Six Flags Over Texas turns 50

Me (center) at Six Flags in 1962

Six Flags Over Texas opened on August 5, 1961. I made my first visit on June 13, 1962, but I’m celebrating the 50th anniversary of the park with everyone else this year in acknowledgement that the park existed before I arrived.

I have been to Six Flags repeatedly over the years and I now take my daughter there for several days every year. I have also developed a collection of Six Flags items including postcards from the earliest days of the park. I thought I would revisit some of the old cards before I visit the park again this week.

Here are some of my favorites with their original captions.

"CROCODILE ATTACK -- French Section: Here visitors experience high adventure as they explore the dangerous Lavaca River with adventurer Rene Cavelier Sieur de LaSalle and his men."


"THE 'ASTROLIFT' AND HUMBLE'S HAPPY MOTORING FREEWAY -- Modern U.S.A.: Here visitors drive futuramic sports cars over the highways of tomorrow. The 'Astrolift' transports passengers 50 feet in the air along a 1,050 foot cable for a panoramic view of the entire park."


"TAKE COVER! -- French Section: A salvo from a Spanish Fort sends up geysers of water around a boatload of adventurers. Many hazards still away those who dare venture with Frenchman Cavalier De LaSalle in his search for the Mississippi River."


"ANIMAL KINGDOM -- U. S. Section: The baby elephant and his constant companion, the white burro, are visited by a typical Texas Cowgal. Here baby animals from all over the world can be seen and, in most cases, petted by visitors to Six Flags Over Texas."


FIESTA TRAIN -- Mexican Section: Here visitors ride the gay fiesta train. Colorful animated Mexican characters lend a contagious holiday spirit at Texas' exciting new entertainment center.


"QUICK-DRAW POKER -- Texas Section: Judge Roy Bean and his friends play a hand of Frontier Poker while awaiting the next session of court. The hangman's noose is ready for action, for outlaws receive quick justice here at Six Flags Over Texas."


"CHOW CALL -- U.S.A. Section: Feeding time for the harbor seals in the unique Animal Kingdom at Six Flags Over Texas. The Animal Kingdom has many varieties of strange and familiar animals from all over the world for you to feed and pet."


"ANIMAL KINGDOM -- U.S. Section: Under colorful canopies, visitors young and old come to Six Flags Over Texas to feed and pet baby animals of all kinds in perfect safety."


"BUTTERFIELD STAGE RUN -- Confederate Section: The Butterfield Overland Stagecoach carries visitors through buffalo country at Six Flags Over Texas."

The chain has gone national and the historic themes have largely been brushed aside. Still, Six Flags Over Texas still tells us something about our state and how Texans see ourselves.


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