Posted by & filed under 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s.

The “Year in Review” compilation is a tradition of many news organizations, created as a way to look back on the top stories of the previous year. The earliest “Year in Review” in the WBAP/KXAS archives was compiled from 16mm footage recorded throughout the year 1952.

The “Year in Review” compilations present some challenges to archivists working with this collection. One challenge is description— the majority of early film footage is silent, and we have not been able to locate scripts associated with most “Year in Review” reels. Many of the segments in the reel are then difficult if not impossible to identify.  Another challenge is how to best present this content online for researchers. While most news segments are less than three minutes long, the “Year in Review” reel can be well over 10 minutes in length, making it more difficult to locate relevant footage.

We will continue to experiment with different ways to describe and present this content online, and welcome your feedback and questions.

Year in Review – 1952 (film, 10 min)

Year in Review – 1953, 1954, 1955 (film 27 min, 34 sec)

Year in Review – 1956-1957 (film, 27 min, 34 sec)

Year in Review 1958 (film, 18 min, 15 sec)

Year in Review 1958 (script)

Year in Review 1959 (film, 21 min)

Year in Review (News) – 1961 (script)

Year in Review (Sports) – 1961 (script)

Year in Review – 1984 (video, 1 min, 45 seconds)

Year in Review – 1989 (video, 7 min)

Posted by & filed under 1950s.

It’s France’s la Fête nationale (“national holiday,” otherwise known as “Bastille Day” to English speakers) and in celebration of our nation’s longtime ally, we’re sharing two scripts that document when Dallas and the eastern-central French city of Dijon became sister cities in October 1957. Notice the news anchor’s pronunciation notes handwritten in pencil on the script. We haven’t yet digitized this footage but we will update this entry once we have! If you’d like to support the on-going digitization of the NBC 5/KXAS news archive, please consider donating.

The visiting French dignitary mentioned in the script, Félix Kir, was mayor of Dijon from 1945 to his death in 1968. Kir was a parish priest who became involved with the French Resistance during World War II. He was arrested and sentenced to death by the Gestapo for helping 5,000 prisoners of war escape the Langvic camp but was eventually released because of his position. After the war and his election to mayor, Kir became an advocate of the “twinning” movement wherein geographically distant cities formed a social bond in order to promote peace and encourage trade. A local Burgundy drink traditionally known as blanc-cassis was renamed in honor of Kir, who was fond of serving it to visitors. A glass of kir consists of white burgundy wine (traditionally aligoté) mixed with crème de cassis, a blackcurrant liqueur.

Dallas is also “twinned” with five other cities: Brno (Czech Republic), Monterrey (Mexico), Riga (Latvia), Saratov (Russia), and Taipei (Taiwan).

On October 13, 1957, KXAS was on hand to witness the many French celebrities arriving in Dallas to attend Neiman-Marcus’s lavish “French Fortnight” and the twinning ceremony:

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Posted by & filed under 1970s.

Today, as Senate Republicans unveil the latest draft of their proposed health care legislation, we are taking a look back at stories about health care. Two news stories reported by Doug Adams in 1979 echo many of the nation’s current debates and concerns over access to health care.

A news story from April 23, 1979 describes efforts by community members to set up additional health care centers in poverty stricken areas of east and south Dallas, to ameliorate the “poor health statistics” in the area. In the story, a resident describes overcrowding at Parkland Memorial, the nearest hospital. Those advocating for better health care in Dallas appear to be associated with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).

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

In this news story from February 5, 1979, Joseph A. Califano, Jr., the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Jimmy Carter, spoke to the Dallas County Democratic Forum about the need to curb inefficient hospital spending. The legislation Califano mentions in the story is H.R.2626, part of the Carter administration’s larger war on inflation. The bill failed in the House on November 15, 1979, with the Senate Finance Committee approving a revision of solely Medicare and Medicaid payments. White House Press Secretary Jody Powell described the House action as “victory for the highly financed special interest [hospital] lobby and a defeat for the common good.”

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

Sources consulted:

House Kills Carter Hospital Cost Control Plan.” CQ Almanac 1979. 


Posted by & filed under 1980s.

We hope you are having a wonderful Independence Day!

Today we go back to July 4, 1983, when reporter Cindy Kuykendall shared a story on the 10 PM news that featured interviews with locals about their opinions on politicians that prove today’s political tensions are nothing new. The Cotton Bowl festivities and a rocking outdoor concert are also shown.

[News Clip: 4th of July] on The Portal to Texas History.

Posted by & filed under 1980s.

On April 7, 1985 children at an Easter egg hunt at the Mandalay Hotel in Irving, Texas were surprised to see the Easter bunny arriving by helicopter! The bunny caught a ride with the KXAS-TV crew on “Chopper 5” to surprise the many children in attendance. This short segment, featuring reporter Janet Wallheim, aired during the 5 pm news.


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

Posted by & filed under 1950s.

On this day in 1917 the United States Congress approved a declaration of war against Germany, thereby officially entering World War I. There are no longer any living veterans of WWI, however, in 1957 reporters with WBAP attended a VFW convention in Dallas where they met L.J. Smith, a 66 year old WWI veteran who was displaying a rather unique souvenir from WWI — a doughnut.

During WWI doughnuts and coffee were distributed along the front lines to soldiers by the Salvation Army, giving rise to the nickname “doughboy” for American soldiers overseas. During one of these coffee breaks Mr. Smith decided to save one of the doughnuts, and miraculously it survived for over 38 years! In this brief film clip he displays the doughnut-artifact under a glass dome.

[News Clip: Doughboy Preserves 1918 Model Doughnut] on The Portal to Texas History.



Posted by & filed under Uncategorised.

Thank you to Special Collections student employee Greg Pierce for finding these scripts! 

Sixty years ago, On April 2, 1957, an F3 tornado laid waste to 60 blocks of west Dallas, in what was then called the “worst storm in Dallas history.” Ten people died, and over 600 people were injured. The tornado created a 21 mile path of destruction, with the hardest hit area being a residential section of Dallas near Record Crossing Road and Riverside Drive where five people lost their lives. During the storm, the tornado moved through north Oak Cliff, crossed Harry Hines Boulevard and demolished warehouses in the Brook Hollow industrial district over a course of 20 minutes.

Original broadcast scripts from the first news WBAP news broadcast to cover the storm reflect both the “breaking news” nature of the event as well as the shock of those who witnessed the storm. In describing the event, the script notes, “There wasn’t any safe place to hide. And very little time for it anyway.” The first page of the script, show below, displays handwritten annotations showing the increase in causalities as well as the locations of other tornado which were recorded in /the north Texas communities of Anna and Melissa that same day.

[News Script: Tornado], April 2, 1957

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Posted by & filed under 1950s, 1970s.

Today we reflect on the struggle for women’s rights as we observe International Women’s Day. We’ve chosen two items from the NBC 5/KXAS archive that reflect women’s history in the DFW region.

First, it might be hard to believe but women were not intentionally called for full-time jury service in the city of Dallas until September 5, 1955. A script in the collection details the historic moment:


And second, a video about a rally held in Dallas on April 1, 1978 (perhaps a not entirely auspicious date) regarding the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), a proposed amendment to the Constitution that guaranteed equal rights for women. The ERA, originally written by suffragettes Alice Paul and Crystal Eastman, was first introduced to Congress in 1923 but did not pass both houses of Congress until 1972, when it was then sent to state legislatures for ratification. Texas was among one of the first states to ratify the ERA on March 30, 1972 but the ERA was never placed in the Constitution because a total of three-fourths of US States (38 out of the 50) did not ratify the amendment. There is still hope that the ERA will become part of the Constitution in the future.

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

Posted by & filed under 1950s.

Happy Texas Independence Day! Today is the 181st anniversary of the day settlers in the Mexican province of Tejas (Mexican Texas) created the Texas Republic by declaring independence from Mexico.

In honor of our state’s holiday, we invite you to re-visit this script from March 2, 1955, which details the festivities in Dallas that year, on the 119th anniversary. Actors Dorothy Malone, Dale Robertson, Allan Jones, Irene Hervey, Constance Moore, Buddy Rogers and Jon Hall were in attendance at a parade through downtown Dallas. (Links will take you to a listing of the actor’s filmography in the UNT Media Library’s catalog, available for check-out with your UNT ID.)

Hopefully someday soon we’ll be able to share the film segment that accompanies this script!

A script details the festivities in Dallas on Texas Independence Day, 1955

Posted by & filed under 1990s.

The latest American Experience film on the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the rise of the “alt-right” in America features footage from the KXAS/NBC 5 Television News Collection. Material from the KXAS/NBC 5 collection supports the film’s section on the 51-day stand-off near Waco, Texas in 1993 between Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents and the Branch Dividians religious group. The tragic outcome of what came to be known as “the Waco siege” motivated Timothy McVeigh, the perpetrator of the Oklahoma City bombing, to seek retribution against the United States government. Oklahoma City is available to watch online. Due to the subject matter, viewer discretion is advised.

A large amount of footage related to the Waco siege has been digitized and is available to view in The Portal to Texas History. A few selections are below:

[News Clip: March 1, 1993] on The Portal to Texas History.

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

[News Clip: Waco tonight] March 26, 1993 on The Portal to Texas History.