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Austin City Council Regular Meeting on Civil Rights (1964)

Gordon Wilkison


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  •  Booker T. Bonner 
  •  Left to right: Councilman Emma Long, Mayor Pro-tem Travis Larue, Councilman Ben White 
  •  Booker T. Bonner's removal from the council chamber 
  •  Brad Blanton, without a coat, standing to Booker T. Bonner's left 
  •  Florence Bonner 
  •  Juanita Overton 
  •  Councilman Emma Long 
  •  Rev. Luther Holland 
  •  Mrs. George Francisco 
  •  Eldon Morris 
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April 16, 1964 - At the Austin Municipal Building, civil rights activists voice their concerns about civil rights and integration in Austin before a Regular Meeting of the Austin City Council. At points the exchange becomes heated, with police forcibly removing one activist and shielding the council from the attendees. This is likely raw camera footage shot for the local Austin television station, KTBC. Because of its raw nature, the image quality is not perfect and the sound quality is poor, often dropping out.

The minutes from this meeting can be found at: http://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=44051

Gordon Wilkison began work as a cameraman at the local Austin television station KTBC (now FOX 7) during 1952, its first year of operation.  At the time the station was owned by the Texas Broadcasting Company, which was owned by Senator Lyndon B. and Lady Bird Johnson. This relationship would continue to shape Wilkison's career well into the next decades - during the Johnson administration, Wilkison covered the president's visits to Texas, preparing material for national and international news correspondents. 
A particularly notable moment in his career occurred on August 1, 1966, when Wilkison and KTBC reporter Neal Spelce risked their lives to capture footage of the Tower shooting at the University of Texas. 
Wilkison was also the General Manager of Photo Processors at the LBJ Broadcasting Corporation, which he later took over and renamed Cenetex Film Labs. In addition to his camera work and film processing, his work at the station also included direction of a number of television film productions.
Outside of KTBC, Wilkison shot, edited, and processed Longhorn football game footage for the University of Texas, a partnership that lasted nearly 30 years.    
Recognizing the historical value of film and news footage, Wilkison kept the material, later contributing hundreds of reels to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image's collection.