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Austin Veterans Memorial Committee Service for JFK, November 25, 1963

Gordon Wilkison

Sound | 1963

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  •  University of Texas Longhorn Band plays the Star Spangled Banner 
  •  Prayer of Intercession 
  •  Presentation of Colors 
  •  University of Texas Longhorn Band plays Chopin’s Funeral March (Piano Sonata No. 2. in B flat minor, 3rd movement) 
  •  Laying of Wreaths 
  •  21-Gun Salute - “Smokey” the cannon 
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On November 25, 1963, one hour before John F. Kennedy’s funeral in Washington D.C., the Austin Veterans Memorial Committee held a memorial service in front of the Texas State Capitol. An address was given by Judge W.A. Morrison of the Court of Criminal Appeals; prayers were offered by Rabbi Sheldon Lilker of the Hillel Foundation of the University of Texas, Father Joseph F. Houser of San Jose Catholic Church,and Reverend Robert S. Tate of the First Methodist Church. A 21-gun salute was sounded, and the University of Texas Band played the National Anthem and Chopin’s Funeral March.
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.