WSB-TV newsfilm clip of mayor William B. Hartsfield speaking to reporters about recent civil rights demonstrations and the arrest of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Atlanta, Georgia, 1960 October 24
@ Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection
WSB-TV (Television station : Atlanta, Ga.)
DescriptionIn this WSB newsfilm clip from a press conference held in Atlanta, Georgia on October 24, 1960, mayor William B. Hartsfield speaks to reporters about recent civil rights demonstrations and the October 19 arrest of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The clip begins with mayor William B. Hartsfield explaining to reporters that he anticipates the city will receive only a few critical responses to its handling of civil rights demonstrators' arrests. Critical responses, mayor Hartsfield continues, most often come from people unaware of the potential national and international impact of sit-ins and arrests. Mayor Hartsfield's response to a question about interaction with the governor about the situation is not recorded. He explains that officials at Rich's Department store, where King was arrested, told county prosecuting officials they did not want to prosecute King. The answer to another reporter's question is not recorded, and mayor Hartsfield is next seen in a silent portion of the clip, sitting at his desk. After the silent portion, mayor Hartsfield reports that he has begun working with downtown merchants to resolve the racial conflict, alluding to a thirty-day truce. Civil rights leaders agreed to stop demonstrations and community leaders agreed to release the twenty-three demonstrators who had been arrested on city-owned land. The truce did not cover thirty-nine demonstrators who were arrested on county-owned land, including King. Hartsfield indicates that while he has not communicated with Dr. King's brother, A. D. King, about Dr. King's release from jail and the demonstrations, he still hopes for...