In April, 1954, Fredericksburg, VA, cutover to dial. It was such a big deal that the newspaper printed a special section describing in detail the cutover process, the telephone company, and ads by customers. see (right side):
see also front page: (right bottom) "Carefully detailed midnight operation to give city long awaited dial phones".
I live in Fredericksburg and know the newspaper article you're talking about. That was the cutover was to a #5 Crossbar on 25 April 1954 that served as regional tandem to C&P Telephone (Fredericksburg area and areas to the southwest and northwest, Fredericksburg and Wilderness Telephone (to the west) Commonwealth Telephone (to the north) and Tidewater Telephone (points to the south and east). The rest of the region was ALL step by step. Fredericksburg was the last area to cut over to dial, as the other areas mentioned were already dial between circa 1949 and 1953.
That 5XB served the area well until December 1975 when a 1AESS was installed to handle toll traffic to and from the region. The 5XB and
1AESS were eventually cut over to a 5ESS that still serves the area and still serves as the regional tandem.
Oh, and due to various mergers over the course of time, the entire area is now all Verizon!