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Texas: The Beginnings, Part I

San Antonio Public Library

Sound | 1970s

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  •  At the Dinosaur Valley State Park 
  •  The Caddo and Karankawa tribes 
  •  The fateful expedition of Cabeza de Vaca 
  •  Francisco Vazquez de Coronado searches for the mythical City of Gold 
  •  Missions and presidios arrive in the 1680s 
  •  The failure of René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle 
 
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“Texas” is a 1970s educational film series produced by KHOU-TV. The Beginnings, hosted by revered Houston newsman Ron Stone, focuses on the early history of Texas. Part I discusses archeological finds such as the dinosaur prints at Dinosaur Valley State Park and Midland Minnie; early Native American tribes, including the Caddo, Karankawa, and Comanche; and the expeditions of Cabeza de Vaca, Vazquez de Coronado, and La Salle. Unfortunately, the film for Part II of the segment was too damaged for digitization.
Called “perhaps the most popular and revered news anchor the city [of Houston] has ever known” by the Houston Chronicle, Ron Stone was born in Hannah, Oklahoma on April 6, 1936. He began his career as a broadcaster in Ada, Oklahoma in the 1950s, working as a radio disc jockey and television news anchor. In 1961, Stone caught the attention of Houston newsman Dan Rather, who hired Stone as an anchor and reporter for KHOU-TV. In 1973, Stone moved to Houston’s KPRC-TV, where he worked as a news anchor for 20 years.
 
After retiring from television news in 1992, Stone formed his own production company, Stonefilms, Inc., with his son. In 1999, he took over hosting the regional television series The Eyes of Texas, which focused on unique people, places, and events across the state. Stone also authored several books on Texas history, including The Book of Texas Days, Disaster at Texas City, and Houston: Simply Spectacular
 
Stone died of cancer on May 13, 2008.