This tourism film from the early 1970s showcases the many activities available in Galveston, from the Galveston Island Shrimp Festival to exhibits at the American National Archives. Also featured are long-gone attractions like the Darrell K Royal Invitational Golf Tournament and Sea-Arama Marineworld.
Darrell K Royal was a collegiate football coach revered for leading the Texas Longhorns in twenty winning seasons from 1957 to 1976.
Royal was born on July 6, 1924, in Hollis, Oklahoma. His middle name, K, has been said to represent his mother, Katy, who died of cancer when Royal was a baby. He experienced more tragedy with the deaths of two of his sisters at young ages. During the hard economic times of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, Royal had to supplement his father's income by taking on a paper route and picking cotton. His family was so poor that he used a can of baking powder as a football until he and his brothers were able to pool their money to buy a real one.
With the outbreak of World War II, Royal joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. While playing football for the 3rd Air Force team, he was scouted by the University of Oklahoma. There he majored in business and became a star quarterback and defensive back. When he graduated, Royal knew he wanted to coach football. He held assistant coaching positions at North Carolina State, Tulsa, and Mississippi State. He briefly coached the Edmonton Eskimos in Canada before returning to Mississippi as head coach in 1954, where he remained for two years.
In 1956, Royal became head coach at the University of Texas, where he became the most successful coach in the history of the program. In his first year, he quickly turned the losing team into a winning one, ending the season with an appearance at the Sugar Bowl. Royal remained for a record twenty years without a single losing season. During his tenure, Texas won national championship titles in 1963, 1969, and 1970. They also won eleven Southwest Conference titles and went to sixteen bowl games. Although he received some criticism for his coaching tactics, Royal was ultimately considered a legend. He retired in 1976, but stayed at Texas as an athletic director for four more years. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983, and the football stadium at the University of Texas was renamed in his honor in 1996.
Royal married Edith Thomason in 1944, and they had three children: Mack, David Wade, and Marian. Two of his children, David and Marian, preceded him in death. Darrel Royal died on November 7, 2012, from complications of Alzheimer's. His wife founded the Darrell K Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer's Disease in his honor.
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.