The city has just released a series of documentaries outlining the history and significance of Killeen, which the public can view for free online.
The four short videos are the result of more than a year of production and efforts to spread the knowledge of Killeen’s history.
“The purpose of the project is to teach the public about the history of Killeen,” said Hilary Shine, the city’s spokesperson. “By bringing to the forefront the history of Killeen, people will better understand how the city came to be what it is today.”
Together the four videos — “The Train Arrives,” “The Coming of Camp Hood,” “Camp Hood becomes Fort Hood” and “Killeen: City of Diversity” — document the growth of Killeen from a loose gathering of cotton farming communities into the bustling, diverse city it is today.
Winford Hallmark, one of the voices on the videos and president-elect of the Killeen Area Heritage Association, lived in Killeen before the camp was opened in 1942.
The octogenarian said he remembers vividly opening day at Fort Hood, Sept. 18, 1942.
Hallmark was about 13 and the schools had bused the students down to see the tanks and show the fire power of the new World War II Army.
“They fired off a bunch of weapons, and for kids who had never seen that before it was impressive,” Hallmark said. “It was a heck-of-a-time.”
Longtime Killeen residents and historians such as Annette Lucksinger and Richard Powell share their opinions about the relocation of homes and farms to make room for the Army and the uncertainty of Killeen’s fate after World War II.
In each of the next three weeks, the city will premiere a new video.