World-renowned Illusionist David Copperfield has recently purchased a lost interview recording of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with plans to donate it to the National Civil rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.
The reel-to-reel interview, recorded over 50 years ago, was discovered in a battered box of a dusty attic in Chattanooga, Tennessee by the son of the man who conducted the interview. Stephen Tull said that his father interviewed MLK with plans to publish a book about the civil rights movement, but never finished the book due to illness. Tull’s father is currently in hospice care.
The recording is dated ‘December 21, 1960’: three years before Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech and has been declared as authentic by several historians. The amount that David Copperfield paid for the recording is undisclosed, however its value has been appraised at $100,000.
David Copperfield said he wanted to give the purchased recording to the museum because it “is just the right thing to do.”
“He’s certainly one of the great inspirational figures in history,” Copperfield said. “So much of what I do, in my own little way, is making people dream, transporting them, making them think differently. That’s what magic does. His dream was far greater than any entertainer can provide.” [CNN]
Barbara Andrews, the director of education and interpretation expressed gratitude and excitement about the generous donation, stating: “We are extremely grateful for the generosity and high regard Mr. Copperfield holds for the National Civil Rights Museum,” [CNN]
The recording will be housed and played in the ‘motel room’ exhibit of the museum for all visitors to hear.
This was such a cool thing for David Copperfield to do! So often you hear of celebrities purchasing items like this to keep for themselves—it’s a true rarity to hear about donations of this kind. I am sure that his generosity and selflessness is greatly appreciated not only by the National Civil rights Museum, but also Stephen Tull, the son of the man who conducted the interview. Because of David Copperfield’s “right thing to do”, thousands of museum visitors can know and appreciate a rare (and new) piece of history.
Way to go David!!
photo credit: dcopperfield.com