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By Michelle Malkin  •  May 22, 2005 12:01 PM

There’s a new documentary on Sen. Robert Byrd’s life story “of strength and fortitude” debuting this week. It’s called “The Soul of the Senate” (website to be launched soon here). The Sunday Gazette-Mail reports:

Some historic shots were discovered in the massive television video archives WSAZ-TV has given to the Cultural Center in Charleston and Marshall University in Huntington.

“It was a treasure hunt,” said Diana Sole of MotionMasters.

“We had to pry some of those old cans open. We found one film of Senator Byrd a week before he was sworn into the Senate.”

Sole also used footage taken by Bill Drennan and Mike Willard. In the mid-1980s, they worked on, but never finished, a documentary they planned to call “A Day in the Life of Senator Byrd.”

Photographs show Byrd playing his fiddle, leading Appropriations Committee hearings and walking with Erma, who married him nearly 68 years ago in 1937. A particularly colorful clip shows Erma watching her husband play fiddle on the television show “Hee-Haw.”

“Soul of the Senate” highlights moments in Byrd’s life from his graduation as valedictorian from Mark Twain High School in Stotesbury in 1934, to being congratulated by President John F. Kennedy as he received his law degree at American University in 1963, to chairing major committee hearings in the U.S. Senate.

The film will be distributed to every secondary school and library in West Virginia, along with a detailed 20-page study guide about Byrd’s career.

No word on whether the documentary will include any of these historic moments in Sen. Byrd’s life. Or whether video of this proud moment will be shown.

(Hat tip: Reader Mark M.)

Update: At 87, Byrd facing re-election battle of his career if he runs

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