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The KHOU-TV Collection - News Clips, August 16 - September 23, 1966

Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Sound | 1966

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  •  Welch on HLP, 08/16/66: Houston Mayor Louie Welch answers questions about a possible energy rate reduction. The Houston City Council threatened a public hearing of Houston Lighting and Power in April 1966 following a controversy over whether the company’s earnings were excessive.  
  •  R.R. Crossing Accident, 08/18/66: An accident occurs between a car and a Southern Pacific train car 
  •  Whitmans Brain Press Conf, 08/ /66: Texas Governor John Connally calls a press conference on August 8 to designate the research responsibilities of a fact-finding committee following the UT Tower shooting. The 11-member Connally Commission sought to understand the circumstances that led to Charles Whitman’s killing spree and establish methods to prevent such events from occurring in the future. The committee’s report, released on September 8, found that Whitman suffered from a brain tumor, drug abuse, and child abuse, but was unable to make a psychiatric diagnosis.  
  •  Whitmans Brain, 08/ /66: Dana L. Farnsworth, M.D., professor of Hygiene and director of University Health Services at Harvard University, explains the committee’s findings about Whitman’s mental state. Farnsworth served as an independent consultant to the Connally Commission.  
  •  C Whitfield on Legal Foundation, 09/13/66: State Representative J. Charles Whitfield Jr. comments on a woman’s request for free legal services through the Houston Legal Foundation. He argues that Ms. Davis is not qualified for such services since her family income exceeds the maximum requirement. Whitfield served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1961 to 1967.  
  •  Astronauts Wife (Conrad), 09/15/66: Press speak with Jane Conrad and Barbara Gordon, wives of NASA astronauts Pete Conrad and Richard Gordon, following the Gemini 11 mission. Gemini 11 launched from Cape Kennedy on September 12, conducting the first direct-ascent rendezvous with the Agena Target Vehicle. Richard Gordon performed two extravehicular activities. The spacecraft splashed down on September 15, only 1.5 miles away from its intended target.  
  •  The Conrad’s three eldest children: Peter, Thomas, and Andrew 
  •  Barbara Gordon and her daughter, Diane 
  •  Channel Fire, 09/23/66: Firefighters put out a fire at a ship yard 
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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 all date from August 15 to September 23, 1966. This series includes news segments about the Connally Commission, which sought to analyze the brain of Tower shooter Charles Whitman. Also included are interviews with Congressman J. C. Whitfield Jr. and Jane Dubose Conrad, wife of NASA astronaut Pete Conrad.
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.
Politician Louie Welch was born in Lockney, Texas, on December 9, 1918. He received a degree in history from Abilene Christian College, now Abilene Christian University.
Welch began his political career in 1950, serving four terms on the Houston City Council. He unsuccessfully sought the Houston mayoral office three times before being elected to the position in 1963. Houston grew immensely during Welch’s five terms as mayor, from the population topping one million people to the opening of the Astrodome in 1965 and the Houston Intercontinental Airport in 1969. 
His tenure, however, was not without its controversy. A 1967 conflict between police and Texas Southern University students created a rift between the local administration and Houston’s African-American community. Welch’s reputation also came under fire during his last term over his relationship with well-known crime leaders, leading to suspicions about how his second mayoral bid was financed. 
In 1985, Welch ran for mayor again, campaigning in opposition to the extension of job protection rights to homosexuals employed by the city government. He lost to incumbent Kathy Whitmore. 
Welch died from lung cancer on January 27, 2008, in his Harris County residence. He was 89. 
On the morning on August 1, 1966, 25-year-old former student Charles Whitman ascended to the observation deck of the University of Texas at Austin Main Building with multiple weapons and 700 rounds of ammunition and began shooting indiscriminately on persons below. The rampage ended 96 minutes later, when Austin police officers Ramiro Martinez and Houston McCoy, alongside University Co-op employee Allen Crum, reached the observation deck and shot Whitman dead. Whitman, a former Marine sharpshooter, killed 14 people and injured 31 on campus. He had earlier murdered his mother, Margaret Elizabeth Whitman, and wife, Kathleen.