A Guide to the History of Dallas, Texas

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Timelines of Events in Dallas History: 1920s


March 3: Ohio Senator and Future President Warren G. Harding delivers a speech at the Dallas City Hall Auditorium to a crowd of Republican supporters.

n.d.: New style streetcars introduced on Dallas lines (will remain in service until 1945, when they are replaced by streamlined cars).

April 18: Former President William Howard Taft visits Dallas; speaks at Fair Park Coliseum.

October: State Fair attendance exceeds 1 million for the first time. Mexican President-elect Obregon visits the State Fair.

Nov. 2: Texas women vote for first time in a general election.


n.d.: Construction begins on the Magnolia Building (the city's tallest).

Feb. 12-18: Dallas Auto Association holds first show at Fair Park.

Spring: Socialist George Clifton Edwards runs again for Mayor, against Sawnie Aldredge and W. L. Talbot; Aldredge wins.

April 21: The Ku Klux Klan (Dallas Klan No. 66) marches in an "awesome parade" through downtown Dallas; Alex Johnson, a black hotel porter, is branded with the letters "KKK" using acid.

July 28: Dallas Fire Dept. Signal Division Chief Henry Garrett installs 5-watt radio transmitter in old Central Fire Station.

Aug. 1: City-owned radio station WRR, the second radio station in the entire United States, begins transmitting.

Aug. 11: The Rev. Caleb A. Ridley, pastor of a Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, speaks at the Fair Park Coliseum on "The Aims and Ideals of the Ku Klux Klan."


n.d.: Radio station WFAA begins transmitting.

n.d.: Twenty-nine-story Magnolia Building completed.

n.d.: Automobile-Manufacturers Building constructed on site of old wooden Automobile building at Fair Park.

March 6: Phillip Rothblum is taken from his McKinney Avenue home, is flogged by "unknown persons" and is told to leave Dallas. Although Ku Klux Klan members are suspected, Dallas Klan No. 66 contributes $500 to a reward fund to find the perpetrators.

June: Great Southern Life Insurance Building (formerly the Busch Building) renamed the Kirby Building.

July 22: Dallas Klan No. 66 marches "unmasked" through downtown Dallas.


n.d.: Road around White Rock Lake is named Lawther Drive in honor of former mayor.

May 17: Dallas' first traffic light system (and reportedly the first in the nation), invented by Henry Garrett, begins operating.

July 31: Rev. L. E. McEldowney, pastor of a West Virginia Presbyterian church, tells a large audience at the Fair Park bandstand that the Ku Klux Klan was ordained by God "to save America."

Oct. 24: Following the dedication of Hope Cottage - a home for unwed mothers, 300,000 Klansman, including Imperial Wizard Hiram Evans (a former Dallas dentist), attend "Ku Klux Klan Day" at the State Fair. In a speech delivered in front of the racetrack grandstand, Evans says America's biggest problem is immigration.


June 11: Henry Clogensen, age 63, Dallas' most prolific early 20th century photographer, dies suddenly at his home on Travis Street; he is buried at Weatherford.

June 14: Dallas Klan No. 66 parades through the streets of Oak Cliff, followed by a barbecue and speeches.

July 15: Dallas Klan No. 66 holds a family picnic at Fair Park.

Sept. 8: "The Awakening," a live-performance Ku Klux Klan entertainment, opens at the Circle Theater "under the auspices of" Dallas Klan No. 66.

October: U.S. Navy dirigible Shenandoah appears at Fair Park. Escape artist and illusionist Harry Houdini performs during State Fair.

Oct. 4: Work begins on new reservoir for Dallas, at Garza in neighboring Denton County.


n.d.: "Little Mexico" neighborhood established by Mexican immigrants.

n.d.: "Dallas Negro Chamber of Commerce founded.

n.d.: Cotton Exchange Building constructed.

n.d.: WRR radio studios moved from Central Fire Station to Hotel Adolphus. Transmitting towers are erected at Fair Park.

n.d.: Fair Park Auditorium (present-day Fair Park Music Hall) constructed for $500,000. Sydney Smith Memorial Fountain moved to front of Auditorium.

Feb. 25: The Dallas Morning News reports that Dallas Klan No. 66 "is planning to erect a klan klavern building" and an auditorium.

Dec. 3: Clyde Barrow arrested for automobile theft.


n.d.: KRLD radio begins transmitting.

n.d.: First city buses begin operating.

June: New Fair Park public swimming pool opens.


Sept. 27: Celebrated aviator Charles Lindbergh arrives at Love Field in the "Spirit of St. Louis" and is afterward lauded at a banquet at Adolphus Hotel following ticker-tape parade (the first ever) through downtown Dallas.

Dec. 2: Ford Motor Company's new "Model A" is displayed for first time at company showrooms adjoining Ford assembly plant on East Grand Avenue. Ford announces that 2,000 men will be hired to produce the new vehicle, beginning in January 1928.


n.d.: First sailing club at White Rock Lake, the Dallas Sailing Club, is organized.

n.d.: New Trinity River levees completed.

Feb. 1: Airmail service between Dallas and Chicago and New York is inaugurated, heralding "a new era in transportation."

June 22: City of Dallas purchases federal government-owned Love Field, for use as a municipal airport.

August: City Water Commissioner, Col. S. E. Moss, ignites controversy when he proposes a "Coney Island" style amusement park for White Rock Lake.


n.d.: A survey shows that Dallas leads the Southwest in number of skyscrapers (31 buildings ten-to-twenty stories tall and 1 over twenty stories).

n.d.: Lake Dallas (now Lake Lewisville) completed. Dallas ceases using White Rock Lake for water supply.

April: In a run-off election, "Hot Dog" candidate J. Waddy Tate, an outspoken advocate of providing public recreational facilities at White Rock Lake, is elected mayor of Dallas.

April 9: Speedboat accident results in ordinance requiring all boats on White Rock Lake to carry life preservers.

Dec. 13: White Rock Lake Park created.

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