Sixshooters replaced shovels for Astrodome groundbreaking this week in 1962
This week in 1962, ground was officially broken for the Harris County Domed Stadium, which would soon be called the Astrodome and would usher in a new era in modern sports.This being Texas regular shovels wouldnt do, so an all-star cast of local dignitaries (Harris County commissioners and other community leaders)famously shot Colt .45 pistols into the dirt.RELATEDRevisiting the dazzling, hidden suites at the top of the Crowne Plaza next to the Astrodome Houston Astros authentication manager and historian Mike Acosta reminds us that they shot blanks towards the dirt that day."Yes, there was no live ammo used that day," he said from his office inside Minute Maid Park.The new Houston baseball team, the Colt .45s, began their inaugural season a few months later at nearby (temporary) Colt Stadium as the Astrodome took shape just a short walk to the south. Fun fact The Astrodome could have been built in Memorial Park but local luminary Ima Hogg shot down the plan as her family had donated the land in the first place.In the end, highway accessibility would prove to be key, as you can see from some vintage site-selection studies from the period https://www.astrosfansgear.com/Carlos_Beltran_Navy_Jersey-400. Now Playing Unranked North Carolina State pulled off one of the NCAA football upsets of the Sixties by defeating the No. 3 ranked University of Houston Cougars on Oct. 7, 1967 on the Cougar's home turf, the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. Media Houston Chronicle, John Boyd As for the pistols used that day, Acosta said that they've been somewhat lost to history, although they would make fine additions to the Astros memorabilia collection. Acosta does have some dirt from the groundbreaking ceremony which was placed in commemorative jars and given out as souvenirs that January day.The Dome took nearly three years to construct, and three workers died building it. Homer B. Williams, a welder, fell to his death in May 1964. Frank Halliburton died during a fall a month earlier. Leon Homer died on the job in 1963. RELATEDWhen the Colt David Paulino White Jersey.45s became the Astros and the origins of other Houston sports team namesThey were working on a structure that many said "couldn't be done," according to the National Register nomination. By the time it opened, the Astrodome had earned another nickname the "Can-do Cathedral," according to the nomination.The teams name was changed to the Astros in December 1964 to match their new digs.The Astrodome opened its doors for the first time on April 9, 1965 for an exhibition game between the Astros and the New York Yankees. Mickey Mantle hit the first home run, but the Astros won the game 2-1 in 12 innings.Craig Hlavaty is a reporter for Chron and HoustonChronicle. He's an intolerable native Texan with too much ink in his skin and too much brisket stuck in his teeth.