Senator Ralph Yarborough on Padre Island's Importance | The White Island (1963)

National parks can only be created through acts of Congress. Meaning that, in order to establish a new national park, proponents much first find an advocate in either the US House of Representatives or US Senate to introduce the necessary bill and campaign for its passage. For many of Texas' national parks, that champion was Senator Ralph Yarborough. In this 1963 television documentary, produced by the Special Projects Division of Houston's KPRC-TV, News Director Ray Miller talks with Yarborough about his legislative effort to designate Padre Island as a national seashore. President John F. Kennedy had signed the establishing legislation the prior September. Representing Texas in the US Senate from 1957 to 1971, Yarborough also introduced bills to create the Amistad National Recreation Area, the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, and the Big Thicket National Preserve.

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