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A grand old city.

When the city of Dallas turns 153 years old in 1994, it will have grown to become our nation's largest inland city, and the eighth largest city overall in the U.S. How could a flat, open city that boasts no seaside access, navigable rivers or mountains prosper so greatly through the years?

Historians have marveled at the fact that Dallas exists at all. It all began in 1841, when a bachelor lawyer from Tennessee named John Neely Bryan squatted on 640 acres of raw land and staked his claim close to the Trinity river, or Three Forks. He sketched out his town to include a courthouse square and 20 streets, and he gave it its namesake after "my friend Dallas."

Debate still exists about who this person was. Historians have speculated it was George Mifflin Dallas, elected vice president to James Polk in 1844, or perhaps Commodore Alexander Dallas, the vice president's brother. No one is quite sure; it may even have been another obscure friend of Bryan's.

Farmers, traders and artisans flocked to the area and learned the fine art of creating advantages where none had previously existed. The Dallas citizens' "can-do" spirit helped bring railroads to the area in the 1870s, the Federal Reserve Bank in 1914, Southern Methodist University in 1915, Dallas Love Field Airport in 1973, and the Republican National Convention in 1984, among many other credits that have put Dallas on the map.

The year 1930 brought with it the discovery and development of the East Texas Oil Field -- the largest petroleum deposit on earth at the time -- and Dallas became a center of oil-related activity, although Dallas County has never had a working oil well. It has made its name, though, as the financial and technical center for much of the state's drilling industry.

By the end of the 1980s, Dallas/Ft. Worth was considered the primary business center in America, leading the nation in size and number of major corporate relocations to the area. Now well into the '90s, Dallas is consistently ranked as one of the nation's top three convention destinations. The city has enhanced its strengths of friendly people, entrepreneurial spirit, mild climate, accessibility and quality of life.
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Title Annotation:Shot Show 1994; Dallas, Texas
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Dec 1, 1993
Words:368
Previous Article:The 1994 SHOT Show: the industry gathers in "big D." (the 1994 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Dallas, Texas)_
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