When the story broke that a little girl was trapped in a well in San Marino, thousands of Angelenos snapped on their television sets. They kept them on for the next 27 hours.
The year was 1949 — decades before live coverage of car chases, hostage crises and other breaking news became commonplace.
“That was the first time anyone realized that television had this remarkable ability,” Stan Chambers, one of the two reporters on the scene for KTLA-TV Channel 5’s unusual broadcast, recalled years later of his role in TV news history. “It was then that I decided that I really wanted to be in news.”
Chambers, who stayed on the story through its heartbreaking ending to become one...