As we mark the 50th anniversary of that sad day in American history, there is a timely picture of Chief R. H. “Dagger” Dickerson (left), Austin Fire Marshal W. Heaton (second from right), and other fire prevention members with Texas Governor John Connally. This picture was taken in October, 1963 to promote fire safety month in Texas. Just one month prior to the shooting. Gov. Connally was riding in the seat ahead of President Kennedy and was severely wounded in the shoulder, wrist, and thigh by the lethal bullet.
There always seems to be a solemn innocence in pictures of people just prior to a tragic event.
Thanks to our wonderful neighbors at the O. Henry Museum and the Susanna Dickinson Museum the Austin Fire Museum is now open Saturdays and Sundays from 12PM to 5PM. They are assisting the Fire Museum with staffing and curating and we are eternally grateful. All three museums are next door to each other, reasonable size, and FREE ADMISSION. A mini museum row, if you will. Located a block from public parking, the Austin Metro Rail, the Austin Convention Center, and Historic 6th Street, all three of our museums provide an easy opportunity for both walk-in visitors or someone planning a specific trip.
The Austin Fire Museum will be open from 1PM-5PM this Saturday, April 27th for our annual San Jacinto Day open house. This is a great opportunity to visit for the first time or see some of our new acquisitions.
Preston Culver with the Austin Fire Department photography department created a great video paying tribute to the first African American firefighting trailblazers in the State of Texas. In September, 1952, Willie Ray Davis, Nat Kindred, and Roy Greene were hired by the Austin Fire Department. Marvin Douglas, hired just a few months later, is featured in the video and is the oldest surviving member of this first wave of black firefighters hired 12 years before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. During this era of segregation, all of the initial black firefighters were assigned to Old Fire Station 5.