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The Sharon Wilkinson Collection - Daytripping (1968-9)

Sandra Russell

Silent | 1968

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TAMI Tags
  •  Canoe troubles 
  •  Hill country hiking 
  •  The University of Texas Longhorn Band opens a game at Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin 
  •  Do you recognize the opposing team? If the footage dating of 1968 is correct, the Texas Longhorns were playing either the Arkansas Razorbacks or SMU Mustangs. Let us know by leaving a comment below or emailing us at info@texasarchive.org.  
  •  Ascending the Tower of the Americas 
  •  Live music on the San Antonio River 
  •  HemisFair ‘68 
  •  Chinese Sunken Garden in Brackenridge Park 
  •  People watching on the River Walk 
  •  At the beach 
  •  Outdoor music festival, possible the Texas International Pop Festival in Dallas 
 
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  • HemisFair '68 HemisFair '68
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This 1960s home movie captures Sharon Wilkinson’s adventures across the state of Texas. First, she and friends head to the hill country for an afternoon of sunbathing and canoeing in a river. Next, she attends a Texas Longhorns football game at Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, capturing the pre-game and halftime performance by the Longhorn Band. Then, Wilkinson heads to San Antonio, where she enjoys the remaining attractions of HemisFair ‘68 and people watches along the River Walk. Finally, Wilkinson camps at an outdoor music festival, possibly the first annual Texas International Pop Festival held in Dallas in August 1969. Do you recognize any of the unidentified locals in this footage? Leave a comment below, or email us at info@texasarchive.org.
The 1968 Hemisfair was a World’s Fair held in San Antonio to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the city’s founding. It was the first World’s Fair to be held in the southwest, and its theme was “Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas.” From April 6th to October 6th, 1968, the Hemisfair welcomed over 6 million visitors. Famous attendees included Bob Hope, Louis Armstrong, Princess Grace of Monaco, President Johnson and his family, and Texas Governor John Connally. There were many attractions including exhibits, a monorail, a lagoon, and a variety of performances. Perhaps the most controversial was a show called the “Flying Indians of Papantla,” during which four men tied to ropes revolved down a 114-foot pole. The complaints stemmed from a mock sacrifice at the beginning of the show, which involved a chicken and a topless woman. This was swiftly edited out of the show. 
 
The popular River Walk was extended in order to meet the site of the fair, and many new buildings were constructed in the downtown area to accommodate exhibitions from over thirty countries and fifteen organizations. Some of these buildings remain, most notably the Tower of the Americas, which was the main symbol of the fair. The area is now known as HemisFair Park.
The Japanese Tea Garden opened in San Antonio’s Brackenridge Park in 1918, converting an abandoned quarry into a complex of walkways, stone arch bridges, and a pagoda. In 1926, the city invited local Japanese-American artist Kimi Eizo Jingu and his family to move to the garden to maintain it and open the Bamboo Room, a cafe where light lunch and tea were served. After Jingu’s death in the late 1930s, his family continued to maintain the garden until 1942, when they were evicted as a result of anti-Japanese sentiment during World War II. A Chinese-American family then operated the facility until the 1960s, renaming it the Chinese Sunken Garden. In 1984, the park was rededicated as the Japanese Tea Garden in a ceremony attended by Jingu’s children and representatives of the Japanese government.