The population of Dallas at the beginning of the 1960s was around 679,684 and the city was thriving. The racial integration of public facilities began on August 15, 1961, when African Americans were sent to lunch counters and businesses throughout the city for equal treatment. The Dallas and Negro chambers of commerce appointed a biracial committee to devise a publicity campaign and notify business owners of the event, which proceeded without incident. Public schools were integrated more slowly, and the district remained under court supervision for decades.
On November 22, 1963, Dallas experienced its most traumatic event when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated a few yards from the site where John Neely Bryan had settled in 1841. After two days, Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner, killed Lee Harvey Oswald before television cameras.
Here are some stunning photos that show Dallas in the 1960s.
Five fire engines, an ambulance, and a police car in the street to the right of the Dallas Federal Savings & Loan building (which is barely visible on the left). There are men in white hard-hats (and some wearing suits) standing on the sidewalk and street between the building and the emergency vehicles. The buildings and crowd of civilians watching the scene from down the street in the background are partially obscured by smoke.
This image shows Dallas police officer Kenneth Heard and other unidentified Dallas police officers standing guard outside the Dallas Trade Mart where President Kennedy was to speak at a luncheon. The Trade Mart is part of the Market Hall complex just north of downtown Dallas.
The two (2) block long and half block wide park is adjacent to S.M. Wright Freeway that weaves throughout the city splintering off into additional roads. Downtown Dallas is visible looming in the background of the photograph. Residential, commercial, and industrial buildings are scattered throughout the metroplex surrounding Kimble Park.
The Texas School Book Depository, now known as the Dallas County Administration Building, is a seven-floor building facing Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. The building was Lee Harvey Oswald's vantage point in his assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Oswald, an employee at the depository, shot and killed President Kennedy from a sixth floor window on the building's southeastern corner; 30 minutes after the shooting, Kennedy died at Parkland Memorial Hospital. The structure is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, located at 411 Elm Street on the northwest corner of Elm and North Houston Streets, at the western end of downtown Dallas.