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 May 1, 1974. This series includes news segments about allegations of forged job reports filed by Johnson Space Center, a possible increase in food prices, a plane crash at Galveston's Scholes International Airport, and political rallies for Democratic gubernatorial nominees Frances Farenthold and Dolph Briscoe as well as Mayor of Houston Fred Hofheinz.
This film was donated to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image by the Houston Public Library and is a part of the Houston Area Digital Archives. Many more films from the KHOU-TV Collection are available on the Houston Public Library Houston Area Digital Archives website.
Politician, activist, and educator Frances "Sissy" Farenthold was born in Corpus Christi, Texas on October 2, 1926. After earning her undergraduate degree from Vassar College in 1946, she attended the University of Texas School of Law, graduating in 1949. Farenthold was one of only three women in her class of 800.
Farenthold began her political career in 1960, campaigning for Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy and serving on various city and county commissions. In 1968, she became a member of the Texas House of Representatives. During her tenure as a state legislator, Farenthold advocated for civil and women's rights, co-sponsoring the Equal Legal Rights Amendment with State Senator Barbara Jordan. (Farenthold and Jordan were the only women serving in the Texas Legislature at the time.)
Farenthold twice campaigned for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Texas, in 1972 and 1974. Both years, she lost the nomination to the general-election winner, Dolph Briscoe. In 1972, Farenthold also became the first serious, and third ever, woman nominated for Vice President of the United States by either major political party. She came in second to the Democratic presidential nominee's choice.
After leaving the Texas House, Farenthold continued to support humanitarian causes and women's rights, serving as the first chair of the National Women's Political Caucus in 1973 and founding the Public Leadership Education Network in 1978. She also worked as a human rights observer with the Institute for Policy Studies.
In 1976, Farenthold became the first female president of Wells College in New York. She left in 1980, returning to Texas to open a private law practice and teach at the University of Houston.
41st Governor of Texas Dolph Briscoe, Jr. was born in Uvalde, Texas on April 23, 1923 to Texas cattleman Dolph Sr. and Georgie Briscoe. He attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he met Betty Jane "Janey" Slaughter. The couple married in 1942. After graduation, Briscoe enlisted in the United States Army, fighting in the China-Burma-India theater during World War II.
Briscoe began a career in politics in 1948, serving as a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1949 to 1957. As a state legislator, he held key chairmanships for the agriculture and highway committees and co-authored the Colson-Briscoe Act, which sponsored the state's farm-to-market road system.
Upon his father's death in 1954, Briscoe returned to Uvalde to head his family ranch rather than seek a fifth term as state representative. He became president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raising Association in 1960, the youngest person to do so.
In 1968, Briscoe reentered the political arena, campaigning for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Texas. While he finished fourth in the 1968 primary race, he ran again in 1972, winning not only the Democratic nomination but also the general election. Briscoe was re-elected in 1974.
During his two terms as Governor of Texas, Briscoe attempted to restore integrity to the state government following the Sharpstown scandals surrounding his predecessor, Preston Smith. He focused on the maintenance of existing government agencies rather than the creation of new ones, signing a series of ethics reform and regulation laws as well as presiding over the first revision of the state's penal code in 100 years. Briscoe also appointed a larger number of women and minorities to government positions than any previous governor.
Spending much of his time at his ranch in Uvalde, Briscoe was often considered an absentee governor. Many, both in and outside the Texas Democratic Party, began to question his performance and effectiveness. (Perhaps the most well known example of Briscoe's apparent lack of enthusiasm came when he unknowingly appointed a dead person to the State Health Advisory Commission.) With liberal Democrats increasingly dissatisfied with his administration and the political backlash against his policies over racial, educational, and economic issues, Briscoe was defeated in the Democratic primary during his bid for a third term by then-Texas Attorney General John Hill. Hill ultimately lost the general election to Bill Clements, the first Republican governor since Reconstruction.
Briscoe left the Governor's Mansion in 1979 and returned to the ranching business. He became increasingly active in philanthropy, donating sizable gifts to the Witte Museum, the University of Texas Heath Science Center at San Antonio, the Kate Marmion Regional Cancer Medical Center, and the Center for American History, the latter of which was subsequently renamed in his honor.
Briscoe died on June 27, 2010 at his home in Uvalde following complications from heart and kidney failure. He was 87.