Newly-Discovered Footage of George Wallace Shooting

It was a year ago this week that our friend and longtime Laurel resident, John Floyd, passed away. We’re still curating his many photos and artifacts as we prepare a special tribute page for him here on our website, and one of the items we were most surprised to find among his files is this 8mm film.

As a 14-year-old in May 1972, John predictably took a home movie camera to record Governor George Wallace’s presidential campaign appearance at Laurel Shopping Center, and captured a two-minute overview of the speech, the shooting, and aftermath of the assassination attempt. We digitized the footage and shared it initially on our Facebook page.

Recorded on May 15, 1972 by John when he was 14 years old, it captures the presidential campaign appearance of Alabama governor George Wallace at Laurel Shopping Center. Moments after leaving the podium, Wallace was shot by Arthur Bremer and left paralyzed for life. The footage is just over two minutes in length. Included are glimpses of Grand Ole Opry star Billy Grammer and his band, Wallace’s introduction, moments from his speech, the shooting, aftermath, and the Laurel Rescue Squad response. The silent footage, which John himself admitted he’d long ago misplaced, can now be seen publicly for the first time in nearly 50 years.

Prince George’s County’s CTV News ran a piece on our discovery, interviewing Richard Friend for the story. The segment appears at the 8:19 mark:

Voices of Laurel | Summer 2021

The Summer 2021 issue of Voices of Laurel is here, and it includes a Laurel Chronicles story by Kevin Leonard that we believe will finally close the nearly 60-year-old cold case murder of Carol Replane.

You can download and read the PDF for free, as well as previous issues here. Printed copies of the newspaper will be distributed around town in the coming days.

With the recent news that the Laurel Leader has ceased local coverage, (opting instead to simply pull content from the Baltimore Sun and The Capital in lieu of Laurel-based contributors) local independent journalism is more important than ever. If you like what we do and want to help support our efforts with important projects like this, please consider making a tax deductible gift to The Laurel History Boys, Inc. It will help cover the cost of printing, and allow us to expand content and circulation. Starting with our Fall issue, we plan to include many of the former Leader writers, providing them an outlet to once again share their voices as well.

Laurel at 150

Join the Laurel History Boys this Saturday at Partnership Hall at 4 pm! This free presentation is part of the City of Laurel – Government‘s 150th Anniversary celebration, and features readings and images from our new book, Laurel at 150!

For more info on Saturday’s presentation:
https://150.cityoflaurel.org/event/laurel-at-150

To pre-order your copy of the book:
https://www.laurelat150.com/

Saturday, February 29, 2020
4:00 pm

The Laurel History Boys will present a lively and sometimes amusing recap of Laurel’s 150 years using photos, artifacts, and documents at the Laurel Police Department’s Partnership Activity Center. How much do you know about Laurel’s history?

LPD Partnership Activity Center

811 5th Street
Laurel, Maryland 20707

An Informal Evening with the Mayors of Laurel

The full video of our roundtable discussion with the living Mayors of Laurel is ready! Many thanks again to Mayor Craig Moe and former Mayors Mike Leszcz, Joe Robison, Dani Duniho and Bob DiPietro for their participation in this fun and historic project!

It was filmed before an audience at the Laurel Police Department’s Partnership Activity Center on Saturday, December 12, 2015.

Laurel Leader coverage includes a partial transcript: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/laurel/ph-ll-history-mayors-0128-20160128-4-story.html

An Informal Evening with the Mayors of Laurel!

 

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Just recently, we were at the Tastee Diner—meeting up with some longtime locals to chat about Laurel in the 1970s. At some point, the talk turned to “Who would be the most interesting people to sit down with and reminisce about local history?” Next came the idea, “Imagine if all the living former mayors got together…”

I’m pleased to announce that we’ve managed to do just that. And next Saturday, December 12th, you’re invited to sit in and be the proverbial fly on the wall as former mayors Robert DiPietro (1978-86), Dani Duniho (1986-90), Joseph R. Robison (1990-94), and Michael R. Leszcz (2001-02) will be joined by current Mayor Craig Moe (2002-present) for an informal trip down memory lane.

Mrs. Duniho, who now lives in Tuscon, Arizona, will be participating via Skype or speakerphone if at all possible.

This may very well be the first event of its kind in Laurel, and we’re looking forward to filming it for posterity. A transcript will also appear in one of Kevin’s future “History Matters” columns in the Laurel Leader.

This won’t be a City Council meeting, to be sure. We hope to give the mayors a relaxing forum for a change—a fun setting where we won’t talk business as usual, but touch on some of the issues that many residents have probably always wondered about. Things like, “What was the most outrageous favor someone approached you with?” It’s a shame that the late Frank P. Casula can’t be there with us to discuss that topic—Pete has one of his “If I may be of any assistance…” business cards in his collection!

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Mr. Casula passed away during his second term as Mayor in 2001, which led to Mike Leszcz becoming the first person to hold the office after the death of a sitting mayor.

Likewise, Mrs. Duniho has a first in Laurel’s history—she was the first (and only) female mayor.

There are countless memories among this legendary group, and we plan on just letting them talk and see where the conversation goes! We hope you’ll join us!

WHEN:
Saturday, December 12, 2015
5PM

WHERE:
Laurel Police Department Partnership Activity Hall
811 Fifth Street

This is a free event.

Pete will also have an assortment of his vintage Laurel political memorabilia displayed for show and tell before and after the event.

Mark your calendars and join us! If you’re planning on doing the Laurel Historical Society’s annual Holiday House Tour earlier that afternoon, this will be the perfect followup!

The Blog

Anytime the boys meet up for a bite at Laurel’s legendary Tastee Diner, the talk always turns to history. Kevin brainstorms about upcoming “History Matters” columns for the Laurel Leader, sharing fascinating finds from his research. Pete brings a veritable show and tell of recent acquisitions for his memorabilia collection, and Rich compares notes and discusses all things Lost Laurel.

We frequently meet with longtime contributors as well as new faces—folks who’ve lived the Laurel history and have important stories to tell.

This site is a collaborative effort to share the best of what we uncover, and bring a fresh voice to Laurel history. We hope you’ll enjoy the ride!