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The KHOU-TV Collection - News Clips, September 12 - 20, 1968

Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Sound | 1968

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  •  Astronauts, 09/20/68: Press conference with the Apollo 7 flight crew: Commander Wally Schirra, Command Module Pilot Donn Eisele, and Lunar Module Pilot Walt Cunningham. Schirra explains how emergency egress procedures have changed following the AS-204 tragedy. AS-204, later named Apollo 1, was scheduled to be the first manned spaceflight of the Apollo program. A month before liftoff, a cabin fire broke out on the spacecraft during a launch rehearsal test. All three crewmembers, unable to escape, perished.  
  •  09/20/68 
  •  Mexican Bandit, 09/20/68: Police question a suspected thief 
  •  Welch on Lake, 09/16/68: Houston Mayor Louie Welch announces the specs of a planned lake 
  •  Garbage piled on the street 
  •  Red Cross, 09/18/68: Volunteers with the American Red Cross pack holiday donation bags 
  •  Knife Slaying, 09/18/68: Investigators search the crime scene of a murder 
  •  09/18/68 An unidentified man, most likely either City Manager John Unverferth or a member of the Galveston City Council, comments on the status of a strike by garbage collectors. On September 16, more than 70 garbage employees called in sick to protest too low wages and too long working hours. (Members of Galveston’s Municipal Employees Union Local 656 were contractually barred from striking.) Only three supervisors and four garbage collectors reported for work. Despite threats from Unverferth to fire anyone whom he determined falsely called in sick, the walkout continued, with some 140 employees from the city’s sewage and water departments joining the protest on September 19. The unofficial strike ended that night, when union members voted 113-13 to accept the city council’s offer of a $15 per month wage increase and overtime pay. Upon returning to work the following morning, garbage employees agreed to work 12-hour days until the refuse that had accumulated during the strike was collected.  
  •  4-Alarm Fire, 09/19/68: Firefighters battle an intense blaze 
  •  Dead fish litter the bank at Morgan’s Point. Bob Cross, regional supervisor at the La Porte regional office of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, reportedly blamed the fish kill on a lack of oxygen in the water. An estimated 30,000 fish died. 
  •  Mother/School Board, 09/12/68: KHOU reporter Judd McIlvain interviews a group of mothers about their demand of the Houston Independent School District Board of Trustees to provide better transportation for its students 
  •  Grand Jury/McMaster, 09/12/68: Outside a grand jury hearing about an arson case 
  •  Welch, 09/12/68: Mayor Welch shares in confidence in Houston Fire Chief Jake Cook in providing all the necessary evidence to the grand jury. Cook served as fire chief from 1968 to 1973.  
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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 September 12 to 20, 1968. This series features news segments about Apollo 7, a Galveston garbage collectors’ strike, and an arson investigation.
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 members of the LGBTQ community 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.