We recently noticed a neat piece of our Southwest history being discussed on the SWA Culture Facebook page—unique belt buckles celebrating past events! In particular, an Employee shared a buckle that recognized our 10th anniversary in 1981.
Within our archive, we have several of these commemorative pieces, and I recently had the opportunity to learn a little more about them. Thankfully we are fortunate enough to have some great People here today to help tell the story of how they came about.
The first buckle we have within our collection is from 1979—the same year the Wright Amendment was born—to commemorate Southwest's expansion beyond the borders of Texas when we launched service to New Orleans. It recognizes our first Dallas – New Orleans flight on September 28, 1979, which was actually our second destination from “The Big Easy” after Houston opened about seven months earlier.
Our President at the time, Howard Putnam, had promised Employees a celebration once our Company became an interstate airline. To help make good on the commitment, Marketing organized a party at the Circle R Ranch here in Dallas. And what better to go along with the western theme than a big belt buckle? They were such a hit that that we continued to make belt buckles for new city openings and various Company milestones.
I always enjoy the opportunity to learn more about unique pieces of our history and Culture. Do you have a favorite piece of our Southwest story that you would like to share? We’d love to see it – don’t forget to use the hashtag #SWAPics when uploading to social media.