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What Dallas, Texas looked like in the 1960s Through These Fascinating Photos

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.

#3 Various buildings, including the Adolphus Hotel and Magnolia in Downtown, Dallas, 1960s

#7 Street Outside Dallas Federal Savings & Loan Fire, 1964

Street Outside Dallas Federal Savings & Loan Fire, 1964

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.

#9 Main rail lines approaching the Dallas Union Station from the south, 1968

#10 Union Station in Dallas, 1968

Union Station in Dallas, 1968

Dallas Union Station which is served by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, known as Amtrak, and soon to be served by commuter trains, operating between Dallas - Fort Worth and other North Texas points.

#13 A distant view of downtown Dallas from a blimp, 1969

#14 Men and women sitting around a table, and having a meal together, 1969. They are all dressed in formal attire and having conversations with one another.

#18 verview of Downtown Dallas, 1960s. The picture includes Thanksgiving Square and the Fidelity Union Life building.

#19 City Hall Basement with Dallas Police Department Vehicle, 1960s

#20 Harry’s in Dallas, Texas, 1969

Harry's in Dallas, Texas, 1969

There is a truck next to the building and a car parked in front. On the side of the building is a logo that says "Texas Pacific Lines."

#21 Dallas Fire Station 1 and Fire Truck, 1969

Dallas Fire Station 1 and Fire Truck, 1969

The two garage doors on the right are open and a fire truck is 3/4 of the way out of right-center door. There are two men on the fire truck - one driving and the other on the top of the vehicle.

#22 Smoke Pours From Dallas Federal Savings & Loan Building, 1964

#23 Dallas County Courthouse Under Construction, 1964

Dallas County Courthouse Under Construction, 1964

A stream of water from out of shot on the left is being sprayed at the building. Two staircases going all the way up the building are visible inside the tower.

#24 Dallas Fire Station 21 at Love Field, 1969

Dallas Fire Station 21 at Love Field, 1969

There are four fire engines of different makes and models parked in a line in front of the station, as well as a station wagon and a small boat.

#25 Dallas Police Officer H.B. McLain outside of Parkland Hospital, 1963

#26 Dallas Police officers standing guard outside the Dallas Trade Mart, 1963

Dallas Police officers standing guard outside the Dallas Trade Mart, 1963

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.

#27 Banquet tables being set up at the Dallas Trade Mart, 1963

#28 Dallas Police officers exiting the Texas School Book Depository, 1963

#29 A Dallas Police officer outside the Texas School Book Depository, 1963

#30 Dallas Police officer outside the Texas School Book Depository, 1963

#31 Commerce Street in downtown Dallas the evening of November 22, 1963

#32 Jack Ruby’s sister Eva Grant leaving for the Dallas Police Department, 1963

Jack Ruby's sister Eva Grant leaving for the Dallas Police Department, 1963

The image shows Eva Grant, Jack Ruby's sister, leaving the Oak Lawn Plaza apartments for the Dallas Police Department headquarters. She is escorted by her friend Pauline Hall and by Jim Underwood of Channel 4, the local CBS affilitiate, also known as KRLD-TV.

#33 Dallas Theatre Center (located at 3636 Turtle Creek) in Dallas, Texas, 1960s

#34 Af an aerial overview of Kimble Park and the surrounding neighborhoods and downtown Dallas, 1966

Af an aerial overview of Kimble Park and the surrounding neighborhoods and downtown Dallas, 1966

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.

#35 A civil rights protest at Piccadilly Cafeteria in Dallas, 1964

#39 Dallas Police squad car headed east towards the Tippit crime scene, 1963

#40 Office building at 701 Elm Street in Dallas, Texas taken from street, 1960s. The building is marked Dallas County Community College District. This building was also known as the R.L. Thornton building.

#41 Texas School Book Depository, now known as the Dallas County Administration Building, building facing Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, US, 19th November 1968.

#45 Exterior view of the Texas Theater (built in 1931 by architect W. Scott Dunne), located at 231 W. Jefferson Street, Dallas, Texas, December 1963.

Exterior view of the Texas Theater (built in 1931 by architect W. Scott Dunne), located at 231 W. Jefferson Street, Dallas, Texas, December 1963.

The marquee advertises the Jerry Lewis film 'Who's MInding the Store?' On November 23, 1963, the theater had played host to the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald, who was wanted for the asssination of President John F. Kennedy.

#46 Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas, showing area near Texas State Book Depository building following President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, 1963

#47 Carousel Club in Dallas; owned by Jack Ruby, who killed Lee Harvey Oswald, 1963

#48 Civil rights march in Dallas with 2,500 marchers, supporting African American voter registration and protesting racial atrocities in Selma, Alabama, 1965

#49 Civil rights march in Dallas outside Dallas Morning News building, 1965

#50 Civil rights march in Dallas outside Dallas Morning News building, 1965

#51 Aerial of Love Field, its terminal and runway, looking south toward downtown Dallas, Texas, 1962

#52 Runway at Love Field, Dallas. There are airplanes parked, 1960

#53 Aerial view of planes at Love Field at 7 a.m., Dallas, 1960

#55 Aerial view of planes at Love Field at 7 a.m., Dallas, 1960

#56 Central Expressway, near Lemmon Avenue and Washington Avenue exit, Dallas, 1960s

#57 The Dallas area highway with Bigtown sign on left, 1960

#58 Dallas Fire recruits from class numbers 107 and 108, posing in three lines, standing and kneeling in front of a concrete edifice with a grid pattern, 1967.

Dallas Fire recruits from class numbers 107 and 108, posing in three lines, standing and kneeling in front of a concrete edifice with a grid pattern, 1967.

They are wearing matching, formal, dark-colored uniforms and a chalkboard listing information is in the center of the front row.

#60 Dallas Symphony Director with the Grand Chorus, 1962

#61 A soccer game between the Dallas Tornado Soccer Club and an Iranian team during the club’s tour in Shiraz, 1967

#63 Modern Art Sculpture in Front of Dallas Memorial Auditorium, 1964

#64 Low angle shot photograph from a street view of Downtown Dallas, 1960s

#65 Tall glass entrance with two doors and a sign above them that reads “Dallas Garden Center’, 1968

#68 Aerial view with the Memorial Auditorium in the center foreground, Dallas, Texas, 1960.

#69 Leaving no doubt about their Presidential choice, these girls offer solid backing to GOP nominee Vice President Richard M. Nixon. The gals cast their spell at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas.

#75 Skyline of dallas, Dallas is ever expanding with industries, as well as the cultural arts such as theater, music, museums and several major universities, , Dallas, 1967

#77 Dallas Cowboys vs Green Bay Packers, 1967 NFL Championship, 1967

#78 Oak Cliff apts. in Dallas where Jack Ruby lived, 1960s

#80 Cotton Bowl, University of Arkansas vs. Louisiana State University (L. S. U.), 1965

#81 Dealey Plaza following President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Dallas, 1963

#82 Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas, showing area near Texas State Book Depository building following President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, 1963

#84 Commerce Street, downtown Dallas, 1962

Commerce Street, downtown Dallas, 1962

There are automobiles parked on the sides of the street. There is an automobile in motion in the middle of the street. There are tall buildings

#87 The Thornton freeway, Beckley and Marsallis area, Dallas, Texas, 1960

#88 Northwest Highway and Shady Brook, Dallas, Texas, 1965

#93 Highway with exit signs “Colorado Blvd” and connections to I-35, Highway. 67 and 77 North and 80 East, and 80 West, Dallas, 1960s

#102 An aerial of triple underpass at Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas, 1963

#105 Aerial view of planes at Love Field at 7 a.m., Dallas, 1960

#106 A street view of Bond Clothes store, Dallas, Texas, 1963

#107 John F. Kennedy’s Secret Service Limousine, 1963

John F. Kennedy's Secret Service Limousine, 1963

John F. Kennedy's 1956 Cadillac Secret Service Limousine, also referred to this car as the Queen Mary II, which drove directly behind the President's limousine during his assassination. This limo has side running boards, hand rails and platforms for Secret Service agents.

#108 Aerial of downtown Dallas, Texas looking toward northeast from southwest, 1963

#109 Looking northeast toward the Texas School Book Depository building following assassination of President John F. Kennedy, 1963

Looking northeast toward the Texas School Book Depository building following assassination of President John F. Kennedy, 1963

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.

#110 Dallas skyline looking south-east toward Cotton Bowl,1962

#111 Aerial view of planes at Love Field at 7 a.m., Dallas, 1960

#112 A street view of Bond Clothes store, Dallas, Texas, 1963

#113 Aerial of Zang Boulevard, Beckley Avenue, and West Jefferson Street looking northeast towards the downtown Dallas skyline, 1964

#115 Aerial of downtown Dallas, Dealey Plaza and triple underpass, 1965

#116 Aerial of Dealey Plaza and Triple Underpass, Dallas, 1965

#119 Marina and Marguerite Oswald with Marina’s children walking into Parkland Hospital morgue following Lee Harvey Oswald’s death, 1963

#120 President John F. Kennedy and wife Jackie Kennedy as they enter a convertible limousine at Love Field, Dallas, Texas, 1963

#121 Looking toward Texas School Book Depository, Dealey Plaza, following John F. Kennedy assassination, 1963

#122 “Grassy Knoll” near Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas following President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, 1963

#123 Dealey Plaza following President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, 1963

#124 Dealey Plaza following President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, 1963

#125 Grassy Knoll, near Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas following President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, 1963

#126 Grassy Knoll, near Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas following President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, 1963

#127 Texas School Book Depository, Dealey Plaza, 1963

#128 People standing on bridge overlooking grassy knoll, 1963

#129 Priscilla Art Club, Dallas, 50th Anniversary, 1961

#130 Dallas Federal Reserve Bank building, downtown Dallas, 1960

#131 Grassy Knoll, near Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas following President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, 1963

#132 Construction of the First National Bank building, 1963

#134 Texas School Book Depository building at Dealey Plaza, 1963

#135 Construction of the First National Bank building, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1963

#136 Parking area and runway at Love Field, Dallas, 1960

#137 Dealey Plaza after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Dallas, Texas, 1963

#138 Construction of the First National Bank building, 1963

#139 Dealey Plaza after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Dallas, Texas, 1963

#140 Looking toward Texas School Book Depository, Dealey Plaza, following John F. Kennedy assassination, 1963

#141 Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas 2 days following assassination of President John F. Kennedy, 1963

#143 Electric Building and Big Tex, at the State Fair of Texas, Fair Park, Dallas, Texas, 1965

Electric Building and Big Tex, at the State Fair of Texas, Fair Park, Dallas, Texas, 1965

A crowd shot with Big Tex in the middle. Big Tex is seen wearing a traditional 60-foot-long Mexican sarape as part of the State Fair's theme for the year, which celebrated North American and South American cultures, and this particular outfit was chosen to represent Mexico Day. The building is also known as the Tower Building, constructed for the Texas Centennial Exposition as the Federal Building.

#144 Office building on I-635 LBJ Freeway, Dallas, Texas, 1963

#145 A skyline view of Dallas showing Dealey Plaza, triple underpass, Texas School Book Depository building after assassination of President John F. Kennedy, 1963

#146 Rifle found on 6th floor of Texas School Book Depository, 1963

#147 Office building on Central Expressway, Dallas, Texas, 1963

#148 Crowd awaiting news outside Emergency Room entrance of Parkland Hospital following assassination of President John F. Kennedy, 1963

#150 Dealey Plaza and triple underpass, Dallas, Texas, 1963

#152 Great American Reserve Insurance Company building under construction in downtown Dallas, Texas, 1963

#154 Airview of Dealey Plaza and Texas School Book Depository following assassination of President John F. Kennedy, 1963

#155 First National Bank building under construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1963

#156 First National Bank building construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1960

#157 Great American Reserve Insurance Company building under construction in downtown Dallas, Texas, 1963

#158 Construction of the First National Bank building, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1983

#159 Salvation Army building.1965

Salvation Army building.1965

Salvation Army building, 8332 Elam Road, Dallas, Texas. George L. Dahl was the architect

#160 First National Bank building under construction, aerial view, downtown Dallas, 1964

#161 Southwestern Life Insurance building under construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1963

#162 Southwestern Life Insurance building under construction, downtown Dallas, Texas.1963

#164 Construction of the First National Bank building, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1963

#167 First National Bank building construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1960

#168 Great American Reserve Insurance Company building under construction in downtown Dallas, Texas, 1963

#169 Terminal Annex Post Office, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1963

#170 Great American Reserve Insurance Company building under construction in downtown Dallas, Texas, 1963

#171 Great American Reserve Insurance Company building under construction in downtown Dallas, Texas, 1963

#172 Dallas, Texas skyline and triple underpass, 1966

#174 First Presbyterian Church, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1960

#175 Terminal Annex Post Office, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1963

#176 First Presbyterian Church, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1960

#182 Elephants were part of the appeal of newly-opened Six Flags Over Texas in 1961.

#183 Both cities featured active military and aircraft plants, 1963

#184 Dallas – Fort Worth was a draw to engineering and technology companies. These engineers worked at Texas Instruments in Dallas in the early 1960s.

#185 This aerial shot of Dallas in the 1960s shows how large the city had already become.

#186 Fort Worth’s Northside Main Street looked a lot different in the 1960s.

#187 The young Van Cliburn, a Texas pianist protégé, was already well-known and loved in 1962.

#188 Dallas resident Lee Harvey Oswald became a household name, 1963

#189 President John F. Kennedy’s final day was spent first in Fort Worth and then Dallas on November 22, 1963.

#190 Dallas streets were lined up with fans anxious to catch a glimpse of the President and First Lady.

#191 This is the site where President F. Kennedy was to speak at a luncheon following the motorcade in downtown Dallas on that tragic day in 1963.

#192 Dallas’ Texas Theater was also a popular place in 1963.

#193 Despite the tragedy that rocked the entire nation, the Dallas – Fort Worth area persisted and continued to grow throughout the decade.

#194 The Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railroad made a stop in Garland during summer 1965 to an excited crowd.

#196 Fort Worth utilized streetcars for efficient commuter traffic and control, 1967

#197 Traffic was already congested on the highway passing through downtown Fort Worth in the 1960s.

#199 View of Downtown Dallas looking north on North Ervay Street, 1961

#201 View of Downtown Dallas looking north on Ervay Street, 1961

#207 A Rainy Opening Day of the State Fair of Texas, 1967

#221 The presidential limousine turning onto main street in downtown Dallas, 1963

The presidential limousine turning onto main street in downtown Dallas, 1963

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#222 Dallas, Texas skyline and triple underpass, 1960

Dallas, Texas skyline and triple underpass, 1960

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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15 Comments

  1. I arrived in Dallas, fresh out of UT, to begin working for the City in the summer of 1964, when Dallas was still reverberating from the assassination. I must have walked up and down Commerce a thousand times between City Hall and the old red Courthouse — and later, the new courthouse, which I watched them build — so those downtown shots really bring back memories.

    Anyone else here remember Sol’s Turf Bar, next to the Commerce Street Newsstand? Ate lots of great pizzas and pastrami sandwiches there.

    I worked for the City until I retired at the turn of the century, by the way. But then I fled to south Louisiana.