Mayor Sworn In, 01/03/66: Houston Mayor Louie Welch is sworn into office for his second of five terms
Kerns on Bookies, 01/04/66: Harris County Sheriff Buster Kern discusses the difficulties in catching illegal bookkeeping. Kern was the longest serving sheriff in Harris County and developed a reputation for strict enforcement against gambling and organized crime.
Viet Nam Soldier Award, 01/04/66
Clarke Com. 01/05/66: Congressman Clark W. Thompson, Democratic member of the House of Representatives from Houston's 9th District, retired from office on December 30, 1966. This clip is possibly footage of a retirement dinner.
Carr, 01/05/66: Attorney General Waggoner Carr speaks about an unknown federal court decision. Though he confesses to not have read the decision yet, he is relieved that the court sustained the position of Texas in a prompt fashion.
Yarbrough [sic], 01/05/66: At a press conference, Senator Ralph Yarborough acknowledges requests for him to run for governor, but announces his choice to remain in the Senate
Yarbrough [sic], 01/05/66: Yarborough continues speaking about liberal progress within the Democratic Party and the state of Texas
Westmont Bank, 01/05/66: A journalist interviews an officer about a bank robbery at the Westmont Bank
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 January 3 to 6, 1966. This series includes an interview with former Harris County Sheriff Clairville "Buster" Kern, as well as a press statement from Senator Ralph Yarborough and an interview with Attorney General Waggoner Carr.
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.
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 Houston's African-American community. 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 homosexuals 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.
Born in 1918 in Hunt County just East of Dallas, Waggoner Carr graduated from Lubbock High School and Texas Tech University. After service as a pilot for the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, Carr completed a law degree at the University of Texas at Austin. Elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1950, Carr went on to serve two terms as the Speaker of the House in 1957 and 1959. After losing a 1960 bid for state attorney general to incumbent Will Wilson, Carr later ran successfully for the 1962 and 1964 terms.
In 1966, he unsuccessfully challenged Republican John Tower for his seat in the U.S. Senate at the price of his seat as attorney general. In 1968, he attempted a run for Texas governor, then retired from politics. He spent his later years serving on the Texas Tech University board of regents, as state commander of the American Legion, and on citizens' commissions in Austin and on the state level. At the time of his death in 2004, Carr was writing books about Jesse James and the past attorney generals of Texas.
Ralph Webster Yarborough, known as "Smilin' Ralph," was a U.S. senator representing Texas from 1957 through 1971. Yarborough was born in Chandler, Texas in 1903 as the seventh of nine children, and went on to attend Sam Houston State Teachers College as a young man before attending the University of Texas, where he graduated from the law school in 1927.
In 1931, Yarborough began a short but notable career as an assistant attorney general. As an expert in Texas land law assigned to represent the interests of the Permanent School Fund, Yarborough won a number of cases against major oil companies such as Magnolia Petroleum and Mid-Kansas, through which he was able to guarantee that public schools and universities receive revenues from Texas oil. This litigation has since brought billions of dollars to public education.
In 1938, Yarborough decided to run for attorney general but lost; it would take another 12 years for him to run for any kind of office again. In the interim, he served in the Texas National Guard and the U.S. Army during World War II. In 1952, running against conservative incumbent R. Allan Shivers for the governorship, Yarborough lost his second race. He continued this losing streak against Shivers in the 1954 primary and then again against Senator Marion Price Daniel, Sr. in 1956. In 1957, however, he was able to win Daniel's vacated seat in the senate next to Lyndon Baines Johnson.
In the senate, Yarborough pursued a progressive agenda, first refusing to sign the Southern Manifesto against desegregation and then being one of only five Southern senators to sign the Civil Rights Act of 1957. For the environment, he pushed through a bill to elevate Padre Island to the status of National Seashore. For education, he introduced the first Bilingual Education Act in 1967, which was signed into law a year later. He worked to expand health care funding and to extend the G.I. Bill to Cold War veterans. In 1969, Yarborough chaired the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare.
Aside from his legislation, Ralph Yarborough is also remembered for riding in the 1963 Dallas motorcade in which John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The story goes that, being at odds with several of the other politicians on the President's tour, Yarborough originally refused to share a car with LBJ, who was friends with his rivals. This so outraged Kennedy that on the morning of the motorcade he took Yarborough aside and threatened to end their friendship if Yarborough did not cooperate. The senator conceded and ended up just two cars behind the president when he was fatally shot that afternoon. When interviewed about that day, Yarborough described it as "the most tragic event of my life."
In 1970, Yarborough lost his seat in an upset election against Lloyd Bentsen. While he ran once more for office, he did not win again.
In 1996, Yarborough died at the age of 92. He is buried in Austin at the Texas State Cemetery.