Care for a corny dog? Fletcher’s State Fair Corny Dogs are the original cornmeal-wrapped hotdog on a stick — invented in 1942 for sale at the State Fair of Texas, by Carl and Neil Fletcher, and still a mainstay. This year you may also purchase deep fried Snickers bars, and deep fried Coca Cola from other vendors. (Photo from BigTex.com)
This is the third day of the 24-day run of the State Fair of Texas. State fairs are loaded with history, generally — but it’s not easy to extract it from some of the fairs. Looking over the program for the Texas Fair, it’s difficult to find something that a Texas history teacher might recommend as a site students ought to see. Oh, the life-size sculpture of Marilyn Monroe, in butter, is a great achievement as temporary art in dairy products goes, but it’s not something that particularly edifies students on the stuff they need to know for Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).
An alert kid might learn something about ranching in Texas, which is part of the TEKS. The State Fair features the Texas Heritage Hall of Honor. “The Hall recognizes individuals distinguished by their significant contributions to agriculture and ranching in Texas,” the website says. Since 1992 inductions have been made to honor people significant in agriculture and ranching. 44 people have been inducted, including those who assembled some of the great, legendary ranches in the state.
There are several museums on the fairgrounds — the African-American Museum, a railroad museum, the Dallas Museum of Natural History and the Dallas Science Museum, the Dallas Aquarium, the Texas Women’s Museum, and a spectacular water garden.
Are there other sites Texas history students ought to see? Please note your favorites in comments. Or tell about your own state fair, please.