University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the David Shapiro Collection, 1952-2000

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Shaprio, David.
Title: Shapiro, David, Collection
Dates: 1952-2000
Abstract: The David Shapiro Collection (1952-2000) consists primarily of news clippings and political campaign materials, along with correspondence, newsletters, speeches, and press releases. The collection documents the political climate in early 1960s Texas, emphasizing the efforts of the ”Two-Party Democrats” to strengthen the Texas Republican party and force conservatives out of the Democratic Party.
Accession No.: 2012-351
Extent: 3.5 ft.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

David (“Dave”) Shapiro was a campaign aide for Senator Ralph Yarborough and a prominent advocate for the "Two-Party Democrats" movement to restore a two-party system in Texas by strengthening the Republican party. Two-Party Democrats, later known as the Rebuilding Committee, sought to reclaim the Democratic Party as a liberal platform, and cause conservative Democrats to migrate to the Republican Party. An alum of the University of Texas at Austin, Shapiro was actively involved in politics, ultimately becoming president of the UT Young Democrats club. Shapiro started working for Ralph Yarborough’s campaigns in the 1950s and remained dedicated to Yarborough throughout the liberal Senator’s extensive political career.

In 1961, with the strength of the Two-Party Democrats behind them, Dave Shapiro and fellow Yarborough campaign aide Chuck Caldwell encouraged liberals to vote for John Tower, and against conservative Democrat William Blakely, ultimately helping Tower to become the first Republican in the Texas Senate since the Reconstruction. In the 1962 Texas governor election, Shapiro worked closely with Republican Jack Cox in his unsuccessful race against the conservative Democratic candidate John Connally.

By 1968, Shapiro and the Two-Party Democrats had rebranded themselves as the Rebuilding Committee and launched their most ambitious effort to protect John Tower’s Senate seat from Democratic challenger Waggoner Carr. The Rebuilding Committee encouraged liberals to vote for Tower and kept voter turnout low, ultimately helping Tower win reelection.

Aside from his role in politics, Shapiro also practiced law in Austin, Texas.


Menefee, H. 1970. The Two-Party Democrats: The Study of a Texas Political Faction. Masters thesis. University of Texas at Austin.

Scope and Contents

The David Shapiro Collection (1952-2000) consists primarily of news clippings and political campaign materials, along with correspondence, newsletters, speeches, and press releases. The collection documents the political climate in early 1960s Texas, emphasizing the efforts of the ”Two-Party Democrats” to strengthen the Texas Republican party and force conservatives out of the Democratic Party. Highlights include an extensive collection of Senator Ralph Yarborough clippings and campaign materials, as well as campaign-related correspondence between Yarborough and Dave Shapiro. The collection also includes maps, plans, and voting statistics used by the Two-Party Democrats in early 1960s Texas elections.

The Political News Clippings series focuses primarily on Texas election races and results. The series also contains biographical profiles of prominent Texas political figures, as well as some clippings on national political topics. News clippings are grouped first by publication year and then by election or topic. Clippings concerning multiple topics are grouped together by year.

The Campaign and Political Materials series contains promotional materials, such as flyers, pamphlets, newsletters, pins, reel-to-reel radio ads, and bumper stickers, associated with Texas political campaigns, as well as voting statistics and electoral maps used to facilitate candidates’ campaigns. Artifacts and multimedia in this series include three campaign pins, for Senator Yarborough and the NFWA, as well as three reel-to-reel tapes of Yarborough campaign advertisements.

The David Shapiro Papers series consists of Shapiro’s personal political papers, including political essays, notes, AFL-CIO memos, and extensive political correspondence, such as correspondence to and from Senator Ralph Yarborough and Chuck Caldwell, a fellow Yarborough campaign aide.


Organization and Arrangement

The papers are arranged chronologically into 3 series:
  • I. Political news clippings
  • II. Campaign and political materials
  • III. David Shapiro Papers


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use of audio material by appointment only; please contact sound archivist for more information.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Connally, John Bowden, 1917-1993.
Goldwater, Barry M. (Barry Morris), 1909-1998.
Johnson, Lyndon Baines, 1908-1973.
Shapiro, David.
Tower, John G. (John Goodwin), 1925-1991.
Yarborough, Don.
Yarborough, Ralph Webster, 1903-1996.
Subjects (Organizations)
Democratic Party (Tex.)
Republican Party (Tex.)
Austin (Tex.)

Separated Material

Some materials have been separated to the Library Unit ephemera collection and the Artifacts collection.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

David Shapiro Collection, 1952-2000, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Erin Donohue, September 2013.

Detailed Description of the Collection


Political news clippings:

4JC48 Texas political clippings, 1958-1962
4JC48 Blakely (D) vs. Tower (R), US Senate, 1961
: 1962
Connally (D) vs. Cox (R), Texas Governor race, 1962
4JC48 States rights/civil rights, July 1963
Texas Senate, 1963
Lyndon Johnson as Vice-President, 1963
1964 Senate Democratic primary, 1963
4JC48 LBJ Presidential election, 1964
Post-election, LBJ, 1964
Governor John Connally (D) vs. Jack Crichton (R), 1964
John Connally vs. Don Yarborough, Democratic primary, Governor race, 1964
4JC49 R. Yarborough vs. Bush, US Senate race, 1964
Bruce Alger (R) vs. Earle Cabell (D), US House, 1964
Albert Peña, Jr., assorted clippings, 1964
Kennedy assassination, 1964
Miscellaneous Texas politics, 1964
Hardin county local politics, 1964
Democratic National Convention and Texas Democratic Convention, 1964
Democratic intra-party conflicts, 1964
Clippings on multiple elections, 1964
Miscellaneous clippings, 1964
4JC49 Governor John Connally and four-year term limits, 1965
Democratic party splitting, 1965
Miscellaneous Texas politics, 1965
General miscellaneous, 1965
LBJ and administration, 1965
Ralph Yarborough, general, 1965
Yarborough vs. Governor Connally, 1965
Franklin Spears, 1965
Redistricting legislation, 1965
Clippings on multiple elections, 1965
4JC49 Civil rights, racial tensions, 1966
Poll tax, 1966
Senator Franklin Spears, 1966
Farmer’s march, 1966
Tower (R) vs. Carr (D), US Senate, 1966
Vote tallies, 1966
Dave Shapiro and two-party system, 1966
Jack Valenti, 1966
Miscellaneous, 1966
Lyndon B. Johnson administration, 1966
Lyndon B. Johnson, 1966
LBJ and Vietnam, 1966
W. Marvin Watson, 1966
Texas politics, general, 1966
Clippings on multiple elections, 1966
4JC50 John Connally, 1967
Clippings on multiple elections, 1967
General Texas politics, 1967
1968 Presidential election speculation, 1967
1968 and later:
4JC50 Assorted clippings, 1968-2000
4JC50 Non-Texas politics, undated
Texas politics, undated
Miscellaneous non-political clippings, undated


Campaign and political materials:

4JC50 AFL-CIO promotional materials, 1962-1967, undated
AFL-CIO newsletter, 1964-1967
Assorted campaign committee members and workers, undated
The Austin Report, 1964-1966
Rex Braun, 1966-1967
George Bush, 1970 and undated
Galloway Calhoun, undated
Capital Tax Letter, June 1964-June 1966
Assorted voting promotional posters, undated
Waggoner Carr, 1966, undated
John Connally (negative), undated
Jack Crichton, undated
J. J. Pickle (negative), 1963
National Democratic Party, 1964-1965, undated
Texas Democratic Party, 1952-1966, undated
Albert Fuentes, undated
Henry B. Gonzalez, undated
Greater Austin Association, undated
Howard Green, 1965 and undated
Texas State Industrial Union Council, undated
LBJ presidential campaign promotional materials, 1964-1965, undated
Bill Kilgarlin, undated
Martin Luther King, Jr. newsletters, 1966, undated
Kountze News, 1964-1966
Henry Cabot Lodge, 1964
District maps (Texas state and cities), 1954-1966, undated
Maps, vote count, 1962 gubernatorial runoff, 1962
Texas general election voting results, 1960
Maps, vote count, 1958 US Senate race, July 26, 1958
Maps, vote count, 1964 US Senate race, undated
Gordon McLendon, March-June 1964
Northeast Loyal Democrats, undated
Jesse Owens, 1964, undated
PASO Reports, 1964-1965
J. J. Pickle, undated
Proxmire, undated
Rebuilding Committee, 1966, undated
The Republican Bandwagon/The Texas Republican, 1964-1967
William Ryan, 1965
Milton Shapp Reports [Pennsylvania], 1965-1966 and undated
Franklin Spears, 1965-1966
Dan Sullivan, 1964, undated
Texas Liberal Democrats, 1964, undated
Texas Observer, 1964
Texas political speeches, 1958-1695, undated
Texas Republican Party, 1964-1966, undated
Texas Republican Precinct Plan, 1964
John Tower, 1966, undated
United Conservative Majority, undated
State Democratic convention voting statistics, 1962
Voting statistics, miscellaneous, undated
Voting statistics, 1964
Voter registration, 1966
Stanley Woods, undated
Don Yarborough, 1965, undated
Don Yarborough itineraries, 1964, undated
Ralph Yarborough [2 folders], 1964-1966, undated
Ralph Yarborough local campaign leadership, 1964
4JC51 Legislation and Congressional records, 1965, undated
US Senate and House Congressional Record, 1965-1966, undated
Supreme Court, poll tax, 1965
Assorted political press releases, 1964-1965, undated
OD 1420 Double-sided Tower/Carr campaign poster, 1966
Artifacts 3 campaign pins (2 Yarborough, 1 NFWA)
2X4b 3 reel-to-reel audiotapes of Yarborough 30-second campaign spots, undated


Dave Shapiro Papers

4Jc51 AFL-CIO and COPE meetings and administrative materials, 1964, undated
Notes, handwritten, undated
Unidentified photograph, undated
Post office, 1963-1964, undated
Essays by Dave Shapiro, 1964, undated
Shapiro incoming correspondence, [2 folders] 1958-1968, undated
Shapiro outgoing correspondence, 1964-1966, 1986, undated
Chuck Caldwell outgoing correspondence, August – October 1965
Chuck Caldwell incoming correspondence, February – December 1965
Ralph Yarborough outgoing correspondence, 1964-1966, undated
Ralph Yarborough incoming correspondence, 1964-1965, undated
Correspondence, assorted, 1963-1966, undated