Video: Discovered footage shows 1939 Kentucky Derby in color

November 16, 2018 09:33am
A Knoxville, Tenn., man nearly threw away an old box of film when the projector accompanying it didn't work. But he figured the reels may mean something to someone else. And he was right.

WBIR, an NBC affiliate, developed a multi-part story series called "The Hunt for History: The lost films of Granville Hunt," that aired earlier this month.

The late photographer's film includes color, silent movies of the Great Smoky Mountains, his family, the University of Tennessee football team at the Orange Bowl -- and 1939 Kentucky Derby day.

It's Churchill Downs, perhaps, as you've never seen before, with Johnstown winning that year's Derby. That was one of trainer James "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons' three Derby heroes, a list that also includes the Triple Crown winners Gallant Fox (1930) and Omaha (1935).

View WBIR's story series, with links to Hunt's other recently discovered works. His 1939 Derby footage is embedded below:


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