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The KHOU-TV Collection - News Clips, June 18 - July 9, 1968

Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Sound | 1968

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  •  Cook Honored, 07/09/68: Fire Chief C. R. Cook receives a commendation  
  •  Champion Explosion, 07/09/68: Crews respond to an incident at the Champion Papers plant 
  •  Tax Advantage, 07/05/68: KPRC reporter Judd McIlvain asks residents whether or not they will shop outside the Houston city limits to avoid paying a higher sales tax. In 1968, the Texas Legislature approved an increase the state sales tax from two to three percent. The city sales tax would consequently rise from three to four percent effective October 1. Houston was one of 14 Texas cities to levy the city sales tax following its approval by the state legislature in 1967. 
  •  Kid Hit by Truck, 07/05/68: First responders and bystanders give aide to a young boy hit by a car 
  •  Butler on Reagan, 07/01/68: J. R. “Butch” Butler, state chairman of Texans for Ronald Reagan, responds to Senator John Tower’s endorsement of Richard Nixon for Republican presidential nominee prior to the Republican National Convention. Delegates to the Texas Republican Convention had selected Tower as favorite son. (The nomination of a favorite son was a political technique widely used in the 19th and 20th centuries to allow state leaders to negotiate with leading candidates over the support of their delegation.) By announcing his support for Nixon, Tower also released state delegates to the national convention from continuing the favorite son strategy. Butler sees the move as an attempt by Nixon supporters to dodge an open convention. Nixon was ultimately nominated on the first ballot. Forty-one of the 56 Texas delegates voted for him. 
  •  Strike Settled, 07/01/68: Ships in the Houston Ship Channel following the end of a three-day strike by the 55,000-member AFL-CIO National Maritime Union. The strike idled 128 ships on the East, West, and Gulf Coasts. The agreement to end the strike provided seamen a five percent increase in base wages and an addition 15 vacation days.  
  •  Acres Homes Buses, 07/01/68: Acres Homes residents wait for the bus at the corner of West Montgomery and West Little York Roads. Before its annexation by the City of Houston in 1967, Acres Homes was considered one of the largest unincorporated African-American communities in the South. 
  •  B. Jordan on Liquor, 07/01/68: Then Texas State Senator Barbara Jordan explains her opposition to a liquor by the drink bill. On June 18, the House approved a law that would legalize the public sale of liquor by the drink in two-ounce bottles. The measure then moved to the Senate, where it died by a three-vote margin on June 28. 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.  
  •  Investors Exhibit, 06/24/68: In a time before Shark Tank, inventors showcase their products at an exhibit in the hopes of finding an investor 
  •  NASA, 06/26/68: News conference at the Manned Spacecraft Center announcing that the Apollo 101 spacecraft is qualified for manned space flight. NASA authorized the spacecraft following the successful completion of a thermal vacuum test, during which astronauts astronauts Joseph Kerwin, Joe Engle, and Vance Brand spent nearly eight days aboard a test model. 
  •  Astronaut Joseph Kerwin, leader of the test crew. He reportedly called the spacecraft “a clean bird.”  
  •  Astronaut Joe Engle on sharing close quarters 
  •  Poor Kids, 06/19/68: Members of the Delta Gamma chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority organize a trip to a medical laboratory as part of its Delta Teen Lift program. Founded at Howard University in 1913, the Delta Sigma Theta sorority emphasizes public service supporting the African-American community. The sorority’s Delta Gamma chapter was established at Texas Southern University in 1949. 
  •  Purcell on Tax, 06/19/68: State Representative Glenn Purcell describes legislation he proposed in relation to the farm to market road program. Purcell served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1967 to 1969.  
  •  Davis on Liquor Bill, 07/02/68: State Representative Cletus “Cowboy” Davis weighs the chances of the state legislature passing liquor-by-the-drink legislation under consideration during a special session of the 60th Texas Legislature. The measure died following a Senate filibuster. Davis served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1967 to 1971.   
  •  Escapee Shot, 07/08/68: Houston police deliver an arrested individual to the jail for booking 
  •  Wharton County Sheriff’s Deputy Jack Tyler relates his account of a police-involved shooting. James Earl North, 17, escaped from the Wharton County jail on July 7. He was recaptured in Houston later that day. Tyler and fellow Wharton County Sheriff’s Deputy W. J. Mitchell were tasked with returning North to jail. According to Tyler, North attempted a second escape when the deputies stopped at a service station to repair a flat tire. Tyler said he fired six shots in North’s direction after North disregarded orders to stop. North was fatally shot in the back below his shoulder.  
  •  Gun Laws, 07/03/68: Meeting of the Houston Bar Association to discuss gun regulation. The national debate surrounding federal gun control legislation that began with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 reached new heights in 1968 with the assassination of his brother, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, on June 6. Congress ultimately passed the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 and the Gun Control Act of 1968 to ban the mail-order sale of handguns, rifles, and shotguns as well as prohibit certain felons, drug users, and those found mentally incompetent from buying guns.   
  •  Medal of Honor Arrive, 07/03/68: Five Texans receive Medals of Honor for their military service. George O’Brien Jr. of Midland, a former Marine, won his medal for heroism during the Korean War. Lucian Adams and Daniel Lee of San Antonio, Eli Whiteley of College Station, and James Logan of Kilgore were awarded for bravery during World War II. All four served in the US Army. The five winners rode as guests of honor in a July 4 Cavalcade of Flags celebration from Houston to Galveston.  
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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 18 to July 9, 1968. This series features news segments about city sales taxes, liquor-by-the-drink legislation, and the national debate surrounding gun control in the aftermath of the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Also included is a news conference announcing the readiness of the Apollo 101 spacecraft.
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.
Barbara Jordan was born in Houston's Fifth Ward in 1936, the daughter of a Baptist minister and domestic worker. Jordan attended Texas Southern University, where she was a member of the debate team. She was the first woman to travel with the team and, along with debate partner Otis King, integrated tournaments in the South, consistently sweeping competitions. Jordan went on attend Boston University School of Law, finishing in 1959. After practicing private law in Houston, again with Otis King, she entered the political arena.
Jordan was the first African American elected to the Texas Senate since 1883 and the first southern black female elected to the United States House of Representatives. On July 12, 1976, Jordan became the first African-American woman to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, a speech that is still lauded as one of the best in modern history. After retiring from politics in 1979, Jordan taught ethics at the University of Texas at Austin Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Among many other honors, Jordan was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994.
In 1996, Barbara Jordan died of complications from pneumonia, a result of her battles with both multiple sclerosis and leukemia. She rests in the Texas State Cemetery, the first African-American woman to be buried there. 
Harris County
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Houston Fire Department
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Judd McIlvain
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Ronald Reagan
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Glenn Purcell
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James Earl North
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Jack Tyler
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W. J. Mitchell
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Lucian Adams
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George O’Brien Jr.
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James Logan
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