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Congressional & Political

The Congressional and Political History Collections acquire, preserve, and make available for research archival materials for studies in congressional and state political history. The collections have a special focus on significant elected officials from Texas, including the Texas Congressional delegation, Texas governors, and House Speakers.

The Congressional History Collection contains papers relating to the careers of more than 50 former and present members of Congress, including House Speaker Sam Rayburn and House Speaker and Vice President John Nance Garner. Measuring more than 6,400 linear feet, the collection is one of the most extensive and significant in the United States.

The Political History Collection includes the papers of former Texas governors, from Sam Houston and James Stephen Hogg to Dolph Briscoe and Ann Richards. Many other local and state officials, state and federal employees, and media are also included. An important collection component is the Texas House Speakers Oral History Project, which includes interviews and information on 11 Speakers of the Texas House of Representatives.

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Gonzales Report [HemisFair Preliminary Hearing]
Source:Gonzalez (Henry B.) Collection
Weekly public address from Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez to his constituents in Bexar County, Texas. In this report, Gonzalez comments on a successful San Antonio River Authority hearing to test the feasibility of navigation of the San Antonio River, an early step in the HemisFair project. Gonzalez also talks about bipartisanship, a military pay increase and mentions the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. Has opening with shot of United States and Texas state flag with the song "Happy Days Are Here Again" playing. Black and white picture with sound. Sent from KENS-TV with "000038-892" written on the label.
Gonzales Report [HemisFair; Fallout with Ralph W. Yarborough]
Source:Gonzalez (Henry B.) Collection
Weekly public address from Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez to his constituents in Bexar County, Texas. Gonzalez talks about constituents he has lost to redistricting, then thanks politicians who supported bills for HemisFair, and chastises Texas politicians who did not, specifically taking issue with amendments added to the bills by Ralph W. Yarborough. This contrasts with the camaraderie between Yarborough and Gonzalez in a previous report [e_hbg_0071]. Gonzalez acknowledges KENS-TV for being the only San Antonio station renewing his weekly address for the 90th Congress session, and mentions that he is entering his fifth year of service. Black and white picture with sound. Leader reads, "English 1651, 11, 60."
Gonzales Report [Inter-American Development Bank Bill; HemisFair; San Antonio]
Source:Gonzalez (Henry B.) Collection
Weekly public address from Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez to his constituents in Bexar County, Texas. Discusses hearings for the "Increased Participation by the United States in the Inter-American Development Bank" bill [H.R. 15364], which was co-sponsored by Gonzalez as part of his work for the Subcommittee on International Finance of the House Banking and Currency Committee. Outlines testimony from Father Daniel McClellan, who established credit unions in Peru, the Free Trade Union Movement and Henry Bagolian [sp] of the American & Foreign Power Co., Inc. and the Council for Latin America for Private Enterprise. Gonzalez also talks about HemisFair, San Antonio's role in cultural blending, and his pledge to bring prosperity to San Antonio. He acknowledges WOAI-TV, KENS-TV and KWEX-TV for providing airtime, and mentions that the program is recorded in the studio of the House of Representatives, and that he pays $350 a month to produce his television and radio reports. Also says that the guest for his next program will be Ambassador Sol M. Linowitz. Black and white picture with sound. Leader reads, "2532 Gonzalez."
Gonzales Report [Renegotiation Board; Viet Cong Flag Ban]
Source:Gonzalez (Henry B.) Collection
Weekly public address from Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez to his constituents in Bexar County, Texas. Comments on a conference report for the daylight savings time bill, extending and strengthening the Contract Renegotiation Board (formerly known as the War Production Board) to avoid profiteering during the Vietnam War, and a future program idea for grants and aid in India proposed by Lyndon Johnson after meeting with Indira Gandhi. Gonzalez talks about applying a similar program to Latin American countries, and also talks about investigating the feasibility of a bill to outlaw the use of the Viet Cong flag in demonstrations in the United States. Has opening with Gonzales climbing the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building while the sounds of the Bells of Congress are heard. Black and white picture with sound. Writing on leader reads "O/C, 11."
Gonzales Report [Vietnam; Easter Sunday]
Source:Gonzalez (Henry B.) Collection
Weekly public address from Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez to his constituents in Bexar County, Texas. After talking about Easter, the beauty of Southwest Texas and an appropriation bill for armed services, Gonzalez spends the rest of the program covering the Vietnam conflict, saying, "...The war in Vietnam is one of the most confusing, one of the most puzzling, one of the most enigmatic and difficult to understand situations in the history of the country...It boils down to the essential question of having faith and trust in the sincerity and the devotion and the patriotism of the national leaders." He also talks about the changing role of the U.S. as a world leader, highlights that World War II never formally ended, questions the labeling of wars as big or small and mentions recording four programs discussing Vietnam more than two years previous [1964-1965]. Gonzalez acknowledges WOAI-TV, KENS-TV and KWEX-TV for providing airtime, and mentions a remaining San Antonio VHF station [KONO-TV?] that does not provide airtime for his weekly reports. Black and white picture with sound.
Gonzales Report [Vietnam; HemisFair Groundbreaking]
Source:Gonzalez (Henry B.) Collection
Weekly public address from Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez to his constituents in Bexar County, Texas. Gonzalez begins the program talking about the significance of a HemisFair federal pavilion groundbreaking ceremony from the prior week, positing that "It may be the one thing that can anchor the breakthrough that we must make in coexisting in the western hemisphere with the nations that destiny has placed along our side." The rest of the program is presented as a continuation of his discussion on the conflict in Vietnam. He speaks on the problem of close-minded American critics, suggesting they may have a self-defeating psychological bias against the country. He emphasizes that "no man in his right mind seeks or desires war", but that "we may not seek a fight, we may not want a war, but we may have one thrust upon us," quoting from Hilaire Belloc's poem "The Pacifist" to back his point. On the president's leadership he says, "There are those who distrust the president. There are those who hate him. There are those who question his motives. I am not one of those." He also makes the claim that only one in ten soldiers sent to Vietnam are exposed to combat. Gonzalez acknowledges WOAI-TV, KENS-TV and KWEX-TV for providing airtime, and mentions that WOAI and KENS sometimes allow him to record his program in San Antonio. He also mentions a remaining San Antonio VHF station [KONO-TV?] that does not provide airtime for his weekly reports. Black and white picture with sound. Leader reads, "2316 Gonzalez, 14, 60."
Gonzales Report [Vietnam]
Source:Gonzalez (Henry B.) Collection
Weekly public address from Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez to his constituents in Bexar County, Texas. This episode focuses almost entirely on the escalating Vietnam conflict. Advocates tolerance for dissent, comparing to demonstrations in the lead-up to World War II and mentioning the Veterans of Future Wars. Frames his support of the war as faith in President Lyndon Johnson and the national leadership. Has opening with Gonzales climbing the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building while the sounds of the Bells of Congress are heard. Black and white picture with sound. Writing on leader reads "O/C, L-11."
Gonzales Report [Voter Participation; Poll Tax; Guantanamo Bay; Latin America]
Source:Gonzalez (Henry B.) Collection
Weekly public address from Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez to his constituents in Bexar County, Texas. In this program, Gonzalez gives an accounting of his costs in communicating with voters through films, radio programs and newsletters, estimating that he spent 46% of his 1963 income. He estimates the cost of television and radio as $6,600, and says that less than half of that was paid for by a July 3rd, 1963 fundraising supper. He then urges voters to buy their poll tax, pointing out his opposition to the practice, but also the importance of voter participation. Mentions recently making his third visit to the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, and showing pictures on the following week's program. Emphasizes importance of the trips he's making with the statement, "Latin America is in a state of ferment. There are ominous as well as hopeful signs for us in the United States." Has opening with Gonzales climbing the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building while the sounds of the Bells of Congress are heard. Black and white picture with sound.
Gonzales Report [Voter Participation]
Source:Gonzalez (Henry B.) Collection
Weekly public address from Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez to his constituents in Bexar County, Texas. Gonzalez talks about the importance of voters participating in self-government. Outlines his positive outlook on U.S. government, stating, "I do not share the fear, the frustrations, the lack of faith in the destiny of our country. There have been darker periods in our historical development..." Also mentions civil rights. Has opening with Gonzalez sitting at his desk while the sounds of the Bells of Congress are heard. Black and white picture with sound. Leader reads, "Gonzalez-334-O/C [open and close]."
Gonzales Report [With guest Ralph W. Yarborough; Poll Tax]
Source:Gonzalez (Henry B.) Collection
Weekly public address from Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez to his constituents in Bexar County, Texas. Features a guest appearance by Texas Senator Ralph W. Yarborough, with both men expressing mutual admiration for the other, and many candid moments throughout, contrasting with their fallout documented in e_hbg_0072. Yarborough talks about Gonzalez's persistence in passing San Antonio bills, repealing the poll tax, supporting the G.I. Bill, and the establishment of the Padre Island National Seashore. Gonzalez mentions having served for a year and 8 months. Has opening with Gonzales climbing the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building while the sounds of the Bells of Congress are heard. Black and white picture with sound. Leader reads, "Gonzalez 334, 0/6."