PSU discovers and digitizes long-lost tapes of historic speeches

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

This is extraordinary. At Portland State, they've discovered hundreds of reel-to-reel tapes that contain speeches by historical figures stretching from the 1950s to the 1970s.

According to KGW, it's all thanks to a curious university archivist:

Christine Paschild, PSU’s university archivist, said she was wandering around the warehouse one day and "noticed a bunch of cardboard boxes labeled ‘reel-to-reel.’”

She found some amazing stuff -- and 275 hours of it has been digitized for your listening pleasure.

For example, there's Linus Pauling, speaking the same year that he became the only person to win two unshared Nobel Prizes. There's Stokely Carmichael, the leader of the Black Panther Party on institutional racism (a term he invented.) And Henry Kissinger, speaking in 1960 on military planning and foreign policy, years before he became Nixon's National Security Advisor and Secretary of State.

There's also Oregon's Senator Wayne Morse speaking in 1968 about the Gulk of Tonkin -- and why he was one of just two Senators to vote against the resolution authorizing war in Vietnam. And Oregon Congresswoman Edith Green also in 1968, one of the authors of Title IX, speaking on education.

And of course, there's the long-lost 1968 campaign speech by Robert Kennedy, two months before the Oregon primary election of 1968 and just 10 weeks before his assassination. Listen to it here (he starts speaking at about 5:30, immediately flubbing the name of the university!):

Amazing stuff.


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