UT Dallas Magazine

#UTD50 | A Look at 1969

05.24.2019

In 1969 the price of gasoline was $0.33 per gallon; the first laser printer was created; “Sesame Street” premiered — and The University of Texas at Dallas was formed.

On June 13 of that year, Gov. Preston Smith signed House Bill 303 in the shadow of the Founders Building.

The legislation, which went into effect on Sept. 1, 1969, transitioned the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies into The University of Texas at Dallas.

It was a year of change for the University. But what else happened in 1969?

Leading Dallas

UT Dallas co-founder J. Erik Jonsson serves as the mayor of Dallas, a position he would hold until 1971.

 

Broadway Joe Leads the Way

Jan. 12: The New York Jets win Super Bowl III (their only championship) by defeating the Baltimore Colts 16-7. Joe Namath is named the game’s MVP.

 

End of an Era

Jan. 30: The Beatles play their last public performance atop the roof of Apple Records in London.

 

One Small Step

July 20: Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin take the first steps on the moon. They leave behind a plaque that reads, “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.” Southwest Center for Advanced Studies scientists trained astronauts on what to look for in moon rocks.

 

Peace, Love and Happiness

Aug. 15-18: The Woodstock Music and Art Fair is held on a dairy farm in upstate New York. Performers include Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who, Sly and the Family Stone and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

 

SCAS ➡️ UTD

Sept. 1: The Southwest Center for Advanced Studies officially becomes The University of Texas at Dallas. Physics, biology and geological sciences are the first PhDs offered. Sixty-two graduate students are enrolled at the new UT Dallas.

 

The Story Begins

Sept. 26: “The Brady Bunch” begins its five-season run. (And we know this gif isn’t from the original show but we love it too much not to include it.) Other shows to debut during 1969 include “Sesame Street,” “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” and “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!”

 

Start of a Long Friendship

Country artist Willie Nelson starts playing his guitar, Trigger, and he’s been playing it ever since.

 

Births

Among those celebrating 50th birthdays this year are Emmitt Smith, Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Jay-Z, Ice Cube, Cate Blanchett, Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston.