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: