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The KHOU-TV Collection - News Clips, June 2 - 4, 1966
Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Sound |
1966 |
| English
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  • Highlights
    Charter Comm, 06/02/66: Mayor Louie Welch and the Houston City Council convene a meeting of the city charter committee
    Turrentine on Ref. Omit, 06/02/66: Harris County Clerk R. E. Bob Turrentine comments on the possible implications of an election foul-up. Nearly 14,000 ballots cast in the May 7 Republican primary were invalidated after it was determined that they had omitted a pledge to support the GOP nominee in the general election. The pledge was required under the Texas Election Code. As a result, county officials were presumably left with only 36 absentee ballots to determine the election. This posed a particular problem for those running for justice of the peace positions. While all three candidates ran unopposed, they had not received any votes from the valid absentee ballots. By the time the mistake was uncovered, however, Turrentine had already certified the results and the deadline to contest the election had passed. 
    Valley Labor, 06/03/66: Laborers process melons at La Casita farm in Rio Grande City. La Casita was a subsidiary of Hardin Farms in Salinas, California, one of several major growing ranches at the center of the Starr County Strike. The farms produced a quarter of all honeydews in the country, but paid their workers unfair wages and subjected them to inhumane conditions. 
    Rio Grande Valley Strike, 06/03/66: KHOU reporter Nick Gearhart covers the Starr County Strike, or Farmworkers Melon Strike, happening in the Rio Grande Valley. He announces a federal court in Corpus Christi upholding a state court injunction against the Independent Workers Association, which picketed and lead strikes against the major melon farms in Starr County. 
    Gearhart interviews Eugene Nelson, a leader of the Independent Workers Association. Nelson moved to South Texas from California, where he had helped direct the grape pickers strike alongside Cesar Chavez and the National Farm Workers Association. When he arrived in the Rio Grande Valley, he organized workers with the demands for higher wages—$1.25 and hour, versus 40 cents an hour—and the right to bargain collectively. In this segment, Nelson mentions an occurrence where a spray rig sprayed some of the protesters. Demonstrations would continue for over a year. 
    Gearhart interviews Ralph Ross, assistant manager to La Casita, who acknowledges delayed production as a result of the pickets. Approximately 80 percent of area farmworkers quit on June 1, effectively shutting down every packing shed in Starr County. "We picked this time to begin our strike because it's the melon season and the growers are more vulnerable," Nelson said in a 1966 interview. "The growers will weaken before we will. People are more durable than cantaloupes."
    Melon Strikers Lyin, 06/04/66: Farm laborers picket outside melon growing ranches with signs reading "Huelga," or "Strike" 
    Red Cross Swimmers, 06/04/66: Lifeguards with the American Red Cross teach a course on how to rescue someone from drowning in a swimming pool