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The KHOU-TV Collection - News Clips, September 15 - 23, 1968

Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Sound | 1968

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  •  Kidnapped Girl, 09/23/68: A pair of teenage girls wait in the Houston police station 
  •  Sonia Civillo, 14, explains her reasons for running away from home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her friend, Belonda Mock, denies the report of a ransom demand.  
  •  Police escort Joe Clayton Watts, 19, who was charged with kidnapping Civillo. Authorities picked up the trio on the morning of September 23.  
  •  Bank Robbery Foiled, 09/23/68: Police hold Alton Howard Dunn, center, following a foiled bank robbery. On September 23, Dunn entered the Texas National Bank of Commerce holding a paper bag. According to news reports, he then gave a note to teller Joy Fauss ordering her to put all her money in the bag or else he would blow up the bank. Recognizing Dunn as the man who falsely posed as a US Treasury agent the week before, Fauss calmly alerted bank officials as she complied with Dunn’s demand. Police apprehended Dunn as he exited the bank with $2,733 and charged him with robbery by assault.  
  •  Handcuffed Kid Freed, 09/23/68: A police officer frees a young child who had been handcuffed accidentally 
  •  Pollution, 09/23/68: Industrial representatives attend an air pollution seminar at the University of Houston. Entitled “Air Pollution Control for Chemical Processes,” the seminar combined lectures and discussions about the subject with laboratory demonstrations. It ran from September 23 to 27.  
  •  Dr. August Rosano Jr., seminar director and professor in the Air Resources Program at the University of Washington, talks about the cooperation between industry leaders and government officials 
  •  Galvez Garbage, 09/23/68: Waste piles up in Galveston following a strike by the city’s 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 City Manager John 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.  
  •  C.G. Award, 09/19/68: Awards ceremony for members of the United States Coast Guard 
  •  Bush, 09/19/68: Then Congressman George H. W. Bush explains his proposed legislation to prevent the reporting of projected federal election results in any given state until the polling places in that state have closed. The controversy surrounding television networks’ practice of predicting election outcomes peaked with the 1980 presidential election. Relying on exit polls more than actual returns, NBC projected Ronald Reagan to be the winner by 8:15 pm EST. With almost three hours left before polls closed in most Western states, some felt the early projection discouraged Western voters from casting their ballots. By 1984, networks announced they would not call the outcome of a particular state until all of its polls had closed. Concerns over early projections remain, however, particularly with the unknown reliability of exit poll data and the rise of social media.  
  •  Tornado at Lake Jackson, 09/15/68: Damage around Lake Jackson following a tornado on September 15. According to the Associated Press, the twister tore off part of the roof of the downtown post office before causing further damage at the lumber yard across the street. No injuries were reported.  
  •  Speakers at the 50th annual convention of the American Legion, held in New Orleans from September 10 to 12. Democratic presidential nominee and then Vice President Hubert Humphrey spoke on September 11. Republican presidential nominee Richard Nixon delivered an address the following day.  
  •  N.E.A. Pres. on Teachers, 09/15/68: In her speech at the convention, National Education Association President Elizabeth Duncan Koontz stresses the need for improve public education for soldiers returning from the Vietnam War. Elected in 1968, Koontz was the agency’s first African-American president.  
  •  09/15/68 
  •  A pair of dancers perform Tinikling, a traditional Philippine folk dance, before a rapt audience 
  •  Fuzz, 09/19/68: A KHOU reporter interviews two men arrested by Houston police about rumors of police misconduct 
  •  Rep. Graves on Coalition, 09/19/68: State Representative Curtis Graves expresses his personal support for presidential nominee Hubert Humphrey, but stops short of committing the endorsement of the New Democratic Coalition of Texas, for which Graves served as chairman. He then explains the purpose of the coalition. On September 14, some 250 liberal Democrats from across the state met at the Driskill Hotel in Austin. During the 10-hour meeting, billed as a state convention, attendees established the group’s governing structure and debated how to proceed with the presidential election following a contentious Democratic primary. (As Graves comments here, the coalition resolved to allow its members to decide their preference for Humphrey for themselves.) Delegates also approved more than a dozen resolutions, including one calling for the abolition of the Texas Rangers and another opposing the reappointment of Frank Erwin to the University of Texas Board of Regents. Creation of the coalition followed liberal Democrats’ dissatisfaction with party leadership, particularly Governor John Connally, at both the state and national conventions. In his remarks at the meeting, Graves called the state party establishment “Democratic in May and Dixiecrat in November.” Graves served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1967 to 1973. Along with Barbara Jordan and Joe Lockridge, Graves was one of the first African Americans elected to the Texas Legislature since 1896.  
  •  Barnes, 09/20/68: Texas House Speaker Ben Barnes addresses local vending machine firms at an event in Houston. KHOU reporter Judd McIlvain asks Barnes about a special House committee investigating possible tie-ins between vending machine companies and beer taverns. Barnes’ comment about possible threats refers to statement made to the committee alleging Mafia involvement in the vending machine industry.  
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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 15 to 23, 1968. This series features news segments about a foiled bank robbery, a tornado in Lake Jackson, and a special House inquiry into the vending machine industry. Also include are scenes from the American Legion convention in New Orleans and a press conference with State Representative Curtis Graves about the formation of the New Democratic Coalition 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.
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. 
Born in 1938 in Gorman, Ben Barnes won a seat to the Texas House of Representatives while still a student at University of Texas Austin. By 1963 he was chairman of the influential Rules Committee and in 1965, at the age of 26, Barnes was elected the youngest House speaker in state history. During his time as speaker, he prioritized the financial needs of the state's colleges and universities, helped pass legislation enforcing a minimum wage for farm laborers, and played a significant role in the passage of clean air and water legislation.
Harris County
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Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Texas Treasures
KHOU Channel 11
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television news
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news footage
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law enforcement
Houston Police Department
Sonia Civillo
Civillo, Sonia
Belonda Mock
Mock, Belonda
Joe Clayton Watts
Watts, Joe Clayton
bank robbery
crime scene
Texas National Bank of Commerce
Joy Fauss
Fauss, Joy
Alton Howard Dunn
Dunn, Alton Howard
air pollution
University of Houston
August Rosano Jr.
August Rosano
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Air Pollution Control for Chemical Processes
Galveston County
Coast Guard
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awards ceremony
George H. W. Bush
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Lake Jackson
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tornado damage
natural disaster
lumber yard
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Hubert Humphrey
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American Legion
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Richard Nixon
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Elizabeth Duncan Koontz
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Vietnam War
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folk dance
traditional dance
Philippine folk dance
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Curtis Graves
Graves, Curtis
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