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The KHOU-TV Collection - News Clips, June 1-9, 1969

Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Sound | 1969

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TAMI Tags
  •  Negro Demands, 06/03/69: Meeting of the Texas Annual Conference of Houston at the First United Methodist Church 
  •  Bishop Kenneth Copeland responds to an unseen interruption by “black militants” during the conference’s proceedings. According to reports, three representatives of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee joined the assembly to present a demand for $19 million in reparations. The action was part of a larger movement led by James Forman and the Black Economic Development Conference. Foreman was a prominent figure of the Civil Rights Movement, filling leadership roles in both the SNCC and the Black Panther Party. His “Black Manifesto” was presented to white churches across the country, demanding $500 million in reparations for their role in centuries of black oppression. Nine Methodist conferences in Texas received the manifesto during their annual meetings in May and June 1969. All turned down the reparation demands. In the interview, Copeland assures that the demonstration will not impact the merger of the all-white Texas Annual Conference with the all-black Gulf Coast Conference. Methodist conferences were segregated until the late 1960s, when jurisdictions voted to consolidate on a national level. The two Houston-area conferences, sharing identical borders, approved a merger on May 21, 1969.  
  •  Clay, 06/04/69: Press surround heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali (still known as Cassius Clay in court) outside the Harris County Courthouse. A Houston jury convicted Ali of draft evasion in June 1967. He appealed his conviction, arguing that he qualified for religious exemption as a conscientious objector. The United States Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower courts after the FBI admitted to wiretapping five telephone conversations involving Ali. On March 24, 1969, the Supreme Court ordered a hearing to determine if illegal government wiretapping played any part in Ali’s conviction. The hearing began on June 1, with Justice Department attorneys presenting summaries of four wiretapped conversations. (The fifth was not admitted into evidence on the grounds that it might endanger national security.) Three were between Ali and Nation of Islam officials, including Elijah Muhammad. The fourth was between Ali and civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Judge Joe Ingraham recessed the hearing without a ruling after five days, ordering the government to produce new evidence about the Ali-King conversation. The inquiry uncovered that the FBI recorded the exchange by wiretapping King, not Ali. And while FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover publicly maintained that the wiretap was installed on King’s phone at Southern Christian Leadership Conference headquarters, testimony during the Ali hearing revealed that the wiretap was actually on King’s home telephone. The unlawful surveillance and harassment of King by the FBI became the subject of a 1975 congressional investigation, leading to greater oversight of intelligence activities. The Supreme Court reversed Ali’s conviction in 1971.  
  •  Clays Lawyer Eschrage [sic], 06/04/69: Attorney Chauncey Eskridge, one of three lawyers representing Ali, expresses his shock towards the wiretapping evidence 02:20 Genom Sym, 06/04/69: Interview with Brigadier General Maurice Hirsch about contract negotiations between musicians and the Houston Symphony Society. After an 11-day deadlock, the two parties agreed to a new two-year contract providing 43 weeks of work the first year and 45 the second. Hirsch served as the president of the Houston Symphony Society from 1956 to 1970. He and his wife Winifred were longtime patrons of the arts, supporting the Houston Grand Opera, the Houston Society for the Performing Arts, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The Hirsch Library at MFAH is named in their honor. 
  •  I Am Curious Yellow Fire Heights, 06/09/69: Firefighters respond to a fire at the Heights Theater. Investigators suspected arson, as the single-screen movie house had recently become the target of protests. Religious groups picketed the theater for screening I Am Curious (Yellow), a 1967 Swedish film directed by Vilgot Sjöman featuring nudity and sexual content. As the owner describes in his interview with a KHOU reporter, protesters also threw stink bombs into the theater. While the owner expresses his hope to rebuild, the Heights Theater never fully recovered as a movie house. The space underwent a major renovation and reopened in November 2016 as an event venue. 
  •  Black Society Head Start, 06/01/69: A member of the Black Society describes the group’s objectives in working with the Head Start program. A cornerstone of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society campaign, Head Start began as a summer program to help meet the needs of children from low-income families. The Black Society sought to provide children participating in the Head Start program an opportunity to see gainfully employed African Americans at work in black-owned businesses.  
  •  Hospital Wrap, 06/01/69: A KHOU reporter explains the criticism lobbied at the Harris County Hospital District for its proposed elimination of the infection control officer at Ben Taub General Hospital 
  •  Shiner [sic] Band, 06/01/69: The Shriner band performs 
  •  Airport Dedication, 06/01/69: Ceremony celebrating the opening of Houston Intercontinental Airport, now known as George Bush Intercontinental Airport 
  •  Houston Mayor Louie Welch 
  •  City Swim Pools Open, 06/01/69: Kids line up to enter a public swimming pool 
  •  Bamboo Shoot, 06/01/69: Riding the Bamboo Shoot, a log flume attraction at AstroWorld. AstroWorld opened in 1968 as part of the Astrodomain, a development complex owned by former mayor of Houston Roy Hofheinz. Six Flags bought the park in 1975, operating it until its closure in 2005.  
  •  City Hall Cty Att Olsen on Cawd, 06/04/69: Houston City Attorney Bill Olsen comments on an ongoing dispute 
  •  Burger King Fite, 06/04/69: Houston police arrest a man following a fight at a local Burger King 
  •  Kindergarten, 06/03/69: A member of Citizens for Good Schools talks about their petition to stop the Houston Independent School District from closing kindergartens. Houston was in the process of integrating its public schools at the time, and the group considered the closing of kindergartens an attempt to stall desegregation efforts. In addition to rallying public support, the Citizens for Good Schools ran a slate of candidates during the 1969 school board elections, winning all four open seats.  
  •  Clown on Anderson, 06/04/69 
 
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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 June 1-9, 1969. This series includes news segments about a protest at the Texas Annual Conference meeting, an appellate hearing regarding the conviction of heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, and the opening of Houston Intercontinental Airport. Also included is footage of the Bamboo Shoot ride at AstroWorld.
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.
 
Many more films from the KHOU-TV Collection are available on the Houston Public Library Houston Area Digital Archives website.
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 many of Houston’s African Americans. 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. 
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