Texas Centennial Collection:
The Texas Centennial was a celebration to commemorate one hundred years of independence in Texas, on the anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Texas in 1835. Officially observed in 1936, festivities included events all over the state beginning in 1935. A Texas Centennial Commission was established to choose a location and discuss finances for the celebration. The committee selected Dallas, a location that could provide the most funding for the Central Centennial Exposition. This event ran from June 6, 1936, to November 29, 1936, and presented buildings, exhibits, displays, and other projects devoted to two subjects: history and progress. The exposition cost approximately $25,000,000 and was noted for being the first fair held in the Southwest as well as the first fair in the world to have an exhibit specially focusing on African Americans. The Central Centennial Exposition drew so much attention that it re-opened for a short time in 1937.
The other main attraction was the Texas Centennial Frontier held in Fort Worth. Sponsored by Amon G. Carter and costing $5,000,000, this event ran from July 18, 1936, to November 14, 1936. It depicted life and civilization on the Texas frontier, including exhibits on railroads, music and entertainment.
Although the events in Dallas and Fort Worth gained the most popularity, other observances occurred at museums and memorials in cities like Austin, Houston, Lubbock, and San Antonio.
The collection, in three oversize boxes, consists of five folders and two scrapbooks.
Series I consists of construction documents produced by Centennial Architect George Dahl for the Texas Centennial Central Exposition. The series includes key maps of the fairgrounds with exhibit area layouts, blueprints of the exhibit area layout for the specific buildings, building descriptions, and master plot plans.
Series II consists of several keepsakes from the Texas Centennial. The series includes a ticket to the Exposition, a commemorative coin, and letterhead from the Texas Centennial Central Exposition Corporation.
Series III consists of Texas Centennial postal covers. The series includes envelopes with Centennial postal covers and Centennial commemorative postage stamps. Also included are several broadsides from the Southwest Virginia Enterprise discussing the Centennial and the stamps.
Series IV consists of printed material about the Texas Centennial. The series includes two printed pieces; one announcing and advertising the Centennial, and another remembering the Centennial after fifty years.
Series V consists of two scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings documenting Texas history and the Centennial. The scrapbooks contain numerous clippings marking the progress of the Centennial events (especially the Fort Worth Frontier Centennial); however, most of the clippings are Texas history segments put out by local newspapers in conjunction with the Centennial celebrations. There are no references to the title or dates of the clippings. The scrapbook pages from both books were coming loose, so they have been disbound and the pages placed in order in oversized folders.
The material contained in the Texas Centennial Collection is comprised of various items relating to the Texas Centennial that have been collected by numerous individuals. A sufficient amount of information about the construction and progress of the Centennial events in Dallas and Fort Worth can be gathered through the material. The bulk of the collection is made up of the scrapbook contents which give large amounts of information on Texas history from the sixteenth century through the establishment of the Republic of Texas. The Texas Centennial Collection is of value to researchers interested in the Centennial celebration of 1936 as well as Texas history.
Open for research.
Literary Rights Statement
Permission to publish, reproduce, distribute, or use by any and all other current or future developed methods or procedures must be obtained in writing from Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards.
The materials in the Texas Centennial Collection were donated to the Special Collections Division, The University of Texas at Arlington Library, by various individuals from 1985-1991. The Texas Centennial Scrapbook was donated in February 1985 by Charles Reichenstein. The commemorative coin was taken from the Keith H. Kahle Papers and added to this collection on February 14, 1988. The postal covers were donated by Robert Tinsley of Fort Worth, Texas on October 22, 1990. The Lone Star State on Parade Scrapbook was a gift from Mrs. Corliss Elsesser of Fort Worth, Texas, on July 3, 1991. Several of the items were also transferred from the vertical files and added to the Texas Centennial Collection with Jenkins Garrett as a possible donor. The construction documents were transferred from the vertical files on February 10, 1997. The Exposition ticket and printed materials were transferred from the vertical files on October 17, 2000.
Texas Centennial Collection, AR453, Box number, Folder number, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library.
Finding aid prepared by Tara Kirk, February 2005.
The scrapbook pages for both books are in fragile condition, and caution should be exercised when handling them.