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D in the Heart of Texas             

Jerry T. Dealey

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The "City of Hate"

Early History of Texas
The Europeans and American Settlers
John Neely Bryan – And Other Early Founders
Some Wheeling-Dealing to Grow a City
George Bannerman Dealey
The Dallas Morning News is Born
The Great 1908 Flood
G. B. Promotes Other Early Dallas Growth
The "City of Hate"
Building the ‘Subway’, Triple Underpass, Dealey Plaza
The Other Buildings Around Dealey Plaza
The Elder G. B. Dealey
The Dallas "Citizens Council"
The ‘Right Wing’ Direction of Dallas - "City of Hate" Revisited
A ‘Turn-Around’ for the Dallas Morning News
The Pre-November ‘Hate’ Incidents
Dallas’ Law Enforcement
November 1963, Why Dallas?
Dealey Plaza Changes To-Date

Many believe that the term “City of Hate” was generated because of the extreme right-wing beliefs and political upheaval in the city during the early 1960’s. Many associate this label to the Adlai Stevenson event, when he was hit by a protest sign, and the incident where Lady Bird Johnson was spit upon. Indeed, the Dallas attitudes in the 1960’s were rather extreme, prompting 1963 Police Chief, Jesse Curry, in a speech before the President’s arrival in November ‘63, to urge the citizens to keep down trouble, and not fulfill the title “City of Hate”. But the extreme right-wing attitude of the city is not the original source of this title.

It was the Ku Klux Klan!

On Saturday, May 21, 1921, the lights on Main Street went dark at precisely 9:00 PM. From a side door emerged 800 Klansmen, who lead a torch-lit procession down Main Street, and back up Elm, while the hushed Saturday night downtown crowd watched. With this event the Ku Klux Klan ‘officially’ announced its presence within the city of Dallas. The following morning, the Dallas Morning News announced the presence of the Klan in Dallas as a slander, and the fight between the Morning News and the Ku Klux Klan was on.

It was lean times for the paper, and these lean times may also have influenced the move to sell the Galveston News in 1923. After the sale of the Galveston News, the Klan announced that they were the cause, and that they had the Morning News “on the ropes” as well.

And the Klan was very strong in Dallas! Of course, the Klan was very strong in all of the southern states and cities, but in Dallas, it was particularly strong. The Klan was strong even in the northern states, with both the Chicago and Indianapolis klaverns boasting more members than any southern city. It had been around Dallas since 1868, during reconstruction. But in the 1920’s it became public in a big way. It was estimated that 13,000 local citizens belonged to the local Dallas chapter. The national Klan elections were held, and a local cut-rate Dallas dentist, Hiram Wesley Evans replaced an Indiana man as the national leader (Imperial Wizard) of the Ku Klux Klan. In addition, Z. E. Marvin, another Dallas businessman, became the local “Grand Dragon”. Marvin was the owner of the Magnolia Building, which became the symbol of Dallas almost as soon as it was built in 1922.

Any political opponent the Klan supported was denounced and opposed by the Morning News and the Citizens League. In 1924, a Klan candidate for Governor, Judge Felix Robertson was successfully defeated. One serious re-emergence occurred in the spring of 1925, where a mob of 10,000 people, many in Klan robes tried to take and lynch a couple of black prisoners of the Dallas County Jail, who had been convicted of rape. A young Dallas Sheriff, Schuyler B. Marshall Jr., managed to deter the mob, and kept his prisoners until they could be transferred to Huntsville. These defeats marked the beginning of the decline of the Ku Klux Klan as a public entity, although Klan activities continue less publicly today.

IE150-1.GIF - 6031 BytesD in the Heart of Texas - Table of Contents
03LEFT.JPG - 1910 Bytes G. B. Promotes Other Early Dallas Growth
03RIGHT.JPG - 1880 Bytes Building the ‘Subway’, Triple Underpass, Dealey Plaza (Part 1)

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Last edited June 3, 2003