Video from 1966 found of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at NC State: 19 seconds

Elaina Athans Image
Monday, January 15, 2024
Video of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1966 speech at NCSU found
A 19-second clip of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech inside Reynolds Coliseum in 1966 was recently found in a Raleigh homeowner's basement.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A single 19-second clip of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was just uncovered and it's now the only known recording of the Civil Rights leader's speech at NC State.

King was at the university in 1966 and 5,000 people attended at Reynolds Coliseum that day.

Until now, there were no known audio or video clips.

A Raleigh homeowner discovered the video hidden away in the basement.

To commemorate the finding and the federal holiday bearing his name, NC State is offering an immersive experience of what that day was like in Downtown Raleigh.

"It sets the record straight despite a 1,800-person KKK march intensively organized on that day to intimidate and oppose him. How animated he was at this time to be speaking," said NC State Professor Dr. Jason Miller.

King's visit to the Capital City did spark a massive Klan rally and there are archival photos from that day.

People are seen arriving in Downtown Raleigh, putting on robes for themselves and their children, and then marching through city streets.

The University will be debuting this 10-minute video experience to the public at D.H. Hill Jr. Library on Wednesday, January 17, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Researchers hope there are several takeaways.

"A recognition of how central Raleigh was to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. We often think of important places like Greensboro February 1st. We often think of places like Shaw, where the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was formed. But we have to remember that NC State has its part in the Civil Rights history of our state," said Miller.

Listen: First version of MLK's 'I Have A Dream' speech delivered in North Carolina high school gym

Click here to listen to part of Dr. King's speech during a Rocky Mount visit on November 27, 1962.