The Smithsonian Channel debuts a new documentary tonight on the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that includes rare footage of the days leading up to the iconic Civil Rights leader's murder in Memphis in April 1968.
"MLK: The Assassination Tapes" relies solely on archival films, photographs and recordings from television and radio news coverage, as well as audio recordings of local police scrambling to secure the Lorraine Hotel minutes after King's shooting was reported.
The documentary uses what Smithsonian describes as "recently rediscovered footage" from the Special Collections Division at The University of Memphis, chronologically presented for a powerfully immersive effect. Much of the archival footage has not been seen by the public since it was first gathered in 1968.
The special debuts tonight at 9 on Smithsonian Channel and repeats at midnight, then again Monday at 8 p.m.
Smithsonian Channel is on Time Warner Cable digital channel 1264; DirecTV 565 and 1565; DISH Network on 288; and AT&T U-Verse 118 and 1118.
If you don't have access to Smithsonian Channel, you can watch the film free online starting today through SmithsonianChannel.com or by using Smithsonian Channel's apps for iPhone, Android and Nook.