Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

From the Vault: Dallas’ First Mardi Gras Parade — 1876

mardi-gras_dhs_1876Waiting in the wings…

by Paula Bosse

Read about the crazy goings-on in 1876 as Dallas pulled out all the stops for its first Mardi Gras parade in the post “Mardi Gras: ‘Our First Attempt at a Carnival Fete’ — 1876,” here.

Happy Mardi Gras!


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Main & Murphy — ca. 1907

city-national-bank_postcard_bwMain St. looking east (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Above, Main Street looking east, taken from Murphy, anchored by the beautiful City National Bank, built in 1903. This block today? One Main Place.  Whatever old buildings were left in this block in 1965 (including the old City National Bank) were bulldozed into oblivion to make way for the skyscraper.

The same view today:

one-main-place_google_2015Google Street View, 2015


Top image from a postcard found on eBay.

Imagine looking up to the sky from the photographer’s vantage point in the top photo and seeing what things would look like a century later.

Murphy no longer exists — it was between what is now Griffin and Field. A map from 1898 showing the location:


See another photo of the same view taken at about the same time, only with horse-and-buggy traffic, here.

Click pictures for larger images.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

The 1952 Dallas Texans: Definitely NOT America’s Team


by Paula Bosse

The “Dallas Texans” was the name of two different short-lived professional football teams representing doesn’t-like-to-lose Dallas, Texas. One played in the NFL (1952), the other played in the AFL (1960-1962). The ’60s team won the AFC championship. The ’50s team … oh dear.

That 1950s team already had a checkered past before it got to Dallas in 1952. In 1944, the team was founded as the Boston Yanks. It moved to New York in 1949, becoming the New York Bulldogs. In 1950 the name was changed to the New York Yanks. By 1951, the franchise was in financial trouble and was put up for sale.

Young Dallas “textile tycoon” Giles Miller — a native Dallasite who was “the great-grandson of a pioneer Texan who was wagon-master for Sam Houston at the Battle of San Jacinto” (Dallas Morning News, Jan. 21, 1952) — bought the franchise (and took on a heavy debt incurred by the original owner to repay the New York Yankees for rental of their stadium — see below) for $300,000 (three million dollars in today’s money).

giles-miller_connell-miller_dmn_012152Giles Miller (DMN, Jan. 21, 1952)

People went crazy. The team (which was initially going to be called the Texas Rangers) was the first professional football team in Texas. I think it was the first professional SPORTS team in Texas. There was much rejoicing.

dallas-texans_dmn_013052AP wire story, Jan. 30, 1952 (click for larger image)

Dallas sportswriters were so happy that they were giddily sharing with their readers the Texas stereotypes showing up in national stories about the city’s new acquisition.

The team would play in the Cotton Bowl. Their colors would  be royal blue, silver, and white (…hmm, sounds familiar…).


Their “traveling clothing” would be, for some reason, western wear. (See the shirts here.)

dallas-texans_western-wear_dmn_013152DMN, Jan. 31, 1952

And they had a flashy logo.


Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to have been as much attention directed to the players.  Even though there were a few new players brought in (including local boy Jack Adkisson, better known later by his wrestling name, Fritz von Erich), the team was basically the same one inherited from the failed New York team (including three black players, which caused a lot of questions about whether they would be retained by Dallas — they were).

So how’d that first season go? They played 12 games. They won one. Attendance started out sparse, and it only got sparser. The team quickly went bankrupt. Giles Miller tried to get financial help from the city and from fellow wealthy businessmen, but after the seventh game, Miller “returned” the team to the NFL. I didn’t know you could do that — like a dog owner who had happily adopted a German Shepherd without having researched how much it would cost for its upkeep, then after realizing he couldn’t afford it and being unable to find anyone else who would be able to take him in, he had to return him to the shelter. The remainder of the season had a homeless team (still called the “Dallas Texans”) traveling to various cities until the season mercifully ended. The Dallas Texans were, somewhat ignominiously, the last NFL team to fold.

The team eventually became the Baltimore Colts. Sort of. From the Wikipedia entry:

The NFL was unable to find a buyer for the Texans, and folded the team after the season. A few months later, the NFL granted a new franchise to a Baltimore-based group headed by Carroll Rosenbloom, and awarded it the remaining assets (including the players) of the failed Texans operation. Rosenbloom named his new team the Baltimore Colts. For all intents and purposes, Rosenbloom bought the Texans and moved them to Baltimore. However, the Colts (now based in Indianapolis) do not claim the history of the Yanks/Bulldogs/Yanks/Texans as their own, in spite of the fact that the Colts 1953 roster included many of the 1952 Texans. Likewise, the NFL reckons the Colts as a 1953 expansion team.

Dallas didn’t have a professional football team again until 1960. And then it got TWO. Clint Murchison gave us the Dallas Cowboys (my sports knowledge is obviously pretty paltry, because I’d never heard how Murchison got the NFL franchise until I read the story about his pretty amusing feud with the Washington Redskins owner), and Lamar Hunt created the AFL and gave us … the Dallas Texans. Mach Two. They wore red, white, and yellow and actually won a few games. Someone even created a weird little nickname for them: “The Zing Team of Pro Football.” The Zing Team lasted for three seasons before becoming the Kansas City Chiefs.





1952 pennant and 1960s sticker from eBay.

Illustration of 1952 uniforms from AmericanFootballWikia.com, here. 1960s uniform from BlackReign.net, here.

“Zing” image from Twitter user @ToddRadom.

Stats? 1952 Texans (read ’em and weep), here; 1960s Texans, here.

Read a bitter article on the 1952 team going to Baltimore, written by Charles Burton of The Dallas Morning News (Jan. 18, 1953), here. He felt that Dallas was “railroaded” and that there were some suspicious backroom dealings going on having to do with the big Yankee Stadium debt Giles Miller took on when he bought the team.

Click pictures and clippings for larger images.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

From the Vault: Loitering In Front of the DMN Building — 1900

dmn-bldg_c1900_degolyer_smuDeGolyer Library/SMU

by Paula Bosse

There are several almost dreamlike vignettes contained in this wonderful photo of the old Dallas Morning News Building at Commerce and Lamar. See them in my previous post “Loitering In Front of The Dallas Morning News Building — ca. 1900,” here. (Links to two other photos of the building taken at about the same time are linked at the bottom of the post.)


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Early Aerial View of the SMU Campus

smu_early-aerial_ca1920s_degolyerWide open… (click for much larger view)

by Paula Bosse

Does anyone else fear the SMU campus is getting a little crowded these days? Here’s what it looked like back when there was still plenty of room to stretch out.

This photo is in the SMU archives, accompanied by this description:

Pictured is an aerial view of campus from the southeast. At the bottom is Mockingbird Lane; on the right is Airline Road; at the top is Daniel Avenue; and on the left is Hillcrest Avenue. Situated in the middle of fields is a water tower, Dallas Hall, Atkins Hall, Rankin Hall, North Hall, South Hall, the Women’s Gymnasium, Armstrong Field, and the Morrison-Bell Track.

What is the huge hacienda at Hillcrest and Daniel (below)? Is that the Daniel family home?


And what are the little houses next to the under-construction stadium? Faculty housing? Fraternity houses? Houses not even connected with the university?


I kinda wish the campus still looked like this.


Photo titled “Early aerial view of campus,” ca. 1920s, from the DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; it is accessible here.

Zoom in on this photo as much as you can and wander around it — it’s pretty cool. Go here, then slide the magnification bar at the top all the way to the right.

Click pictures for larger images.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Happy 2nd Anniversary, Flashback Dallas!

skyline-1914_cook_degolyer_smuDallas, New Year’s Day, 1914 (click for larger image) (photo: SMU)

by Paula Bosse

Two years! Time really does fly when you’re having fun. Without duplicating the entirety of my anniversary post of last year, I just want to thank everyone who reads this blog. I’m still excited and enthusiastic to delve into and explore Dallas’ past, and whenever I sit down at my computer to research something or write about a photo or a person or a forgotten moment of the city’s history, I know I’ll always come across something interesting. I haven’t been disappointed yet.

My mini Dallas archive here is now at 639 posts (which, I have to say, I find pretty unbelievable), and I’ve recently surpassed 5,000 followers. It’s encouraging to know there are so many people interested in the history of our city, a city often accused of having no regard for the importance of its own past. There are a lot of us who do care.

Thank you for reading!


Photo is titled “Dallas Sky Line, January 1st, 1914,” taken by Jno. J. Johnson; it is from the George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University, and it can be viewed here. (I’ve manipulated the color.) The photograph may have been taken from the roof of the still-standing Butler Brothers building, about where the City Hall now stands, looking north. (Johnson’s photo of the 1913 skyline can be seen here.)

I want to take this opportunity to personally thank the Central University Libraries of SMU — and especially the DeGolyer Library — for providing so much of their collection online in such high-quality images. It is, hands down, the best digital collection of historical Dallas images available online. Thank you, SMU!


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

From the Vault: Groundhog Day in DFW!


by Paula Bosse

It’s Groundhog Day. ..Again! See my post from last year with a few DFW-related groundhog tidbits, here.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Yehudi Menuhin and Antal Dorati: A Collaborative Friendship

menuhin-dorati_texas-week-mag_012547_sm“Best friends” Menuhin and Dorati in Dallas, Jan. 1947

by Paula Bosse

When Antal Dorati was appointed conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in 1945, Dallas suddenly began to see a lot of violinist Yehudi Menuhin.

In a 1954 article about Yehudi Menuhin’s close ties to Dallas, John Rosenfield — the influential arts editor of The Dallas Morning News — wrote that when Menuhin was in town for a performance for the Civic Music Association in 1945, he was “casually asked” (probably by Rosenfield himself) what he thought of Antal Dorati as a possible conductor for the then-long-dormant Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

“‘He’s my best friend … he’s wonderful … he’s great,’ said Yehudi, who was promptly carried around town to talk to businessmen again interested in re-forming the orchestra.” (DMN, Sept. 5, 1954)

A short while later, Dorati was hired as musical director of the “new” Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and, as a result, best friend Yehudi was in and out of town frequently during Dorati’s four seasons in Dallas. Not only did he perform frequently as a soloist with the DSO, but it was not unheard of for Yehudi to sometimes drop by and sit in with the orchestra during rehearsals. Menuhin often stayed with Dorati when touring the central United States or based himself at the Melrose Hotel, which he used as a sort of mid-continent pied-à-terre.

One of the great passions the two men shared was a love for the music of Hungarian composer Bela Bartok. Dorati, born in Budapest, studied piano under Bartok and was a champion of his work throughout his career. Menuhin had performed Bartok’s Violin Concerto to great acclaim, and near the end of Bartok’s life, after the two men had met and bonded, Menuhin commissioned him to compose a sonata for violin.

Dorati and Menuhin often collaborated on performances featuring Bartok’s works, and when it was known that Dorati was all-but-signed to be the new DSO conductor, there was much speculation that Bartok himself might come to Dallas, but Bartok’s death in September, 1945 put an end to those hopes.

bartok_dmn_092845DMN, Sept. 28, 1945 (click for larger image)

The first RCA Victor Red Seal recordings of Dorati’s Dallas Symphony Orchestra took place in January, 1946. One of the recordings featured Menuhin performing Bartok’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra.

dorati-menuhin_denison-press_010446Denison Press, Jan. 4, 1946

Below, the first movement of the recording.


The second movement is here; the third movement is here.

dorati-menuhin_time_061647_reviewTime  magazine, June 16, 1947

dorati-menuhin_time_061647RCA Victor ad, 1947

Of perhaps greater note, was the fact that Yehudi Menuhin conducted for the very first time in Dallas — the first orchestra he ever waved a baton at was the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, in 1946. No doubt because of their great friendship, Dorati coached Menuhin on the finer points of conducting when the violinist expressed interest in learning what things were like from the other side of the podium. Menuhin first conducted the DSO on April 6 1946, for an invited audience.

menuhin_conductor_dso_santa-cruz-CA-sentinel_040746Santa Cruz (CA) Sentinel, Apr. 7, 1946

He was ready to go “public” on January 16, 1947, conducting the DSO for one of its regularly scheduled national broadcasts originating from WFAA.

menuhin_conductor_dso_dmn_011247DMN, Jan. 11, 1947

“Yehudi Menuhin, one of the great violinists of modern concert history, makes his pubic debut as a symphony orchestra conductor, January 16. Antal Dorati, Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, lends his baton to his protégé, Menuhin, for the entire one hour program.”


menuhin_conductor_dso_dmn_011547DMN, Jan. 15, 1947

Even though Menuhin insisted this brief foray into the world of conducting was fleeting and not a signal of any sort of career change, Yehudi Menuhin did go on later to direct many of the world’s great orchestras.


The friendship between Dorati and Menuhin lasted (from what I can tell) until Dorati’s death in 1988 (the decade-younger Menuhin died in 1999). They were personal friends and like-minded professional equals.

“Between Menuhin and Antal Dorati, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra conductor, exists a friendship and a mutuality of musical aspiration that has resulted in outstanding musical collaborations.” (John Rosenfield, DMN, Jan. 15, 1947)

Below, the only film I’ve been able to find of the two men together, filmed in 1947 during the time when Dorati was engaged in Dallas (although this was not DSO-related and was filmed in Los Angeles). The piece being performed is Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 4; Dorati accompanies Menuhin on piano (you finally see him near the end!).


menuhin-dorati_brahms_hungarian-danceDorati, Menuhin, 1947 (fuzzy screenshot)

 dorati_menuhinYounger… (via Tutti Magazine)



Top photo of Menuhin and Dorati in preparation for Menuhin’s public debut as a conductor is from Texas Week magazine (Jan. 25, 1947), here.

The YouTube video of Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 4 was filmed at the Charlie Chaplin studios in Hollywood in the fall of 1947 (according to consumer reviews here).


  • Yehudi Menuhin Wikipedia entry is here. His obituary is here.
  • Antal Dorati Wikipedia entry is here.
  • Bela Bartok Wikipedia entry is here.

Yehudi Menuhin on meeting with Bartok, from a transcription of an interview with the BBC sent to John Rosenfield by Menuhin’s father is here (Dallas Morning News, July 13, 1947).

Below, a breezy Dallas Morning News article from 1954 about Yehudi Menuhin and Dallas, written (presumably) by John Rosenfield.

menuhin_dallas_rosenfield_dmn_090554DMN, Sept. 5, 1954

More on Dorati can be found in my post “Antal Dorati, The Conductor Who Revived The Dallas Symphony Orchestra — 1945-1949,” here.

Click pictures and clippings for larger images.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Antal Dorati, The Conductor Who Revived the Dallas Symphony Orchestra — 1945-1949

Antal Dorati, 1946 — on top of the world

 by Paula Bosse

The news this week that the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s music director, Jaap van Zweden, was leaving town to pursue a glitzier gig was seen as an inevitable move to many of his disappointed fans. The DSO has been something of a springboard for conductors working their way up the conductor career ladder. Another celebrated conductor who spent a few years in Big D before rising to the heights of international acclaim was Hungarian-born Antal Dorati (1906-1988).

Dallas had classical music concerts in the 19th century, but the roots of what we now know as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra reach back to about 1900, under the direction of Hans Kreissig, who had settled in Dallas in 1887.

kreissig_dmn_011387Dallas Morning News, Jan. 13, 1897

For various reasons (lack of community interest, lack of financial support, etc.), some of these early seasons were truncated or suspended — there was a gap of several years after Kreissig’s tenure, for instance, and there were no performances during most of 1936 and 1937 because of activities surrounding the Texas Centennial and renovations to the Music Hall (the DSO performed at the Music Hall in Fair Park). The most noteworthy suspension of performances was during World War II — the financial state of the organization was not good at this time — a situation which would have been reason enough to consider sitting out a season or two — but the main reason the DSO shut down completely in 1942 was because conductor Jacques Singer and several of the musicians had enlisted or were drafted. John Rosenfield, the arts editor of The Dallas Morning News and an ardent classical music lover, wrote often during this time how the loss of the DSO was a crushing cultural blow to the city. (Click article for larger image.)

dso_rosenfield_dmn_092342DMN, Sept. 23, 1942

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra was “temporarily dissolved” for the duration. After the war had ended, Dallas’ music-lovers (and musicians) were clamoring for the return of the DSO. A search began for a conductor who was not only a superior music director but who would be able to build an orchestra from scratch; they found that man in 39-year-old Antal Dorati, a former student of Zoltan Kodaly and Bela Bartok who had made a name for himself as a music director for ballet companies such as the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and the Ballet Theater — his DSO appointment was announced in Oct., 1945.

DMN, Oct. 7, 1945

Somehow, in only two months, Dorati managed to put an orchestra together, prepare the season’s schedule, rehearse the musicians, and present the first performance of the “reborn” Dallas Symphony Orchestra on December 9, 1945.

ad_dso_dmn_120545-detDMN, Dec. 5, 1945

The response to that first concert was rapturous (read John Rosenfield’s Dallas Morning News review here). During the intermission of this debut performance, Dorati was interviewed on the radio and had nice things to say about Dallas:



dso_dmn_121045-photo Above three clippings: DMN, Dec. 10, 1945

One little thing the Maestro was unable to accomplish, though, was to find a place for his family to live. The severe lack of postwar housing affected even the wealthy cultural elite!

DMN, Dec. 13, 1945

And, with that, the DSO was back. It toured. A LOT. And made recordings. And appeared on national radio broadcasts. With Dorati at the helm, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra was making a name for itself and garnering a very positive national reputation.

A typical article about the young, photogenic Dorati went something like the one below, in which Dorati was described as “the wonderboy of Southwest symphonic circles.”

dorati_dso_texas-week-mag_081746Texas Week, Aug. 17, 1946

After a fairly short but incredibly productive time in Dallas, Antal Dorati accepted the position of conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. His personally-written announcement appeared in The Dallas Morning News on Jan. 6, 1949.

dorati-statement_dmn_010649DMN, Jan. 6, 1949

His successor, Walter Hendl (a startlingly “honest” obituary of Hendl is here), was appointed a few short weeks later, and Dorati’s final concert was April 3, 1949.

dorati_farewell_dmn_040349DMN, April 3, 1949

John Rosenfield’s melancholy review/farewell appeared the next day, and one imagines it tooks weeks for his tears to dry.

dorati_farewell_dmn_040449DMN, April 4, 1949


Waco News Tribune, Dec. 6, 1946

dorati_waco-news-tribune_121346Waco News Tribune, Dec. 13, 1946




Top photo and article from the Aug. 17, 1946 issue of Texas Week, the short-lived magazine that was sort of a Texas version of Life, via the Portal to Texas History, here. Photo is credited to The Dallas Morning News; text may have been written by Paul Crume of The News.


  • The Dallas Symphony Orchestra Wikipedia entry is here; the official DSO site is here; the Handbook of Texas entry is here.
  • The Antal Dorati Wikipedia entry is here; his official site is here.

Listen to pianist William Kapell perform Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26 with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Antal Dorati (recorded at the Fair Park Auditorium the same week he made his “Adios, Dallas!” announcement in Jan., 1949), here.

Here’s what was used to record the above performance:

dorati_dmn_010549DMN, Jan. 5, 1949

Read John Rosenfield’s excited report that, yes!, Dorati might be coming to Dallas to revive the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DMN, Sept. 13, 1945), here.

For a collection of random bits and pieces about Dorati in Dallas, including the program schedule of his first season with the DSO, some background on his pre-Dallas career (which included a missed opportunity to join the DSO in the late ’30s), and a grainy reproduction of the portrait of him painted by Dallas artist Ed Bearden, see here.

More on Dorati and his close friend Yehudi Menuhin in my post “Yehudi Menuhin and Antal Dorati: A Collaborative Friendship,” here.

And, yes, the correct spelling should be “Antal Doráti.”

Most pictures larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

A-Bomb in Akard Street! — 1950

mcgrath-frank_a-bomb-in-akard-street_dmn_021350See Pegaus up there in the cloud of smoke and debris? (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

The image above is a depiction of what downtown Dallas might look like in the aftermath of an atomic bomb going off at the corner of Main and Akard (which is weirdly specific). The drawing is by Dallas Morning News staff artist Frank McGrath. This isn’t terribly realistic, but it’s nice that Frank spared Pegasus from annihilation.

This drawing illustrated a Dallas Morning News article about emergency contingency plans of dealing with such an occurrence. The article appeared in February of 1950, just a few months after the announcement that Russia had exploded a nuclear bomb during atomic tests and just a few short weeks after President Truman announced that the United States would increase and intensify research and production of thermonuclear weapons. It was a scary time for the world. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were still fresh in everyone’s minds, and news of the even more frightening hydrogen bomb was everywhere in February, 1950. In fact, when the atomic-bomb-in-Dallas scenario was published in The News, this article about Albert Einstein’s thoughts on the H-bomb appeared on the newspaper’s front page (click for larger image):

bomb_einstein_dmn_021350DMN, Feb. 13, 1950

But back to Big D. The illustration at the top appeared over the following caption:

“This is Dallas after an atomic explosion at Main and Akard as pictured by Dallas News Artist Frank McGrath from reports prepared by 22d Armored Division personnel. The division was given the problem of determining the extent of damage in such a case and planning its own course of action.”

Here’s the article (a transcription is below):


a-bomb-in-akard-street_dmn_021350bDMN, Feb. 13, 1950 (click for larger images)


If A-Bomb Ever Strikes Dallas, Army Has Plan

by Fred Pass
Dallas Morning News, Feb. 13, 1950

An atomic bomb left downtown Dallas in shambles Sunday and the Army was taking over the rest of the city — all on paper, of course.

Just like the atom bomb that was supposed to burst over the corner of Main and Akard, the problem of what Army forces here would do in such a situation burst on officers and men of the 22d Armored Division. The problem came from the mind of Brig. Gen. John B Dunlap, head of Combat Command A.

The mythical bomb burst Sunday at 8:30 a.m. Within a radius of a mile and a half the city lay in chaos and death.

This is the Army’s picture in such a case.

From the ruined area to a zone three miles from the bomb, movement and supplies have been frozen by the Army. Roadblocks have been set up. The city has been divided into four military zones.

Fires are cutting from the bomb area into the rest of the city.

First-aid posts are operating at nearly all public buildings and at drugstores.

Power and gas companies have put their auxiliary units to work throughout the city, and most of the homes outside the heart with a bomb exploded still have lights and heat.

Water pressure is low, since many water mains were broken. Residents have been ordered to use water only for drinking. The pressure is needed to fight fires.

Shortly after the bomb burst, General Dunlap, through the broadcasting station at Grapevine, ordered all persons with uniforms to report to the army post at Love Field.

As they reported, he sent them to strategic traffic points to halt movement into or out of the city and the affected area.

A helicopter equipped with a loud-speaker was commandeered at Love Field and hovered over the city to order the residents to remain where they are.

Route 12 and Belt Line Road around the city have been designated for military traffic only.

Pharmacists within the stricken area have been asked to open their stores and take charge of medical supplies. Pharmacists in outlying areas are requested to issue medical supplies only to soldiers’ Army supply orders.

Doctors and nurses have been asked by radio to report to a first-aid station in the stricken area and start to work.

The covered areas at Fair Park and [the] Sears Roebuck store on Greenville [Ave.] have been set up as hospitals.

All available food supplies and wholesale groceries, gasoline supplies from the Humble substation on Highway 183 and Magnolia substation on Fort Worth Avenue have been commandeered.

Private telephone calls have been cut off at the substations to allow only official calls. A number of the substations were knocked out by the blast, although 90 per cent of the lines are usable.

Rifles used in school ROTC programs were taken over by the Army to maintain order. The Army section in charge of supplies has enlisted civilian organizations such as petroleum groups, retail manufacturing associations and grocery organizations to aid in locating needed supplies.

The story of an atom bomb disaster in Dallas was compiled from reports made Sunday by officers in charge of transportation, supply, logistics and medical sections of the 22d Armored Division, an organized reserve unit.

They were given the problem last Sunday by General Dunlap, and were asked to prepare a working plan of such a disaster.

Following the reports, Dunlap said the problem was “from my own mind,” and not a War Department order.

“We would be far wiser to have a plan for a disaster before it happens,” he said. “The plan you have prepared may not be the best, but any plan that works is a good one.

“This is a problem that might face any city in this country, if we are ever so foolish as to engage in an atomic warfare.

“The citizens of this community should have a plan for relief — whether for tornadoes or atomic bombs — and it should be kept up-to-date.”


There were bomb shelters all over the Dallas area. There was a (surprisingly) large shelter on the grounds of Fair Park. Watch a video tour here.

Read about the tenor of the times in the article “Hydrogen Bomb — 1950,” here.

The title of this post is a direct reference to a great song by one of my favorite bands, The Jam. Listen to “A-Bomb in Wardour Street,” here. This time it’s nuclear apocalypse in London, but change the accent and, sure, it could be Dallas. (I knew I’d work The Jam in here one day!)

I can only imagine Frank McGrath’s reaction when he was given the assignment to draw a post-atomic-bomb-blasted Dallas. He looks like a fun guy. Here’s a photo of him and popular Dallas Morning News columnist Paul Crume — Frank is on the left. (Photo from somewhere deep within the DMN website.)



Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


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