Setting the Record Straight
In today's climate, towns with plagued pasts are being brought into questions. Personally I've heard many rumors regarding the racism that once lived in Dallas. Many feel they know the "real truth" surrounding the past of our town. For a year now, I have been researching Dallas's history. 90% of this research has been done in partnership with the Polk County Historical Society. The truth of our community (and surrounding areas) is on full display there. If you want to know something in particular that isn't on display, their fabulous volunteers will research through years of newspaper articles and the archives in the museum to find any/all information regarding the topic. I too, have heard the rumors that the Dallas High School mascot, the Dragon, was chosen because of the klan activity that was rampant in Polk County. I decided to do some investigation into this as it was too horrible to believe. Again, the Polk County Historical Society came to the rescue and provided me with the REAL TRUTH around the dragon being chosen as the mascot for our high school. Below is an excerpt from the 1938 high school yearbook: "The Leader's club was formed this year by the Executive Council in order to bring the different organizations in the high school together under one unit and to promote school spirit.
The Club has been very active. Through its efforts, a badly needed school emblem has been chosen. The Student Body chose "Dragons" for it's emblem from a list of five names selected by the Leaders Club. The club next raised donations to buy new basketball warm-up suits with the Dragon emblem on them. Those are the white satin with orange decorations and presented a striking appearance at the State Tournament."
Here is an excerpt from a 1938 article"
"In 1937 the schools in the Valley League that Dallas and Independence belonged began talking about ways to increase school spirit. At the time, Dallas was known as the 'Prunepickers" and Central was known as the 'Hopsters'. It was decided to adopt ferocious animal names. In 1938 the Dallas High Leaders Club chose Dragon to represent their school, Central chose Panthers. "
After further discussion with local historian, the story goes the club came up with 5 options for a new symbol and put it out to vote from the Student Body. Only two of the options started with a "D", which was desired for it's alliteration. The two options were 'Dolphins' and 'Dragons'. The student body voted on Dragons.
It is hard to believe that a school mascot would be chosen based on a racist nature. The student body chose the Dragons, as it was way more fierce and intimidating that the "Dallas Dolphins".
Want to learn more about the history of Dallas, join the Dallas Area Visitors Center on one of their upcoming History and Mystery Tours! Tickets are available here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/history-mystery-paranormal-tour-of-dallas-oregon-tickets-107083423402