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The KHOU-TV Collection - News Clips, June 19 - 24, 1968

Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Sound | 1968

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  •  Holcomb [sic] Dies-Council, 06/19/68: Houston Mayor Louie Welch shares his memories of former mayor Oscar Holcombe, who passed away on June 18 at the age of 79. Holcombe served as mayor for 11 nonconsecutive terms totaling 22 years.  
  •  NASA, 06/19/68: Astronauts undergo spaceflight training using the Apollo mission simulator at the Manned Spacecraft Center 
  •  Train Wreck, 06/23/68: Crews attempt to move freight cars and repair track after a train derailment near Humble. The Southern Pacific train was en route from Houston to Shreveport, Louisiana, when the derailment occurred on the morning of June 23. Thirty of the 43 cars that left the track were carrying freight. No one was injured. 
  •  Car Show, 06/23/68: Vehicles on display at the Classic Car Showcase 
  •  Telescope, 06/23/68: Construction of the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson, Arizona 
  •  Sen R. Hall-Liquor by Drink, 06/24/68: State Senator Ralph Hall comments on the state of a liquor-by-the-drink bill under consideration during a special session of the 60th Texas Legislature. On June 18, the House approved a law that would legalize the public sale of liquor by the drink in two-ounce bottles. In spite of Hall’s optimism, the measure died in the Senate 10 days later by a three-vote margin. The possibility of liquor by the drink legislation—allowing for the sale of mixed alcoholic beverages in restaurants and bars—was a prominent topic during the 1968 election season. The practice would not be completely legalized until 1971, when the legislature responded to a public referendum by creating a mixed beverage permit authorized on a local-option basis.  
  •  Whale, 06/24/68: Veterinary staff treat Nemo the whale after an incident at Sea-Arama Marineworld in Galveston. Soon after entering his tank for the first time, the 1,000-pound whale struck a glass porthole with his tail. The resulting surge of water sucked the whale through the opening and into a dry pit that separated the tank from the spectators’ seats. Nemo suffered multiple lacerations, and swam around the partially water-filled pit until 10 handlers could lift him back into the tank. Sea-Arama had only recently acquired the whale from Sea World in San Diego, California.  
  •  Child Authority - Dr. Hunter, 06/24/68: Dr. Madeline Cheek Hunter leads a working group about childhood education. In an interview with KHOU reporter Ron Pierce, she discusses educational approaches for gifted students. Hunter developed the Instructional Theory into Practice teaching model, a direct instruction program implemented across thousands of schools across the country.  
  •  Mayor on Sales Tax Increase, 06/24/68: Houston Mayor Louie Welch on proposed tax increases and its impact on the city. He is likely referring to the $125-million tax bill introduced by Governor John Connally on the first day of the special session.  
  •  Bush on Tax Hike, 06/20/68 Congressman George H. W. Bush comments on the House approval of legislation that stipulated a tax increase as well as a $6 billion reduction in the next year’s federal expenditures 
  •  Liquor Vote, 06/20/68: On the floor of the Texas Senate, state legislators debate the liquor-by-the-drink bill 
  •  One state legislator takes issue with the mini-bottle provision of the bill, calling it “subterfuge” to get around the prohibition of open saloons. The Senate voted to remove the section of the bill authorizing the consumption of liquor in miniature bottles before ultimately voting down the entire measure.  
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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 June 19 to 24, 1968. This series features news segments about the astronaut training at the Manned Spacecraft Center, liquor-by-the-drink legislation under consideration during a special session of the 60th Texas Legislature, and an incident at Sea-Arama Marineland in Galveston.
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. 
As the scope of the American space program grew, NASA’s Space Task Group realized it would need to expand into its own facility if it were to successfully land a man on the Moon. In 1961, the agency’s selection team chose a 1,000-acre cow pasture in Houston, Texas, as the proposed center’s location site, owing to its access to water transport and commercial jet service, moderate climate, and proximity to Rice University. In September 1963, the facility opened as the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC). 
The Center became the focal point of NASA’s manned spaceflight program, developing spacecraft for Projects Gemini and Apollo, selecting and training astronauts, and operating the Lunar Receiving Laboratory. Beginning with Gemini 4 in June 1965, MSC’s Mission Control Center also took over flight control duties from the Mercury Control Center at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. As a result, the facility managed all subsequent manned space missions, including those related to Projects Gemini and Apollo, the Apollo Applications Program, the Space Shuttle Orbiters, and the International Space Station.
In 1973, the MSC was renamed in honor of the late President and Texas native Lyndon B. Johnson. (As Senate Majority Leader, Johnson sponsored the 1958 legislation that established NASA.) The Center continues to lead NASA’s efforts in space exploration, training both American and international astronauts, managing missions to and from the International Space Station, and operating scientific and medical research programs.
Opening in 1965, Sea-Arama Marineworld in Galveston was one of the first ocean theme parks in the nation. It spanned across 25 acres, including a four-acre ski lake and a 200,000-gallon aquarium. The park offered a variety of attractions, from shows with dolphins and Mamuk, the killer whale, to alligator wrestling and snake charming to a water-ski performance. 
By the late 1980s, Sea-Arama needed major renovations. After Sea World opened in 1988, the park found it difficult to compete and unwilling to invest in the dying park’s revitalization. Sea-Arama closed on January 14, 1990. The ruins of the park remained until 2006, when it was finally torn down.
George Herbert Walker Bush is the 41st President of the United States and the father of George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States. 
Bush was born on June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts, to Prescott Bush, a US senator from Connecticut, and Dorothy Walker Bush. He spent his youth in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Andover, Massachusetts, where he become involved in student government, sports, and the school newspaper. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, he became an aviator for the US Navy. 
Bush married Barbara Pierce in 1945, and they eventually had six children: George, Robin, John (called Jeb), Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy. After earning a degree from Yale University, Bush moved to Midland, Texas, to work in the oil industry, eventually starting two companies. The family then moved to Houston, where Bush began to pursue a career in politics and served as chairman of the Republican Party in Harris County. After a failed campaign for US Senate, he won an election to the US House of Representatives in 1966 and served two terms for Texas. In 1970, he attempted to win a seat in the Senate, but lost again. 
After this defeat, Bush was appointed by President Richard Nixon to be an ambassador to the United Nations. He then served as chairman of the Republican National Committee, chief of the US Liaison Office in the People's Republic of China, and director of the CIA. In 1980, Bush lost the Republican nomination for president, but was chosen as Ronald Reagan’s running mate. He was Vice President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. 
Following Reagan’s second term, Bush was elected president. During his term, he secured a peaceful partnership with Russia at the end of the Cold War, and he led Operation Desert Storm to free Kuwait from Iraq. Despite these successes, Bush’s popularity suffered due to the weak economy, and he lost reelection for a second term to Bill Clinton. He and Barbara returned to Houston in 1992, where they continue to live. 
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