For CBS News correspondent Randall Pinkston’s last “Evening News” report, he looked back at a milestone for Jackson NBC affiliate WLBT, the station where he started his television career (video above).
Today is the 50th anniversary of Mississippi civil rights leader Medgar Evers‘ historical speech on WLBT. In 1963, it was unheard of for a black man to appear on television in the segregated south — until Evers was granted time to speak on WLBT. He was assassinated less than a month later.
The request for equal air time became a long legal battle that resulted in the FCC revoking WLBT’s license and awarding it to new owners who shared Evers’ vision. Pinkston was hired as anchor of the 10 p.m. newscast in 1971.
“The station became, and remains, an industry leader in diversity, and it began with Medgar Evers,” Pinkston said.