Houston, L B 1973-07-06

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L. B. Houston, longtime park director for the Dallas Park Department, reviews events and developments preceding his appointment as park director.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: L. B. Houston

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: July 6, 1973

Location: Dallas, Texas

Interviewer: Harry Jebson, Patricia Hogan and Robert Newton

Length: 4 hours


Tape 1, Side 1: Gives autobiography of early life, Born November 30 1907 on a Texas farm, Obtained summer employment at Texas Agricultural Station, Book on agriculture discussed, Attended Southern Methodist University (1925-1930), Describes Depression’s effects on Dallas city government, Budgeting under former park director explained, Remembers wages during Depression, Explains how federal funds were administered.

Tape 1, Side 2: Depression programs (continued), Notes transition between his predecessor’s and his own administration, Scandals in park department considered, Presents reasons why he became interim city manger.

Tape 2, Side 1: Reasons for becoming interim city manager revealed, Discusses procedures for cleaning up city government after scandal, Problems with former park director noted, Roles of park department personnel described, Mentions changes in administrative system, Financial situation was tight.

Tape 2, Side 2: Continues discussion of park department finances, Philosophy of park department explained, Remember Samuel Estate litigation, World War II effects on park department recalled.

Tape 3, Side 1: World War II effects (continued), Use of prison labor discussed, Instituted park patrol system, Planning for land acquisition described.

Tape 3, Side 2: Utilizes surplus materials to develop programs, Tennis courts implemented, Notes development of swimming pools, Racial problem explained, Comments on introduction of community centers.

Tape 4, Side 1: Discusses Samuel Estate given to park department, Three independent towns within Dallas described, Mentions John F. Kennedy Memorial and John Neely Bryan cabin site, Zoo development explained.

Tape 4, Side 2: Continues discussion on zoo, Zoological society recalled, Comments on Academy of Science, Park athletic programs have outside sponsors, Does not consider vandalism a problem, Topic of Samuel Estate funds resumed.

Range Dates: 1970-1940s

Bulk Dates: 1930s-1940s

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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