Posted by & filed under 1990s.

Archival footage from the NBC 5/KXAS Television News Archive was used extensively in the first episode of ABC’s true-crime miniseries “The Last Defense.” Archivists at UNT worked closely with producers at Lincoln Square Productions to conduct footage research, digitize original archive tapes, and identify relevant footage for Episode one, featuring Darlie Routier.

In 1997, Darlie Routier was sentenced to death for the murder of her two sons. The murders, which occurred in Rowlett, Texas in 1996, captured the local public’s attention for many months. NBC 5/KXAS–TV captured extensive coverage of the case beginning with the discovery of the murder and continuing through an investigation and trial. Between the Jun 6, 1996 discovery of the murders, and the February 4, 1997 verdict in the Routier case, NBC 5/KXAS created over 160 news segments about the case. These have all been digitized and are available on the Portal to Texas History, and some will be featured in the ABC production.

Darlie Routier will be featured in the first episode on “The Last Defense” a series which examines death row cases and the American justice system. Routier has maintained her innocence for 20 years on Death Row.  


Reaction from Rowlett

[News Clip: Rowlett Stabbing pkg] on The Portal to Texas History.


Darlie Routier Verdict

[News Clip: Routier (Death penalty) VOSOT] on The Portal to Texas History.

Posted by & filed under 1950s, 1960s, 1980s.

Audie Murphy was born near Kingston, Texas in 1924 and enrolled in the military on his eighteenth birthday in 1942. During his lifetime he received every medal of valor which the United States can bestow, appeared in 45 motion pictures (acting in a starring role in 39 of them), and wrote a best-selling book which was later turned into a successful motion picture.

It is not surprising that Murphy appeared frequently on in WBAP newscasts. Murphy made frequent appearances in Dallas and Fort Worth to promote his films and participate in Texas Amy National Guard events. Considering his dual status as war hero and movie star, he had many reasons to be recognized. In honor of Audie Murphy Day (May 12, 2018) we are highlighting several of the broadcast news scripts from the WBAP archive which mention Murphy. Unfortunately, none of the film footage related to these scripts has been digitized and it remains in its original 16mm film format . Please contact UNT Special Collections if you would like to sponsor digitization of original news footage featuring Audie Murphy. 

The marriage of Audie Murphy to airline attendant Pamela Archer in Highland Park in 1951 is the first recorded instance of Murphy in the WBAP archive.
News Script: War-hero wedding, April 24, 1951

In 1953, Murphey starred in two films distributed by Universal Pictures, Column South and Tumbleweed. He also found time to attend the Arlington State College Intercollegiate Rodeo which took place May 10, 1953 at Audie Murphey arena in Euless.
News Script: Sul Ross takes rodeo honors, May 10, 1953

Several weeks later, Murphey made another local appearance, this time with several other well-known Western movie stars include Gene Autry, Pat Butram and Dorothy Malone. The appearance, at the Palace Theatre in Dallas, was part of a benefit performance for victims of the Waco-San Angelo tornado.
News Script: Stars, May 24, 2018

In 1950, Murphey joined the Texas Army National Guard as a captain of the 36th Infantry Division. He participated in Guard activities as a drill instructor during new recruit summer camps. He appeared on the news during the first week of camp on July 5, 1953 as Texas Governor Allen Shivers inspected the troops at Fort Hood.
News Script: Shivers reviews 36th division, July 5, 1953

In 1955, Murphy made an appearance in Dallas to promote a new movie To Hell and Back, based on the best-selling autobiographical work written by Murphy about his wartime experiences. He played himself in the movie.
News Script: News briefs, August 19, 1955

The WBAP news crew caught Murphy again in 1962 as he was flying into Love Field for a short trip to Dallas. Murphy told the news that he would be “just loafing, playing golf, and visiting with friends,” during his trip. Murphy had just completed filming for a western called Six Black Horses. Murphy was also having his portrait painted by artist Dimetre Vail.
News Script: Audie Murphy , March 12, 1962

Murphy made an appearance in Fort Worth in 1967 alongside Congressman Olin “Tiger” Teague, where he talked to over two thousand high school students attending an event at TCU. Following the event, Murphy, who was 42, was reported to have been “swamped” by girls seeking autographs, while Congressman Teague and the other speakers stood aside
News Script: Tiger Teague. January 27, 1967

Murphy was tragically killed on May 28, 1971, when a private plane on which he was a passenger crashed into a mountain in Virginia. Murphy was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. The Audie Murphy American Cotton Museum in Greenville, Texas contains exhibitions of Murphy-related memorabilia, and is home to the Hunt County War Memorial featuring a 10-foot bronze statue of Murphy. KXAS News covered the opening of the Audie Murphy Museum in 1987.
Audie Murphy Museum, January 21, 1987


Posted by & filed under 1980s, Uncategorised.

Star Wars fans rejoice! It’s May 4th, an excellent excuse to show off your memorabilia and wish your friends “May the 4th be with you!”

If only we could celebrate by taking a ride in the spaceship recliner featured in the 1982 Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, complete with a mini bar and wireless phone.

A recliner built to look like a spaceship. It spun in a circle.

Take a look at the chair in action in the following news story on the 1982 Christmas Book. Also featured in the video: dog sunglasses! 

[News Clip: Neimans] on The Portal to Texas History.

Posted by & filed under 1980s.

Today is #NationalPuppyDay so we’re bringing you a story about a puppy, only this Puppy is a bear! 

After “nipping” a man, Puppy the Sun Bear was charged with a potential death sentence. The judge did not sentence Puppy and he was allowed to live out his days scarfing down his favorite snacks of fruit and Dr. Pepper in a DFW backyard. 

All of our remaining undigitized UMatic tapes (1,924 total) are currently at an off-site vendor. We’re very excited to begin showing you more footage from the late 1970s and 1980s soon, including the first story that aired about Puppy in 1983. 

[News Clip: Bear trial] on The Portal to Texas History.


Posted by & filed under 1960s.

On March 30, 1964, four months after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, his Civil Rights Act finally entered into the Senate for debate only to be filibustered for over two months. In late May, just a few blocks from the Texas School Book Depository, Clarence Broadnax decided to grab a late lunch at the Piccadilly Cafeteria in downtown Dallas. Upon standing in line, he was quickly approached by employees and told that black people weren’t served at the Piccadilly, but Broadnax refused to leave and was taken to jail. Released immediately, he returned to the Piccadilly and was arrested a second time. This time, they held him until the restaurant closed. Upon returning to the closed Piccadilly, he was met with local reporters and interviewed about the incident. Dallas NAACP leader, Juanita Craft, saw the interview and contacted Clarence that night to organize an estimated 350 protesters to meet him at the Piccadilly the following day, May 30th.

[News Clip: Demonstrators] on The Portal to Texas History.

Protesters gathered at the Piccadilly Cafeteria for 28 straight days. Led by Broadnax, along with the Reverend Earl Allen and Bishop College student Ted Armstrong, they endured several injunctions to leave, along with hundreds of counter-protestors, including the Jaycees of Dallas and Mississippi who marched a street-wide Confederate flag down Commerce Street.

[News Clip: Hearing] on The Portal to Texas History.

During the protests, on June 19, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed both houses of Congress. Following an agreement made by the manager of the Piccadilly Cafeteria and Rev. Allen, the demonstrations ceased on June 27. On July 2, President Johnson signed the act into law.

We were excited to re-discover this footage and we hope that it will shed new light on an often forgotten portion of the Civil Rights Movement in North Texas. We are happy to report that footage of the Piccadilly Cafeteria protests will eventually be included in the Dallas Holocaust Museum’s new “Upstanders” exhibit upon the opening of their new permanent location.

Further resources:

View additional footage of the Piccadilly protests and their corresponding news scripts in the NBC 5/KXAS (WBAP) News Collection.

View a 2008 panel discussion at the Sixth Floor Museum featuring Rev. Allen and Mr. Broadnax

Posted by & filed under Uncategorised.

Today we celebrate National Popcorn Day with NBC 5/KXAS footage celebrating a beloved Dallas popcorn seller. Marvin (Pete) Colgrove volunteered selling popcorn at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, from 1984 through his last year of life in 1994. The money earned from the sales went to the Volunteer’s Auxiliary which purchased equipment for the hospital and provided activities for the children.

[News Clip: Pete Colgrove] on The Portal to Texas History.

[News Clip: Pete Colgrove] on The Portal to Texas History.

Posted by & filed under 1950s, 1980s.

Archival footage from the NBC 5/KXAS Television News Archive was recently featured prominently in several television productions. These uses of archival news footage highlight the diverse and creative uses for footage, as well as the significance of preserving historical footage for future use. In November 2017, Sundance TV aired a two-part documentary series on the 1959 Clutter family murders that inspired Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Although the murders took place in Kansas, 1950’s archival footage from the north Texas NBC affiliate was used generically to illustrate various events in the film.“Cold Blooded: The Clutter Family Murders” was part of an entire weekend of true crime programming on the Sundance channel. 

True crime programming continues to be a steady source of licensing activity in NBC 5/KXAS Television News Archive. In last half of 2017 footage from the archive was used in support of True Conviction and 1980’s: The Deadliest Decade (both airing on the Investigation Discovery channel). 

Footage form the archive was also featured on Vice News, a documentary news program airing weekly on HBO. News programming schedules are often on tight deadlines, which can make the use of archival footage difficult. In the case of the Vice News request we had only a 24 hour turn around time to deliver the master files to producers in New York. A turn around time like that is usually impossible for us as it takes significant time to locate the physical media, digitize it and produce digital files for producers. In this instance the footage requested (coverage of the 1980 church shooting in Daingerfield, Texas) was already digitized and accessible through the digital library. 

We are also continuing work on several other major documentary projects which will be completed in 2018. 



Posted by & filed under Uncategorised.

Today we share a two part news story that provides a snapshot of how Dallas perceived the threat of AIDS in November 1985. The logbook title given to this story is “AIDS/Lifestyle,” which references the belief that the gay community, one of the first populations hit by the AIDS epidemic, caused the disease with their “alternate lifestyle.” In the 1980s and 1990s, those afflicted with HIV and AIDS experienced extreme ostracization, due to fear that they could easily spread the disease through casual contact. Reporter Bob Siegel’s story attempts to dispel these fears by putting a human face on the AIDS epidemic. As a doctor interviewed for the piece states, “The question is whether we choose to compound the epidemic of illness with an epidemic of fear and of ignorance and repression.”

Our current exhibit, Threads of Remembrance, further explores Dallas’s response to the AIDS crisis. It can be viewed Monday – Saturday (excepting Thanksgiving weekend) from 9 AM – 5 PM through December 15, 2017. Or you can browse our online exhibit.

You’ll notice a few visual flaws in the footage presented here. These flaws result from the recording medium, 3/4 tape, also called “U-matic” tape, which is prone to significant degradation. Luckily we were able to save this important story before a total loss.

[News Clip: AIDS/ Lifestyle (Part 1)] on The Portal to Texas History.

[News Clip: AIDS/ Lifestyle (Part 2)] on The Portal to Texas History.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorised.

Producers for the ESPN “30 for 30” series contacted UNT Special Collections this year for help in locating footage of the 1988 Dallas Carter Cowboys football team. Archivists working with the collection provided extensive archival footage which was eventually incorporated into the film, “What Carter Lost,” which aired on ESPN on August 24. The story of the 1988 Carter Cowboy’s is both fascinating and tragic– and perfect example of the way sports can be a reflection of social and cultural values. Much of the footage which was digitized in preparation for use in the documentary is now available online in its original format. Footage for this production was primarily from the years 1988-1989, and was still on the original Beta SP cassettes. Footage research in this time period relies on the use of video log books. The log books preserve a record of every segment that aired each day during multiple daily news broadcasts. Although the log books are digitized, they can be difficult to use and navigate, as this example shows. Stories are often only identified with one or two word “slug lines” which in this example was “Carter Parents.”

[News Clip: Players Arrested] on The Portal to Texas History.


[News Clip: UIL Grades] on The Portal to Texas History.