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The Howard Hackney Collection, no. 6 - Campaign Rally (1962)

Howard Hackney

Silent | 1962

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  •  Larry Bell, owner of Bell Aerospace, lent Lyndon B. Johnson a Bell 47 G-2 like this one to use during his 1948 Senate campaign. Helicopter travel was a novelty at the time, but Johnson invested in new helicopter technology because it enabled him to visit multiple cities in the same day, and with more ease than traveling by plane. 
  •  Aerial footage from the helicopter 
  •  At the rally 
  •  Children at play 
 
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This home movie footage captures a small campaign rally during the 1962 Texas gubernatorial election. While it is difficult to confirm which candidate the rally is for, it is possibly in support of John Connally. (If so, one of the individuals who arrives at the beginning is likely Connally’s wife, Idanell.) The helicopter is a Bell 47 G-2, the same type of helicopter used by Lyndon B. Johnson during his 1948 Senate campaign. Johnson and Connally were close political allies, actively assisting in each other’s campaigns. (Connally managed five of Johnson’s campaigns, while Johnson helped fund and support Connally’s bid for governor.) The Connally campaign is, therefore, the likeliest to use the same kind of helicopter flown by Johnson and manufactured by Johnson’s friend, Larry Bell of Bell Aerospace. News reports also confirm that Connally was actively campaigning around Texas on April 6, 1962—the day this footage was shot—and suggest that he did travel by helicopter prior to the election. The 1962 gubernatorial race was one of the most hotly contested in Texas history. Connally was one of six candidates in the Democratic primary, including three-term incumbent Price Daniel. Connally progressed to and ultimately won both the run-off and general election.