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Carr Attends Panna Maria Church Celebration of a Millennium of Polish Christianity

Gordon Wilkison

Silent | 1966

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  •  John Connally and Waggoner Carr 
  •  Governor John Connally 
  •  Luci Baines Johnson and Patrick Nugent 
 
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  • About the video
  • Waggoner Carr Waggoner Carr
  • Gordon Wilkison Gordon Wilkison
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The oldest permanent Polish settlement in the U.S., Panna Maria was founded in 1854 by Father Leopold Moczygemba and about 100 Polish families fleeing Prussian domination in their homeland. Named for the Virgin Mary, the community also houses the Immaculate Conception Church, constructed in 1877 and site for Mass during the 1966 celebration of the Millennium of Polish Christianity. This film scans the crowd of the more than 10,000 visitors to Panna Maria during the 1966 celebration. Notably featured is Waggoner Carr, former State Attorney General and Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives from Lubbock, and Governor John Connally.
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. 
 
Gordon Wilkison began work as a cameraman at the local Austin television station KTBC (now FOX 7) during 1952, its first year of operation.  At the time the station was owned by the Texas Broadcasting Company, which was owned by Senator Lyndon B. and Lady Bird Johnson. This relationship would continue to shape Wilkison's career well into the next decades - during the Johnson administration, Wilkison covered the president's visits to Texas, preparing material for national and international news correspondents. 
 
A particularly notable moment in his career occurred on August 1, 1966, when Wilkison and KTBC reporter Neal Spelce risked their lives to capture footage of the Tower shooting at the University of Texas. 
 
Wilkison was also the General Manager of Photo Processors at the LBJ Broadcasting Corporation, which he later took over and renamed Cenetex Film Labs. In addition to his camera work and film processing, his work at the station also included direction of a number of television film productions.
 
Outside of KTBC, Wilkison shot, edited, and processed Longhorn football game footage for the University of Texas, a partnership that lasted nearly 30 years.    
 
Recognizing the historical value of film and news footage, Wilkison kept the material, later contributing hundreds of reels to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image's collection.