The Year America Discovered Texas: Centennial '36

The Year America Discovered Texas: Centennial '36

by Kenneth Baxter Ragsdale
     
 


“They came, they saw, they liked it,” Stanley Marcus recalls of 1936 – the year “the rest of America discovered Texas.” That year, in the midst of the nation’s depression, the Lone Star State extravagantly celebrated the centennial of its independence from Mexico with fervor, fanfare, and hoop-la. Spawned by pride, patriotism,… See more details below

Overview


“They came, they saw, they liked it,” Stanley Marcus recalls of 1936 – the year “the rest of America discovered Texas.” That year, in the midst of the nation’s depression, the Lone Star State extravagantly celebrated the centennial of its independence from Mexico with fervor, fanfare, and hoop-la. Spawned by pride, patriotism, and a large measure of economic self-interest, the 1936 centennial observances marked a high tide of ethnocentrism in Texas and etched a new image of the state.

In 1923 the Advertising Clubs of Texas launched the centennial movement to advertise the state nationally and stimulate tourism and outside investment in the Texas economy. The Texas legislature, responding to a groundswell of patriotism, appropriated $3 million in centennial funding, which the federal government subsequently matched. The state legislature provided for both local celebrations (some 250) and a central exposition. Regional museums, historical restorations, and a statewide historical marker program permanently commemorated the event.

The focal point of the celebration was the Central Exposition–a World’s Fair–held in Dallas. When Fort Worth staged an unofficial, competing exposition, the slogan was born: “Go to Dallas for Education; Come to Fort Worth for Entertainment.” Live radio broadcasts, architectural innovations, industrial progress, and Texas history were showcased in Dallas; Billy Rose’s spectacular Frontier Exposition with Sally Rand and the Casa Manana promoted Fort Worth.

By the end of the centennial year, America had learned where–and to an extend, what–Texas was. The Lone Star State would never be the same.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585440931
Publisher:
Texas A&M University Press
Publication date:
01/01/1987
Series:
Centennial Series of the Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.79(d)

Table of Contents

Forewordxiii
Prefacexvii
Chapter 1.Genesis: A Convention at Corsicana3
Chapter 2.Opportunity of the Century20
Chapter 3.Pride, Patriotism, and Economic Self-Interest35
Chapter 4.Mighty Big Talk in Some Mighty Big Cities46
Chapter 5.War of Words in the Texas Legislature62
Chapter 6.The Dallas Triumvirate: Adams, Florence, and Thornton77
Chapter 7.Miracle at Second and Parry88
Chapter 8.Not Many People Care for Anson Jones98
Chapter 9.A Beautiful Face and a Well-Known Girl115
Chapter 10.Ten Gallon Hats, Six Shooters, Bluebonnets, and Sex131
Chapter 11.Message from San Antonio: Patriotism Was a Low Priority155
Chapter 12.Architects, Artists, Muralists, and Sculptors176
Chapter 13.Where the West Really Begins208
Chapter 14.An Empire on Parade224
Chapter 15.A Mighty Storehouse of Information252
Chapter 16.Dallas for Education; Fort Worth for Entertainment260
Epilogue294
Bibliography307
Index316

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