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Civil Rights Demonstration in Austin, 1963

Gordon Wilkison

Sound | 1963

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  •  Civil rights demonstrators and speakers at Wooldridge Park 
  •  Civil rights demonstrators moving north on Congress Avenue towards the capitol 
  •  General Edwin Walker 
  •  Civil rights demonstrators being interviewed by the press on the capitol grounds 
  •  Doris Miller Auditorium, 2300 Rosewood Avenue 
  •  Looking east on 11th Street at Congress Avenue.  In the background: James Earl Rudder State Office Building, State Highway Building, Travis County Courthouse (demolished 1964) 
  •  Texas State Capitol Building and Grounds 
  •  Looking west on 11th Street, approaching the I-35 overpass 
  •  Looking west on 11th Street, approaching Red River 
  •  Looking east on 11th Street near the intersection with Trinity 
  •  Demonstrators crossing in front of the Travis County Courthouse and entering Wooldridge Park 
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  • About the video
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This series of clips, composed of raw footage taken by Gordon Wilkison, documents the events that took place in Austin on Wednesday, August 28, 1963 when a NAACP pro-integration march and rally was countered by the pro-segregationist group, the Indignant White Citizens Council (I.W.C.C.). The pro-integration parade and rally, led by Booker T. Bonner, was attended by a mixed-race crowd of nearly 600 people demonstrating against Governor Connally's opposition to expanding civil rights legislation. The I.W.C.C., led by Bobby Joiner, consisted of eleven protesters heckling the NAACP marchers. Please note that the audio in this film is poor in places.
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.