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The KHOU-TV Collection - News Clips, November 3 - 29, 1966

Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Sound | 1966

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  •  Elliot-Lyons [sic], 11/03/66: Interviews with the two candidates running for Harris County Commissioner for Precinct 4: Democratic incumbent  E. A. “Squatty” Lyons and Republican challenger Bill Elliott. Both candidates discuss their campaigns, goals, and criticisms of each other. Lyons won reelection by approximately 3,000 votes. He served on the Harris County Commissioners Court from 1942 to 1989.  
  •  Doars Scouts, 11/11/66: Investigators working for Assistant US Attorney General for Civil Rights Joan Doar gather information about the Houston Independent School District. The school board invited Doar and his team to Houston to probe the district’s compliance with federal desegregation laws. This investigation came just months after HISD was the subject of a federal civil rights lawsuit. Onesephor and Yvonne Broussard argued that the construction of new schools in predominately black neighborhoods perpetuated de facto segregation by preventing black and white students from integrating within schools beyond the residential perimeter. A characteristic of residential or neighborhood segregation, the creation of schools within specific neighborhoods reinforced the existing pattern of segregated schools. On July 13, Judge Alan Hannay ruled against the plaintiffs, finding insufficient evidence that the school district acted against the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954).  
  •  Doar, 11/11/66: Interview with Doar about the investigation and steps taken by HISD to integrate its schools. HISD Superintendent Glenn Fletcher (possibly the man seen walking down the stairs) accused the investigators of using “amateurish” methods in their probe. Doar denied any “sneaky” tactics. On December 27, HISD received a letter detailing the the Justice Department’s findings. Doar informed Robert Eckels, president of the school board, that Houston was not following its announced plan to desegregate schools. The assistant attorney general gave the school district bad marks on faculty desegregation, bus transportation, and operation of a freedom of choice plan. “I will resist all efforts of using the school district as a tool of the Civil Rights Movement,” Eckels replied in a statement. “I’m not inclined to do something just because the attorney general says it’s the law.” Although United States District Court Judge Ben C. Connally ordered HISD to integrate beginning in 1960, the transformation was slow and often ineffective. It took Houston decades to completely desegregate its public schools, and questions of de facto segregation remain. 
  •  Clingor, 11/14/66: Firefighters rush to save a man clinging to a scaffolding. Once on the ground, officials find him clinging to a framed marriage certificate. 
  •  Neil Todd, 11/17/66: Inside the Harris County Courthouse 
  •  Pears Resigns, 11/23/66: Harris County Hospital District Administrator James Pears announces his resignation from the post. Pears cited lack of authority as his reason for leaving. A recent grand jury probe of district operations resulted in changes that limited Pears’ influence with the board of managers. 
  •  3 Alarm Fire, 11/26/66: A crowd observes as firefighters attempt to extinguish a fire 
  •  Mayor Welch on Pollution Bill, 11/29/66: Houston Mayor Louie Welch speaks about a proposed pollution legislation and his reliance on recommendations from the city’s health department 
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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 November 3 to 29, 1966. This series includes news segments about a Justice Department probe of the Houston Independent School District, the resignation of the Harris County Hospital District Administrator James Pears, and anti-pollution legislation. Also included are interviews with county commissioner candidates E. A. “Squatty” Lyons and Bill Elliot prior to a November 8 election.
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.