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Spindletop 2001: The Big Day (2001)

Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum

Sound | 2001

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  •  Speech by Michel T Halbouty (first name misspelled in credit). Halbouty was a wildcatter, geologist, and businessman during the Texas oil boom. 
  •  Speech by former U.S. President George H. W. Bush 
  •  Preparing for the Lucas Gusher replica, with shots of the crowd around the gusher 
  •  Tracy Byrd performs a song he wrote for Spindletop 2001 
  •  Gusher goes off 
 
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Produced by KFDM-TV, this 2001 video features television news coverage of the 100th anniversary celebration of Spindletop in Beaumont. The festivities begin with early morning preparations for the day’s happenings, with crowds gathering around the replica Lucas Gusher No. 1. Famed wildcatter Michel T. Halbouty then speaks on the position of American leadership in a global economic market granted by discovering oil in Texas, while former President George H. W. Bush relates the progress of industry to contesting energy policies of the modern day. Following the speakers, country music singer and songwriter Tracy Byrd performs a piece he wrote specifically for the celebration. A reenactment of the gusher erupting unsurprisingly closes the event. The gusher itself doused hundreds of people as it went off at the exact time the original rig supposedly struck oil a century prior. Curators of the Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum have since set up the replica now to go off on a monthly basis.
George Herbert Walker Bush is the 41st President of the United States and the father of George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States. 
 
Bush was born on June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts, to Prescott Bush, a US senator from Connecticut, and Dorothy Walker Bush. He spent his youth in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Andover, Massachusetts, where he become involved in student government, sports, and the school newspaper. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, he became an aviator for the US Navy. 
 
Bush married Barbara Pierce in 1945, and they eventually had six children: George, Robin, John (called Jeb), Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy. After earning a degree from Yale University, Bush moved to Midland, Texas, to work in the oil industry, eventually starting two companies. The family then moved to Houston, where Bush began to pursue a career in politics and served as chairman of the Republican Party in Harris County. After a failed campaign for US Senate, he won an election to the US House of Representatives in 1966 and served two terms for Texas. In 1970, he attempted to win a seat in the Senate, but lost again. 
 
After this defeat, Bush was appointed by President Richard Nixon to be an ambassador to the United Nations. He then served as chairman of the Republican National Committee, chief of the US Liaison Office in the People's Republic of China, and director of the CIA. In 1980, Bush lost the Republican nomination for president, but was chosen as Ronald Reagan’s running mate. He was Vice President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. 
 
Following Reagan’s second term, Bush was elected president. During his term, he secured a peaceful partnership with Russia at the end of the Cold War, and he led Operation Desert Storm to free Kuwait from Iraq. Despite these successes, Bush’s popularity suffered due to the weak economy, and he lost reelection for a second term to Bill Clinton. He and Barbara returned to Houston in 1992.