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The KHOU-TV Collection - News Clips, March 1964

Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Sound | 1964

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  •  Percy Foreman: Criminal defense attorney Percy Foreman responds to criticism of his decision to represent Jack Ruby. Ruby fatally shot Lee Harvey Oswald while the latter was in police custody for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Ruby was convicted on March 14, receiving a death sentence. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals later overturned the conviction, and Ruby died before the start of a new trial. Foreman was one of the best known trial lawyers in the United States. He is perhaps best known for defending James Earl Ray, the assassin of Martin Luther King Jr.   
  •  Padre Island: Tourists flock to Padre Island 
  •  P. Foreman Takes Upon Ruby Case: Foreman comments on the transportation of his client, Melvin Lane Powers, to Florida for trial. Powers and his aunt, Houston socialite Candace Mossler, were accused of murdering Mossler’s husband, Jacques. Jacques was stabbed and bludgeoned to death on June 30, 1964, at his home in Key Biscayne, Florida. Police arrested Powers three days later, with the prosecution later arguing that Powers and Mossler were lovers hoping to acquire the victim’s multi-million-dollar fortune. According to the New York Times, the Mossler-Powers trial was so lurid that the judge barred spectators under 21. The pair was acquitted in 1966. Powers went on to become a Houston real estate tycoon.  
  •  Funeral Auction: Auction at a funeral home 
  •  Waggner [sic] Carr: Waggoner Carr, then Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, receives the 1961 Good Right Arm Award 
  •  Joan Wilkerson: On the set of a photoshoot 
  •  Motel Holdup - Money Hunt: Spectators search for money lost during a car accident 
  •  Connally on Belli: Press conference with Texas Governor John Connally. Connally condemns comments made by Melvin Belli, a prominent defense attorney, following the conviction of Belli’s client, Jack Ruby. After the jury announced its guilty verdict, Belli began shouting in the courtroom, calling Dallas “a little bit of Russia” and a “city of shame.”  Vowing to quit practicing law if he could not reverse the verdict, Belli went on to exclaim, “This is the greatest railroading kangaroo court of law in history! Now do you believe there is justice and there is an oligarchy in Dallas?”  
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This film from KHOU-TV Channel 11 in Houston contains a series of short news segments that would have aired as highlights to news stories. Many are silent and would have been voiced over by the anchorperson during a live broadcast. The titles for each segment are the originals created by KHOU-TV. The clips on this reel primarily date from March 1964. This series includes interviews with criminal defense attorney Percy Foreman and Texas Governor John Connally about the Jack Ruby murder trial, as well as silent footage of tourists enjoying South Padre Island.
The digital preservation of this collection was made possible by a grant to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image and the Houston Public Library from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Many more films from the KHOU-TV Collection are available on the Houston Public Library Houston Area Digital Archives website.
Born in 1918 in Hunt County just East of Dallas, Waggoner Carr graduated from Lubbock High School and Texas Tech University. After service as a pilot for the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, Carr completed a law degree at the University of Texas at Austin. Elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1950, Waggoner Carr went on to serve two terms as the Speaker of the House in 1957 and 1959. After losing a 1960 bid for state Attorney General to incumbent Will Wilson, Carr later ran successfully for the 1962 and 1964 terms.
The 38th Governor of Texas, John Bowden Connally Jr., was born on a farm near Floresville, Texas, on February 27, 1917. Connally graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1941 with a law degree and was subsequently admitted to the State Bar of Texas. He began his political career as a legislative assistant to Representative Lyndon B. Johnson in 1939. The two retained a close but often torrid friendship until LBJ’s death. After returning from U.S. Naval combat in the Pacific Theater, Connally joined an influential Austin law firm, served as LBJ’s campaign manager and aide, and became oil tycoon Sid W. Richardson’s legal counsel. Connally’s reputation as a political mastermind was solidified after managing five of LBJ’s major political campaigns, including the 1964 presidential election. In 1961, Connally served as Secretary of the Navy under President John F. Kennedy.
Wealthy financiers like Sid Richardson and a strong grassroots network of supporters helped Connally win his first gubernatorial election in 1962. The three-term governor fought to expand higher education by increasing teachers’ salaries, creating new doctoral programs, and establishing the Texas Commission on the Arts and the Texas Historical Commission. In 1969, President Richard Nixon appointed Connally to the foreign-intelligence advisory board. He was named the 61st Secretary of the Treasury in 1971. Connally became one of the President’s principal advisors and headed the Democrats for Nixon organization, finally switching to the Republican Party in 1973. Connally is also remembered nationally for being in the car with President Kennedy during his assassination in Dallas in 1963, when Connally received wounds in his chest, wrist, and thigh. 
The former Texas governor announced in January 1979 that he would seek the Republican presidential nomination. His campaign was abandoned after media attacks over a controversial public speech and bank partnership. Financial troubles befell Connally by the mid-1980s after a real estate development partnership with former Texas Representative Ben Barnes collapsed. John Connally died on June 15, 1993, and is interred at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.