Newsletter- April 2015
Pour Yourself into History

Join the Dallas Historical Society and Dallas Heritage Village for Happy Hour at Blackfriar Pub on April 20th from 5:30 to 7:00 PM for the first in our inaugural POUR YOURSELF INTO HISTORY series.  A brief presentation about the history of the old frame house the pub occupies on historic McKinney Avenue will take place at 6:15.


Where: Blackfriar Pub (2621 McKinney Avenue, Dallas, TX 75204)

When: Tuesday, April 20th, 2015

Time: 5:30 PM- 7:00 PM


Author Signings


North Texas Beer: A Full-Bodied History of Brewing in Dallas, Fort Worth and Beyond by local beer bloggers Brian L. Brown and Paul Hightower

When: Wednesday, April 8th

Time: 6:00 p.m.- Doors open,  6:30 p.m. Presentation followed by book signing



Fortune's Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth by Terry Alford

When: Thursday, April 16th

6pm Doors Open and Private Reception with Author begins

7pm Program and Q&A

8pm (or conclusion of program) Book Signing



Celebrity in Chief: A History of the Presidents and the Culture of Stardom by Kenneth T. Walsh

When: Monday, April 27th 

6pm Doors Open and Private Reception with Author begins

7pm Program and Q&A

8pm (or conclusion of program) Book Signing

Historic City Tours              
Special thanks to Allie Beth Allman & Associates for sponsoring the 2015 Historic City Tours Series!!!

NEW DEAL IN DALLAS with Sally Rodriguez 

April 11th, 2015 (Saturday)




April 18th, 2015 (Saturday)


April 25th, 2015 (Saturday)


To view the full schedule please visit:


For reservations, please call (214) 421-4500 x101 or order online HERE.


2015 Brown Bag Lecture Series 

Be sure to stop in at 12 PM (noon), the second Tuesday of the month at the Hall of State and explore a variety of different topics about local and state history. 


April 14th, 2015

Mid-Century Churches and Synagogues of Dallas

Speaker:  A. Robert Jaeger, President and Co-Founder of Partners for Sacred Places 

*Parking will be in the Food & Fiber lot, just north of the Hall of State*


May 12th, 2015

An Argument for Dallas: 100 Years of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Speaker: Princeton Williams.

Check out the rest of the 2015 line up on our website: 


"Remember the Alamo".



            Once considered a cornerstone of the elementary school curriculum, over the last 20 years cursive writing is being phased out and abandon as a writing technique. In 2015 is cursive writing outdated and irrelevant? In today's high tech world of smartphones we spend most of our time typing emails, sending tweets, messaging friends on Facebook, and using our phones to send texts. Text transcriptions are widely available for many historical documents, so why teach cursive writing?

            As a child, one of the trips that left a lasting impression on me was to the National Archives. Seeing the documents by which we live our lives left me in awe, and still does. The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are written in cursive and no transcription of them can compare to the impact I felt reading "We the People" in the original script. While many documents have been transcribed into text, not all have been and not all will be. But this isn't just about social history; it's also about personal history. The diaries, letters, and journals of our ancestors have often been written in cursive. While paying someone to transcribe your family's documents into text will preserve the words, much of the inflection, intent, and personal meaning can be lost as handwriting reveals the subtleties of the author's emotions.

Learning cursive writing connects students to the past. Without being able to read cursive writing students will lose the opportunity to read important documents in their original format such as: The Articles of Confederation, Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the 13th Amendment to the Constitution (Abolition of Slavery). Take a look at the photo accompanying this article; what will it mean to be a Texan when you can't read the original document anymore but have to rely on a transcription?


Alan Olson

Interim Executive Director


Excerpt taken from Sam Houston's report on the Battle of San Jacinto.

From the archives of the Dallas Historical Society. 

History Relevance-Value Statement Part I
By Samantha Dodd

The History Relevance Campaign is comprised of a diverse group of history professionals posing questions about what makes the past relevant today. This Campaign serves as a catalyst for discovering, demonstrating, and promulgating the value of history for individuals, communities, and the nation.

The Dallas Historical Society has joined other historical societies, libraries, archives, and museums across the country in endorsing the History Relevance Value Statement which highlights seven ways in which history is essential in our lives.  

The first way in which history is essential is that it nurtures our personal identity in an intercultural world.  "History enables people to discover their own place in the stories of their families, communities, and nation. They learn the stories of the many individuals and groups that have come before them and shaped the world in which they live." For the rest of this article, check out the History Relevance Campaign online. 

To read more about the History relevance campaign and how you can become involved, visit:
Commemorating the Battle of San Jacinto 

Exhibition-Limited Engagement (Dallas)

The special San Jacinto Day exhibit (April 17 - 26) features some of the rarest items from the Dallas Historical Society's collection. Among the documents on display will be William Barret Travis' plea to the Mexican government to release Stephen F. Austin from prison in Mexico City, just prior to the revolution, as well as Sam Houston's report of the Battle of San Jacinto which was sent to newspapers to announce the birth of the independent Republic of Texas.  Artifacts from San Jacinto will include Santa Anna's spurs, taken from his tent after the battle; and a Mexican flag taken by Percy Henry Brewster.  Additionally, the only known portrait of Col. James Walker Fannin, painted by Samuel Morse will be on display.


When: April 17th-26th
Where: Hall of State in Fair Park
Admission: Free

2015 San Jacinto Symposium (Houston)

The 2015 San Jacinto Symposium looks at the Native

 American tribes who lived on the land we now call Texas, and how their various interactions with the Spanish-Mexicans and the Anglo-Americans who made their way onto - some say "invaded" - this land affected the development of Texas under Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, and the United States.


Six scholars will break this complex subject into manageable pieces:  Indian sovereignties; the Caddo tribes; the Plains tribes; the Alabama-Coushatta, Cherokee and other immigrant tribes; and the Cynthia Ann Parker case and its mythology.



When: Saturday, April 18th 9:00- 4:00
Where: United Way Community Resource Center 50 Waugh Drive, Houston, Texas 77007
Tickets: $65.00 (Speakers, Lunch, Parking, Exhibits, and more)

2nd Annual "Texas Our Texas" on April 25th


The event, co-sponsored by the Dallas Scottish Rite and the Dallas Historical Society, will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015, at the neoclassical downtown Dallas Scottish Rite Cathedral. Our theme this year is  "How Texas Won the Civil War" as we examine the period in Texas history from 1861 to 1865 and shortly thereafter. 


Dr. Donald S. Frazier, Professor of History at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, is our keynote speaker this year.  Dr. Frazier is a graduate of The University of Texas at Arlington and Texas Christian University.  He has written several books on the Civil War, including Blood and Treasure, Cottonclads, Fire in the Cane Field, and Thunder Across the Swamp.


In addition, a greatly expanded artifact display this year will include exhibits by the Dallas Historical Society, The Texas Rangers Museum, The Texas Civil War Museum, Texas Confederate Museum Collection - United Daughters of the Confederancy and Jackson Armory.  A vendor area, silent auction, and group of re-enactors stationed throughout the building will make the entire evening educational, memorable, and fun.


Tickets are $30.00 and include access to all displays, dinner, and the lecture.  Tables of eight are also available at $240.00.  This will be a great evening to bring your children or grandchildren, students or friends.


To purchase tickets, you may contact the Scottish Rite office at 214-748-9196 Monday-Friday, 8:00-4:00,  to reserve your tickets via credit card.  Please RSVP prior to April 15, 2015, to ensure your seat reservation.  Doors will open at 5:00 PM for viewing of the artifacts;  dinner will be at 6:30 and the lecture at 8:00.


When: Saturday, April 25th 5:00 PM

Where: Scottish Rite 500 S. Harwood, Dallas, Texas  75201

Ticket information: $30.00 (Includes Dinner and Lecture)

RSVP: 214-748-9196


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Earth Day Texas (formerly, Earth Day Dallas) is an annual, outdoor festival seeking to elevate environmental awareness and influence the way Texans think, live and work. The family-friendly and free-admission event allows leaders in the corporate, academic and non-profit worlds to unite and show Texans how green lifestyle choices can lower their cost of living, improve their health, and help save the environment.


The heart of the festival is the Eco Expo where exhibitors will use their presence to promote their achievements as green leaders, and teach attendees how to take environmentally responsible action by better utilizing available resources, switching to eco-friendly products, or joining their organizations.

When: April 24-25-26th, from 10AM-6PM
Where: Fair Park
Tickets: Free Admission


Spring Break in Fair Park~

Special thanks to all the families and friends who attended this year's Spring Break in Fair Park. This was the inaugural year for this five-day program designed to give children a place to go during their break from school. 


Congratulations to Linda Wallace of Dallas for winning a free membership to the historical society in our drawing!


Looking forward to this program again next spring!

Rent the Hall of State!   

Located just minutes from downtown Dallas, the Hall of State can be rented for private functions ranging from corporate dinners or meetings to weddings or gala social events.


Imagine sipping cocktails in the impressive Hall of Heroes followed by a sumptuous dinner in the Great Hall, dancing under the stars in clear tents set up on the front lawn, a stockholders meeting in the Margaret and Al Hill Lecture Hall, or a product launch in the Texas Rooms. The possibilities are endless and the event support services offered by our responsive team of experts assure every event to be a fabulous success.


For more information about renting the Hall of State contact the DHS  at 214-421-4500 ext. 101 or email Nora Lenhart .


Legacies Call for Proposals!

The organizers of the Seventeenth Annual Legacies Dallas History Conference welcome proposals from both professional and lay historians on topics related to the theme: "Breaking the Mold."


Dallas is often seen as a city uncomfortable with dissent. But its history contains many examples of individuals and groups that challenged existing norms, in fields as diverse as politics, business, the arts, religion, sports, issues of social justice, and historic preservation. In the process, they made an impact on the community, often expanding opportunities for themselves and others.


All papers must be based on original research and must not have been presented or published elsewhere. The best papers will be published in a subsequent issue of Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas. Those interested in presenting papers should submit a brief summary of their proposal by JULY 31, 2015, to "Dallas History Conference, 1515 S. Harwood St., Dallas, TX 75215," or by email to: Those selected will be notified by August 31, 2015.




Hall of State in Fair Park
3939 Grand Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75210

P: 214-421-4500
F: 214-421-7500

TUESDAY -SATURDAY    10:00 A.M. TO 5:00 P.M.
SUNDAY  1:00 P.M. TO 5:00 P.M.