Whether you’re a Dallas lifer or brand new to the city, we pulled together some fun facts about Big D that may surprise you!
Let’s start by looking at some of Dallas’ key city features, and how it stacks up against other major cities in the US.
- Dallas is the 9th largest city in the US and the third-largest in Texas with a population of 1,281,047.
- John Neely Bryan founded the city of Dallas in 1841, back when Texas was its own country.
- When complete, the Trinity River Corridor Project will be more than ten times the size of New York’s Central Park. The Great Trinity Forest, part of the corridor project, is the largest urban forest in the US.
- The Dallas area is the largest metropolitan area in the nation not on a navigable body of water.
- The Dallas/Fort Worth airport is larger than New York City’s Manhattan Island. It is also home to the world’s largest parking lot.
- With more than a million annual visitors, the Dallas Farmers Market is one of the largest working farmer’s markets in the entire United States.
- Dallas has one of the country’s largest park systems, with 406 parks taking up 33 mi2 (85 km2) of land in the city, including the popular Klyde Warren Park downtown.
- The nation’s largest arts district is in Dallas. The Dallas Arts District consists of 19 blocks of museums, venues, and galleries.
- The State Fair of Texas has been held in Dallas every year since 1886, with exceptions in 1918 due to World War I and from 1942 to 1945 due to World War II.
- The area is also home to more than 200 golf courses. Established in 1899, the Dallas Country Club became just the second country club opened in the entire country.
- The Dallas Zoo opened in 1888, making it the first zoological park in the entire Southwest.
Now for some Dallas facts that might surprise you…
- Dallas resident Lamar Hunt coined the term ‘Super Bowl’ while writing a letter to NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle. The son of oil tycoon H.L. Hunt, Lamar is also a member of three national sports hall of fames: soccer, football, and tennis.
- German chocolate did not come from Germany — it was originally publicized in Dallas! Named afer Samuel German in 1957, he created a formulation of dark baking chocolate which was then used in the cake’s recipe.
- Mariano Martinez from Dallas is considered the inventor of the frozen margarita machine, now considered a staple of Tex-Mex cuisine.
- The first ever professional cheerleading squad came from Dallas. In 1972, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders became the first ever professional cheerleading squad. Now, hundreds of women from all over the US try out to be a part of the team.
- Barney, our favorite big purple dinosaur, was created in Dallas, providing big breaks for the likes of Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato.
- Dallas is home to 7-Eleven, which got it’s start in Dallas and is headquartered here today, operating in 17 different countries.
- Outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, infamously known as “Bonnie and Clyde,” are from Dallas and are both buried in Western Heights Cemetery.
- The integrated circuit computer chip was invented in Dallas in 1958, paving the way for the widespread usage of mobile phones and computers.
- The Christmas tree in Galleria Dallas mall is the largest indoor Christmas tree in the United States, at 95 ft (29 m), and with 450,000 lights. The star on top weighs 100 pounds.
- The largest permanent model train exhibit in the country is on display in the lobby of Dallas Children’s Medical Center.
- Highland Park Village Shopping Center, developed in 1931 has the distinction of being the first planned shopping center in America.
- The Dallas Public Library permanently displays one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence, printed on July 4, 1776, and the First Folio of William Shakespeare’s “Comedies, Histories & Tragedies.”
- The Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex is home to 27 billionaires. Fort Worth’s Alice Walton — daughter of Walmart Inc. founder Sam Walton — is North Texas’ richest person with an estimated net worth of $61.8 billion.
- Deep Ellum is a reference to the Elm Street. Influential blues musician Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter’s, “Take a Whiff on Me” was one of the earliest popular songs to use the word Ellum to refer to Elm Street.
- In 1944, White Rock Lake served as a P.O.W. camp for German non-commissioned officers captured during Erwin “The Desert Fox” Rommel’s North African campaign.
- Before making his State Fair of Texas debut in 1952, Big Tex was actually the world’s largest paper mache Santa Claus in Kerens, Texas.
- Woodrow Wilson High School contains a piece of cake from the wedding of President Wilson’s daughter, Jessie. The cake is built into the building’s cornerstone.
- Known as “The Wizard of Dallas,” inventor Henry Garrett brought Dallas the first automobile dealership in the state and the first automatic traffic signal in the country.
- Kirby’s Pig Stand, which opened in Dallas in 1921, is thought to be the first drive-in restaurant in the United States.
Know of a fun fact that we can add? We’d love to hear about it!