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Outtakes from The Joanne King Show (1971)

Lois Perucca

Sound | 1971

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  •  Joanne King (now Joanne King Herring) describes a local petition 
  •  In February 1971, Houston Mayor Louie Welch led a delegation of 17 Houstonians on a mission to Paris, France, to talk with communist diplomats about prisoners of war. (Each member represented one of the 17 Houstonians believed to be held in North Vietnam.) Representatives from Hanoi, the Viet Cong, and the National Liberation Front—in Paris for the ongoing peace talks—all declined Welch’s request for a meeting. The Paris Peace Accords were not signed until January 27, 1973. 
  •  King introduces her interview with Count Charles de Chambrun, a French politician who assisted the Houston group in their effort to free prisoners of war 
  •  Another take 
  •  Closing remarks 
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In this unedited footage, socialite and daytime talk show host Joanne King films the opening and closing remarks for an episode of her program, The Joanne King Show. The Joanne King Show was a daytime talk show that aired on Houston’s KHOU-TV and later KPRC-TV. In this 1970s episode, King speaks with Count Charles de Chambrun, a French politician, about a local effort to free prisoners of war in Vietnam. The topic of the segment reveals King’s increasing involvement in international politics. This footage came to TAMI as part of the Patrick S. Coakley Jr. Collection. Coakley was a producer with KHOU-TV.
International socialite and diplomat Joanne King Herring was born Joanne Johnson on July 3, 1929, in Houston, Texas. In the late 1950s, already a fixture of the Houston social circuit, Herring began hosting her own daytime talk show, The Joanne King Show, on KHOU-TV and later KPRC-TV. The show lasted for 15 years. 
By the 1970s, Herring became more involved in international politics. She developed a long association and political relation with President Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan, ultimately serving as the nation’s honorary consul and winning the Tamgha-e-Quaid-e-Azam, or Jinnah Medal, Pakistan’s highest civilian honor.  
Throughout the 1980s, Herring also worked with Charles Wilson, a U.S. Representative from Texas, to persuade the federal government to train and arm the Mujahideen resistance fighters in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, a program later known as Operation Cyclone. Herring convinced Wilson to visit an Afghan refugee camp in Pakistan, an experience that Wilson later credited as the deciding factor in his determination to take action. Their efforts inspired the book Charlie Wilson’s War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History. Actress Julia Roberts portrayed Herring in the film adaptation of the book.
Herring remains a very active figure among Houston’s social circles. In 2009, she founded Marshall Plan Charities to complement U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan by providing villages with clean water, food, health care, schools, and jobs.