For our sixth installment of vintage photos mashed with their present-day locations, we entered the doomed Reliant Astrodome with photos from a 1968 Astrodome tour guide. It highlighted numerous events the dome accommodated It opened in 1965 as the Harris County Domed Stadium. From being the home of the Houston Astros and the Oilers, it was also host to three-ring circuses, boxing matches, rodeos and basketball games. Billy Graham set records with a 1965 visit, and the Dome hosted a political rally featuring President Lyndon B. Johnson.
8. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus (at this time was owned by the families of Roy Hofheinz, Irvin and Israel Feld)
7. President Lyndon B. Johnson visits the Astrodome.
6. Billy Graham's Crusade for Christ in 1965 brought over 61,000 people to the Astrodome.
Here's an interesting video showcasing the visit:
5. The Houston Cougars and UCLA played before the world's largest basketball crowd on January 20, 1986. A record that held until 2003.
4. The Astro Grand Prix -- World's largest midget auto race.
3. World Championship Boxing. The site of World Championship fights constantly set indoor boxing attendance records.
2. Houston Astros and AstroTurf. The history-making facet, originally called ChemGrass, was added in 1966 and was a product of the Chemstrand Company, a division of Monsanto Chemical Company. Major league baseball had never been played on carpet before and it was expected to become the regulation surface for all of baseball.
1. Astrodome. In 1968, the Astrodome attracted more than 4 million people. Referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World. It was the biggest project of its kind ever built.
It was the largest indoor arena in the world. It's the largest clear-span building ever constructed. It was the world's largest air-conditioned stadium. It was the first major league stadium with a roof over it. It was the first all-purpose, weather-free, combined sports stadium and convention center. It was equipped with the world's largest electrical scoreboard. It is four and a half times the diameter of Rome's Pantheon, largest dome ever erected until the 20th century.
There was no end to the list of world records the Astrodome was destined to break. All the records broken in the world probably won't save the Astrodome, but at least we've got the memories and its legacy.
For More Astrodome Coverage:
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