News From Harlingen, Texas

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Harlingen Officially Unveils Southwest Airlines Founders’ Mural

Harlingen, Texas­–Today, Harlingen City leaders welcomed Southwest Airlines representatives for the unveiling of the Herb Kelleher Mural in Downtown Harlingen.  Kelleher who passed away last year was a true friend to Harlingen.  In 1975, he chose Harlingen as the airlines’ fourth destination following its initiation of service in 1971 from Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio as a new start-up air carrier.


City leaders credit his vision of providing low cost, reliable, and convenient air service for a huge part of the success of Valley International Airport.  Mayor Chris Boswell honored Kelleher saying the mural is a small token of gratitude from a community that is eternally grateful for recognizing the importance that Harlingen and the Rio Grande Valley region would come to mean to Texas and the nation.


Brad Hawkins, Southwest Airlines Senior Advisor to the Executive Office and Chief Spokesman for the West Coast, Hawaii, and Latin America/Caribbean traveled to Harlingen to participate in the ceremony.  He thanked the City for the mural and for taking a chance on Southwest Airlines in 1975 when City leaders agreed to become the fourth location the air carrier would service.  It’s a relationship that has worked for both parties.  Hawkins said, 45 years ago they had about 300 employees, today the Southwest family consists of more than 60,000 people.


The mural located at 123 West Jackson was designed and painted by artist Angel Hernandez who has created several in downtown Harlingen and others in the RGV such as the one in Mission honoring Tom Landry.





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