The Good Old Texas Press Reading Texas newspapers can be fun, as these recent gleanings illustrate: “Left-wing peace groups in Texas are planning a vigil at the LBJ ranch on Easter Day. . . .” News story in the right-wing Dallas News, March 12 The Johnson-Connally years are mellowing the. News staff; they left out “self-styled.” “Texas’ liberal governor John Connally, has raised some eyebrows with his proposal that the state legalize the sale of liquor by the drink in order to help raise $144,200,000 in new taxes to support the state in a manner in which he would like to see it become accustomed. . . .” an editorial in the weekly Naples Monitor, March 23. Yeah, or starry-eyed, fuzzy-minded John Connally. “T h e expensively-attired,. whitehaired [W.W.] Heath [U.T. regent who will be the next U.S. ambassador to Sweden] has also been successful in marching, banking, and insurance interests. . . .” News story in the Austin American, March 23 Viva la huelga, W. W.! stand it has taken. Do they want us to condone tyranny? Do they expect their government to take this challenge to our very way of life lying down? .. . “Do we not owe much sympathy and compassion, as well as loyalty, to our beleaguered national leaders leaders who are in their position of leadership because we put them there who are forced to make these awesome decisions? . . . The public has a right to hear from academic and church and cultural leaders more than negative criticism and vilification.” CLARK SAID that “A new and favorable balance is emerging, and the Vietnam problem seems to be moving toward manageable dimensions, offering a possibility of peace and disengagement without tossing Asia overboard.” But, he added, the President is not swayed “from his humanitarian purpose by the placards and shrill cries of the long-haired, bearded ‘beatniks’ and ‘peaceniks’ who protest for the sake of protest and offer no alternative. He is a tactician, dealing in realities rather than in unassailable abstractions, and is not playing any politics in this war.” Speaking of what he described as the President’s determination “to meet its obligations in Asia as a Pacific power” and to help the people of Asia, Clark closed with an almost joyously tossed off decla ration that Johnson did not go to Harvard. “Unfortunately,” he said, “on many of these projects and in many of his policies, the President has had to depend upon his own dogged determination, using the tools he has, denied the help of some who should have been with him. This rugged Texan who didn’t go to Harvard has plotted the contours and trace lines of a domestic and foreign policy that is America’s future.” And, said Ed Clark of San Augustine, “the Prime Minister of Australia and Ed Clark will still be all the way with LBJ.” R. D. 115,000, 150,000, or 400,000? The Wonderland of HemisFair Austin The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of HemisFair persists and ramifies. In midFebruary the legislature, after much grumbling and heel-scudding, passed a $5.5-million emergency appropriation that the governor was urging, to complete the Institute of Texan Cultures building. The structure, accogding to a 1965, : act ; in whia .C. another !$4.5 million was voted,: would consist of “approximately 115,000 square feet.” On Feb. 20 the chairman of the state building commission, Gov. John Connally, signed a, contract to finish construction of the building. The contract which ‘ Connally Signed specifies a 150,000-square-foot ‘structure. In early March HemisFair people got around to asking the legislature to approve what had been done. No additional state money would be required, evidently, though no one has explained how the suddenly-added 35,000 square feet will be paid for. “In the interest of time, perhaps we took some liberties that maybe we shouldn’t have taken in a strict legal sense,” Frank Hidebrand, director of the Texas Tourist Development Agency, told members of the House state affairs committee. “For the sake of expediency, we had to go ahead,” he said, noting, that HemisFair is scheduled to open in April, 1968. He explained that in designing the exhibit, planners had decided that a third floor should be added. What will happen, asked Rep. James Clark, Jr., Dallas, if the legislature says no? Hildebrand said the third floor would probably have to be eliminated. What about the contract which the governor had signed for construction to proceed? If the legislature votes against the larger building size, another contract probably would have to be written, revising the specifications downward, Hildebrand said United Press International filed. a 15 paragraph story on the state affairs committee meeting on the evening .of March 9, the date on which committee first considered the matter. The only newspaper known to have run the story was the Brownsville Herald, which published twothirds of the article on March 10. Two weeks later the state affairs committee met again to consider the larger building size. The San Antonio papers were onto the story by then. The meeting adjourned well after midnight. Present were Terrell Blodgett, a Connally aide, and R. Henderson Shuffler, who will guide development of the institute. Blodgett indicated that no more money would be required from the legislature to make the building larger, saying t hat “once legislatorS had spoken to the money matter [by appropriating ‘$5.5 million in February” they had spoken to the main matter with which they were concerned.” Another discrepancy was troubling the legislators; the lawmakers had agreed for the state to purchase a 3.5-acre tract for the institute; 13 acres are now wanted. Rep. Randy Pendleton, Andrews, a committee member, wants to knock out a provision that would give the land and the building to the city of San Antonio, should the state cease operating the institute. The legislature will probably approve 13 acres as the size of the site, and also OK a 150,000-square-foot building, so long as no more state money is required. A final question: why does an ad pubished this month in the Wall Street Journal, plugging the fair, refer to the institute as a “dynamic 400,000-square-foot” structure? March 31, 1967 5
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