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The Dow Chemical Collection - 20th Anniversary Celebration (1963)

Lake Jackson Historical Museum

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  •  The anniversary festivities coincided with Lake Jackson’s Plantation Days celebration, hence the women in period costume 
  •  Dow engineer Fred Latham oversaw the plaque dedication ceremony. Latham suggested the Founder’s Day celebration during a meeting of the Lake Jackson Jaycees.  
  •  The plaque reads: The Citizens of Lake Jackson hereby honor A.P. Beutel and Alden B. Dow, through whose vision and determination was created this City of Enchantment in the heart of a great oak forest of Brazoria County. 
  •  Founder’s Day parade 
 
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In May 1963, Lake Jackson residents commemorated the 20th anniversary of the city’s founding with a week-long celebration. Festivities included a carnival, king and queen contest, cake walk, pancake supper, as well as a screening of films and slides from Alden B. Dow’s personal collection documenting the building of Lake Jackson. The festivities culminated on May 18 with a Founder’s Day program, seen in this film. First, Lake Jackson’s two founders—Alden B. Dow, son of Dow Chemical founder Herbert Henry Dow, and Dr. A.P. Beutel, the head of Dow Chemical’s Texas Division—delivered remarks to the crowd and oversaw the plaque dedication ceremony. Attendees then enjoyed a parade, fish fry, frog-jumping contest, fiddler’s contest, scout sky divers, and costume contest. Only the parade is captured in this footage.
Dow Chemical, headquartered in Midland, Michigan, is one of the world’s largest chemical companies with numerous plants and facilities all over the world. Dow Chemical’s involvement in Texas began in 1940 with the construction of the Freeport Plant in Freeport, Texas. This plant was primarily tasked with extracting magnesium from sea water, a much needed resource America's military effort in World War II. The development of the city of Lake Jackson, which served as a home for Dow employees, coincided with the construction of the Freeport Plant and as such share a mutual history. Dow Chemical in Freeport became part of a larger transformation of the Texas Coast into a major center of the oil and chemical industry.