The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979 Page: 424
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
its weight to the movement when appointed in 1931.2 In 1932 the Tex-
as legislature proposed an amendment to the state constitution "to au-
thorize a Texas Centennial, commemorating the heroic period of early
Texas history, and celebrating a century of our independence and
progress, to be held at such times, places and in such manner as may be
designated by the Legislature of Texas."3
The amendment passed; a permanent Centennial Commission as-
sembled to select a site for the celebration; and Dallas outbid all other
cities for that honor. The city offered nearly $8,000,000 in direct or
indirect financial support as an inducement to the Commission to lo-
cate the principal celebration in Dallas.4 The city already hosted the
State Fair and it hungered for a World's Fair. Its selection satisfied
many Texans, but not the residents of Fort Worth, who proceeded with
their own plans for a Texas Frontier Centennial.
All in all the Centennial proved to be the bonanza the Dallas Com-
mittee had hoped for. Both state and federal governments contributed
generously to the funding of construction-much of their spending
coming through existing depression relief agencies. Crowded exhibition
halls, hotels, restaurants, and retail businesses testified to the validity of
the Dallas committee's foresight. Staid Dallas winked at the frivolity of
much of the celebration but gloried in the grander aspects such as the
visits of Washington and Hollywood celebrities. The committee's bid,
presented originally as an article of faith, resulted in measurable, tan-
gible benefits for the city, even though Dallas had no visible historical
claim to the event.
Dallas's bid addressed the officers of the Texas Centennial Commis-
sion, Cullen F. Thomas, president. The commission was made up of
thirty-three members plus four officers, among them former governors
Miriam A. Ferguson and Pat Neff, and important citizens such as Amon
Carter and Jesse H. Jones. Dallas Mayor Charles E. Turner submitted
the bid, which also bore the endorsements of City Manager John N.
2Lee Melazzo (ed.), Sam Acheson, Dallas Yesterday (Dallas, 1977), 194. For a discussion
of the Committee of One Hundred and early planning, see Austin American, Feb. 12, 13,
1924. Both editions feature front page coverage. The temporary Texas Centennial Commis-
sion is discussed in a front page article. Ibid., Dec. 29, 1931.
3For an advocate's viewpoint of the amendment, see Texas Weekly, July 23, Aug. 27,
1932. These issues, published just prior to the first and second primaries, were intended to
capture voter interest. The vote on the amendment passed on November 6 with a heavy
majority. Texas Weekly, Nov. 12, 1932. It is now Texas Constitution, Article XVI. General
Provisions, Section 6o.
4For a discussion of the Dallas bid, see Texas Almanac, 1936, p. 372.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979, periodical, 1978/1979; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101206/m1/486/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.