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June 2015 News and Events

Dallas Historical Society Names Shannon Martin Roberts 

New Executive Director

Photo Credit: Jennifer Esperanza


DALLAS, Texas, May 27, 2015 - After conducting a nationwide search, the Dallas Historical Society's (DHS) Board of Trustees has named Shannon Roberts executive director of the organization, which is dedicated to the preservation of Dallas and Texas history. A fourth-generation Dallasite, Roberts grew up in Dallas and graduated from the Episcopal School of Dallas. Her family is originally from East Texas, so her roots run deep in Texas.


Most recently, Roberts served as the executive director of the Santa Fe Children's Museum where she successfully restructured museum operations, programming and financial dependencies after a significant financial crisis nearly closed the institution. Roberts said, "I started visiting Santa Fe when I was 19 years old. When the museum was in crisis, I realized that I have experience with other organizations that could help. I was called to save the institution for the sake of my daughter and the other children who visit it. Now that the museum is in great shape, I have moved back to Dallas for another wonderful opportunity."


Prior to that, she served as development director for the Resource Center, executive director of the Dallas Children's Museum when it merged with the Children's Museum @ Perot Museum (formerly the Museum of Nature and Science), and development director for Dallas Children's Theater.


DHS board members Bill Helmbrecht and Andrew Clendenen led the search committee, which included DHS Trustee Mary Brinegar and DHS Co-chair Lynn McBee. McBee said, "We were most impressed with Shannon because of her extensive experience in the non-profit world in various management positions, and her demonstrated skills in fundraising, financial management, community outreach, team building, and in clearly defining the missions of the organizations where she has worked."


Roberts said, "I'm excited to be moving back to Dallas to apply my experiences of working in Santa Fe, which is a historic city with diverse communities.  Dallas is a city that has evolved and grown with so many newcomers. With that growth, it's important to hold onto the past, embrace cultural traditions, and move forward. I believe that the Dallas Historical Society is poised to tell that story."


Roberts received her B.A. in communications and journalism from Baylor University and is an M.B.A. candidate at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.


About the Dallas Historical Society:

Established in 1922, the Dallas Historical Society is the preeminent organization of its kind in Dallas, collecting, preserving, and exhibiting the unique heritage of Dallas and Texas to educate and inspire future generations. The stories of Dallas are shared each day through the three million items that comprise its archives and artifact collections. Housed at the Hall of State in Fair Park since 1938, the Society presents these collections through education programs, exhibitions, tours, access to research materials and workshops. Each year, the Dallas Historical Society is visited by more than 160,000 people and serves more than 20,000 students through guided tours and educational programming at the Hall of State, as well as outreach programs at school locations. More information can be found at http://www.dallashistory.org




Call to Action: Preserving Dallas


 Did you know that historic preservation makes a big economic impact in Texas? Historic preservation provides a huge boon through tourism, it supports Texas jobs, attracts significant reinvestment, rebuilds and revitalizes communities. 


The Downtown Dallas Historic Preservation Task Force derived their recommendations by carefully studying current preservation practices in Dallas, along with the best practices from other cities.  The result is a set of well-balanced recommendations using a phased approach.


On June 3, these recommendations will be sent to the city council for a briefing. Preservation Dallas is asking allied organizations to support the recommendations by writing letters to the Mayor and Council prior to the briefing. If you are able to write a letter of support, please contact Mayor Mike Rawlings and the members of the city council. 


(Click here for the contact information for the Dallas City Council) 

To review the findings of the preservation task force, please click here: Downtown Dallas Historic Preservation Task Force Findings.


To read about the  recent University of Texas and Rutgers University economic impact study regarding historic preservation in Texas, please visit the Texas Historical Commission.


Another way in which you can help to voice your support for the preservation of Dallas' history to is sign the online petition asking the City Council of Dallas to adopt the recommendations put forth by the Downtown Dallas Historic Preservation Task Force.


Show Your Support!


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.






with Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck

Join Lloyd Bockstruck in a lively discussion about how to trace your ancestors and resources available to you.  Lloyd was with the Dallas Public Library from 1973 to 2009 and served as the Supervisor of the Genealogy Section.  A sought-after public speaker on a number of topics, Mr. Bockstruck is widely recognized as one of our leading authorities on the genealogical sources of the American Revolution. In 1983 the National Genealogical Society recognized him with its Award of Merit and in 1989 the Daughters of the American Revolution gave him the History Award.  He is a noted author of such publications: Naval Pensioners of the United States, 1800-1851; Virginia's Colonial Soldiers; Genealogical Research in Texas; Revolutionary War Bounty Land Grants Awarded by State Governments.


When: Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Time: 12:00pm-1:00pm

Where: Hall of State in Fair Park




The Dallas Historical Society would like to thank the Preston Center Rotary Club Foundation for sponsoring this year's brown bag series.


Pour Yourself into History beer_glass_full.jpg

Join the Dallas Historical Society and Preservation Dallas Young Professionals at the Deep Ellum Brewing Company on June 2nd from 5:30 to 7:00 PM for the third in our inaugural POUR YOURSELF INTO HISTORY series.  A brief presentation about the history of Deep Ellum and the Deep Ellum Brewing Company (and the building it is housed in) will take place at 6:15.


When: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Time: 5:30 PM- 7:00 PM

Where: Deep Ellum Brewery

2823 Saint Louis Street, Dallas, Texas 75226

Program is FREE to attend, but please CLICK HERE to register (we like to know who is coming!)


Upcoming Exhibitions

JUNETEENTH (June 16th-21st, 2015)

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. 

The Galveston Historical Foundation welcomes the public to a free Juneteenth lecture and document viewing at Menard Hall, 1605 33rd Street, Saturday, June 13th. The lecture, given by Dr. Deborah L. Mack, will begin at 10 am and will describe the mission, vision and goals that have shaped the development of the Washington D.C.'s National African American Museum of History and Culture, a Smithsonian msueum. Dr. Mack will also highlight places and stories that will be featured in the inaugural exhibits and programs at the NAAMHC and will share some of the open access strategies for shared information that are presently in development. Reservations are free with RSVP.

From June 16th until June 21st the only known surviving example of the order will be on display at the Hall of State in Fair Park, home of the Dallas Historical Society. 


When: June 13th, 2015 

Where: The Galveston Historical Foundation, 1605 33rd Street, Galveston, Texas


When: June 16th-21st, 2015

Where: Hall of State in Fair Park

Colored waiting room, 1952. R. C. Hickman Photographic Archive (DI00964), The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin


BEHOLD THE PEOPLE: R. C. Hickman's Photographs of Black Dallas, 1949-1961 (June 19th, 2015 to Aug 15th, 2015)



R. C. Hickman was a Dallas photographer whose thousands of images produced from 1949 to 1961 document life in an African American community in Texas. His photographs depict a community largely invisible to white Americans-thoroughly a part of mainstream America by virtue of accomplishment and lifestyle but excluded from it because of race. His images reveal his awareness of the broad community context within which individuals survive, grow, and understand themselves.

Historic City Tours


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





Oakland Halloween Cemetery Tour  toy-jackolantern.jpg

In Partnership with Dallas Heritage Village 

with Paul McLin (lead guide) and Frances James (assisting as health allows)


Date:  October 31st, 2015

Time:  1:00-2:30 PM and 3-4:30 PM

Pick up/Drop off:  Oakland Cemetery

Price:  $15Members / $25Non Members



Since 1892, Oakland Cemetery has been the permanent resting place of some of Dallas' most colorful characters.  Learn their stories during this unique tour that includes character performances, amidst some of the finest funeral statuary to be found anywhere.  Tales may feature well know politicians; educators, doctors and lawyers; business owners and bankers; world-famous clergy; a Civil War general (one of only two in Dallas County); land developers (Highland Park, for example); the first president of the Shakespeare Club (for 52 years!); a renowned millionaire eccentric; and a tragic victim of police brutality, to mention just a few of its 35,000+ graves.


 The entrance to Oakland Cemetery is on the east side of Malcolm X, between MLK and Pine, in the 3900 block.  Tour attendees will park inside the cemetery around the circle that features a very tall obelisk (which is straight ahead after entering the cemetery).


 This is a walking tour only.  Participants will meet at the designated cemetery for the tour.


For reservations, please call (214) 421-4500 x 101 or order online HERE.    

Are you following us on social media? 

Check us out on Facebook and Twitter. Get updates on new additions to the DHS' holdings, answer trivia questions, view some spectacular images from Dallas' past, and learn about exciting events. 

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"Texas Rising"



Starting on Memorial Day, May 25
th the History Channel will begin to air a five part miniseries based on the Texas Revolution against Mexico and how the Texas Rangers were created. As you watch the program please feel free to discuss History vs. Hollywood on our social media site on Facebook and Twitter.

 Also, encourage your friends and neighbors to visit the Hall of State as we hold the real history of these events in our collections and have a portion of it currently on display:


Texas in the Time of Revolution

(February  24th - August 9th, 2015)

The story of the Texas Revolution for independence told through rare artifacts. The exhibit focuses on the heroes, engagements, uniforms, and weapons of the conflict for Texas' freedom. On display are unique artifacts such as Davey Crockett's pistol from the Alamo, Fannin's watch from Goliad, a medal for valorous service to Mexico, and Santa Anna's spurs from San Jacinto.




Are you a member of the Dallas Historical Society yet?

Sign up today!


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.