Scope and Content Note: The collection consists of Louis C. Harris, Sr.'s entire home movie collection (1942-1960) of silent, black-and-white and color, camera-original, 8mm and 16mm home movie footage shot between 1942 and 1960 in Italy; Algiers; Augusta, Georgia; Florida; South Carolina; and Yucca Flat, Nevada; and three commercial 16mm films. The National Film Preservation Foundation generously funded full film preservation of several reels of Mr. Harris's home movies. Three reels of Kodachrome document a July, 8 1953 soap box derby sponsored by the Augusta Chronicle. But three months before this innocent American pastime, Mr. Harris was invited by the government, as a member of the press, to witness a 16-kiloton atomic blast at Yucca Flat, Nevada, on March 17, 1953. He made a short Kodachrome 16mm film of his trip west which includes scenes at the Phoenix, Arizona airport; day and evening shots of the Las Vegas Strip including the famous "Vegas Vic" waving cowboy neon sign erected in 1951 (the Pioneer Club casino which it advertised closed in 1995); at Indian Springs AFB where atomic bomb drop planes were being "decontaminated" with water and brooms after blast flyovers; at the test location with other journalists being briefed; the atomic blast itself; and colleagues present just after the test. His newspaper accounts of the events that week (available on microfilm in the UGA Main Library) describe the safety of the test and the need for Americans to prepare for potential nuclear war. The family's papers and Mr. Harris's home audio disc recordings are also at UGA.
Biographical Note: Filmmaker Louis C. Harris, Sr. (1912-1978) was a reporter for and later Managing Editor of the Augusta, Georgia, Chronicle and Executive Editor of the Augusta Herald (when the papers later merged), from 1932 until his death. He served overseas in World War II as a member of the Public Information branch of the Army Air Corps, including serving under General Mark Clark, Commander of U.S. Forces, in Austria just after the war. Mr. Harris was a respected member of journalism and community organizations such as the Georgia Press Association and the Society of Professional Journalists, the Augusta Kiwanis, Red Cross, and Chamber of Commerce.
Extent: 21 film reels : si., b&w and col. ; 8 mm.;7 film reels : si., b&w and col. ; 16 mm.;1 film reel : si., b&w ; 9.5 mm.;1 videocassette (Beta) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.;6 sound discs : analog, 33 1/3 rpm., mono. ; 10 in.;23 sound discs : analog, 78 rpm., mono. ; 10 in.
Extent: Related collections held by the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries: Louis C. Harris papers, 1938-1978.;University of Georgia Main Library microfilm collection.
Provenance: Deposited in the Walter J. Brown Media Archives by Hap Harris.
Cite Collection As: Louis C. Harris home movie collection, 1942-1960. Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries.