This home movie captures scenes of the 1928 Democratic National Convention held in Houston, Texas. The convention was the first held in any southern state following the Civil War. New York Governor Alfred E. Smith, a strong opponent of prohibition, took the presidential nomination. Ross Sterling was likely attending the convention due to his political involvement in the state of Texas.
Ross Sterling was the 31st Governor of Texas from 1931-1933. He was born in Chambers County's Anahuac, Texas on a farm and moved to Sour Lake in 1903. Sterling married Maud Abbie Gage in 1898; they were the parents of five children - Walter, Mildred, Ruth, Ross Jr., and Norma. At the age of 36, Sterling developed his two oil wells into Humble Oil and Refining Company, which later became part of Exxon-Mobil. He was also involved in banking and owner of the Dayton-Goose Creek Railway Company. After moving to Houston in 1925, he began working in real estate and bought two newspapers, the Houston Dispatch and the Houston Post. He was elected to office in 1931. During his term as governor, he made several controversial decisions, including declaring martial law in 4 East Texas counties, in an effort to save the oil industry from self-destruction during the Depression. He was defeated for a second term by Miriam "Ma" Ferguson and returned to Houston where he continued to work in several industries, including serving as president of the Sterling Oil and Refining Company from 1933 to 1946. Sterling died in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1949.