Located in the North Central part of Texas, Dallas is the third largest city in the state, behind Houston and San Antonio. With a population of about 1.3 million residents, Dallas is also the ninth largest city in the United States. There are several theories as to how Dallas got its name. The official version states that it was named in honor of Vice President George M. Dallas. Another theory states that it was named after the village of Dallas in Moray, Scotland. Regardless of how it got its name, Dallas was incorporated as a city in February 1856.
The Growth of Dallas
With the advent of the railroad, Dallas started growing and becoming an industrial city that attracted workers from all over the country. By the end of the 19th century, it had a booming economy that led to the construction of the first skyscrapers to the west of the Mississippi River. The Praetorian Building, which was 15 stories tall, was built in 1909. Soon a racetrack was built, and the Dallas Jockey Club was formed.
Major Moments in Dallas
Dallas gained even more prominence during World War II due to its manufacture of military vehicles and planes at the Ford plant in the eastern part of the city. Dallas is also known for being the site of several infamous events, including the lynching and torture of Allen Brooks, an African American man accused of raping a little girl in 1910, and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963.
Aside from its history, there are many little-known facts about Dallas, including it being the city where German chocolate was invented, as well as it being the birthplace of the first professional cheerleading squad in history. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders first debuted in 1972 and established a precedent that led many football teams to follow. Today, cheerleaders from all over the country continue to try to be selected each year to this prestigious organization which has become nothing short of a national symbol. Visiting Dallas is a fascinating experience permeated with history and many interesting facts, which makes it a must on any traveler's bucket list.