Governor John Connally’s Inauguration!
On January 15, 1963, the Tarleton Color Guard, the Wainwright Rifles and Tarleton Texan Band marched in Governor John Connally’s inaugural parade! Both groups were recognized by the Texas Senate! Then in April 1963 Governor Connally visited Tarleton, as shown in the photo above!
Senate Resolution 42 stated that “We were honored to have the famous drill team from Tarleton State College, known as the Wainwright Rifles, under the direction of Captain Thomas E. Mendel, to participate in the inaugural parade. We officially recognize and commend these students.”
Senate Resolution 43 stated that “the inauguration was enhanced by the participation of certain young people…It is the desire of the Senate to express appreciation and congratulations to the Tarleton State College Band and their distinguished director Hilmer Wagner.”
Traveling in chartered buses, the groups left Tarleton at 8 am for Austin, arriving in time to do some sightseeing before watching the inauguration. Immediately after the inauguration, the Tarleton groups moved into parade position and were the leaders of Section G! Other groups in Section G were from Stockdale, Itasca, Hamilton, Carrizo Springs, and Floresville.
Interestingly, the “leader of the band” was Stephenville music major Norman Deisher. A member of the Wainwright Rifles was Stephenville’s own Don Jones, who recently retired as District Judge. His then future wife Nicki, who is currently on the Tarleton Dick Smith Library Friend’s Board, was the Sponsor of Charlie Company. Company Advisor was Master Sergeant B.G. Rutherford, Assistant Professor of Military Science, and he also made the trip to the inauguration!
Another interesting note, after Master Sergeant Rutherford retired from the Tarleton Military Science Department in the late 1960s, he came to work at the Tarleton Library as the security officer! His desk was at the entrance of the library!... and he checked patron’s bags and purses as they exited the building!!!!..and probably got more than a few surprises!!
What a Small World!!
JTAC, January 15, 1963, February 5, 1963.