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Channel 2 News Round-Up (1959)

KPRC-TV

Sound | 1959

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  •  Press conference with US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, during which describes relations with the Soviet Union 
  •  Political leaders visit Dulles at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. The Secretary of State was undergoing radiation therapy for cancer. He resigned on April 15 and died on May 24.  
  •  Funeral for Dulles at Arlington National Cemetery 
  •  Dulles’ successor as Secretary of State, Christian Herter, meets with President Dwight Eisenhower 
  •  July 24: American National Exhibition in Moscow’s Sokolniki Park 
  •  Vice President Richard Nixon with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev 
  •  At various points during their tour the exhibition, Nixon and Khrushchev debated the merits of capitalism versus communism. The exchange came to be known as the “Kitchen Debate,” as part of the conversation took place within the exhibit’s model suburban home.  
  •  During an official press briefing, President Eisenhower talks about an upcoming visit by Khrushchev to the United States  
  •  President Eisenhower abroad on foreign trips 
  •  Khrushchev’s American tour 
  •  Scenes from Eisenhower’s visits to Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Iran, Greece, and Tunisia 
  •  January 8: Inauguration of Charles de Gaulle as president of France. The leader then addresses an assembled crowd.  
  •  July 15: Some 500,000 members of the United Steelworkers of America go on strike to protest management’s demand to eliminate a union contract clause limiting employers’ ability to change the number of workers assigned to a task. Nearly every steel mill in the country ceased operations for 116 days.  
  •  Steelworkers from Local Union No. 2708, based in Houston, picket outside a steel mill 
  •  October 7: President Eisenhower invokes the Taft-Hartley Act, allowing workers to return to work while negotiations continued. The union sued in response, arguing to have the act declared unconstitutional. The US Supreme Court upheld the law on November 7, ordering workers back to work for the prescribed 80-day cooling off period. A new contract was eventually signed on January 15, 1960.  
  •  International Brotherhood of Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa delivers testimony before the United States Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities in Labor and Management. Hoffa was under investigation for corruption and connections to organized crime.  
  •  Third from the right is Robert F. Kennedy, who at the time served as the committee’s chief counsel. He led the committee’s investigation into labor bosses’ criminal ties, famously sparring with Hoffa during his testimony. 
  •  Hoffa 
  •  Aftermath of the Hebgen Lake earthquake in southwest Montana. On August 17, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake caused a massive landslide in the area, resulting in 28 deaths.  
  •  Rescue workers search the wreckage of American Airlines Flight 320. The Lockheed L-188A Electra crashed into the East River on approach to New York City’s LaGuardia Airport on February 3. Sixty-five of the 73 people aboard died.  
  •  Actress and El Paso native Debbie Reynolds heads to divorce court while her soon-to-be-ex-husband, singer Eddie Fisher, cozies up with actress Elizabeth Taylor. Fisher began an affair with Taylor shortly after the death of Taylor’s husband, Mike Todd. The scandal precipitated the cancellation of The Eddie Fisher Show. Fisher and Taylor married in 1959, and divorced in 1964.  
  •  August 8: Wedding of Anne-Marie Rasmussen and Steven Rockefeller in Søgne, Norway. Steven Rockefeller is the second-oldest son of former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller.  
  •  Then New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller launches his first presidential campaign 
  •  Three weeks before Thanksgiving, the Food and Drug Administration recalled the US cranberry crop to test for the presence of aminotriazole, a weedkiller found to cause cancer in lab animals 
  •  November 2: Columbia University instructor Charles Van Doren admits before that House Subcommittee on Legislative Oversight that he producers gave him questions and answers in advance on the quiz show Twenty-One. Van Doren’s appearance on the program precipitated a winning streak totaling $129,000 (more than $1.1 million in today’s dollars). He denied any wrongdoing at first, but eventually confessed to his complicity in the cheating scheme.  
 
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This compilation of television news footage highlights an array of leading news stories from 1959. Capturing primarily national and international events, most if not all of the segments were most likely not shot by Houston’s KPRC-TV but rather broadcast on the channel as part of its news programming. Featured stories include the “Kitchen Debate” between Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev, the inauguration of French President Charles de Gaulle, a national steelworkers strike, Congressional testimony from union boss Jimmy Hoffa, and the Eddie Fisher-Elizabeth Taylor scandal.
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