Vintage color photos of Oak Cliff and Dallas

A bunch of “never-before-seen” photos of Dallas from the 1960s popped up on the local Reddit this week, and the Dallas Morning News Scoop Blog picked them up.

There are photos of theater row, Fair Park and Dealey Plaza, and there are two photos of Oak Cliff, and they both seem to be related to the JFK assassination.

Houston photographer Josh Burdick posted the photos, which were taken by his father, Cecil. They are from the ’50s through the ’70s.

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This one from the 500 block of East Jefferson supposedly was taken in 1956, but I think it might be dated incorrectly and more likely was shot in 1964 because it is a location related to Lee Harvey Oswald.

OakCliff

This is the service station where police found Oswald’s black jacket following the murder of Dallas Police officer J.D. Tippit.

Here’s what it looks like today:

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photo 1-4

The Oak Cliff Christian Church, behind the auto shop, was torn down in 2010.

HughesAmbulance

Here is a picture of the Dudley M. Hughes Funeral Home, also dated 1956. But if it is the Hughes funeral home on East Jefferson, right across the street from the aforementioned auto shop, it likely is dated wrong as well. The funeral home is named in the Warren Commission Report because in the 1960s, it was the ambulance dispatch center for southern Dallas. Being so close to the site of the Tippit murder, a Hughes ambulance was one of the first on the scene.

Here’s what the funeral home looks like today:

photo 2-4

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  • Rachel Stone

    Thank you!

  • Smokey

    Cecil thanks for sharing. So how often did you wander over to the lunch counter at Skillets for a milk shake?

  • Cecil E. Burdick Jr.

    I am the picture taker, Cecil E. Burdick Jr. and the pictures were taken in 1956, because I was working at Dudley Hughes Funeral Home and going to Mortuary School in Dallas, graduating from that school in May, 1956!
    In 1964, I was out of the funeral business, and working for the FAA at Midland, Texas Air Terminal! I eventually moved with my family of six kids to Houston where I was on the charter crew of FAA technical employees who opened IAH, now IAH BUSH in 1969, so you can stop speculating about the dates of those pictures. All those color pictures I made with my Argus C3 camera which produced color slides and my son Josh who is a professional photographer put all my pictures on his hard drive and mine! I retired from the FAA on Millineum Day at 0800 housrs! That completed 44 years of US Government work which started when I was in the USAF from November, 1956 to November, 1960!
    Shown in picture are my brother Bill (Navy) and myself in December, 1959!

  • materlady

    Fascinating photos. Thanks for posting these.

  • Hi, I was just sent this article. I’m Josh Burdick, the owner of the photos who were taken by my father, Cecil E. Burdick Jr. They are indeed taken in 1956 as he was working at the Dudley M. Hughes Funeral home at the time. He joined the Air Force later that year and moved out of the area. When JFK was assassinated in Nov 1963, he and my mom were living in Snyder, TX. His slides that I scanned are dated 1956 as well.

    You can see many more slides he shot of the Dallas area between 1956 & 1971 here:

    https://joshburdick.smugmug.com/Architecture/Historical-Dallas/

  • ericthegardener

    If you view the images on Josh Burdick’s website it lists the year for each photo.

  • Smokey

    I would say so, not a car in site newer than 1954. The color photos tell me these may have been staged for a trade magazine. You hit the nail on the head as far as the location. Thanks for the memories.

  • Rachel Stone

    So it looks like these were really taken in 1956? Commence with the conspiracy theories

  • Smokey

    The newest of the vehicles in the photos is a 1955 model. The hearse parked at the service station was a Hughes fleet vehicle as well. No doubt this was just a block away from the Tippit murder but Hughes had a newer ambulance then the one pictured by 1963. News photos from that period were routinely black and white. I am thinking they are dated correctly.