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KPRC Building Opening and Dedication (1972)

KPRC-TV

 | 1972

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  •  Elsa Ransom was a television news producer, anchor, and reporter for KPRC-TV from 1970 to 1973. She is now an associate professor at the Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law.  
  •  Inside the KPRC Radio offices and studios 
  •  Executive and administrative offices, including the office for KPRC President and General Manager Jack Harris 
  •  In-house film processing laboratory 
  •  Projection room 
  •  Videotape central 
  •  Television master control 
  •  Communications room 
  •  Television news production desks, including the office of News Director Ray Miller 
  •  Inside the control room 
  •  Front lobby 
  •  Larry Weidman reports on the dedication ceremony for the station’s new facility on March 21. Former President Lyndon B. Johnson served as principal speaker at the event. 
 
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  • About the video
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In this 1972 news segment for Houston’s KPRC-TV Channel 2, reporter Elsa Ransom guides viewers on a tour of the station’s new home on the Southwest Freeway. The segment aired during the Channel 2 afternoon news program, Midday. The 86,000-square-foot broadcast facility housed the station’s radio, film, and television operations. In her journey through the building, Ransom highlights the process of news broadcasting and the variety of departments involved. The segment concludes with a report by Larry Weidman about the building’s dedication ceremony on March 21, 1972. Former President Lyndon B. Johnson spoke at the event.
Newsman Ray Miller (1919 - 2008) began his broadcasting career in 1938 in his home town of Fort Worth. He relocated to Houston soon thereafter, where he joined KPRC Radio. When KPRC purchased Houston’s first television station in 1951, Miller adopted the burgeoning medium, eventually winning a Peabody Award. In 1969, Miller created The Eyes of Texas, a regional television series examining all things Texas. On the air for 30 years, the series became Houston’s longest-running local television program. Miller retired in 1979, serving as news director at both KPRC Radio and KPRC-TV for over 40 years. During his decades-long tenure at KPRC, Miller mentored a number of journalists, including Dan Rather and former US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. 
 
After retiring from television production, Miller became a local historian, writing several books and travel guides about historic attractions in Houston and Galveston. He also worked with the Harris County Historical Commission to secure markers for numerous sites. 
Thirty-sixth president of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, was born on a hill country farm near Stonewall, Texas, on August 27, 1908, to Samuel Ealy Johnson, a former Texas legislator, and Rebekah Baines Johnson. He attended Southwest Teachers College, now Texas State University, graduating with a degree in history and social science in 1930. LBJ spent one year as principal and teacher in Cotulla, educating impoverished Hispanic elementary school students. He became the secretary to Texas Congressman Richard M. Kleberg in 1931; the four-year position helped him gain influential contacts in Washington. Johnson married Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor on November 17, 1934.
 
LBJ acted as Director of the National Youth Administration in Texas from 1935 to 1937. Johnson won his first legislative election in 1937 for the 10th Congressional District, a position he held for 11 years. He was a firm supporter of President Roosevelt’s New Deal and in 1940 acted as Chairman of the Democratic Campaign Committee. In 1948, following his service as a Lieutenant Naval Commander during World War II, LBJ ran as the Democratic nominee for Senate. In a cloud of controversy, he narrowly defeated former Texas Governor Coke Stevens and easily beat his Republican opponent in the general election. Before winning his second Senate term, LBJ was elected Majority Whip in 1951, became the youngest ever Minority Senate Leader in 1953, and was voted Majority Leader in 1954. Johnson unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1960 but was selected to be Vice President under John F. Kennedy. 
 
Johnson was sworn in as Commander and Chief aboard Air Force One following President Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963, and won reelection in 1964. As President, he passed landmark legislation with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Debate over military efforts in Vietnam intensified in late 1963 when the President stated that the United States would not withdraw from Southeast Asia. Escalation of the war against North Vietnam brought disapproval from Democrats, claiming the efforts were misguided, and from Republicans who criticized the administration for not executing sufficient military vigor. Antiwar protests, urban riots, and racial tension eroded Johnson’s political base by 1967, which further dissolved following the Tet Offensive in January 1968. On March 31, 1968, Johnson announced that we would not seek a second presidential term.
 
After returning to Texas, Johnson oversaw the construction of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum on the University of Texas at Austin campus. Throughout his political career, LBJ was an influential figure in Texas affairs; his policies brought military bases, crop subsidies, government facilities, and federal jobs to the state. After suffering a massive heart attack, Johnson died at his ranch on January 22, 1973. In February of the same year, NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston was renamed the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in honor of one of the country’s most influential Texans.