The Briscoe Center’s new documentary "Cactus Jack: Lone Star on Capitol Hill" will have its debut on KLRU TV at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, with other airings possible in the following weeks.
It’s the sage of John Nance "Cactus Jack" Garner, the Texan who rose from humble beginnings to become Speaker of the House as well as Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s vice presidential running mate in 1932.
The Texan from Blossom Prairie was on Capitol Hill for 38 years.
The new documentary was made possible by funding from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Austin center’s Briscoe Endowment.
Garner was "one of the most powerful but overlooked men to ever emerge from Texas," says Bill Minutaglio, who teaches at the UT School of Journalism and wrote the film. Nancy Schiesari of UT’s RTF Department directed the film, which was produced by Hans-Martin Liebing and edited by Rebecca Adams and Anne Lewis.
"The documentary greatly complements the education mission of UT Austin’s Briscoe Center," says Don Carleton, the center’s director. "We have had screenings at the Briscoe-Garner Museum and it has been made available to schools and colleges. Now it is being broadcast across the country on PBS stations."