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LBJ and Homer Thornberry Discuss the Budget (1960)

Wallace and Euna Pryor

Sound | 1960

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  •  LBJ asks Thornberry to give audiences an overview of the actions Congress has taken in regards to government spending 
  •  LBJ outlines the three bills where spending has increased 
  •  Further actions that will be made by the House before before adjournment 
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A seemingly informal conversation between President Lyndon Baines Johnson and Texas Representative Homer Thornberry is captured in this black and white 1960 news footage as the two men discuss matters of the budget. Thornberry served as a U.S. Representative from 1948 to 1963. President Johnson, who was a Texas Senator at the time of this film, and Thornberry give audiences an overview of where Congress stands in regards to government spending and future legislative action.
Known to many as the “Voice of the Longhorns,” Wally Pryor served as the announcer for UT sports from 1953 until 2002. While his voice was certainly recognizable he also played an active role as a producer – for KTBC, amongst others – and regularly served as an emcee for various events. Wally regularly worked as a producer for his older brother Richard “Cactus” Pryor. The films in the Wally Pryor collection represent a range of films from home movies, to various pieces he produced, films featuring himself, and several films featuring Cactus Pryor.
Thirty-sixth president of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, was born on a hill country farm near Stonewall, Texas on August 27, 1908 to Samuel Ealy Johnson, a former Texas legislator, and Rebekah Baines Johnson.  He attended Southwest Teachers College, now Texas-State University, graduating with a degree in history and social science in 1930. LBJ spent one year as principal and teacher in Cotulla, educating impoverished Hispanic elementary school students. LBJ became the secretary to Texas Congressman Richard M. Kleberg in 1931; the four year position helped him gain influential contacts in Washington. Johnson married Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor on November 17, 1934.
LBJ acted as Director of the National Youth Administration in Texas from 1935 to 1937. Johnson won his first legislative election in 1937 for the Tenth Congressional District, a position he held for eleven years. He was a firm supporter of President Roosevelt’s New Deal and in 1940 acted as Chairman of the Democratic Campaign Committee. In 1948, following his service as a Lieutenant Naval Commander during World War II, LBJ ran as the Democratic nominee for Senate. In a cloud of controversy, he narrowly defeated former Texas Governor Coke Stevens and easily beat his Republican opponent in the general election.  Before winning his second senate term, LBJ was elected Majority Whip in 1951, became the youngest ever Minority Senate Leader in 1953, and was voted Majority Leader in 1954. Johnson unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1960 but was selected to be Vice-President under John F. Kennedy. 
Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as Commander and Chief aboard Air Force One following President Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963 and won reelection in 1964. President Johnson passed landmark legislation with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Debate over military efforts in Vietnam intensified in late 1963 when the President stated that the United States would not withdraw from Southeast Asia. Escalation of the war against North Vietnam brought disapproval from Democrats, claiming the efforts were misguided, and from Republicans who criticized the administration for not executing sufficient military vigor. Antiwar protests, urban riots, and racial tension eroded Johnson’s political base by 1967, which further dissolved following the Tet Offensive in January 1968. On March 31, 1968, President Johnson announced that we would not seek a second Presidential term.
After returning to Texas, Johnson oversaw the construction of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum on the University of Texas campus in Austin. Throughout his political career, LBJ was an influential figure in Texas affairs; his policies brought military bases, crop subsidies, government facilities, and federal jobs to the state. After suffering a massive heart attack, former President Johnson died at his ranch on January 22, 1973. In February of the same year, NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston was renamed the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, in honor of one of the country’s most influential Texans. 
William Homer Thornberry was a democratic politician born in Austin on January 9, 1909. His parents, William and Mary, were both deaf and taught at the State School for the Deaf and Blind. Homer graduated from Austin High School and earned his bachelor’s and a law degree from the University of Texas.  He was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1937, where he remained until 1941. He briefly served as a District Attorney for Travis County before enlisting the Navy during World War II. He also sat on the Austin City Council and served as Mayor Pro Tempore. 
In 1948, Thornberry was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, taking over Lyndon Johnson’s seat. He remained until his resignation in 1963, when President Kennedy appointed him to the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. He held that position until 1965, when President Johnson appointed him to be a judge on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where he presided over many civil rights cases. He was nominated to serve on the Supreme Court when Abe Fortas was poised to replace Chief Justice Earl Warren, but that nomination was rescinded when Fortas withdrew his own nomination. 
Thornberry was elected to the Austin High School Hall of Honor in 1983, and he received the Leon Green Award from the Texas Law Review Association of the University of Texas Law School in 1986. He was married to Eloise Engle until her death in 1989, and he died on December 12, 1995 in Austin.