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Target Austin

Texas Department of Public Safety Historical Museum and Research Center

Sound | 1960

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Teach Texas
  •  Segment 1 for lesson plan - Target Texas: The Cold War and the Lone Star State 
  •  Segment 2 for lesson plan - Target Texas: The Cold War and the Lone Star State 
  •  Segment 3 for lesson plan - Target Texas: The Cold War and the Lone Star State 
  •  Segment 4 for lesson plan - Target Texas: The Cold War and the Lone Star State 
 
Transcript
  •  [Music] 
  •  It's a hot June day in Austin, Texas. 
  •  Congress Avenue has the usual mid-morning traffic. 
  •  At Barton Springs, some are escaping the oppressive heat by swimming in the cool clear spring water. 
  •  Others are achieving varying degrees of tan or sunburn on the grassy banks. 
  •  At City Hall, the city council is listening to the complaints of a citizens group urging paving of the streets around Zilker School. 
  •  On the campus of the University of Texas, the shirtsleeve summer students are going to and from their classes. 
  •  At the Paramount Theatre, Man on a String is playing to an audience of shoppers, students, and a few hooky-playing business men. 
  •  Tom Attra is selling the noon edition of the Austin Statesman on his familiar corner. 
  •  In Harry Reasonover's barber shop at the Driskill Hotel, business is good, with every chair filled. 
  •  Mary Halbouty, the manicurist has two customers waiting.  
  •  C.L. Davis is six pairs of shoes behind. 
  •  Dorothy Klukis is hanging up the wash in her backyard, assisted by her five year old daughter, Kathy. 
  •  Clarence Philips is having lunch with a prospective insurance customer, Matt Martinez, owner of the El Rancho Mexican restaurant. 
  •  Bob Gooding is reading the Safeway commercial in the noon news on KTBC radio when an alarm in radio control sounds. Following a procedure long since memorized, Gooding switches on the CONELRAD amplifier provided for air raid warnings. 
  •  A voice tells him to switch to the CONELRAD frequency assigned KTBC, 640 kilocycles, and to standby for further instructions. 
  •  Gooding immediately calls the radio transmitter to instruct the engineer to switch the KTBC transmitter from 590kc to 640kc at the prearranged cue. He next secures the CONELRAD tape provided according to prearranged plans and threads it on the tape recorder. 
  •  He manipulates the necessary controls to broadcast the message on the tape over the air. The recorded voice of Jay Hodson advises the audience that this is a CONELRAD alert, and they're to switch their radios to the 640 frequency at once. 
  •  Tarrell Blodgett, assistant city manager of Austin, and City Civil Defense Director enters the room. 
  •  This is your Austin Civil Defense Director with an urgent message. Enemy missiles have been reported over Canada, traveling in a southerly direction. An air raid warning has been declared in this area. This means that possibly within twenty minutes the Austin area may be hit by missiles. There will not be time to evacuate. Repeat, there will not be time to evacuate. 
  •  At Bergstrom Airforce Base near Austin, the alert has been sounded, and the men of the 4130th wing scramble for the giant B-52s according to well-rehearsed routine. 
  •  In the huge fallout shelter room beneath the Department of Public Safety Building, the state civil defense team is assembling. 
  •  Dorothy Klukis is combing her daughter's hair when she hears the announcement on the radio. In the distance she can hear the sound of sirens and whistles. Her first reaction is to call her husband at his law office at the downtown Brown Building. She's puzzled by the sound of a busy signal even before she dials. 
  •  But Dorothy Klukis does not panic. She knows they are prepared, that their home contains a fallout shelter designed specifically for this emergency. She knows that the shelter room is stocked with at least two weeks supply of canned food, bottled water and fruit juices. Methodically she begins to close the windows of her house. 
  •  Carolyn Gilbert is just finishing her letter when she hears the sirens and whistles. She goes to the window of the office to see if there is a fire in the vicinity; none is apparent. 
  •  Tom Morgan who works for an advertising agency next door enters her office with the information that the building manager has just called and instructed him to order everyone from that floor into the basement of the building. 
  •  Carolyn imagines that this is just some sort of civil defense drill, so she leisurely finishes her letter before leaving for the basement. 
  •  Clarence Phillips and his insurance prospect hear on the television set that the station is going off the air, and all viewers should dial their raidos immediately to the 640kc frequency. Matt Martinez turns on the radio. 
  •  Ignoring instructions not to attempt to evacuate, Philips immediately runs to his car. His purpose to get out of town as soon as he can. 
  •  The streets are jammed. Parents trying to get home to their children, businessmen trying to get to their families, panic-stricken people trying to get out of town. 
  •  Roger Klukis pulls into the driveway of his home and rushes inside. 
  •  No time for greetings. They immediately go over their plan, pepared earlier for just such an emergency. Water - check, food - check, medical supplies - check, gas and electricity turned off - check, battery radio - check, flashlight - check. They are as prepared as they can be. 
  •  Fifteen minutes following the alert, the Roger Klukis family enters their fallout shelter room and lock the thick door. 
  •  Sixteen minutes past the first alert, Carolyn Gilbert is in the basement of the Perry Brooks Building. She's not frightened, only irritated. She's convinced that this is just another practice alert. She's fretting because they won't let her leave to call her mother and tell her that she'll be late for lunch. She's considering writing a complaint to the Director of Civil Defense for this "useless inconvenience— grown men playing war!" 
  •  Seventeen minutes past the first alert, Clarence Philips is a very frightened man. He's trying desperately to get out of town, but traffic has delayed him. Now he discovers his car is out of fuel and is coasting to a permanent stop. He leaves the car and on foot continues his flight. 
  •  By now the streets of Austin are almost deserted. 
  •  And then at nineteen minutes past the original alert...A nuclear explosion occurs 25 miles to the west of Austin in the hills of the Edwards Plateau. 
  •  This is your Austin Civil Defense Director. An explosion, presumed to be nuclear has occurred near Austin. Persons in shelters, stay where you are. Those who are not in shelters should take cover immediately. If shelters are not available, go to a subbasement. If a sub-basement is not readily accessible, proceed to the nearest building. Close all doors and windows. Stay on the first floor near the center of the house. 
  •  At the state control center, the weatherman is working over a fallout map. His findings are teletyped to local civil defense directors around the state. 
  •  City Civil Defense Director Blodget is now operating from the basement of the police building. 
  •  This is your Austin Civil Defense Director. Heavy radioactive fallout is expected along the line from San Antonio to Waco to Mason to Brennam and 15 miles on either side of this line. This fallout may be expected at any time. This fallout will be very heavy in the Austin area and anyone in the open will receive a lethal dose in a short period of time. Take shelter immediately. 
  •  In the security of their fallout shelter room, the Roger Kukis family is composed as they await the all clear, which they realize may be several weeks in coming. Dorothy is reading to Kathy, who thinks they are inside because of a storm outside. 
  •  In the basement of the Perry Brooks building, Carolyn Gilbert has regained her composure and is assisting the building manager in itemizing the supply of food, soft drinks and beer that was quickly gathered from the nearby PK Grill and Commodore Perry Hotel. 
  •  On the outskirts of Austin, Clarence Philips is near exhaustion and continues to walk away from the city. He has but one thought - to get away from this nightmare. 
  •  In the state control center, beneath the Department of Public Safety building, the government of the State of Texas continues to function. A representative from each state agency is on hand in the huge shelter, conducting by telephone, radio, and teletype the affairs of his office. 
  •  Seven hours after the enemy missile deposited its deadly load in the hills west of Austin, the Roger Klukis family is comfortably eating a supper of canned beef, peas, potatoes and bottled water. 
  •  Carolyn Gilbert is munching a cold bologna sandwich that was made to sell for 25 cents some seven hours ago. 
  •  Clarence Philips, several miles outside Austin is not thinking of food. He has been vomiting for sometime now and is also suffering from diahrea. 
  •  For days, the city lies silent. 
  •  Quietly the radioactivity decays. The streets become less deadly. The days become a week, two weeks. 
  •  In the shelter of the Klukis home, the occupants are becoming restless. They long for sunlight and fresh air. And then the news they've been waiting for comes over the radio. 
  •  This is your Austin Civil Defense Director. Our monitors report that radiation in the city is now decayed to a point where those in shelters may come out without harm. 
  •  To Roger and Dorothy and Kathy Klukis, this is the end of the storm. To Carolyn Gilbert, this is the answer to a prayer. To Clarence Phillips, this news is of no consequence. And slowly, Austin, Texas returns to life. 
 
Map
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TAMI Tags
  •  Tom Attra sold newspapers downtown from 1928 until 1980. After World War II, he was in charge of all downtown sales for the morning Austin American and the evening Democratic Statesman. He later worked as a valet and greeter both at the Driskill and the Bradford-Austin. Tom also won the Golden Gloves championship in 1942 in the light-heavyweight division. 
  •  "C L" The shoeshine man continued to have a stand in the Littlefield Mall where Wild About Music is now located up until about 2003. 
  •  Matt's El Rancho restaurant has been an Austin landmark since 1952. 
  •  This is the former El Rancho location on 1st Street (now Cesar Chavez) just east of Congress Avenue. 
  •  Roger Klukis played by Austin actor Harvey R. Herbst, Dorothy Klukis played by Austin actor Coleen Hardin 
  •  This is Lavaca St. facing south at about 13th.  The "Toys" was the Toy Palace.  Visible on the back left is the First United Methodist Church. 
  •  This was likely shot in the demonstration fallout shelter that the city built in Zilker Park 
 
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  • About the video
  • The Texas Departmen... The Texas Department of Public Safety
  • Gordon Wilkison Gordon Wilkison
  • The Driskill Hotel The Driskill Hotel
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Produced by Austin’s local television station KTBC, Target Austin presents the scenario of a nuclear missile strike on the outskirts of Austin. The film follows the storylines of several characters from the CONELRAD broadcast to the announcement that it is safe to emerge from shelter. The film takes place in Austin, highlighting some iconic locations in town. It also features an Austin all-star cast and crew, including director Gordon Wilkison, narrator Cactus Pryor, actress Coleen Hardin and El Rancho restaurant owner Matt Martinez.

Established by the Texas Legislature on August 10, 1935, the Texas Department of Public Safety was created by the consolidation of the Texas Highway Motor Patrol with the Texas Rangers. Since that time, its duties have grown to include such activities as the state licensing of drivers, vehicle inspection, narcotics enforcement, and the State Civil Defense Office, (now the Division of Emergency Management,) which aids local governments during times of natural disaster or social upheaval. While its duties have evolved over time, the mission of the DPS has remained constant - to provide public safety services to those people in the state of Texas by enforcing laws, administering regulatory programs, managing records, educating the public, and managing emergencies, both directly and through interaction with other agencies.

Among the DPS's many activities is the preparation of its officers for the many facets of their jobs. Included in the training curriculum are educational films, some produced by the TX DPS itself.

This film comes to TAMI courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety Historical Museum and Research Center.

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 is 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.
The Driskill Hotel was opened by cattle baron Jesse Lincoln Driskill in 1886 as a showpiece for the emerging capital city of Austin. A luxurious building with arched entryways and limestone features, the grand hotel was reminiscent of the palaces in New York, Chicago, and St. Louis. It quickly became the place to throw lavish Governor’s balls and host international dignitaries. Jesse Driskill was forced to sell the hotel in 1888 due to a severe drought that cost him his fortune. After years of being traded and sold, the Driskill’s fifth owner, Major George W. Littlefield, vowed the hotel would never close again and initiated a $60,000 renovation in 1895. 
 
President Lyndon Baines Johnson had his first date with his future wife, Lady Bird, in the downstairs dining room of the Driskill in 1934. This marked the beginning of the Johnsons’ lifelong love for the hotel. In the 1950s, the Johnsons rented suites at the Driskill to serve as the offices of their news station, KTBC. It was also the site of Lyndon’s campaign headquarters, where they awaited election results for both the vice-presidential and presidential elections, and the couple frequented their own presidential suite during his presidency.
 
After a planned rennovation falling through, the Driskill Hotel faced demolition in 1969. The Heritage Society of Austin strived to get the building recognized as a historic landmark and succeeded. A series of fundraising campaigns amounting to over $700,000 allowed for the hotel to reopen in 1972, and it has been in operation since that time. Known as one of the most haunted hotels in the country, ghostly spirits have been reported roaming the old hallways, including Jesse Driskill himself!