WSFA film reel found in Montgomery time capsule now digitized

WSFA's 1969 Montgomery time capsule video (no audio)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The waiting has ended and the WSFA film box found inside a recently-opened time capsule is now available to view a half-century later.

The color film, which is just under seven-and-a-half minutes in length, shows the ceremony on the Alabama Capitol steps. Then-Gov. Albert Brewer and Montgomery Mayor Earl James, as well as others, can be seen talking from a podium.

There are also shots of Sharon Myers, who was Miss Montgomery 1969, members of the Sidney Lanier High School Band, as well as a WSFA photographer named Tal Eaton with his camera!

A WSFA photographer believed to be Tal Eaton films the 1969 ceremony of the City of Montgomery's time capsule closure.
A WSFA photographer believed to be Tal Eaton films the 1969 ceremony of the City of Montgomery's time capsule closure. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

Different objects, as well as newspapers, magazines, and letters, were placed in the capsule before its closure. That included the film reel documenting the ceremony. Unfortunately, the film does not include any audio.

The film box states that it was developed after being shot on Dec. 5, 1969. It aired during the next day’s 6 p.m. newscast.

WSFA 12 News was on the scene for the sealing of a Montgomery time capsule in 1969. Fifty years later, we were there to see it reopened.
WSFA 12 News was on the scene for the sealing of a Montgomery time capsule in 1969. Fifty years later, we were there to see it reopened. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

Because so much time had passed between the closing and reopening, WSFA’s current employees were just as surprised as everyone else at the film’s rediscovery when officials with the City of Montgomery and the Alabama Department of Archives and History opened the capsule on the city’s 200th birthday on Dec. 3.

“Once we learned the time capsule contained a canister of WSFA 12 News footage from 1969, we worked quickly to get it digitized to share with our viewers and all of Montgomery,” said WSFA 12 News News Director Scott Duff. “We worked closely with the Alabama Department of Archives and History as well as Dan Black Studios to get the film digitized in just four working days.”

“It’s amazing to see that WSFA 12 News was such a big part of the community in 1966 to have been included in the time capsule,” Duff said. "We are honored now to share the event as it happened 50 years later with everyone.”

PUBLIC DISPLAY

The Archives Department says it will release an inventory of the time capsule Wednesday afternoon and will set up a small display of some items for the public to view for several weeks. A selection will also be digitized for online viewing at www.youtube.com/alabamaarchives.

Those who believe they may have a letter in the capsule can fill out a form to retrieve it. Those letters will be distributed starting in the coming week.

To save the form in order to print it and fill it out, right-click on it and save it to your desktop. On a mobile device, hold your finger on the image until you are given the option to save it.

Alabama Dept. of Archives time capsule form
Alabama Dept. of Archives time capsule form (Source: WSFA 12 News)

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