3 new books tell stories about Oak Cliff

Presumed presidential assassin and one-time Oak Cliff resident Lee Harvey Oswald, photographed at the Dallas police headquarters before an interrogation. This is one of the photos from a new book by John H. Slate and Mark Doty, “John F. Kennedy Sites in Dallas-Fort Worth,” due out Sept. 2: Dallas Municipal Archives.
Presumed presidential assassin and one-time Oak Cliff resident Lee Harvey Oswald, photographed at the Dallas police headquarters before an interrogation. This is one of the photos from a new book by John H. Slate and Mark Doty, “John F. Kennedy Sites in Dallas-Fort Worth,” due out Sept. 2: Dallas Municipal Archives.
The Legendary Locals of Oak Cliff, due Sept. 2 from Arcadia Publishing, includes photos and tales of neighborhood greats. A book signing is planned Sept. 14  at Bishop Street Market.
The Legendary Locals of Oak Cliff, due Sept. 2 from Arcadia Publishing, includes photos and tales of neighborhood greats. A book signing is planned Sept. 14 at Bishop Street Market.

The history of Dealey Plaza is really the story of early Dallas. It is where Tennessee lawyer John Neely Bryan built a cabin in 1841. Now it is the front door of Dallas, and the subject of a new book from an Oak Cliff-based author.

“I’m glad that we got to write this as opposed to someone who would give way too much attention to the Kennedy assassination,” says Dallas city archivist John Slate, who wrote the book, “Dealey Plaza,” with Dallas Park and Recreation Director Willis Winters.

The book is one of three with neighborhood connections out this month from Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series. Slate, who lives in Beckley Club Estates, also wrote “John F. Kennedy Sites in Dallas-Fort Worth” with co-author Mark Doty, Dallas historic preservation officer. Many of those sites are in our neighborhood because of the Oswald connection. The JFK book includes 200 photos and documents, most of them from the city archives.

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Another book out this month is “Legendary Locals of Oak Cliff,” by Alan C. Elliott, Patricia K. Summey and Gayla Brooks. Brooks writes the Back Story column in the Advocate every month, and many of her contributions to the book stemmed from that column. Photos and anecdotes in the book tell of Oak Cliff greats including the Vaughan brothers, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Jerry Rhome, Belita Moreno, Terry Southern and Stephen Tobolowsky. The same trio of authors published the book “Images of America: Oak Cliff” through Arcadia in 2009.

A rendering of Dealey Plaza by the Kansas City firm of Hare and Hare, 1940; the triple underpass was finished in 1936 but the park still needed to be landscaped. The plaza itself was a Works Progress Administration project and cost $92,298. This image is included in “Dealey Plaza,” by John H. Slate and Willis C. Winters: Dallas Municipal Archives
A rendering of Dealey Plaza by the Kansas City firm of Hare and Hare, 1940; the triple underpass was finished in 1936 but the park still needed to be landscaped. The plaza itself was a Works Progress Administration project and cost $92,298. This image is included in “Dealey Plaza,” by John H. Slate and Willis C. Winters: Dallas Municipal Archives
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