A couple of 'must' visits!

Trip Start Mar 04, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2014

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Cedar Hill State Park

Flag of United States  , Texas
Sunday, October 3, 2010

No trip to the Dallas area would be complete without a visit to the 6th Floor Museum.  Formerly called the Texas school book depository, this museum chronicles the events that happened here on November 23, 1963. 

Constructed in 1901, the red brick building was owned by a private firm that stocked and distributed textbooks for public schools in north Texas and parts of Oklahoma.

Following the Kennedy assassination evidence was found showing that shots were fired from the sixth floor of this building. Depository employee Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested and charged with the President's murder. 

The Texas School Book Depository Company moved out in 1970 and some hoped the building would be torn down. Thank goodness it wasn't!  Dallas County acquired the building in 1977 with plans to locate county offices on the first five floors. After a major renovation, the Dallas County Administration Building was dedicated on March 29, 1981. The top two floors of the building, including the infamous sixth floor, remained empty.

On President's Day 1989, The Sixth Floor Museum opened as a response to the many visitors who come to Dealey Plaza to learn more about the assassination. The museum occupies the top two floors and contains displays as well as a reconstructed area around the window from which the shots were fired.  And, yes, they do have several displays covering the various conspiracy theories! 

After soaking up all we could of this recent history we headed over to Fort Worth and the stockyards area for some more distant history.  Between 1866 and 1890 more than four million head of cattle were trailed through Fort Worth which was soon known as “Cowtown”.  The railroad arrived in 1876 and Fort Worth became a major shipping point for livestock.

It soon became apparent that instead of shipping to other markets to process the cattle, it would be more desirable to keep as much of the business in Fort Worth as possible.  In order to do this they would need to have local packing plants. A search began to lure major packers to the city and both Armour & Co. and Swift & Co. were persuaded to build plants adjacent to the Stockyards. Both of these companies continued to do business in the Stockyards area until the 1960's. 

The Stockyards are now listed as a Historic District and they were just what we expected!  Touristy and fun.  We managed to catch the 4 pm 'cattle drive' of the Fort Worth herd in between some window shopping and eating.  All and all a worthwhile stop and one we would recommend if your travels happen to bring you through this part of Texas. 

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