Rassman, Emil C 1975-04-01

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Emil Rassman, Midland attorney, begins with his early life and military service in the South Pacific. He then recalls his years in the University of Texas Law School, his role in the Pecos River controversy of the late 1940s, his work with the West Texas Chamber of Commerce, his tenure as a Texas Senior College regent, his military service during the Korean War, his work as a lawyer in Midland, his views on the West Texas economy, and the honors and awards he has received.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Emil C. Rassman

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: April 01, 1975

Location: Midland, Texas

Interviewer: Fred Carpenter

Length: 6 hours 45 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Autobiographical data presented, Father’s family described, Prominent in Indianapolis, Indiana, Education summarized, Outstanding graduates of Washington and Lee, Law School, Description of attempting to enlist in the Marine Corps, Induction into the Army, Served in infantry, Bombing of Pearl Harbor recalled, Describes being sent to Officer Candidate School and tank destroyers, Married Annie De Montel when on leave, Wife’s family examined in depth, Part played in historical development of Texas.

Tape 1, Side 2: Describes places stationed while in Army, New suspension system described, Being sent to New Guinea, Disbandment of 815th Battalion, Assimilated into 632nd Battalion, Name change due to error, Led an assault in the Pacific, Describes feelings, Landing described, Good Japanese troops on New Guinea described, Returned to Texas in 1945, Homecoming described.

Tape 2, Side 1: Dr. Beasley, Wichita Falls minister, described, Opinion of attending church given, Result of letters written to Dr. Beasley, Description of wife, Re-entering law school at the University of Texas, Some professors recalled, Judge Graham B. Smedley of the Texas Supreme Court noted, Graduated from law school in 1947, Went to work with State Land Office for one year, Worked on tidelands controversy, Ed Gossett mentioned.

Tape 2, Side 2: Tidelands hearings in Washington recalled, Guarding of documents described, Judge Smedley placed him with a firm in Midland in 1948, Taking bar exam remembered, Passed bar exam before graduating from law school, Attitude on sororities and fraternities, Tom Clark’s part in tidelands hearings mentioned, Death of first son, Attitude on serving in wars.

Tape 3, Side 1: Father’s business and investments discussed, Lawyers and firm he joined in Midland, Weekly schedule, Present partners in own law firm named, Received award of Outstanding Young Texan.

Tape 3, Side 2: Discussion of Outstanding Young Man of Midland and Outstanding Young Texan awards, Bascombe Giles described, Writing brief for tidelands case, Relationship with Price Daniel, Appointed to Texas Civil Judicial Council, Appointed to State Senior College Board of Regents.

Tape 4, Side 1: Names members of Texas Senior College Board of Regents at his appointment, Concentrated on making colleges more businesslike, Coming of integration, Discusses changes in education, Earmarks West Texas for great future growth, Advised Price Daniel not to run against John Connally, Newton Gresham characterized, Story of Pistol Pete Pedro at Canyon.

Tape 4, Side 2: Political affiliation discussed, Comparison of West Point officers and reserve officers in battle, Mother’s attempt to bring him home by contacting Eleanor Roosevelt, General MacArthur mentioned, Opinion of Eisenhower given, Contact with Lyndon B. Johnson, Helped transfer him from Army to Air Force Reserve, Called to serve in Korea, Physical examination at Webb Air Force Base.

Tape 5, Side 1: Story of physical examination (continued), Lyndon Johnson gave favor of getting him out of service honestly, Judge Thomason of El Paso discussed, Pecos River controversy, Involved persons mentioned, Problems with quantity and quality of Pecos River water, Formula explained for keeping Texas and New, Mexico honest, Feelings of New Mexico users, Improving water quality, Opinion on current case in U. S. Supreme Court, Service on West Texas Chamber of Commerce.

Tape 5, Side 2: West Texas Chamber of Commerce (continued), Served as Chairman of Education Committee, Executive Committee meetings, Attitude toward Chamber of Commerce, Civic services listed, Presidency of West Texas Chamber of Commerce, Discussion of water importation program, Possibility of using Arkansas River to furnish water for West Texas, Has no desire for personal glory in water plan, developed by the West Texas Chamber of Commerce, States that early leakage of news of Arkansas River, water importation program could cause failure of program.

Tape 6, Side 1: Counties in West Texas Chamber of Commerce, Energy crisis predicted by WTCC 11 years before it happened, West Texas economy reviewed, Products listed that are manufactured in West Texas, Admires Robert E. Lee, Different awards and honors discussed, Guest coach at a University of Texas football game at Little Rock, Arkansas.

Tape 6, Side 2: Weekly schedule while president of WTCC, Different awards and honors discussed, Emil Rassman Day in Midland, Surgery on torn cartilage, Awards and honors listed, Gives attitude on fees and taxes.

Range Dates: 1940-1975

Bulk Dates: 1940-1975

Access Information

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