Dallas is a major city in the state of Texas and is the largest urban center of the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the United States.According to the 2010 United States Census, the city had a population of 1,197,816. The United States Census Bureau's estimate for the city's population increased to 1,281,047, as of 2014.
Preceded by thousands of years of varying indigenous cultures, the Caddo people inhabited the Dallas area before Spanish colonists claimed the territory of Texas in the 18th century as a part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. The area remained under Spanish rule until 1821, when Mexico declared independence from Spain, and the area was considered part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. In 1836, the Republic of Texas, with majority Anglo-American settlers, gained independence from Mexico to become a distinct nation.In 1839, Warren Angus Ferris surveyed the area around present-day Dallas. John Neely Bryan established a permanent settlement near the Trinity River named Dallas in 1841. The Republic of Texas was annexed by the United States in 1845 and Dallas County was established the following year. Dallas was formally incorporated as a city on February 2, 1856.With construction of railroads, Dallas became a business and trading center, and was booming by the end of the 19th century. It became an industrial city, attracting workers from Texas, the South and the Midwest.On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Elm Street while his motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas. The upper two floors of the building from which Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy, the Texas School Book Depository, have been converted into a historical museum covering the former president's life and accomplishments.