The Hall of State at Fair Park, a shrine for Texas heroes, was built on the State Fairgrounds for the 1936 Texas Centennial and Exposition. Sixty years later, it stands as an entrance to this historical site.

The Great Depression was devastating to the Dallas economy, and it was important that we have an edge in Centennial site bidding. Dallas pledged $10 million in cash and property, as well as use of the fairgrounds with the museums, horticulture building and amphitheater. In September 1934, the state legislature accepted Dallas’ bid over that of Houston and San Antonio.

The Centennial opened June 6. 1936, and closed Nov. 29. On opening day, 117,000 people attended, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a crowd of more than 50,000 in the Cotton Bowl. The six-month event celebrated 100 years of Texas independence and was a job source for the unemployed.

The Hall of State is a reminder of this event and the success of the Dallas economy. Today, the Dallas Historical Society uses the building for its archives.


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