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Dallas Municipal Archives

Dallas Municipal Archives Documenting and preserving the history of Dallas city government The Dallas Municipal Archives can be reached at (214) 670-5270.

The purpose of the Archives is to preserve the historical records of city government and support research and scholarship by its external and internal customers. Established in 1985, the Dallas Municipal Archives is a division of the City Secretary´s Office and contains over 2,000 cubic feet of departmental records in a variety of forms and formats, including ledgers, manuscripts and typescripts,

The purpose of the Archives is to preserve the historical records of city government and support research and scholarship by its external and internal customers. Established in 1985, the Dallas Municipal Archives is a division of the City Secretary´s Office and contains over 2,000 cubic feet of departmental records in a variety of forms and formats, including ledgers, manuscripts and typescripts,

Operating as usual

Archives and Local History Fans - Don't forget to register for DFW's biggest history event - the 24th Annual Legacies Da...
01/04/2023

Archives and Local History Fans - Don't forget to register for DFW's biggest history event - the 24th Annual Legacies Dallas History Conference! Mark your calendar for Saturday, January 28th for this fun and engaging event. Registration info here: https://24LegaciesDHC.eventbrite.com

The Municipal Archives pauses to remember the life of former Mayor Wes Wise, who has died at age 94. Wise was elected to...
12/15/2022

The Municipal Archives pauses to remember the life of former Mayor Wes Wise, who has died at age 94. Wise was elected to the Dallas City Council in 1969 for one term and served as mayor from 1971 to 1976. He resigned as mayor in 1976 to run unsuccessfully for U.S. Congress. He was re-elected as a City Council member in 1981.
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A good friend of the Municipal Archives, Wise spoke at the opening of the 2013 exhibit observing the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination, and cut the ribbon dedicating the archives' new vault with Mayor Mike Rawlings in 2015.
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Wise is noted for being the first mayor since the 1930s not endorsed by the Citizens Charter Association. His contributions, from forming Council committees and task forces to advocating for the preservation of Dealey Plaza, will be well remembered. Wes’ earthiness was symbolized by his iconic red Volkswagen and is a reminder of his role as a servant of the People.
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Wise had many adventures as a journalist. As president of the Dallas Press Club, he greeted UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson at the day's press conference before covering the attack upon the ambassador later that day. Wise captured the only film of the event. He covered JFK's presidential motorcade, was stationed at the president's cancelled luncheon, encountered Jack Ruby the day before he shot Oswald, waited at the county jail for the Oswald transfer, and testified for both sides in the Ruby trial.
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Wise/Rawlings image courtesy Dallas Morning News.

Happy Holidays! This week concludes the 2022 edition of WRR's Caroling in the Arts District. Formerly "Caroling at the A...
12/09/2022

Happy Holidays! This week concludes the 2022 edition of WRR's Caroling in the Arts District. Formerly "Caroling at the Adolphus," the special weeklong remote broadcasts by municipally owned radio station has presented groups like the Dallas Symphony Chorus, Turtle Creek Chorale, The Women's Chorus of Dallas and the Texas Boys Choir since 1985. The WRR Collection at the Municipal Archives contains photography and recordings documenting past performances.

The Dallas Municipal Archives pauses to remember the life and work of George Keaton, Jr. Friend and researcher in the Da...
12/08/2022

The Dallas Municipal Archives pauses to remember the life and work of George Keaton, Jr.
Friend and researcher in the Dallas Municipal Archives, Dr. Keaton retired from Dallas Independent School District after thirty-one years as a teacher and counselor. In 2015 he founded Remembering Black Dallas, dedicated to preserving and sharing the experiences of the African American families of Dallas County.
Dr. Keaton was instrumental in leading a team of researchers and writers to propose 25 state and local historical markers highlighting local Black Dallas history. In addition, Keaton served on the boards of Preservation Dallas and the African American Museum; and participated in the City of Dallas Arts and Culture Advisory Commission's Memorial for Victims of Racial Violence project.

In 2022 he edited, with Judith Garrett Segura, Our Stories: Black Families in Early Dallas, published by the University of North Texas Press.
Peace and comfort to his family and friends.
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Photo of George Keaton courtesy Remembering Black Dallas.

The Dallas Municipal Archives pauses to remember the life and work of Philip C. Henderson, FAIA, influential architect a...
12/08/2022

The Dallas Municipal Archives pauses to remember the life and work of Philip C. Henderson, FAIA, influential architect and planner.

Henderson was a member of the steering committee that managed the development of the Oak Lawn Plan, the Dallas ordinance for a fifteen-square mile mixed-use planned development that has guided the redevelopment of Oak Lawn/Uptown for 25 years. As president of Friends of the Katy Trail, he led the planning, funding and construction of the 3 ½ mile trail that the Urban Land Institute credits with stimulating one billion dollars of growth.

In 1955, following Cornell University and U.S. Army service, Henderson joined the staff of Eero Saarinen and Associates, working there during the years Saarinen designed his major architectural achievements. In 1961 he joined James Pratt and Harold Box to found Pratt, Box and Henderson. The Dallas firm had a diverse practice in architecture and urban design, receiving two 25-year awards from the American Institute of Architects Dallas.

Henderson and his firm were intimately involved with numerous City of Dallas projects, including master plans for Fair Park and the Arts District. Pratt, Box and Henderson also designed public buildings such as the glass conservatory at Texas Discovery Gardens in Fair Park and the commercial Olla Podrida craft market.
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Happy Birthday Dallas Farmers Market!“No southern city is considered complete without a city market.” (Dallas Morning Ne...
12/07/2022

Happy Birthday Dallas Farmers Market!
“No southern city is considered complete without a city market.”
(Dallas Morning News, August 6, 1889)
December is the birthday month for the City of Dallas - owned Farmers Market because the first bond issued for construction of the site was the first week of December, 1941.
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Now 81 years young, Dallas Farmers Market has been a fixture in downtown Dallas. Located downtown, it provides unique opportunities to shop for local fresh meats, seafood, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and flowers in an urban setting. Its location makes it a prime shopping spot for the downtown workforce as well as local consumers and tourists.

Farmers have been selling their fresh produce on the streets of Dallas since the 1840s. The Dallas County Courthouse grounds served as the city’s first open-air market until another was established in 1872 at Main and Akard Streets, on the ground floor of Dallas City Hall. By 1880 the market drifted to Ervay and Elm Streets and also around Pearl Street. Truck growers and market wagons congested streets until 1902, when the Dallas Board of Aldermen re-established the east, south, and west sides of the courthouse square for the market – but citizens and vendors preferred and demanded the Pearl location.

The intersection of Pearl and Cadiz Streets evolved as the center of activity, with farmers selling not only produce, but also chickens, pigs and goats. As business grew, traffic congestion again increased, and the need for a more organized market was apparent. In the late 1930s the city began organizing the present location and the first sheds were built.

In June 1941 a bond election secured a half-million dollars for construction funds and the site was officially sanctioned as a City of Dallas-owned and operated market in December 1941. In the 1990s the market underwent a $15 million renovation that included the addition of a new Resource Center, an all-weather shed, improved pedestrian walkways, and more parking.

In 2006 The City Council approved funds for the rehabilitation of Shed 2 as well as the overall infrastructure of the market. By late summer 2008, shed 2 was totally enclosed with heating and air conditioning systems to make it a year-round shopping destination. The Shed is a 10,000 square foot dining and specialty food space that features dozens of vendors. Today, the Dallas Farmers Market is a popular year-round attraction for Metroplex residents as well as tourists.
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The following images are from the collections of the Dallas Municipal Archives.

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Happy 100th birthday to Frances James, the Cemetery Lady!  A treasure to North Texas cemeteries and history, James was b...
11/30/2022

Happy 100th birthday to Frances James, the Cemetery Lady!

A treasure to North Texas cemeteries and history, James was born on this day in 1922.

We lost this force of nature in 2019, and the Dallas Municipal Archives is proud to be the repository of her collected papers on cemeteries and other subjects.

11/22/1963.  Lee Harvey Oswald kills DPD Officer JD Tippit.  In Oak Cliff, some 45 minutes after the shooting of Preside...
11/22/2022

11/22/1963. Lee Harvey Oswald kills DPD Officer JD Tippit. In Oak Cliff, some 45 minutes after the shooting of President Kennedy, Tippit stopped Oswald because Oswald fit the general description of the man described by the Dallas police radio.

After being summoned by Tippit, Oswald went to the passenger side of the patrol car where they spoke through an open window. After a brief conversation, Officer Tippit got out of his car, and as he walked toward the front of his patrol car, Oswald shot him three times with a .38 caliber revolver. After Tippit fell to the ground, Oswald shot him once more in the head. This document is the signed permission for Officer Tippit's autopsy to be performed. The image is the front of the officer's car on Tenth Street taken after Tippit had been removed from the scene.

Willie B. Johnson Recreation Center is celebrating its reopening today at 12225 Willowdell Drive in North Lake Highlands...
11/01/2022

Willie B. Johnson Recreation Center is celebrating its reopening today at 12225 Willowdell Drive in North Lake Highlands.
The 20,000-square-foot recreation facility, built in 1984, features new additions, such as a senior center, a technology center and a gymnasium. Parking spaces have also been expanded from 53 spaces to 86. New landscaping, street improvements and additional tree planting have been added to the surrounding area.
The construction work was funded by the 2017 bond program that was approved by Dallas voters.
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Born in Greenville, Texas, the daughter of sharecroppers, Willie B. Johnson (1913-1992) was a tireless member of the Fretz Park Advisory Council who relentlessly petitioned the City of Dallas to construct a recreation center. In 1984, her vision became a reality. The same year, petitioners overwhelmingly encouraged the Park Board to name the rec center in her honor.
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Hamilton Park, constructed between 1953 and 1961, was originally a subdivision planned to create affordable homes and provide amenities for African American residents of North Dallas, as well as to offer relief from the effects of violent segregation in South Dallas.

Happy 92nd Birthday to Fair Park Stadium!We know the stadium as the Cotton Bowl, but it opened on October 26, 1930, as F...
10/26/2022

Happy 92nd Birthday to Fair Park Stadium!

We know the stadium as the Cotton Bowl, but it opened on October 26, 1930, as Fair Park Stadium. Southern Methodist University defeated Indiana, 27–0. Go home team!

The stadium was renamed the Cotton Bowl on January 28, 1936, in time for the Centennial Exposition.

Happy 105th, Dallas Love Field!Enjoy a few photos from our collections to commemorate this aviation icon.  Here's to 105...
10/19/2022

Happy 105th, Dallas Love Field!

Enjoy a few photos from our collections to commemorate this aviation icon. Here's to 105 more!

The 1840s farmstead at Old City Park was the home to four different families over fifty-ish years.  It was built on the ...
10/14/2022

The 1840s farmstead at Old City Park was the home to four different families over fifty-ish years. It was built on the plains of what-is-now Grapevine.

Richard and Mattie Gano were the third owners to call this farmstead home. In 1974, their great-granddaughter, Gene Rain, collaborated with the Dallas County Heritage Society to move the farmhouse to what-was-then City Park. A fourth-generation Dallasite, Rains passed away last month at the age of 98.

The farmstead is an important part of the park, and the city is fortunate to have this piece of 1840s North Texas pioneer life.

In the 1975 black and white photo, the farmstead is in the lower right corner. In the 1997 color photo, the farmstead is in the upper left, near I-30.

Help preserve Dallas fire-rescue history at the Dallas Firefighters Museum at Ladders and Lagers, Oct 28-30, 2022!The ev...
10/12/2022
TICKETS | Ladders & Lagers

Help preserve Dallas fire-rescue history at the Dallas Firefighters Museum at Ladders and Lagers, Oct 28-30, 2022!
The event celebrates
🔥150 years of Dallas Firefighters
🔥50 years of Dallas EMS
🔥50 years of Dallas Firefighters Museum

Thank you for your service to our community. Tickets to the celebration are available:
laddersandlagers.org/tickets



https://www.facebook.com/events/291211956466771/

Register to attend the Festival as a general attendee, or select from our VIP packages that give you the extras you need to enjoy the weekend for a day or for the whole weekend. Beer, bites, buys, and surprises in store for the entire family. Celebrate fire service, education, and good beer in a gre...

As the masthead says, October is Archives Month!In December 1842, the fledgling Republic of Texas archives were the at t...
10/10/2022

As the masthead says, October is Archives Month!

In December 1842, the fledgling Republic of Texas archives were the at the heart of the Archives War. General Sam Houston announced that Austin was no longer the capital and ordered Colonel Thomas Smith and Captain Eli Chandler to Austin to remove the archives. Smith, Chandler, and 20 men loaded the archives, but before they got on the road, Angelina Eberly sussed the situation. She took action by firing a cannon to alert the citizens of Austin.

Smith and Chandler fled with the vigilantes right behind them. At Brushy Creek in Williamson County, just north of Austin, Chandler and Smith were forced to surrender at gunpoint. The archives were returned to Austin, where the citizens celebrated with a New Year's Eve party. The government itself did not move back to Austin until 1845, but the archives never left Austin.

Eberly's actions are memorialized in Austin with this statue on Congress Street in Austin. Don't mess with Angelina! But do "mess" with your Municipal Archives.

We are open to you four days a week during Archives Month and the other eleven months of the year.

It's Texas-OU Weekend in Dallas! One of the NCAA's historic football rivalries continues tomorrow at the Cotton Bowl, th...
10/07/2022

It's Texas-OU Weekend in Dallas! One of the NCAA's historic football rivalries continues tomorrow at the Cotton Bowl, the 92-year-old stadium and centerpiece of the CIty of Dallas' Fair Park.
Referred to as the "Red River Showdown" and other monikers, the series began in 1900 and has been played in Dallas since 1912, except for 1913 (Houston), 1922 (Norman, Okla.), and 1923 (Austin).
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Texas leads the overall series 62–50–5 (.551). In 2005, The Dallas Morning News asked the 119 Division 1A football coaches to identify the top rivalry game in college football. The Red River Rivalry ranked third, behind only Michigan–Ohio State and Army–Navy.
(Wikipedia)
Images are from the 1976 Texas-OU game, in which President Gerald Ford presided over the coin toss. The 6-6 game is known as the most acrimonious in series history, fueled by the anger of coaches Barry Switzer and Darrell Royal. (Willis WInters Dallas Park and Recreation Department Collection).
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Best of luck to both teams!

The Dallas Health Museum was formally organized on September 17, 1946, and it opened to visitors in the former Museum of...
10/05/2022

The Dallas Health Museum was formally organized on September 17, 1946, and it opened to visitors in the former Museum of Household Arts building in Fair Park on 5 October for the 1946 State Fair of Texas. The original exhibits were loaned to the museum by scientific groups and health organizations including the Cleveland Health Museum and the American Medical Association. The museum's name changed to include "Science" in 1958. The building originally had 11,500 square feet, and expansions occurred several times and ultimately reached 30,000 square feet.

In these two undated photos, kids investigate the ear exhibit.

Happy Birthday, Big Tex!Big Tex is celebrating his 70th year at Fair Park this year. The monolithic cowboy got his start...
10/04/2022

Happy Birthday, Big Tex!
Big Tex is celebrating his 70th year at Fair Park this year. The monolithic cowboy got his start as a Texas-sixed Santa in the Navarro County town of Kerens. Fair officials paid $750 to bring him to Fair Park in 1952, which would add up to more than $8,000 in 2022. Big Tex has gotten a few facelifts and seen other changes in the seven decades he’s spent at the fair. After a devastating fire in 2012, Big Tex came back stronger than ever.
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Images from the Miguel Casanova Collection.

It's a beautiful day for the State Fair of Texas to kick off!  Enjoy the food, fun, and festival for the next three week...
09/30/2022

It's a beautiful day for the State Fair of Texas to kick off! Enjoy the food, fun, and festival for the next three weeks!

As you walk the esplanade or enjoy the Hall of State or the other buildings, remember that many date from the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition.

Photos from Friends of the Dallas Municipal Archives's post
09/22/2022

Photos from Friends of the Dallas Municipal Archives's post

Enjoy world champion Martina Navratilova playing tennis at Reunion Arena.Today in tennis history, however, all eyes were...
09/20/2022

Enjoy world champion Martina Navratilova playing tennis at Reunion Arena.

Today in tennis history, however, all eyes were on the net in Houston watching what-is-now-known-as The Battle of Sexes.

On September 20, 1973, the Houston Astrodome was the stage for a match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King. King's three-set win was watched by an estimated 50 people in the United States and 90 worldwide.

With John Isner visiting City Hall this week, it is a good week to talk about tennis - past, present, and future.

CELEBRATE HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH!A fascinating item in the Dallas Municipal Archives is a gift to the City of Dallas fr...
09/16/2022

CELEBRATE HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH!
A fascinating item in the Dallas Municipal Archives is a gift to the City of Dallas from Mr. P.P. Martinez. "It is my intention to contribute...the sum of one thousand dollars or more for the treatment and assistance of indigent persons afflicted with tuberculosis who have no private means and no relatives to take care of them." The Martinez Anti-Tuberculosis Fund was established in 1917 by Pedro Pacheco Martinez, a Spanish-American citizen who amassed a fortune in the Dallas real estate and to***co business.
In 1919, Martinez contributed $5,000.00 for the establishment of a "tubercular school and hospital for children" coordinated with the old Woodlawn tuberculosis hospital.
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The control of tuberculosis in the City of Dallas began in 1912 when a city-county sanitarium was established for smallpox and tuberculosis patients. The City contributed to the establishment of the Dallas County Tuberculosis Association in 1915 and to other Department of Public Health programs through the 1960s. During the twentieth century the death rate from the disease dropped from 134.0 per hundred thousand population in 1918 to 5.3 per hundred thousand population in 1963.

WOMEN'S EQUALITY DAYWomen's Equality Day is celebrated in the United States on August 26 to commemorate the 1920 adoptio...
08/26/2022

WOMEN'S EQUALITY DAY
Women's Equality Day is celebrated in the United States on August 26 to commemorate the 1920 adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution, which prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of s*x. It was first celebrated in 1971, designated by Congress in 1973, and is proclaimed each year by the United States President. The struggle for equality continues.
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The Dallas Municipal Archives contains numerous collections documenting female leadership in Dallas city government.

CELEBRATE NATIONAL AVIATION DAY!-The National Aviation Day (August 19) is a United States national observation that cele...
08/19/2022

CELEBRATE NATIONAL AVIATION DAY!
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The National Aviation Day (August 19) is a United States national observation that celebrates the development of aviation. Today the Dallas Municipal Archives salutes Love Field and its historic role in aviation in North Texas. A large number of images of Love Field are available at the Portal to Texas History: https://texashistory.unt.edu/explore/collections/LFAP/browse/
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President Franklin Delano Roosevelt designated the anniversary of Orville Wright's birthday by proclamation in 1939 to be National Aviation Day. The observance encourages citizens to commemorate the event through activities that promote interest in aviation.

August 10, 1972 - The Birth of the "D" Logo-On this date, the City of Dallas revealed a new corporate trademark - the no...
08/10/2022

August 10, 1972 - The Birth of the "D" Logo
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On this date, the City of Dallas revealed a new corporate trademark - the now-ubiquitous "D" logo. Designed by Crawford Dunn and Associates, the symbol debuted on the cover of the 1972-73 city annual budget. It was described by City Manager W. Scott McDonald as "simple, uncluttered and modern. The "tree" is meant to symbolize the quality of living in Dallas, and also projects a feeling of greenery, growth and concern for the environment."
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Not a replacement for the "star" graphic in the city flag and the official seal of the city, the "D" logo is instantly recognizable to Dallas citizens. Crawford B. Dunn (1918-1980) was trained at the Art Institute of Chicago and came to Dallas as an industrial designer for Vought Corporation, later opening his own firm. Dunn coined a term for symbol communication - ikonogenics - meaning "image control. His work regularly appeared in the esteemed Graphics Annual until his death.
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The "D" logo is a registered trademark and its use is regulated by the City of Dallas (city ordinance 14971)

The Train is Here - 1872-150 years ago on July 16, 1872, the first train rolled into Dallas, a landmark event that heral...
07/15/2022

The Train is Here - 1872
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150 years ago on July 16, 1872, the first train rolled into Dallas, a landmark event that heralded the beginnings of mass transportation in North Texas and the start of an economic force that pervades the DFW area to this very day. From that moment, transportation became a key ingredient to the success of Dallas.
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"If you build it they will come." After extensive negotiations between the City of Dallas' Railroad Committee and the Houston and Texas Central Railroad, it was agreed that Dallas would provide rights of way and a depot. On April 1, 1871 citizens approved a measure to raise funds through a one-time tax, and a year later dreams became reality. The original depot was located near Browder Springs, now a part of Old City Park.
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Dallas' population was about 3000. The welcome party at Browder's Springs swelled and was moved to the "old fairgrounds," now the site of Baylor Hospital. The 6,000+ people who showed up were fed bison barbecue and entertained with brass bands. A platform featured VIPS and orators, including John Henry Brown, future mayor of Dallas. Tributes and toasts were made, and it was all taken in by a thin older man on the platform - the founder of Dallas, John Neely Bryan.
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Images from the Dallas Municipal Archives; John Neely Bryan image courtesy MC Toyer.

TWO WEEKS LEFT to submit a proposal for the 24th Legacies Dallas History Conference theme "Dallas Legends: Fact and Fict...
07/12/2022

TWO WEEKS LEFT to submit a proposal for the 24th Legacies Dallas History Conference theme "Dallas Legends: Fact and Fiction". Help us get the word out by sharing with your friends, coworkers, and history groups!
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Proposals do not have to be long. A brief description of the paper (a paragraph or two is great!) along with a few details about who you are and the sources you plan to consult is all that is needed. If your proposal is accepted, you will have until the end of 2022 to finish writing your paper.
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More details about how to submit are in the attached flyer. Questions? please let us know and we'll connect you to the Legacies steering committee.

Today marks the anniversary of a sniper attack on July 7th, 2016 which left four Dallas Police Department officers and o...
07/07/2022

Today marks the anniversary of a sniper attack on July 7th, 2016 which left four Dallas Police Department officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer dead. The Dallas Municipal Archives, City Secretary’s Office pauses to remember the deceased and the wounded and their families.

Exciting news! Back by popular demand, WRR's traveling Centennial Celebration exhibition is on the road again, with its ...
06/22/2022
WRR Radio Centennial Celebration Exhibition – Irving Arts Center

Exciting news! Back by popular demand, WRR's traveling Centennial Celebration exhibition is on the road again, with its next stop at Irving Arts Center!
https://www.irvingartscenter.com/events/wrr-radio-centennial-celebration-exhibition/?occurrence=2022-07-02&fbclid=IwAR3N6-iG7aSAc4LyEx48QdP_WraUpC1ZqFumVjWZ_jNJs_348lV2SGzpajQ

Mar 05 2022 - Aug 27 2022 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Partituren/Time Stands Still: Photographs by Michael Matthews & Michael Kruscha Dupree Lobby Gallery

Address

1500 Marilla Street
Dallas, TX
75201

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 4:30pm
Tuesday 9am - 4:30pm
Wednesday 9am - 4:30pm
Thursday 9am - 4:30pm
Friday 9am - 4:30pm

Telephone

+12146705270

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