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Dallas Information

Meshing together country charm with big-city accommodations, Dallas is a great vacation location for families, singles, and couples. The city is the ninth largest in the country, but still retains some Texas charm at the same time. With more than 385 square miles of city area and close to 1.2 million residents, Dallas is home to everything from professional sports teams and high-end retail stores to dive bars, festivals, and more.

Originally, the area where Dallas now sits was the home of the Caddo Indians. This lasted until Texas became a part of Spain during the 16th century. In spite of a brief period under French rule, the Dallas area and Texas, as a whole, remained under Spanish rule for many years under the name "New Spain." The area that would eventually become Dallas was owned by Spain until 1821, when Mexico became independent from its parent country. At that time, it became part of a large Mexican state. The Republic of Texas declared its freedom from Mexico in 1836 and was an entire country unto itself for a decade before becoming a portion of the United States.

The spot where Dallas sits was first surveyed in 1839 by a trader named John Neely Bryan. It was found to be an ideal location thanks to the intersection of many Caddo traveling trails. However, Bryan did nothing with the land after surveying it - at least until all Indians were removed from the area by treaty. He then decided to found a settlement there in 1841, and the downtown area of Dallas, as it presently sits, was born. French, Belgian, and Swiss artists were among the first residents of the area in the 1850s, and the town was chartered on February 2, 1856. It did not legally become a city, however, until Reconstruction following the Civil War.

In the 1870s and 1880s Dallas became an industrial city - a far cry from its farming roots. A leg of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad reached Dallas in 1880, cementing its industrial status. The first zoo in the state, the Dallas Zoo, opened in 1888, and Dallas began annexing outlying communities beginning in 1890. When the 20th century rolled around, Dallas had become a leading retailer and wholesaler in the entire southwest, as well as a trading center for goods and animals. Banking, finance and fashion also experienced a boom in the 19th and 20th centuries, with many businesses and banks managing to survive the Great Depression where others failed.

Today Dallas remains a major retail and service outlet for Texas and surrounding states. It is home to an international airport, Major League Basketball and hockey teams, malls, shopping centers, restaurants, high-rises, homes, and apartments.

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