Dale Carnegie's Visit to Galveston

 Dale Carnegie's Visit to Galveston
Ephemera Collection, “Carnegie, Dale.” Galveston and Texas History Center, Rosenberg Library.

By Casey Edward Greene

Dale Carnegie (1888-1955) was a widely recognized author and lecturer on public speaking, salesmanship, and self-improvement. A Missouri native, he worked as a salesman and then in acting before teaching public speaking in New York. His first book, The Art of Public Speaking, appeared in 1915. In 1936, Carnegie authored How to Win Friends and Influence People, which became a best seller. How to Win Friends brought him fame and fortune. Carnegie went on the lecture circuit to speak on and promote his book.

In March 1939, Carnegie came to Beaumont, Texas. His appearance was sponsored by the Beaumont Pilot Club. The Galveston Pilot Club sponsored a trip for local citizens to hear his lecture.

The Galveston Pilot Club brought Carnegie to speak at Galveston on October 30, 1939. Proceeds from the sale of tickets were designated for the Club’s student aid fund. The Galveston Tribune ran Carnegie’s newspaper column in the days leading up to the event.

On October 29, Brantly Harris (1893-1942), Galveston’s mayor, and members of the Galveston Pilot Club welcomed the bestselling author, who had traveled from Amarillo, Texas. Harris took Carnegie on a fishing trip and entertained him. Carnegie autographed copies of his book at Rosenberg Library during the day of the lecture. He was honored at a Pilot Club luncheon at Hotel Galvez. That evening, the mayor introduced Carnegie at City Auditorium. The lecture was carried on Ball High School’s public address system for the benefit of students.

After leaving Galveston, Carnegie continued his book tour, with stops at Harlingen, Brownsville, Austin, San Antonio, and other Texas communities.

Today, Dale Carnegie Training, which dates to 1912 when Carnegie began teaching, is a national leader in corporate training.

The accompanying announcement is from a collection of ephemera preserved in the Rosenberg Library. Staff is organizing thousands of pieces of ephemera and scanning representative examples for uploading to the Galveston and Texas History Center’s website.