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Storybook Land Map, taken from http://bacougars66.com/

Storybook Land Map, taken from http://bacougars66.com/

In 1956, Mother Goose and her brood settled down in the metroplex. Storybook Land opened in April of that year to the delight of area children, who flocked with their families to the theme park located just east of Carter Field on Highway 183.
WBAP-TV (Television station : Fort Worth, Tex.). [News Script: Storybook Land], Script, April 13, 1956; (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc777789/ : accessed December 18, 2015), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections, Denton, Texas.

WBAP-TV (Television station : Fort Worth, Tex.). [News Script: Storybook Land], Script, April 13, 1956; (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc777789/ : accessed December 18, 2015), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections, Denton, Texas.

Any theme park with a storytale theme wouldn’t be complete without The Little Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe. A KXAS/NBC-5 news anchor quipped that “Before the days of FHA, one elderly woman lived in a shoe with a large family. . . and got the children to bed early — of course, that was before television.” Other fairytale characters that lived at Storybook Land included Little Red Riding Hood, the Crooked Man who lived in the Crooked House, Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk, Humpty Dumpty, and all the animals from Noah’s Ark. Storybook Land was a short-lived predecessor to Six Flags Over Texas, the amusement park that would come to take the metroplex by storm. Attractions at Storybook Land included live animals (the Three Billy Goats Gruff were real, real ba-ba black sheep, and the carousel was run by real shetland ponies). The park was owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. K. K. Stanfield, who later opened a second theme park next door to their first: Cowboy Town. Just a look at the Storybook Land map makes it clear how wondrous of a place the park was. Although it is gone today, it is believed that a car dealership took its place on Highway 183, and that is certainly open for business.

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University of Dallas Advertisement, UNTA_AR0327-020-002

University of Dallas Advertisement, UNTA_AR0327-020-002

This year, the University of Dallas celebrates its sixtieth year of education and enlightenment. In September of 1956, 96 students began undergraduate studies at the newly-founded University of Dallas, located in what is now Irving. Today, nearly 3,000 students attend the University. Bishop Thomas K. Gorman became chancellor of the university, which the Sisters of Saint Mary of Namur had obtained to subsume their junior college in Fort Worth, Our Lady of Victory College. The school began life as a coeducational, multi-faith, undergraduate institution with plans to add graduate programs as soon as possible. The school has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools since 1963. The Graduate School was established in 1966. Original faculty included the Cistercian Order and the Sisters of Saint Mary, three Franciscan fathers, and several laymen. Later additions to the faculty included Dominican priests and the School Sisters of Notre Dame. In 1970, the University of Dallas opened a campus in Rome. Students in their Sophomore year at the UD were required to spend at least one semester studying in Rome, where the School Sisters of Notre Dame donated the use of classrooms and dormitories. Tuition rates were not raised during the study abroad period, and the only additional charge was the transportation to and from Rome.
University of Dallas campus, UNTA_AR0327-020-005

University of Dallas campus, UNTA_AR0327-020-005

Today, the University of Dallas continues to turn out bright men and women. The university proudly boasts 39 alumni who have received Fulbright grants to study, teach, or do research abroad. While it may be overlooked at times, nestled away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the University of Dallas provides DFW with amazing opportunities, and it attracts many more amazing people to our part of the country. The images in this post from the Lester Strother Texas Metro Magazine collection. The Texas Metro was founded largely to publicize the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport and the many economic opportunities in the Southwest Metroplex. The collection includes 183 linear feet of articles and photographs from the magazine, as well as other grey literature.   -by Alexandra Traxinger Schütz

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Page 1 of City of Fort Worth's application to North Central Texas Council of Governments, UNTA_AR0265-006-002

Page 1 of City of Fort Worth’s application to North Central Texas Council of Governments, UNTA_AR0265-006-002

Would you believe that earth-sheltered homes were once on Fort Worth’s wish list? It’s true. The city wanted to construct earth-sheltered dwellings to provide sustainable housing, primarily for middle-income families in the northside and Stockyards areas of town. The North Central Texas Council of Governments approved $650,000 in funds for the construction of these homes in January 1978, granted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In the city’s application, it writes: The key technique [in successful alternative housing] involves the design, selection, construction, rehabilitation, and aggressive marketing of middle income structures that can compete with traditional suburban development. Middle income families will be attracted to these structures because of their energy efficiency, their short and long-range costs as compared with traditional new housing, their attractiveness, and their location in convenient and basically good but deteriorating neighborhoods with the potential for revitalization. Described as an experiment, the city hoped to lead the way in alternative housing for other cities across the country. Fort Worth native, Frank L. Moreland, is listed as the architect and designer of the homes. Moreland graduated from Paschal High School in Fort Worth and went on to pursue several university degrees, including a bachelor’s in Mathematics from Texas Christian University and two master’s degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to building homes, he also served as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, and Corps of Engineers. Ultimately, earth-sheltered homes did not take Fort Worth by storm. In fact, it appears that this plan never made it through the Assessment phase it outlines in its application. However, Moreland did design several homes across the metroplex, including Fort Worth, Dallas, Eagle Mountain Lake, Decatur, and Waxahachie. The Dallas News has an article about one of Moreland’s homes in Dallas, which went up for sale on Earth Day 2013, and you can read more about the fascinating building here. More information about Fort Worth’s endeavor to create underground homes can be found in the North Central Texas Council of Governments collection. To learn more about Frank Moreland, contact the University of Texas at Austin to view his papers, which are a part of the Alexander Architectural Archive.  

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The Bilingual Education Endorsement, The University of Texas at Arlington, UNTA_AR0177-004-002

The Bilingual Education Endorsement, The University of Texas at Arlington, UNTA_AR0177-004-002

“Bilingual” didn’t used to be as cut-and-dry as it is today in America. Whereas Americans in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries often spoke German, Dutch, Italian, or French in addition to English, nowadays if someone is bilingual, it usually means that they speak English and Spanish. When legislators and education agencies talk about bilingual education, they are almost always referring to educating Mexican immigrants in a combination of Spanish and English. In 1967, the Bilingual Education Act was introduced to the United States Senate by Ralph Yarborough of Texas. The Act passed in 1968 and recommended the teaching of Spanish as a native language, English being taught as a second language, and programs designed to give Spanish-speaking students an appreciation of their ancestral heritage. Fort Worth Independent School District Resolution, UNTA_AR0177-004-001In 1973, Governor Dolph Briscoe signed the Bilingual Education and Training Act into Texas law. The law mandated all elementary public schools with 20 or more enrolled children of limited English ability in a given grade level provide bilingual education. Prior to this, English was the only language allowed in Texas public schools. Children who spoke Spanish in classrooms were often punished. Despite the mandate for school districts to provide bilingual classrooms, state funding for the endeavor was lacking. This letter from the Fort Worth Independent School District to Representative Lanny Hall asks for the state to find funds to help support their bilingual programs. One of the biggest problems in getting the law into action was the lack of teachers who were qualified to teach bilingually. As a result, bilingual teacher education programs sprung up all across the state. A description of requirements for a bilingual education endorsement at the University of Texas at Arlington is pictured. When over a quarter of school-aged children return home after school to a Spanish-speaking household, programs like these have been declared vital for student success. Much more information about the Bilingual Education and Training Act can be found in the Lanny Hall collection, which also contains records pertaining to subjects such as public education, tuition rates and funding for colleges and universities, equal rights and LGBT issues, transportation, and health topics.  

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[Map of St. Paul's Hospital], Postcard, n.d.; (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth121635/ : accessed December 01, 2015), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Heritage Village, Dallas, Texas.

[Map of St. Paul’s Hospital], Postcard, n.d.; (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth121635/ : accessed December 01, 2015), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Heritage Village, Dallas, Texas.

Hospitals are often over-looked landmarks in a city’s history. For many people, though, hospitals are the backdrop of treasured first moments with children or last moments with parents. It can be a little sad to see a hospital close or, in the case of St. Paul Hospital in Dallas, demolished. The original hospital building on Bryan Street, part of St. Paul’s Sanitarium, opened its doors on June 15, 1898, providing 110 beds to the Dallas community. The hospital was served by nurses of the Roman Catholic Order. In the decades following, a school of nursing and a school of medical technology were established. By 1963, 6 new buildings had been erected under the St. Paul name:
  • An Annex building (1916) brought the bed capacity to 300.
  • The School of Nursing building was finished in 1922.
  • A five-story clinic building opened in 1938.
  • “Mary’s Manor” (a dormitory for Nursing students) came to be in 1947.
  • The Dallas Building brought the bed capacity to 395 in 1954.
  • A 484-bed hospital in Southwestern Medical Center admitted its first patients in 1963.
Work, Jim. St. Paul Hospital on Bryan Street demolition. Dallas Medical Images Collection at UT Southwestern Archives.

Work, Jim. St. Paul Hospital on Bryan Street demolition. Dallas Medical Images Collection at UT Southwestern Archives.

St. Paul led the community in selflessness and innovation. Nurses risked their own lives when volunteering during the influenza outbreak of 1918, and they did the same again in 1951 when a five-alarm fire broke out at the hospital. Staff saved over 250 people without a single serious injury. In 1954, St. Paul was the first hospital in Dallas to allow African American doctors to serve at their institution. This was followed by desegregation in 1959. Five years after the new hospital opened in the Southwestern Medical Center, the original hospital on Bryan Street was demolished. The photograph shown, part of the UT Southwestern digital archives, shows the building’s demolition. For over fifty years, the hospital in Southwestern Medical Center, near the intersection of Harry Hines and Inwood, provided Dallas with superb care. In 1985, it became the first hospital in the city to perform a heart transplant. On November 20, 2015, St. Paul Medical Center was demolished. William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital will take its place in serving the Dallas area with modern and innovative healthcare. The hospital is 12 floors and offers 460 beds.

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Cover of Texans for Wildlife Conservation Magazine, UNTA_AR0177-014-003

Cover of Texans for Wildlife Conservation Magazine, UNTA_AR0177-014-003

The Lone Star State is great for hunting. North Texas offers access to whitetail deer, bobcats, coyotes, grey and red fox, badgers, raccoons, ringtail cats, wild hogs, teal, ducks, geese, and a variety of fish. In 2015, there were 1,060,455 registered license holders, according to the U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department oversees these license holders, ensuring that no laws are broken without penalty. The Wildlife Conservation Act of 1983 gave TPWD this power after years of counties maintaining their own hunting laws, creating a “crazy quilt” of regulations.
Letter to Lanny Hall from the Sportsmen's Club of Texas, UNTA_AR0177-014-002

Letter to Lanny Hall from the Sportsmen’s Club of Texas, UNTA_AR0177-014-002

Prior to 1983, 116 counties in Texas did not fully answer to the state’s game law or Texas Parks and Wildlife. 13 of those 116 counties were non-regulatory, subject to wildlife and hunting laws that hadn’t been updated since 1925. 30 counties operated under a Commissioner’s Court, and they had the ability to veto any decisions made by TPWD. The remaining 73 granted only partial authority to TPWD. The purpose of the law is “to provide a comprehensive method for the conservation of an ample supply of wildlife resources on a statewide basis to insure reasonable and equitable enjoyment of the privileges of ownership and pursuit of wildlife resources.  This chapter provides a flexible law to enable the commission to deal effectively with changing conditions to prevent depletion and waste of wildlife resources.” To read the full Wildlife Conservation Act, click here. The law was favored by hunters for the most part, and there were 1,050,496 paid license holders in 1983. According to a survey taken by the Sportsmen’s Clubs of Texas, about 82% of hunters across the state were in favor of Texas Parks and Wildlife having full authority over the state’s wildlife resources. However, not everyone was convinced that this law had the capability to successfully manage wildlife state-wide. For example, landowners have the ability to restrict the amount of game taken and the length of hunting season on their property. Some believed that this would allow the “crazy-quilt” trend to continue. Nevertheless, the law passed and has been in effect now for over 30 years. The images in this post come from the Lanny Hall collection, which contains much more grey literature about the Wildlife Conservation Act. The collection also contains records pertaining to subjects such as public education, tuition rates and funding for colleges and universities, equal rights and LGBT issues, transportation, and health topics.
Letter to Lanny Hall from the Sportsmen's Club of Texas, UNTA_AR0177-014-002

Letter to Lanny Hall from the Sportsmen’s Club of Texas, UNTA_AR0177-014-002

 

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The exterior of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, UNTA_AR0327-023-005

The exterior of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, UNTA_AR0327-023-005

In 1945, two rooms at De Zavala Elementary School in the Fairmount neighborhood of Fort Worth welcomed the collections of the Fort Worth Children’s Museum. Although the museum had been established in 1939 by the local council of the League of Administrative Women in Education, these two classrooms were the institution’s very first home. Two years later, the museum moved into a larger space on Summit Avenue: the R. E. Harding House. The museum flourished at this location, and the The Ladies Auxiliary of the Fort Worth Children’s Museum (now the Museum Guild) and the “Frisky and Blossom Club,” which was the predecessor of the renowned Museum School. The institution saw so much success that much more space was needed if it wanted to keep up with demand: in 1952, ground broke at the museum’s current location on Montgomery Street.
Front page of the 1973-1974 brochure for the Museum School, UNTA_AR0327-023-006_01

Front page of the 1973-1974 brochure for the Museum School, UNTA_AR0327-023-006_01

The first public planetarium in the region, the Charlie Mary Noble Planetarium, opened in 1954. To learn more about Charlie Mary Noble, who was named the First Lady of Fort Worth in 1954, visit the museum’s dedication page to her here. In an effort to attract more adults, the museum changed its name to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History in 1968. More than half of the museum’s patrons are adults today. The OMNI theater is one of the museum’s biggest attractions, controlled by 50 speakers and 8 amplifiers that produce over 24,000 watts. Permanent exhibits included the History of Medicine, Your Body, IBM Calculators and Computers, Rocks and Fossils, Texas History, and Man and His Possessions until the 2000’s, when the museum began to host a series of travelling interactive exhibits. Education is at the backbone of the Museum of Science and History. Classes for preschoolers, elementary age children, and homeschool children are offered year-round, and have been a part of the museum’s services since its early years. Today, the institution provides over 200,000 hours of education in areas of science and social studies to Texas students each year. A brochure for the 1973-1974 museum school year is pictured. In 2006, plans were launched for a new museum building that connects the museum more closely with its neighbors in the cultural district: the Will Rogers Memorial Center and National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. In 2009, Fort Worth welcomed the new Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, contributing to 500,000 visitors annually. Much more information about the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, as well as other institutions in the cultural center of the city, can be found in the Lester Strother Texas Metro Magazine collection at UNT’s Special Collections. The Texas Metro was largely founded to publicize the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport and the many economic opportunities in the Southwest Metroplex. The collection includes 183 linear feet of articles and photographs from the magazine, as well as other grey literature.
Page 2 of the 1973-1974 brochure for the Museum School, UNTA_AR0327-023-006_02

Page 1 of the 1973-1974 brochure for the Museum School, UNTA_AR0327-023-006_02

Page 2 of the 1973-1974 brochure for the Museum School, UNTA_AR0327-023-006_03

Page 2 of the 1973-1974 brochure for the Museum School, UNTA_AR0327-023-006_03

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Letter from JCPenny at Ridgmar Mall to Lanny Hall, 1979, UNTA_AR0177-027-003

Letter from JCPenny at Ridgmar Mall to Lanny Hall, 1979, UNTA_AR0177-027-003

Blue laws are pretty common in the United States, and the term refers to restrictions of sale. In areas where blue laws are in effect, Sundays are traditionally off limits for most retail establishments and liquor is completely off limits. Today, blue laws in Texas restrict only two types of purchases: automobiles and alcohol. Car dealerships must be closed either Saturday or Sunday (which day is up to their discretion) and alcohol is only allowed to be sold during certain times of the day. Beer and wine can be sold between 7 a.m. and midnight Monday through Saturday, and on Sunday it can be sold between midnight and 1 a.m. and again between noon and midnight. State law allows certain large cities to extend sales to 2 a.m. on any day of the week. Liquor can only be sold at specialized stores, and sale is restricted to 10 a.m. through 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with no sales permitted on Sunday, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. Before 1985, however, there were a lot of things you couldn’t buy on Sundays. You could buy screwdrivers but not screws, for example. Cloth diapers could not be sold, but disposable diapers were okay. The restrictions had no rhyme or reason to them, but proponents of state blue laws made sure they were heard in the early 1980’s. Getting rid of blue laws would force retailers to be open for 7 days a week rather than 6, resulting in higher utility overhead and a raise in the amount of wages paid out to employees. It was unclear for many stores whether being open on Sunday would result in enough revenue to cover these new expenses. In Tarrant County, Lanny Hall was openly torn about whether or not to uphold the Texas Blue Laws. In a letter to a constituent, he admits that he believes Sunday should be reserved for a day of rest and for families to be together. He states that he has received overwhelming support from Tarrant County voters for repealing the blue laws. Much more information about the Texas Blue Laws and their role in the 66th, 67th, and 68th legislative sessions can be found in the Lanny Hall collection, which contains records pertaining to subjects such as public education, tuition rates and funding for colleges and universities, equal rights and LGBT issues, transportation, and health topics.
Letter from JCPenny at Ridgmar Mall to Lanny Hall, 1979, UNTA_AR0177-027-003

Letter from JCPenny at Ridgmar Mall to Lanny Hall, 1979, UNTA_AR0177-027-003

Letter from JCPenny at Ridgmar Mall to Lanny Hall, 1979, UNTA_AR0177-027-003

Letter from JCPenny at Ridgmar Mall to Lanny Hall, 1979, UNTA_AR0177-027-003

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SIDS Counseling and Information Project Pamphlet, UNTA_AR0177-027-001

SIDS Counseling and Information Project Pamphlet, UNTA_AR0177-027-001

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also known as Crib Death, is believed to have devastated families since human origin. It is only recently that the medical and political worlds have come together to understand SIDS. Now, it is well-known that babies under age one are at risk of dying in their sleep with no apparent cause. No one and nothing seems to be to blame for these deaths. The SIDS Information Center at Dallas helped bring this misunderstood disease to light. In the 1970s, though, when SIDS was less understood, it was somewhat common to place blame on the parents of the deceased child with allegations of infanticide or neglect. During this time, SIDS was far more prevalent in Texas than in any other state. A grant summary authored by the North Texas Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Information and Counseling Project estimated that the national average for crib deaths in the U.S. was 3 for every 1,000 live births, but that in Texas that number was 18.4 deaths per 1,000 births. That’s one reason why the SIDS Information Center was opened at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences through the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas. SIDS was especially traumatizing to families in Texas counties with small populations, because medical examiners were often unavailable to perform autopsies on these infants. Medical examiners were only required in counties of more than 500,000 people (and only 8 of the 252 Texas counties met this criteria). The SIDS Information Center provided education, training, and resources for paramedical personnel and law officers in these outlying counties, so that they may better serve the survivors of the SIDS victim and provide more thorough death investigations. Families requiring counseling also found a sanctuary at the SIDS Information Center. 39 North Texas counties were served by the SIDS Project.
SIDS Counseling and Information Project Pamphlet, UNTA_AR0177-027-001

SIDS Counseling and Information Project Pamphlet, UNTA_AR0177-027-001

SIDS Counseling and Information Project Pamphlet, UNTA_AR0177-027-001

SIDS Counseling and Information Project Pamphlet, UNTA_AR0177-027-001

In 1977, the 65th Legislature passed House Bill 1189 and a Senate Bill regarding SIDS,and the North Texas Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Information and Counseling Project began in 1978. In 1981, the Texas legislature partially covered the cost of autopsies for victims. By October 1982, the project was privately funded by Texas Foundations. The Lanny Hall collection contains many more resources about the SIDS problem in North Texas, including letters to Lanny Hall from fellow representatives and constituents, as well as other grey literature about SIDS and the SIDS project. Hall served Tarrant County as a Representative in the Texas House during the sixty-sixth, sixty-seventh, and sixty-eighth legislatures (1979-1984). The collection also contains records pertaining to subjects such as public education, tuition rates and funding for colleges and universities, equal rights and LGBT issues, transportation, and health topics.

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In 1959, plans were being developed by the Great Southwest Corporation, investors from New York and Angus G. Wynne Jr. to build an amusement park in the Metroplex Area. The idea came about when Angus visited Disneyland in Anaheim California, where he then decided that his home state of Texas needed a similar attraction with the history of Texas mixed in. The park was modeled after the culture of the six flags that flew over Texas: Spain, France, Mexico, Texas Confederacy, Republic of Texas, and Texas as part of the United States, thus granting the name Six Flags Over Texas. Construction for Six Flags Over Texas began in August of 1960, and had its official opening day on August 5 1961 with an attendance of 8,374. Originally the amusement park was never intended to last more than a few years. The Great Southwest Industrial District was going to use the park as a temporary money maker to fund other projects. Though after adding new attractions within the first few years after opening, attendance was reaching over close to 2 million visitors a year by the end of the 1960’s.
Arlington, TX: Shot of guests riding the El Asseradero located in the Spanish Sector of Six Flags Over Texas. El Asseradero, which translates to "Saw Mill" in English, was the first of its kind in the world to be constructed in 1963.

Jacoby, Doris. El Asseradero. Lester Strother Collection (AR0327), University of North Texas Special Collections.

Six Flags Over Texas introduced several “firsts” in theme park standards around the world. It was the first Six Flags park, later followed the plans to develop Six Flags Over Georgia in 1965, with the opening in June of 1967. Six Flags Over Texas also introduced the “pay-one-price” model where there was a single admission price that included all rides and attractions, instead of having to pay admission as well as buying individual tickets for each ride or attraction. After introducing the pay-one-price model, Disney Land quietly followed suit in 1982. In 1963, the log flume ride, El Asseradero (Saw Mill), was introduced becoming the first of its kind.  The ride was engineered and constructed by Six Flags Over Texas technicians. Guests would ride in a fiberglass log through a replica of an early saw mill, the logs would be lifted and propelled through winding flumes by conveyor belts and rapid flowing water.  The logs would be lifted up a hill to a height of 44 feet before dropping down a long slide at a 45 degree angle splashing into a flume at the end. The park would later introduce the first mine train roller coaster, Runaway Mine Train, in 1966, and then the first free fall ride, the Texas Cliffhanger in 1982 (later removed in 2007). Throughout the past 50 years, many rides and attractions have come and go for various reason, as well as owners and investors.  Unlike other Six Flags parks, Six Flags Over Texas in not owned by Six Flags Theme Parks Incorporated, instead the park is owned by over 120 limited partners. More information on the parks history, ownership and other news about the park can be found at Guide to Six Flags over Texas. -by Jaime Janda