Memories, artifacts surface in renovation of old State House pre - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Memories, artifacts surface in renovation of old State House press room

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The old press room in the Alabama State House is being torn up and renovated, most likely to become a committee room. But for those who worked there, the room brings back memories.

“Lot of news was covered here," said Clay Redden, public information officer for the House of Representatives. "A lot of history was covered here, an awful lot of history.” 

Before becoming the House's PIO, Redden worked in the old press room as a reporter. While tearing out the old cubicles, old newspaper clippings, historical stories were found, including stories about sit-ins in the 1960s.

“Thirty-three negros close the white snack bar at the Montgomery County Court House by demanding to be served coffee and donuts,” Redden read from an old news article. Another sheet contained a plea for leniency from now famed Civil Rights attorney Fred Gray.

The press room still had filing cabinets filled with bills from a time before the internet where reporters would have to look through the files for the bill they were inquiring about. There were old radio tapes of sessions from the past still in their reels.

A unique piece among all the items is an artillery shell fuse setter, labeled only to be used in an emergency case of the legislature.

“The Alabama state press room is the only state house press room in the United States, and perhaps the world, that has an artillery shell fuse setter,” Redden explained.

We've been unable to fact check whether or not there is another press room with a fuse setter, but it’s probably safe to say it’s unique.

The room, and it’s cubicles were cleared out by Friday, leaving peeling wallpaper and some left over sheets of paper. However for Redden, the work done in this room will never go away.

“You don’t think about at the time but after 20, 40, 60 years, man they come back to hit you,” he admitted. 

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