Audio recording of MLK released by NYS Museum - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Audio recording of MLK released by NYS Museum


ALBANY, N.Y. – The New York State Museum is offering some new recordings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr on Monday.

The newly recovered tapes were found in the state archives and are the only known audio from his speech commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the of the issuance of Abraham Lincoln's Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in New York City back in 1962.

The New York State Museum was going through a digitization project when one of its interns found the tape.

Senior Historian Jennifer Lemak described her reaction once she heard the news.

"Oh my gosh, you're kidding me. I mean, like I said, an intern found it during a digitization project and it kind of just went through electric through the museum," said Lemak.

The recording was given to the museum in 1979, but was lost or forgotten until November of last year.

The tapes have been made available on the museum's website and beginning February 1 through March 13 at the museum, you can listen to the recordings and see the written manuscript and the program from the dinner.

Other long-lost audio from Martin Luther King Jr., can be heard as his legacy is honored on Monday.

MLK is heard discussing steps with then-President-elect John F. Kennedy to influence King's release from a Georgia Prison. King had been sentenced to four months of hard labor for a traffic violation.  

"Now, it is true that Senator Kennedy did take a specific step. He was in contact with officials in Georgia during my arrest and he called my wife, made a personal call and expressed his concern and said to her that he was working and trying to do something to make my release possible," said King in the recording.

The sound is from a tape found in a Tennessee attic a few years ago, but parts of it were held back until now. The recording is from an interview conducted on December 21, 1960, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, by a man who intended to write a book about the civil rights movement.  

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