hanks to some forward-looking college professors, television’s Smithsonian Network has a unique look at the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
The network said Wednesday that it will air a documentary in February culled primarily from local news footage in Memphis, Tenn., where the civil rights leader was murdered on April 4, 1968. The material includes news reports about the Memphis sanitation workers strike, the event that drew King to the city, through the assassination and its aftermath.
Smithsonian executive David Royle says many such moments are lost to history since local stations would tape over old broadcasts or throw them away. But sensing that history was happening with the strike, some University of Memphis professors collected all the news reports from that time and the university maintained them.