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D in the Heart of Texas             

Jerry T. Dealey

The JFK Assassination Researcher's essential guide to the politics and history of Dallas, G. B. Dealey, and Dealey Plaza

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The “Grassy Knoll”, the Texas School Book Depository, and the “Triple Underpass” -- many people across the planet can quickly envision the north side of Dealey Plaza when they hear any of these phrases.  The location of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, is well known.  Many thousands of people wander around and tour this famous site each year, pointing and considering the angles, number of shots, assassin’s locations, witness locations, sewers, fences, trees, curbs and other components of this Dallas, Texas site.

Some consider the north Texas location of Dallas as the “Heart of Texas”, as the second largest and arguably the most famous city in Texas.  But most people don’t realize that Dealey Plaza is the heart of the history of Dallas, and is the location at which Dallas was founded.  So if Dallas is the heart of Texas, Dealey Plaza is the heart of Dallas, where most of the important events of Dallas occurred.

This article discusses the Dallas history that Dealey Plaza represents.  It focuses on the history of Dallas itself, events in Dealey Plaza, and the man for whom the Plaza was named, George Bannerman Dealey, whose statue stands almost neglected on the southern side of the Plaza.  There is more to this little 3 acres of land than just the events of November 22, 1963.

Early History of Texas
The Europeans and American Settlers
John Neely Bryan – And Other Early Founders
Some Wheeling-Dealing to Grow a City
George Bannerman Dealey
The Dallas Morning News is Born
The Great 1908 Flood
G. B. Promotes Other Early Dallas Growth
The "City of Hate"
Building the ‘Subway’, Triple Underpass, Dealey Plaza
The Other Buildings Around Dealey Plaza
The Elder G. B. Dealey
The Dallas "Citizens Council"
The ‘Right Wing’ Direction of Dallas - "City of Hate" Revisited
A ‘Turn-Around’ for the Dallas Morning News
The Pre-November ‘Hate’ Incidents
Dallas’ Law Enforcement
November 1963, Why Dallas?
Dealey Plaza Changes To-Date

About the Author: Jerry Thomas Dealey was born in Dallas, in 1955, as a member of the third generation of the Dealey family to be born and live in that city. He lived in Dallas until July of 1963, when he moved to Denver, Colorado, with his mother, brother and stepfamily. However, his father continued to live in Dallas, and Jerry returned every summer during his school years, to spend part of the summers there. He therefore considers himself a Dallas citizen, who just lived away from Dallas part-time.

Like many people, he remembers first hearing about the JFK assassination. In his case, he was informed of it as he returned from lunch and recess in his 3rd grade class, at 12:30 PM Mountain Time, which correlates to 1:30 PM Central Time. His school sent all students home at that time. Like many of us, he then spent the following 3-4 days practically glued to the television set.

Unfortunately for Jerry, he had a number of things working against him:1) he had the last name of Dealey, the same as the Plaza where Kennedy had been shot; 2) he was from Dallas, Texas; and 3) he had an admittedly obnoxious Texan drawl that tended to immediately advertise these facts to kids who did not even know him. Many people from Dallas were hated by the rest of the country during the weeks and months following November 22, 1963, and it would be very incorrect to assume that 3rd, 4th and 5th graders would be more forgiving and understanding than these so called ‘adults’! Jerry spent the next few weeks fighting and getting beat up, on a regular basis. To say the least, Jerry has always had a ‘vested’ interest in the Kennedy Assassination.

Jerry moved his own family back to the Dallas area in the summer of 1983. Because of his family history, Jerry has become a student of both the history of Dallas, and the Assassination. He is a member of the “Dallas Historical Society”, as well as an ‘overseas’ member of the British group “Dealey Plaza, UK”. His researches have centered on where the two subjects intersect, Dealey Plaza, but extend into both. He attends many of the Dallas area conferences on the assassination and Dallas history. He has, on numerous occasions, been available to give informal tours to visiting people interested in the JFK Assassination, including many of the British members of “Dealey Plaza, UK”. He is also an avid Disney Memorabilia collector, and is known by the nickname of “Mickey” by many of his friends and family.


35,000 Days in Texas, Sam Acheson, published by The Macmillan Company, Copyright 1938

Dallas: A History of “Big D”, Michael V. Hazel, published by Texas State Historical Association in cooperation with the Center for Studies in Texas History at the University of Texas at Austin, 1997

Dallas, An Illustrated History, Darwin Payne, published by Windsor Publications, Inc., Copyright 1982

Dallas, Public and Private,Warren Leslie, published by Grossman Publishers, Inc., Copyright 1964 by author.

Dallas: The Making of a Modern City, Patricia Evridge Hill, published by University of Texas Press, Austin, Copyright 1996 by publisher

Dallas U. S. A., A. C. Greene, published by Texas Monthly Press, Inc., 1984

Dealey Plaza Historic District, Conover Hunt-Jones, 1993, United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places

Death of a President, The, William Manchester, published by Harper & Row, Copyright 1967 by the author.

Diaper Days of Dallas, Ted Dealey, published by Abingdon Press, Copyright 1966

G. B. Dealey of the Dallas News, Ernest Sharpe, published by Henry Holt and Company, Inc., Copyright 1955

Texas in the Morning, Madeleine Duncan Brown, published by The Conservatory Press, Copyright 1997 by the author

The Texas Connection: the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Craig I. Zirbel, published by The Texas Connextion Company, copyright 1991 by the author

Various G. B. Dealey correspondence, Dallas Historical Society, Dealey Library, Hall of State, Fair Park, Dallas, various pieces

WPA Dallas Guide and History, The, written and compiled from 1936 to 1942 by the workers of the Writers’ Program of the Works Projects Administration in the City of Dallas, published by Dallas Public Library Texas Center for the Book, University of North Texas Press, 1992

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Last edited June 03, 2003