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The Jim Wright Collection - Humphrey Campaign Rallies (1968)

Texas Christian University

Silent | 1968

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  •  Governor of Texas John Connally speaks to the press 
  •  Congressman Jim Wright (far right) shakes hands with the governor 
  •  Then-Vice President Hubert Humphrey arrives 
  •  Political rally in Fort Worth 
  •  Humphrey gets fired up 
  •  Dinner in honor of Humphrey 
  •  Flight to Dallas 
  •  Political rally in Dallas 
  •  Campaign casualty? 
  •  First Lady Lady Bird Johnson makes an appearance 
 
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In 1968, then-Vice President Hubert Humphrey won the Democratic Party’s nomination for president and embarked upon a national tour to build support for his candidacy. Included amongst the many stops he made were visits to Fort Worth and Dallas, captured in this footage. After landing at Carswell Field, Humphrey visits with several Texas politicians, including Governor of Texas John Connally and United States Congressman Jim Wright of Fort Worth. He then delivers speeches at a public rally and a campaign dinner. Next, Humphrey flies to Dallas, where he speaks at another campaign rally. First Lady Lady Bird Johnson also makes an appearance.
Congressman James Claude Wright Jr.—better known as Jim Wright—was born on December 22, 1922, in Fort Worth. Due to his father’s job as a traveling salesman, Wright moved frequently, eventually graduating from Oak Cliff High School in Dallas. He studied at Weatherford College and the University of Texas at Austin, but never received a bachelor’s degree. 
 
Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Wright enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces, ultimately serving as a bombardier in the South Pacific. After the war, Wright returned to Weatherford, where he formed a Trade Show exhibition and marketing firm. 
 
Wright began his career in politics in 1946 when he was elected without opposition to the Texas House of Representatives. After losing his reelection campaign in 1948, he served as the mayor of Weatherford from 1950 to 1954. 
 
In 1954, Wright was elected to the United States House of Representatives as a Democrat from Texas’ 12th congressional district. Holding the seat for 34 years, he gradually rose in prominence in both the party and Congress. Wright became the House Majority Leader in 1976, and Speaker of the House in 1986. During his time as a legislator, Wright served as a senior member of the Public Works Committee and promoted peace in Central America.
 
In 1988, the House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into Wright, reporting in 1989 that he used bulk purchases of his book to earn speaking fees in excess of the allowed maximum. That same year, Wright also became the target of public criticism after media reports revealed that his main aide, John Mack, had violently attacked a woman 16 years earlier, and alleged that Wright (whose daughter was married to Mack’s brother) had manipulated the legal system in order to release Mack from prison only 27 months into his 15-year sentence. The resulting scandal from both incidents led Wright to resign from his post as Speaker as well as his seat in Congress in May and June of 1989, respectively. 
 
After leaving Congress, Wright retired to Fort Worth, teaching as a professor at Texas Christian University and writing several books. He passed away on May 6, 2015, at the age of 92. Upon his death, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stated, “Speaker Wright’s strong, decisive leadership built an indelible legacy of progress, not only in his beloved state of Texas, but around the world.”