Dallas, Texas

Encyclopedia Article


The third largest city in Texas (after Houston and San Antonio). Dallas is located in the northeastern part of the state in a flat, hot, and humid subtropical region. The area was originally inhabited by various indigenous peoples, and in the 18th century, with the arrival of the Spanish colonists, the territory was declared to be part of New Spain. The 1819 Adams-Onís Treaty opened the region to American settlers and much historical analyses points to the region's intrepid settlement by Anglo-Americans as provocation for the 1846 U.S.-Mexico War and the resulting 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, in which the U.S. acquired more than half of Mexico's territorial land base, including northeast Texas.

Dallas was founded in 1844 as a small village of farmers and craftsmen. After the arrival of the railroad in the 1880s, the town grew steadily, becoming a major center for commerce in the Southwest. Over time, the cotton, oil, aircraft, automobile, and high-tech industries were the main contributors to the city's development and thriving economy. The city made international news on November 22, 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was shot, and killed, by Lee Harvey Oswald while his motorcade was passing through the downtown area. Today, Dallas is one of the most populous and diverse metropolitan area in the U.S.

Photo Credit: 

"Dallas: city view, as seen from Runion Tower, March 29, 2014" by Robert Hensley is licensed under CC BY.

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