WSIU TV 8 | WUSI TV 16 | WSIU 91.9FM | WUSI 90.3FM | WVSI 88.9FM | WSIU HD 91.9FM
WSIU InFocus Video Player
Burning At Old Main
Roz: All this month on WSIU InFocus, we’ve been dusting off some rare bits of local public television history during this month’s PBS series saluting Pioneers of Television. On this episode, we’re featuring another program from our archives entitled: Fire at Old Main.
George: Today, Pulliam Hall is the symbolic face of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, but back in the 1960s, the historic Old Main building was more than just a landmark in the center of campus. To many, the big red brick building represented Southern’s heart and soul as an institution.
Roz: When Old Main burned under mysterious circumstances in June of 1969, the building’s loss sent shockwaves throughout the University and surrounding region. Two of our own local pioneers of television, the late Ed Brown and John Holmes hosted WSIU’s coverage of the fire and its aftermath. The program features rare interviews with former SIU President Delyte Morris whose shock over the disaster was tempered by his gratitude for the students, faculty, and staff who rallied to save what they could from the building even as the fire raged on around them.
George: While the program may seem crude by today’s standards, it was cutting edge broadcast journalism back in 1969 when it was produced. All of the moving images you’ll see were shot on film which was processed, edited, and packaged for a live broadcast that same night.
Roz: Tonight we will take you back in time and show you the spirit of the university community in Carbondale and neighboring cities as everyone joined together during a time of crisis.