Trivia is always fun, and the Dallas – Fort Worth area has some Texas-sized facts about our hometown! How many of these tidbits did you know?
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. The first frozen margarita machine was invented on May 11, 1971 by a Dallas restaurateur.
Let's all raise the glass to Mariano Martinez, who has made our Tex-Mex meals complete. The machine was originally a soft-serve ice cream machine that is now on display in the Smithsonian National Museum of History.
2. Fort Worth's historic Stockyards Hotel was a hideout for Dallas natives and outlaws Bonnie & Clyde.
They stayed in this room in 1933. Of course it is called "The Bonnie and Clyde Suite."
The room features a variety of artifacts, including a poem written by Bonnie Parker for Clyde Barrow. The updated room is available for nightly rentals.
3. Before "Big Tex" came to Dallas’ State Fair of Texas as the official greeter and icon in 1952, he had a different job and message … as Santa!
Hmmm... Notice any similarities?
Today, the 55-foot "Big Tex" is known around the globe as the world’s tallest cowboy.
4. The integrated circuit computer chip (known as the microchip today) was invented by Dallasite Jack Kilby in 1958.
He worked as an engineer at Texas Instruments at the time. Kilby holds patents on more than 60 inventions and is also well known as the inventor of the portable calculator in 1967. It's no surprise that he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2000. He
is from Texas, after all!
5. Sixty percent of America's paper bills are printed in Fort Worth.
The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth is the only facility outside of Washington D.C. Free tours are available if you want to see lots and lots of moolah.
6. The Dallas Arts District is the largest urban arts district in the United States.
We always knew we had class and culture!
7. The USS. Fort Worth is one helluva sleek warship.
It is one of the first of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) class and hunts submarines, clears minefields, and much more. It is longer than a football field and exceeds five stories high!
8. We all know about the Fort Worth Historic Stockyards... but did you know it's the only location in the world that hosts twice-daily cattle drives?
While the drives today are for show, a Texas Longhorn is the real deal. It's worth watching one of these free attractions just to see these magnificent animals!
9. American Football League Founder Lamar Hunt was a Dallas resident when he coined the phrase 'Super Bowl."
If he wasn't so busy being wealthy - he was the son of Texas oil tycoon H.L. Hunt, after all -he could have been a great PR guy! Side note: Frito-Lay North America Corporate Headquarter are in Dallas-suburb Plano.
10. The last public speech made by President John F. Kennedy was in Fort Worth.
His final speech site from Nov. 22, 1963 is immortalized in downtown Fort Worth's General Worth Square.
11. The annual Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is the oldest in the nation.
The event that runs for almost a month every January-February dates back to 1896.
It draws in crowds of over 1.2 million people each year and features livestock, a lively midway, four acres of shopping, live music, horse shows, and more. A grand champion steer has sold for $240,000, which helps explain the attraction for so many students to show here every year!
12. The largest permanent model train exhibit in the country is in Dallas.
The impressive display can be found in the lobby of Dallas Children's Medical Center.
13. The Dallas Galleria Mall boasts of the country's tallest indoor Christmas tree.
Skate around and marvel at its heavily-decorated branches during the holiday season.
14. The first convenience store, 7-Eleven, was founded in Dallas in 1927.
The corporation now operates in over 16 different countries. It has maintained its Texas roots and is still headquartered in Dallas today.
How many of these fun facts did you know? Are there others that should be added to this list?