Click on picture to see large version of picture.
|On March 23, 1957, the University of North Carolina won
National Basketball Championship by upsetting the University of Kansas in triple overtime
in Kansas City. The next afternoon, I went out to see the team arrive and was
surprised by the large crowd of a couple thousand fans. When I got to the crowd, I
saw a WRAL-TV crew with a film camera on top of steps used by aircraft passengers.
They said they needed an audio operator and waved for me to come help them. I sat
under the camera tripod most of the time and operated the audio level for WRAL-TV News
anchor Bill Armstrong. Used the good location to take a few slides with my 35 mm
A good page by the University of North Carolina tells the story with many pictures of the 1957 team.
|1 - Large crowd gathered at the Raleigh-Durham airport to
welcome UNC basketball team.
|2 - More of the crowd at the gate and on top of building. You can see that the boarding gates were not very big and out in the open.|
|3 - Small fan has sign "I was never worried" on his
stroller. Another sign in the crowd said "UNC wilted the Stilt" referring
to Wilt 'the Stilt" Chamberlain on the Kansas team.
|4 - Crowd on the tarmac waiting for the plane.|
|5 - WUNC-TV set up for a live telecast using an RCA TV
B&W camera on top of their mobile bus. In 1957, Channel 4 in Chapel Hill was the
only educational station in North Carolina. This was also before local TV stations
had video tape and color cameras.
|6. - Crowd waits. WUNC-TV was just to the left of our
film crew. Notice in the far background the Air Traffic Control Tower. Looks
very similar to a typical fire tower.
|7 - UNC team airplane landing.
Sorry about the blurry picture.
|8 - Eastern Airlines Lockheed Constellation taxis with left
outboard engine already stopped.
|9 - Crowds runs toward plane before it stops. The pilot
had to cut the engines to protect the fans.
|10 - The pilot had to stop the aircraft about 100 feet short
of where he was suppose to because of the crowd approaching the aircraft. The crew looking
out the front door. It was suppose to stop in front of us so we could get good
pictures of the team leaving the plane. You can see the WRAL-TV film camera on the left.
|11 - Ground crew trying to move steps to back aircraft door
through the crowd. WRAL-TV News anchor Bill Armstrong starting running with the
microphone to the aircraft with the crowd and suddenly his audio was gone. He outran
the mike cord and it disconnected. Wireless mike! What was that!
|12 - Team descending the stairs. Bill did come back close enough to reconnect the mike cable. I don't think the players feet touched the ground until some time later when they got of the plane.|
|13 - The crowd had players on their shoulders and walked
around the tarmac with them.
|14 - One of the UNC players taking a victory ride!
Coach Frank McGuire and All-American Lennie Rosenbluth were not on the plane due to other
1957 UNC Champs Return!
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