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New APT documentary explores early Republican Jim Martin

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A new documentary on Alabama Public Television will examine the life of Jim Martin, one of the first Republicans to rise to political prominence in the state.

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Nearly 60 years ago, when Alabama was controlled by conservative Democrats, Martin challenged and nearly defeated longtime incumbent Senate incumbent Lister Hill in 1962. The Gadsden resident — who helped liberate a Nazi concentration camp during World War II — was later elected to the U.S. House in Alabama’s 4th District and served a single term from 1965-67.  He was the Republican nominee for governor in 1966, losing to Democratic Gov. Lurleen Wallace.

Martin later became director of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources under Republican Gov. Guy Hunt and established the state’s Forever Wild land preservation program. He also pushed for oil companies to pay royalties to the state for offshore production in Alabama waters.
Martin died in 2017 at the age of 99.

The show “Forever Wild: The James D. Martin Story” will premiere Monday at 9 p.m. on Alabama Public Television. The documentary was produced by Longleaf Studios at Jacksonville State University.

At 10 p.m., APT will rebroadcast the award-winning documentary JEREMIAH, which profiles former U S Senator Jeremiah Denton. Prior to the Senate Admiral Denton was the ranking POW held in the Vietnam war. He was released in 1973 and elected to the Senate in 1980. In 2016 this documentary on the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award for the best documentary in the United States.

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