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.
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.