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History

While Dallas is relatively young when compared to many cities, its past is as colorful and eventful as any. In 1839, John Neely Bryan, a lawyer from Tennessee with a taste for adventure, wandered into the area. He was impressed with what he believed to be the perfect ingredients for a trading post and eventually a town: plenty of raw land, Indians with whom to do business, and the river. Bryan went to Tennessee to close out his affairs, and he returned to Dallas in 1841. He laid claim to 640 acres and sketched out a town, designating a courthouse square and 20 streets.

Gradually and with some adversity, the young city grew. A "can-do" spirit helped bring the railroads to the area in the 1870s, the Federal Reserve Bank in 1914, Southern Methodist University in 1915, Dallas Love Field Airport in 1927, the Texas Centennial Exposition in 1936, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in 1973 and the Republican National Convention in 1984 to name just a few. In 1907, fashion and elegant living were redefined when Neiman Marcus opened in downtown Dallas and J.S. Armstrong opened his exclusive Highland Park shopping development of the city.

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