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The City of Fort Worth Records Collection - City Hall (1960)

Fort Worth Library

Sound | 1960

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  •  Loyd L. Turner, President of the Board of Trustees for the Fort Worth Public Library, and Arless P. Nixon, Library Director for the City of Fort Worth 
  •  The Fort Worth Public Library downtown, now known as the library’s Central Branch 
  •  About the proposal for seven branch libraries 
  •  WBAP-TV broadcaster Frank Mills moderates a (rehearsed) panel discussion with the studio audience 
  •  How the citizens of Fort Worth can aid in the proposed effort 
  •  A possible interim arrangement 
  •  How the branch libraries’ services would compare to the main library 
  •  The dawning sixties are becoming the soaring sixties 
 
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“City Hall” is a WBAP-TV series designed to give viewers in Fort Worth an understanding of the operations of their city government and the functions, aims, and responsibilities of its various departments. This particular episode focuses on the Fort Worth Public Library, and how it relates to an upcoming bond election. First, Library Director Arless B. Nixon outlines how the library system serves the Fort Worth community, and how the proposed $1,250,000 bond issue would address certain inadequacies and aid in its expansion. Then, legendary WBAP-TV broadcaster Frank Mills leads a rehearsed panel discussion between the studio audience and a panel.
Veteran broadcaster Frank Mills was born in Iowa in 1948. He worked in theater before taking his first radio job at a station in Des Moines. Future President Ronald Reagan also worked at the station, WHO. 
 
In 1937, Mills and Reagan allegedly left the station together to pursue acting careers in Hollywood. Passing through Fort Worth on their way to the west coast, they discovered that WBAP-AM/KGKO-AM—a joint venture operated by the Star-Telegram and the Dallas Morning News—was hiring. Mills opted to stay while Reagan went on to California. 
 
The decision proved successful for Mills. In 1948, he moved from radio to television, joining the newly formed WBAP-TV—the first television station in Texas and the Southwest. (The station is now known as KXAS-TV.) Anchoring WBAP-TV’s test broadcast, a live telecast of President Harry S. Truman’s visit to Fort Worth, Mills became the first person on a regular program to appear on Texas television. Mills also announced the station’s formal sign-on days later. 
 
Mills stayed with the station for 41 years, working in various on- and off-air capacities until his retirement in 1978. He died in Fort Worth in 2003. He was 90 years old.