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D in the Heart of Texas             

Jerry T. Dealey

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In Conclusion

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

The “Heart of Texas” could be considered Dallas, and the “D in the Heart of Dallas” could be considered Dealey Plaza. This little 3-acre site is the historic birthplace of Dallas, Texas. This little park was a ‘secret’ of the people of Dallas, and gave them a pleasant little place to stroll or enjoy a quiet lunch during the middle of their workday. Even the people of Dallas were barely aware of the history of this little piece of ground, or of the man it was named after; however, they enjoyed it as a peaceful “Western Gateway” into their city.

Many events affecting the city had occurred here. The city’s founders had slept and planted their crops there, the leaders from the Republic of Texas had stopped and shared a drink or two here, and the pioneers looking to cross the Trinity had found respite here. G. B. Dealey had walked onto the Commerce St. Bridge here, to smoke his cigar, and notice some river-bottom land he would buy. Friends and lovers met here, and the people of Dallas had celebrated the navigation of the Trinity by the steamship “H. A. Harvey, Jr.” here. There had been many saloons here, as well as shops, hotels and other businesses. No doubt many happy hours had been spent here.

Many difficult events had happened here also. Doubtless Bonnie and Clyde had traveled over the Commerce St. Bridge, on the way to Bonnie’s mother’s house in West Dallas. Bonnie Parker had even worked here. There have been lynchings here, there have been Ku Klux Klan marches and atrocities here. There had been other deaths here, including a Sheriff who shot Alexander Cockrell, and the deaths caused by the 1908 flood here. The 1860 “slave insurrection” fire started here, at W. W. Peak’s Drug Store. But they had been local occurrences. If the small park had bad memories for some, for most, it was just a pleasant place to spend a quiet lunch hour or another few minutes of relaxation.

But on November 22, 1963, this pleasant little park was viciously thrust into the psyche of the American and world memory! Most of the people of Dallas hated the light it put on their city, and would grow to resent the park in the coming years. Many avoid it today. It represents an ugly incident in our history that we would rather have not happened. Many maintain that it reflects a bad light on our city and our citizens, and many want it destroyed.

However, like it or not, this 3 acre park reflects the history of Dallas, its founders, and the history of the man it is named after. Unfortunately, it also echoes the sounds of the shots that tragically altered our nation. But it serves as a reminder of Dallas history, as well as of the man who was slaughtered on that sunny afternoon. It should stay as it is, as a reminder of the tragic, as well as the good, past it represents.

With good and evil memories, it truly represents the heart, and soul, of Dallas.

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Last edited June 3, 2003