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  Brother, Can You Spare A Billion? The Story of Jesse Jones  


Jesse Jones and FDR KUHT/HOUSTON PUBLIC TELEVISION
America's First Public Television Station

On May 25, 1953, KUHT made television history when it signed on the air for its premier broadcast. As America's first public television station, KUHT has served as a model and example for other educational television stations and systems throughout the country. A Houston institution, the station even pre-dates the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the Public Broadcasting System (PBS).

KUHT, licensed to the University of Houston, has proven the value of educational television over the years. It began with a mission to expand the reach of the university's classroom offerings and to provide programming that would interest not only students and faculty, but also the community at large.

The station has changed with the times: broadcasting in color for the first time in 1964; becoming the first station in Houston to telecast with closed captioning for the hearing impaired in 1981; and the first to offer bilingual capabilities, descriptive video and the Houston Taping for the Blind Radio signal through SAP technology in 1991.

Houston Public Television has a long history of quality, award-winning local and national productions. Its original productions feature the history and culture of the Southeast Texas Gulf Coast region with programs like The Texas Rangers, The Ranchers, Love Of The Game: The History of Baseball In Houston, Liberty Texas, In Search Of La Salle and the six-part series Houston: Remember When. National productions include Space Station, Live At The Woodlands With B.B. King, Living With Killer Bees and A World Transformed.

The station's most recent offering is Brother, Can You Spare A Billion? The Story of Jesse H. Jones, about the Houston businessman who, as FDR's fiscal right hand, saved the nation from complete financial collapse and became one of the main architects of modern America. Narrated by Walter Cronkite, the documentary airs April 3, 2000. Also on tap for the winter of 2000 is a high definition digital production of The Houston Symphony: A Maestro's Farewell.

Houston Public Television is leading PBS stations into the digital age of television through the construction of the LeRoy and Lucile Melcher Center for Public Broadcasting. This new state-of-the-art broadcast facility will allow KUHT to prepare for programming on its digital channel. With the increased capabilities of the digital channel, the station's future plans include expanding its electronic courses and long-distance education programs.