It’s a good time to remember that the Astrodome groundbreaking was the absolute embodiment of Texas.
The Astros are in the driver’s seat of the ALCS, so let’s revisit some fun miscellany about the team. This photo from Jan. 3, 1962 shows the groundbreaking for what then was just called the “World’s First Air Conditioned Domed Stadium,” and would become the Astrodome when it was completed in 1965.
Why the heck are they using guns?
The men pictured aren’t just using guns, they’re specifically using Colt revolvers. There’s an obvious reason for this: From 1962 to 1965 the team was called the Houston Colt .45s, before the team changed its name to coincide with the opening of the Astrodome to pay homage to Houston’s place in the space program.
Why were they called the Colt .45s?
You might be surprised to know this wasn’t some weird 1960s corporate tie-in. At the time there was a contest to decide what to name the team, which was won by a Texas resident named William Irving Neder. Neder’s concept was that the Colt .45 was the “gun that won the west,” so it embodied the spirit of Texas.
Don’t forget that “winning the west” meant murdering Native Americans and taking their land. Astros is much, much better.
Isn’t shooting at the ground a bad idea?
I mean, it’s dirt — so probably not. Sure, there’s a chance you could ricochet off a rock or something, but that never happened.
Is there any memorabilia from this weird groundbreaking ceremony?
In fact, there is. Dirt that was shot out of the ground was put in a decorative jar. It’s not like you can buy it or anything, but still — someone needed to collect dirt that was shot out of the ground by a bunch of guns.
Is this the weirdest groundbreaking ceremony ever?
I’d say yes, until I found this photo of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mickey Mouse and Sylvester Stallone using dynamite to open construction of Planet Hollywood at Walt Disney World in 1993.