Shakey's Pizza Parlor

In the 1960s and 1970s, the taste of pizza and the sound of Dixieland jazz went hand in hand for Wacoans who frequented Shakey’s Pizza Parlor. Shakey’s, the nation’s first franchise pizza chain, would become famous for pioneering a winning…

Marvin C. Griffin

During the 1950s and 1960s, Rev. Marvin C. Griffin strove to bring the Christian gospel to bear upon the civil rights struggle in Waco. As minister of New Hope Baptist Church from 1951 to 1969, Reverend Griffin preached a message of spiritual…

R. T. Dennis and Co., Inc.

R. T. Dennis and Co. helped furnish the homes of Central Texas for nearly seventy years. Known for its exceptional quality furnishings, R. T. Dennis thrived in downtown Waco and served as the premier home décor destination. Unfortunately, the R. T.…

Owens-Illinois

Owens-Illinois Inc., one of the largest glass bottle manufacturers in the world, originally came out of the famous Glass Capital of the World—Toledo, Ohio—in 1903. With its success came expansion, and the company opened a plant in Waco, Texas, on…

Mission Waco Mission World

Mission Waco has been a cornerstone of the Waco community for decades. Even before the official creation of Mission Waco, founders Jimmy and Janet Dorrell worked hard to make a difference in the impoverished neighborhood of North Waco. After…

The Ku Klux Klan in Waco

The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) stands as one of the most infamous secret societies in American history. The white robes and pointed masks symbolize prejudice, terror, and fear to Americans nationwide. Waco itself, and the greater McLennan County area, served…

Eddie Bernice Johnson

Eddie Bernice Johnson is a champion of minority and women’s rights representing Texas in the United States House of Representatives. Not only that, she fights to support the sciences and women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, medicine)…

Elvis in Waco

Elvis Presley is a name that hardly needs explanation. The king of rock-and roll stands as a cultural icon to this day, but few people know of his connection to Waco and Central Texas. In 1958, at the ripe age of twenty-two, Elvis joined the United…

James Andrew Harris

James Andrew Harris shook the science world in 1969 for two reasons. First, he co-discovered elements 104 and 105 on the periodic table, a massive accomplishment. Second, he was the first African American in history to discover an element. James…

The Waco Pirates

Waco and baseball went hand in glove for over five decades. The famous Katy Park (pinned on map below) was home to multiple minor league teams starting in 1899, one of the most famous being the Waco Pirates. The Pirates brought in two championship…

Jacob de Cordova

Settlers of the Texas Frontier were undeniably an eclectic bunch, and the founders of Waco were no exception. One of the main organizers of the new city was a Jewish, Jamaican-born Spaniard named Jacob de Cordova. De Cordova was not only instrumental…

Waco Regional Airport

For close to a century, passengers flying into Waco have been treated to aerial views of the Brazos River weaving its way through downtown and the sunlight glistening off the towers of Baylor University. Waco today is served by the modern Waco…

Henry William "Hank" Thompson

“The King of Western Swing,” the “living root of country music.” Henry William “Hank” Thompson became a western swing and country music star right from his hometown of Waco. Hank was born in Waco on September 3, 1925 to German-Czech immigrant parents…

Kitok Restaurant

Over the past forty years, Kitok Restaurant has gone from a humble diner to a local institution, known for its blend of American and Korean fare. But when it first opened in 1975, owner Kitok Moore stuck to diner classics and hesitated calling her…

Arvizu v. Waco Independent School District

When initial efforts to racially integrate the Waco Independent School District (WISD) proved insufficient in bringing about educational equality, community members like Pete D. Arvizu took to the courts in protest. The resulting legal battle, Arvizu…

1926 Baylor-A&M Football Riot

When football fans hear “Battle of the Brazos,” they think of an old rivalry between Baylor and Texas A&M (formerly The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas), two schools situated on the Brazos River. Before the days of the Big 12 and the…

Magnolia Table

Positioned on what used to be the only highway through town, Magnolia Table now draws in patrons from around the country and the globe. Though a new restaurant itself, the Table resides in a building with a rich history that has welcomed hungry…

Magnolia Market at the Silos

A decade ago no one dreamed that two abandoned cottonseed silos would become the icon of a burgeoning retail empire—yet that is exactly what happened. After the Brazos Valley Cotton Oil Mill closed in 1958 and the silos ceased to serve as storage in…

Rich Field Army Air Base

In the midst of war, some towns stay far removed from the action. For Waco in 1917, this was far from the case. Engineers and workers broke ground for Camp MacArthur training base in July, famously taking up over 1,300 acres of the small Texas city.…

The NoZe Brothers

The “irreverent gadflies.” When Baylor University students think about the NoZe Brothers today, they picture fellow students performing shenanigans around campus while wearing big plastic noses, wild wigs, and eclectic outfits. They think of The…