,” says the Wikipedia entry.:

Explo ‘72 was held in various locations in Dallas and included a nightly event at the Cotton Bowl. Explo’s classes, seminars and concerts were aimed at encouraging high school and college students toward personal evangelism and a career in Christian service.

Evangelist Billy Graham spoke on six different occasions during Explo, which included a final, public, eight-hour-long Christian music festival. Dubbed “The Christian Woodstock,” the music event drew between 100,000 to 200,000 attendees. Featured artists were Love Song, Larry Norman, Randy Matthews, The Archers, Children of the Day, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson.

The festival was held on open land just north of downtown Dallas. The concert site was lost to excavation for the Woodall Rodgers Freeway, which today links I-35 and US 75 (Central Expressway).

Explo was criticized by some conservative Christians for its ecumenical approach and use of rock music; Newsweek described the attendees as “militant Christians.” In attendance were a few Jesus movement fringe groups, such as Children of God and the Christian World Liberation Front.

Read more about Explo ‘72’s impact and about Christian music festivals in the U.S. here on Wikipedia.

Captions:
1. At the now-Woodall Rodgers Freeway site on June 16. Taken by staff photographer Larry Reese.
2. An aerial of Explo ‘72 the now-Woodall Rodgers Freeway site.
3. Attendees’ clothes drying on somebody’s Volkswagen at an Explo ‘72 campsite.
4. The caption in our archive for this photo, taken by staff photographer Jack Beers: “A vacant field near Arlington exploded into a tent city Tuesday with the arrival of another wave of delegates to Explo ‘72, the young peoples’ evangelical training session in Dallas this week. Jacki Stalley (above) of Hopkins, MN, dries out clothes after a Monday night rain.”
5. The caption in our archive for this photo, taken by staff photographer Clint Grant: “Joe Johnson, 17, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, leads an impromtu Explo ‘72 song fest late Tuesday afternoon from atop a Fair Park Automobile Building ledge.”


So, who was the real Ron Woodroof, head of the Dallas Buyer’s Club and inspiration for Matthew McConaughey’s Oscar-winning performance?"The back of the car is sagging. As Ron steps on the gas, the Lincoln loudly scrapes a bump in the street.
Ron picks up speed. The Lincoln and the 500,000 pills blend into the mad streets of Laredo. From his rearview mirror he can see that no one is chasing him.And, as he hits I-35 for the seven-hour trip back to Dallas, Ron Woodroof thinks about the fact that he has lived up to his reputation as the nerviest cowboy in the AIDS underground.” Read the rest of our Aug. 9, 1992, story about Woodroof here.
Mar 4

So, who was the real Ron Woodroof, head of the Dallas Buyer’s Club and inspiration for Matthew McConaughey’s Oscar-winning performance?

"The back of the car is sagging. As Ron steps on the gas, the Lincoln loudly scrapes a bump in the street.

Ron picks up speed. The Lincoln and the 500,000 pills blend into the mad streets of Laredo. From his rearview mirror he can see that no one is chasing him.

And, as he hits I-35 for the seven-hour trip back to Dallas, Ron Woodroof thinks about the fact that he has lived up to his reputation as the nerviest cowboy in the AIDS underground.” 

Read the rest of our Aug. 9, 1992, story about Woodroof here.


This is what I-345 looked like when it was being built in June 1970. TxDOT decided it will rehab the elevated highway separating downtown from Deep Ellum and East Dallas instead of tearing it down. With that, the city is now ready to design an 8.7 acre Carpenter Park adjacent to the interstate. Read more.

(Photo: Tom Dillard/DMN file)
Feb 10

This is what I-345 looked like when it was being built in June 1970. TxDOT decided it will rehab the elevated highway separating downtown from Deep Ellum and East Dallas instead of tearing it down. With that, the city is now ready to design an 8.7 acre Carpenter Park adjacent to the interstate. Read more.

(Photo: Tom Dillard/DMN file)


The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad’s “Texas Special” is shown in this 1940 photograph arriving at Highland Park Station, northbound, en route from the Dallas Union Station to St. Louis. It was headed by Engine No. 388, a Pacific type 4-6-2 locomotive.

(Photo: University of North Texas Libraries)
Feb 5

The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad’s “Texas Special” is shown in this 1940 photograph arriving at Highland Park Station, northbound, en route from the Dallas Union Station to St. Louis. It was headed by Engine No. 388, a Pacific type 4-6-2 locomotive.

(Photo: University of North Texas Libraries)