Wire Services: The Death Blunder

Ronald Alford, 24, was having a hectic day. Illness and vacation had left him the only reporter in the Memphis bureau of the Associated Press. That morning he had been trudging a dusty road south of the city covering James Meredith's march into Mississippi, but at 1:30 he had returned to the unmanned office. Now the news was coming through that Meredith had been shot, and Alford was in a bind.

He rushed down the hall to the noisy newsroom of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. He was apparently unaware that A.P.'s Photographer Jack...

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