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The KHOU-TV Collection - News Clips, January 3 to February 13, 1968

Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Sound | 1968

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  •  Hospital, 01/30/68: Hospital staff move patients and pack up equipment in preparation for the closure of the Southern Pacific Hospital. Established in 1910, the 125-bed facility served Southern Pacific Railroad employees in Texas and Louisiana. Today, the building houses the Thomas Street Health Center, a freestanding HIV/AIDS clinic.  
  •  Rice Truck, 02/12/68: Firefighters showcase a new special equipment truck and the variety of tools it carries 
  •  Raymond Claus[?], 02/05/68: A KHOU reporter asks a local repairman about the economic reprisals he experienced after reporting horrific conditions at Arkansas prison farms. Alleged brutality and unreported deaths in the Arkansas prison system was the subject of state investigation throughout the 1960s. The case culminated on January 29, 1968, when an inmate led authorities to the location of three unmarked graves. On March 8, an Arkansas grand jury decided that the bodies had actually been buried in an old prison cemetery, and that their exhumation was merely a publicity stunt orchestrated by the new prison superintendent for personal gain.  
  •  Traffic Fatal, 01/31/68: Law enforcement on the scene of a fatal traffic accident 
  •  Railroad Strike - Jones Lamoda, 01/31/68: One gentleman stresses a railroad company’s commitment in supporting Vietnam War efforts. Another summarizes two recent incidents where protesters or strikers disrupted train service.  
  •  Welch on Dr. Pigford, 02/13/68: A KHOU reporter asks Houston Mayor Louie Welch about plans to replace city health director following the resignation of Dr. C. A. Pigford. Pigford left the post to become a department head at the University of Texas School of Public Health.  
  •  Liquor by the Drink, 02/13/68: State Representative Cletus “Cowboy” Davis comments on the possibility of the Texas Legislature passing legislation to allow the sale of mixed alcoholic beverages and liquor by the drink. In 1971, the legislature responded to a public referendum by creating a mixed beverage permit authorized on a local-option basis. Davis served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1967 to 1971.  
  •  Dr. Stock SOF on Cancer, 02/13/68 
  •  Post Office, 02/12/68: Representatives with the Independent Postal System of America (IPSA) crowd around a map to plan potential coverage areas. Founded in Oklahoma City in February 1968, IPSA was a private mail delivery service for bulk mail. The company expanded to Texas in August, opening offices in Dallas and Wichita Falls. In 1973, a federal grand jury indicted  IPSA officials for mail fraud. The company collapsed amid the ensuing legal battle.  
  •  IPSA founder Tom Murray 
  •  Yarborough Announces, 01/03/68: Don Yarborough announces his candidacy for governor of Texas. The Houston lawyer made three unsuccessful runs for the office.  
  •  Hemisfair Tower, 01/03/68: Construction on the Tower of the Americas for HemisFair ‘68 in San Antonio. The World’s Fair opened on April 6.  
  •  Computer Learning, 01/03/68: Individuals practice using new technology like computers, push-button telephones, and record players 
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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 January 3 to February 13, 1968. This series includes news segments about a hospital closure, potential liquor by the drink legislation, and construction of the Tower of the Americas for HemisFair ‘68. Houston lawyer Don Yarborough also announces his candidancy for governor of Texas.
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 many of Houston’s African Americans. 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. 
Don Yarborough was a lawyer and liberal politician known for his interest in civil rights and for his multiple unsuccessful runs for governor of Texas. 
Yarborough was born in New Orleans on December 19, 1925, and had a humble upbringing in Louisiana and Mississippi at the height of the Great Depression. When he was 12, his parents, Don and Inez, moved the family to Houston. Following the end of World War II, Yarborough served in China with the US Marines and was impacted by the vast suffering he witnessed there, which may have influenced his interest in social justice that later drove his career. He graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1950 and briefly returned to the Marines as a judge advocate before starting his own law firm in Houston.
Yarborough’s interest in civic matters led him to politics, and he soon gained exposure for being one of the first Southern politicians to publicly support the Civil Rights Movement. His first attempt at holding office was a run for lieutenant governor of Texas in 1960, which he lost. Two years later, Yarborough ran for governor. He narrowly lost the Democratic nomination in a runoff election to John Connally, who went on to win the general election. Yarborough attempted to unseat Connally in the 1964 and 1968 elections, but was unsuccessful. 
After this last defeat, Yarborough returned to practicing law before becoming a Washington lobbyist. He turned his focus to funding medical research, especially for paraplegia, and he was also interested in stopping the spread of nuclear weapons with the Council for a Livable World. 
Yarborough died of Parkinson’s disease on September 23, 2009.
The 1968 HemisFair was a World’s Fair held in San Antonio to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the city’s founding. It was the first World’s Fair to be held in the southwest, and its theme was “Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas.” From April 6 to October 6, 1968, the HemisFair welcomed over six million visitors. Famous attendees included Bob Hope, Louis Armstrong, Princess Grace of Monaco, President Lyndon B. Johnson and his family, and Texas Governor John Connally. There were many attractions, including exhibits, a monorail, a lagoon, and a variety of performances. Perhaps the most controversial was a show called the “Flying Indians of Papantla,” during which four men tied to ropes revolved down a 114-foot pole. The complaints stemmed from a mock sacrifice at the beginning of the show, which involved a chicken and a topless woman. This was swiftly edited out of the show. 
The popular River Walk was extended in order to meet the site of the fair, and many new buildings were constructed in the downtown area to accommodate exhibitions from over 30 countries and 15 organizations. Some of these buildings remain, most notably the Tower of the Americas, which was the main symbol of the fair. The area is now known as HemisFair Park.
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