American History

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Freedom Summer: American Experience on WETA TV26 & HD

Watch the American Experience episode Freedom Summer  tonight, Tuesday June 24 at 9pm on WETA TV26 & HD. More air times here.

The summer of 1964 is known as Freedom Summer. More than 700 student volunteers joined with organizers and local African Americans in an historic effort to destroy the foundations of white supremacy in the nation’s most segregated state, Mississippi. Working as a unified team, they canvassed for voter registration, created Freedom Schools, and established the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Their goal was to challenge the segregationist state Democratic Party at the national convention in Atlantic City. The campaign was marked by constant and deadly violence. This included the notorious murders of three civil rights workers, countless beatings, the burning of 35 churches, and the bombing of 70 homes and Freedom Houses. Learn more about this part of American history tonight at 9pm on WETA TV26 & HD.

 

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Makers: Women Who Make America | New Documentary

Known as one of the largest social movements in the history of the world, the Women’s Movement over the last half-century has been a movement for gender equality in the work place and home.  Through hard work, dedication, perseverance, and family commitment, women began a revolution which has deeply impacted American culture. Next week WETA presents Makers: Women Who Make America, a documentary that looks in-depth at the millions of women who have helped shape America over the past 50 years and how they continue to influence the world today. Click here to watch a preview of Makers: Women Who Make America!

Over the past 100 years the United States has been through many social revolutions, one of the most important being the Woman’s Movement. Makers.com, a digital platform created for women to share their stories of leadership and progress, has compiled many of those stories into the three hour show, Makers: Women Who Make America. Revisit monumental moments in women's history through archival footage and interviews from everyday women and celebrity figures such as Katie Couric, Billie Jean King, Oprah Winfrey, and Ellen DeGeneres. Join WETA Tuesday February 26 at 8:00pm as we celebrate woman seeking equality in both past and present America and discover that anyone can be apart of a revolution and change society. . 

Join us Tuesday February 26 at 8:00pm and again on Wednesday February 27 at 3:00pm as WETA Presents Makers: Women Who Make America.

 

 

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Free Movies in DC | WETA Movie Night February 23

Determination

Sometimes, you just have to go with what feels right. This week’s WETA Saturday Night Movies on WETA TV26 & WETA HD celebrate people who knew they were right, even when everyone else was telling them they were wrong. We begin at 9:30pm with Top Hat, where Jerry Travers peruses a woman who isn’t interested because she thinks he’s someone else. But Jerry doesn’t give up that easily! Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 is at 11:00pm, which takes a look at activists during the civil rights era who knew they were working for good, even when the media tried to misrepresent them.

Click here to watch video previews of these two films!

 

Top Hat (1935)

What would you do if your best friend’s spouse fell in love with you? Run away! Or in this case, dance in the opposite direction. Dale Tremont (Ginger Rogers) makes her distaste of Jerry Travers (Fred Astaire) known after he wakes her one night with loud tap dancing from the room above her. In a case of mistaken identity, she believes him to be her friend’s husband and is put off even more by his romantic advances. After she travels to Italy, only to be perused by Jerry, the confusion escalates with a marriage proposal. Can these two figure out who they really are and become the perfect pair? If you missed it in January, find out this Saturday at 9:30pm.

Watch Top Hat on WETA TV26 & WETA HD Saturday at 9:30pm! Also airs Sunday at 11:30am.

 

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975

After 16mm footage of the civil rights movement was discovered in the cellar of a Swedish broadcasting company, filmmaker Goran Hugo Olsson decided to create a documentary about the Black Power movement from 1967 to 1975. Featuring interviews with prominent African American artists, activists, musicians and scholars, as well as input from today's scholars and historians, this film shows a different perspective of the revolution commonly portrayed as a violent protest by United States media of the time. Join us as we continue to celebrate Black History Month through the eyes of Swedish filmmakers, this Saturday at 11:00pm.

Watch Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 on WETA TV26 & WETA HD Saturday at 11:00pm.

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WETA Celebrates Black History Month

Celebrate Black History Month with WETA, as we bring you a wide variety of unique television programs during the month February. So join us as we retrace history from musicians to civil rights figures to sports icons who helped shape culture.

 
 
MUSIC AND CULTURE
 
The “Black Dragon” 

Ron Van Clief, an African-American kungfu martial artist, starred in more than 40 kungfu films.  His discipline, technique, and resulting success earned Van Clief the nickname “Black Dragon” from Bruce Lee.  Discover Van Clief’s and other African-American men’s challenge to overcome the kungfu status quo as they mastered the ancient martial art and created a resonation in black communities across the United States.    

 
The Bravado Man 

Cab Calloway had the moves, the voice, and the charm to forge new ground for African-American jazz musicians.  Explore the life of this pioneering jazz legend who led one of the most popular African-American big bands during the jazz and swing eras of the 1930s-40s.  Best known for his signature song “Minnie the Moocher” and for his role in The Blues Brothers (1980), countless performers and audiences look up to Calloway’s talent and showmanship.   

 
 
An Indelible Mark 

Entrepreneur, songwriter, record and movie producer and director: Berry Gordy.  Gordy has left a permanent mark on music and films in the U.S. and beyond.  Gordy is the founder of Motown Records, the most successful African-American-owned enterprise in the nation.  Join WETA’s Gwen Ifill as she interviews the widely celebrated Gordy.     

 
 
Miss Maestro 

Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1915-1973) is considered the “godmother” of rock ’n’ roll.  During the 1940s-60s, Sister Tharpe introduced the spiritual passion of her gospel music into rock ’n’ roll’s secular world.  A flamboyant superstar and electric guitarist, Sister Tharpe was a major influence on musicians such as Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash.  Rock out with Sister Tharpe as American Masters explores the life, music, and influence of this African-American gospel singer and guitar virtuoso.     
 
Charged for Change 
Between 1967 and 1975, America’s black communities experienced an era of convulsive change.  Through candid 16mm footage and contemporary audio interviews with leading African-American artists, activists, musicians and scholars, experience a cinematic and musical journey exploring the people, society, culture and style that led to the black communities’ transformation during this fiery time period.      
 
The One and Only… 
Join Gwen Ifill and Smokey Robinson himself for an insider’s look at the life and career of this Motown legend.  Taped in 2009 before a theater audience at Northwestern University’s Thorne Auditorium, this program features former Motown executive and film producer Suzanna de Passe as mistress of ceremonies and musical tributes from Grammy-nominated artists such as Teena Marie, Howard Hewett, and Musiq Soulchild.  
 
A New American Sound 
Before Otis Redding, before Motown, before Aretha Franklin became the Queen of Soul, Sam Cooke put the spirit of the black church into popular music.  The first African-American artist to reach #1 on both the pop charts and R&B, Cooke forever altered popular music’s course and race relations in America.  American Masters explores Cooke’s life and music and how he came about to creating a new American sound.   
 
Unique Perspective
In Latin America and the Caribbean, millions of people of African descent have had an extensive impact on the countries’ history and culture; however, their contributions have been largely unknown.  In this 4-part series, join Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. as he unravels the African influence on society in six Latin American countries.
Part 1 of 4  Haiti & the Dominican Republic: An Island Divided 
Saturday, February 9 at 3:30am
Explore how race has been socially constructed in the Dominican Republic, a society whose people reflect centuries of intermarriage.  Then, learn about the birth of the first-ever black republic, Haiti, and how the slaves’ hard-fought liberation over Napoleon Bonaparte’s French Empire became a double-edged sword.      
Part 2 of 4  Cuba: The Next Revolution
Sunday, February 10 at 4:30pm
Discover how Cuba’s culture, religion, politics, and music are inextricably linked to the massive amount of slave labor imported to produce the country’s enormously profitable 19th-century sugar industry.  Also, examine how race and racism have fared since Fidel Castro’s Communist revolution in 1959.  
Part 3 of 4  Brazil: A Racial Paradise?
Sunday, February 17 at 4:00pm
Unmask the façade of Carnival to discover how this “rainbow nation” is waking up to its legacy as the world’s largest slave economy.  
Part 4 of 4  Mexico & Peru: The Black Grandma in the Closest 
Sunday, February 24 at 4:00pm
Investigate the history of Mexico’s and Peru’s black population-the two countries that received far more slaves than did the U.S.-and discover the worlds of culture that the slaves’ descendants have created.    
 
 
CIVIL RIGHTS
 
Unafraid to Speak 
Daisy Bates, an African-American feminist, surpassed the odds during a time of extreme turbulence and conflict.  In 1957, Bates expressed her public support for nine black students to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Join Independent Lens as they tell Bates’ story of her bold steps that simultaneously sparked fame and hate.  
 
Like a Soldier
From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives to travel together on buses and trains through the Deep South in a challenge to segregation.  Purposely violating the Jim Crow laws, these brave men and women became known as the “Freedom Riders” as they endured savage beatings, imprisonment, and bitter racism that tested their belief in nonviolent activism.  
 
 
A Common Misconception 
Explore an entirely new history in Slavery by Another Name, a 2012 Sundance Film Festival selection based on the Wall Street Journal’s senior writer Douglas A. Blackmon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book.  This documentary confronts one of Americans’ most relished assumptions that the Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery; instead, the post-Emancipation-era labor practices and laws pulled thousands of African Americans in both the North and South back into forced labor with shocking force and brutality.  Hear the voices of the forgotten victims, executers of forced labor, and the descendants living today in this riveting documentary.  
 
 
Turbulent Forces 
Seething and tumultuous powers in American society instigated one of the most tragic encounters in American history.  Discover the wildly disparate, yet fatefully entwined stories of an assassin, James Earl Ray, and his target, Dr. Martin Luther King JR., and their violent, tragic collision in Memphis Tennessee, on April 4, 1968.  
 
Determined for Liberty
The 19th-century clandestine Underground Railroad was run by extraordinary people who helped fugitive slaves escape forced labor.  William Still was one of the many heroic individuals that put his life at risk for the freedom of another’s.  A free black man residing in Philadelphia, William Still accepted delivery of transported crates containing “human cargo.”  Journey into the stories behind this humanitarian enterprise and explore key Canadian connections, including the surprising fate of former slaves who crossed the border to “Freedom’s Land.”  
 
The Inside Man 
Whitney M. Young, Jr. is one of the least known yet most influential black civil rights leaders.  Following his journey from segregated Kentucky to head of the National Urban League, Young fought for civil rights from within.  Young took the fight directly to the most powerful white elites ranging from Wall Street, to Fortune 500 companies, to presidents Kennedy, Nixon, and Johnson.  Follow Young’s unique story and perspective on the most pivotal events of the civil rights era, such as the March on Washington and Brown v. Board of Education, in The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights.
 
 

 

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Travel Around the World with WETA | WETA February Schedule

This wild Washington, DC weather can make anyone want to get out of town! Alas, dropping everything to ship off to the tropics for a week isn’t much of a reality. Instead, take a month-long vacation around the world with WETA because this February, we have a wide selection of television shows that will take you to some fantastic places without having to leave your couch. Read on for your travel itinerary!

Watch video previews of all these shows by reading the full article!

 

To the west of the Serengeti and Lake Victoria, beyond the misty mountains of the Rift Valley, lies the second largest river system on earth: the Congo. This vast arena - the size of Europe - is home to an array of wildlife richer and more varied than any other region of Africa and yet it is hardly known. Today, parts of the Congo still remain inhospitable and virtually inaccessible. In a television first, the Natural History Unit has been given unprecedented access to film in this region and you can experience it on WETA TV26 & WETA HD.
Friday February 1: The River That Swallows All Rivers
Friday February 8: Spirits of the Forest
Friday February 15: Footprints in the Forest

 

In Janesville, Wisconsin there has been economic upheaval after General Motors closed one of their factories, leaving 2,000 residents unemployed. To learn more about this film and watch a preview, visit our blog post Free Movies in DC | WETA Movie Night February 2.

 

Globe Trekker is a regular WETA series in which show hosts delve into the culture of both known and unknown locations in the world. Each episode is a window into a foreign scene and this month, we’re going to some exciting locations on WETA TV26 & WETA HD!
Sunday, February 3: Globe Trekker Special: Planet of the Apes
Sunday, February 17: Globe Trekker Food Hour: Brazil
Sunday, February 24: Panama & Columbia

 

As one of Britain's favorite attractions, Chatsworth draws more than one million visitors each year. This three-part series follows the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, the Dowager Duchess, and the lively characters that make up the 700-person staff at Chatsworth House. The documentary camera crew was given unprecedented access to the 30,000 acre Peak District estate making this a unique television experience on WETA TV26 & WETA HD.

 

In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Antiques Roadshow host Mark L. Walberg and appraiser Eric Silver visit beautiful Brookgreen Gardens to discuss early 20th-century female sculptors. Appraiser Debra Force discovers a Joseph Henry Sharp oil painting. Antiques Roadshow investigates a story about stolen art from South Carolina's Hobcaw Barony estate with appraiser Debra Force and a former FBI agent. Discoveries from Roadshow’s visit to Myrtle Beach include an 1860 letter signed by Abraham Lincoln, a gift of crystals from Marilyn Monroe and a 1850s South Carolina sword on WETA TV26 & WETA HD.

 

In 1957, eight scientists invented the microchip within the Silicon Valley. Now, 56 years later, the Valley is still a hub for brilliant scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs who have helped make this nation one of the most technologically advanced in the world. Join us for American Experience: Silicon Valley, as we travel back in time to relive the discoveries on WETA TV26 & WETA HD.

 

Be sure to tune in to WETA TV26 & WETA HD for the final and third part of the Nature special, Attenborough’s Life Stories: Our Fragile Planet. For more about this episode and the series, read our blog post and watch a video preview Attenborough on WETA | Wildlife Specials.
 
 
This is a lavish adaptation of James A. Michener's tale of the impact of New England missionaries on the native population of Hawaii in the nineteenth century. The film stars Julie Andrews and Max von Sydow. Bookmark the Programmer's Choice blog to learn more in our WETA Movie blog post for February 9! On WETA TV26 & WETA HD.
 
 
Satellite data is transformed into visual sequences that detail the interwoven forces that sustain life on Earth. In this two-hour NOVA special on WETA TV26 & WETA HD, learn how dust from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon and how a vast underwater "waterfall" off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents. Bookmark the Programmer's Choice blog to learn more about this series on February 12!
 
 
This is a biography of Charles Lindburgh on WETA TV26 & WETA HD covers his days of precarious mail runs in aviation's infancy through his design of a small transatlantic plane and the vicissitudes of its takeoff and epochal flight from New York to Paris in 1927. Bookmark the Programmer's Choice blog to learn more in our WETA Movie blog post for February 16!
 
 
Take a trip to the Earth’s oldest mountains. In this 4 part series we discover how the Appalachian Mountains were formed over millions of years and the life that came to exist around them on WETA TV26 & WETA HD. DVR this special series!
 
 
This Pioneers of Television episode goes back in time with the help of the stars who made Westerns the classic shows we still love today. Join us on WETA TV26 & WETA HD in this behind the scenes look at the visionary actors who made characters like Daniel Boone and Davey Crockett so famous. 
 
 
In conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the disaster and NASA’s annual Day of Remembrance, we take time to learn about the astronaut Colonel Ilan Ramon who was prepared to travel as far as any human can go: outer space. On WETA TV26 & WETA HD.
 
 
Take a trip to the most densely populated areas of plant and see rare animal species on WETA TV26 & WETA HD. In this 3 part series, we journey through the jungles of the Canopyworld, the Underworld, and the Waterworld.
 
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Coming to WETA TV26 & HD in January | New WETA Schedule

Take a look at what WETA television has to offer this January! Read show descriptions, watch video previews, and let us know in the comments what you’re most excited to see! Our channel guide is below so you can find and watch WETA TV26 & WETA HD in your DC, MD, or VA home!

Subscribe to our blog and return next week to find out when you can catch up on season 2 of Downton Abbey before the season 3 premiere on WETA January 6

 

Great Performances From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2013

Tuesday January 1 at 8:00pm & Wednesday at 3:00pm

Continue the tradition of ringing in the New Year with host Julie Andrews and the Vienna Philharmonic at the opulent Musikverein. Experience guest conductor Franz Welser-Most and the Strauss family waltzes accompanied by the beautiful dancing of the Vienna City Ballet.

 

 

Life on Fire

Wednesdays at 10:00pm beginning January 2

Get a close up look at volcanoes, a never seen before look at their effect on the environment around them. Each episode of Life on Fire paints survival stories around different volcanoes. Each time a volcano erupts, animals have a choice: face the consequences or flee. Fragile and engaging, these creatures teach us lessons in survival in a world as fascinating as it is dangerous.

 

Midsomer Murders III & IV

Thursday evenings beginning January 3 | Repeats Friday afternoons

The rural countryside of a fictional county in England provides the backdrop for this crime series based on the novels of Caroline Graham. A lush visual style, quirky characters and ubiquitous red herrings recall classic public television British mysteries of the past. At the center of the Midsomer Murders investigations is Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby. Episodes begin at either 9:00pm or 10:00pm depending on the length of the previous show. Click here to check when Midsomer Murders is on WETA TV26 & HD!

 

 

Life of Mammals 

Two episodes back-to-back Mondays at 9:00pm beginning January 7 | Repeat Tuesdays at 4:00pm

David Attenborough introduces us to the most diverse group of animals ever to live on Earth, from the smallest to the largest. This is the story of 4,000 species which have outlived the dinosaurs and conquered the farthest places on earth, dry or wet, hot or cold.

 
 

Pioneers of Television 

Tuesdays at 8:00pm beginning January 8 | Repeat Wednesdays at 4:00pm & Sundays at 4:00pm

This series transports viewers behind the scenes for a revealing look at the inception of specific aspects of television history: Late Night shows, Funny Ladies, Prime Time Soaps, Superheroes.

 

American Experience: The Abolitionists

Tuesdays at 9:00pm beginning January 8 | Repeat Wednesdays at 3:00pm

Bringing to life the intertwined stories of Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Angelina Grimké, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and John Brown, The Abolitionists takes place during some of the most violent and contentious decades in American history, amid white-hot religious passions that set souls on fire, and bitter debates over the meaning of the Constitution and the nature of race. The show reveals how the movement shaped history by exposing the fatal flaw of a republic founded on liberty for some and bondage for others, setting the nation on a collision course. In the face of personal risks -- beatings, imprisonment, even death -- abolitionists held fast to their cause, laying the civil rights groundwork for the future and raising weighty constitutional and moral questions that are with us still.

 

 

Midsomer Murders V 

Sundays at 7:30pm - 9:00pm beginning January 13

In this crime drama, Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby of the Causton C.I.D. is a terse, down-to-earth detective who faces many ingenious and remarkable murders. These are not repeats of the Thursday night episodes. This is season 5!

 

Call the Midwife

Sundays at 10:00pm & 11:00pm beginning January 13

This moving, intimate, funny, and true-to-life series, based on the best-selling memoirs of the late Jennifer Worth, tells colorful stories of midwifery and families in London’s East End in the 1950s. Jenny Lee, a young woman raised in the wealthy English countryside, has chosen to become a nurse and now, as a newly qualified midwife, has gone to work in the poorest area of the city. Attached to an order of nursing nuns at Nonnatus House, Jenny is part of a team of women who minister to expectant mothers, many of whom give birth at home in appalling conditions. The drama follows Jenny as she meets her patients and learns to love the people who live in the East End.

 

 

Shakespeare Uncovered

Fridays at 10:00pm & 11:00pm beginning January 25 | Repeat Sundays at 2:00pm & 3:00pm

Six episodes combine history, biography, iconic performances, new analysis and the personal passion of its celebrated hosts — Ethan Hawke, Jeremy Irons, Derek Jacobi, Trevor Nunn, Joely Richardson and David Tennant — to tell the story behind the stories of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. Each episode combines interviews with actors, directors and scholars, along with visits to key locations, clips from some of the most celebrated film and television adaptations, and illustrative excerpts from the plays specially staged for the series at Shakespeare's Globe in London.

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Free Movies in DC | WETA Movie Night December 22

Every Saturday night, WETA presents a movie festival of exciting and commercial-free movies for your enjoyment in the Washington, DC area. These compelling films begin at 9:30pm on Saturday, December 22 so read on and see what's on this week!

Change

Change is an inevitable part of life. Sometimes we seek it, but often we’re reluctant to change. This week, see distinct examples of change in our WETA Movies.

 

Change of Heart

Andy Griffith stars as a naïve but good-intentioned soldier who has managed to avoid the draft for quite some time. When the head of the draft board unexpectedly arrives at his home, Will Stockdale is persuaded to join the ranks of other American men and serve his country. He immediately finds a friend and confidante in Ben Whitledge a man who is passionate about following in the footsteps of his six brothers who have all served as infantrymen. Master Sergeant King is in charge and has an agenda that includes sabotaging Stockdale but as the plan unfolds; he must pay the consequences for his actions. Roles swap, friendships end and rekindle, and Will and Ben find themselves in a precarious situation which leads to a surprise ending.

Watch No Time for Sergeants Saturday, December 22 at 9:30pm on WETA TV26 and WETA HD.

 

Fighting for Change

It seems that today’s society accommodates the disabled with the various handicap accessible options like ramps, elevators, and reserved parking spots. However, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for those living with a disability. Americans with disabilities had to fight for the respect, acceptance, and basic rights as the non-disabled.

Independent Lens: Lives Worth Living tells the story of the handicap movement following World War II, when disabled Americans were denied basic human rights and treated as inferior. Fed up, disabled Americans banded together (some literally chaining their wheelchairs together in protest) with a common cause. Seeking to defeat the notion that the disabled had no will or reason to live, they proved that they had the same goals and dreams as the non-disabled and that they could accomplish almost anything if only given the same opportunities and rights. Thanks to their efforts, The Americans with Disabilities Act was created, signed and implemented. However, the battle for inclusion and equality was, and still is, far from over for Americans with disabilities. Be inspired by the resilience and unwavering determination of one of the largest minorities’ fight for equality. 

Watch Independent Lens: Lives Worth Living Saturday, December 22 at 11:30pm on WETA TV26 and WETA HD.

Watch a preview of Lives Worth Living here!

 

Historical Change

Boyz n the Hood and Casablanca have a lot in common, believe it or not. Since the time of their release, both movies have been wildly popular. They've both been nominated for and won countless awards. Most impressively, the films are among a carefully chosen list comprising The National Film Registry. The Library of Congress is employed with the task of choosing those films which exemplify and fulfill being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. No genre is excluded, but making the cut is no easy feat since only 25 films are selected each year.

Independent Lens: These Amazing Shadows sheds light on the little-known world of The National Film Registry. Through interviews and film clips, learn the history of how and why The National Film Registry came to be, and identify with the impact of the notable films which comprise the Registry. The diversity of the films is wide, yet the films all reflect a slice of American culture, ideas and history. Thus, preserving them is integral and allows for future generations of audiences to experience the same emotions, connections and stories.

Watch Independent Lens: These Amazing Shadows Sunday, December 23 at 12:30am on WETA TV26 and WETA HD.

Watch a trailer of These Amazing Shadows here!

 

Change in America

Lawrence, Massachusetts has earned the nickname “Immigrant City”. It was founded by Irish immigrants fleeing the Great Potato Famine followed by waves of immigrants from Germany, Italy, Eastern Europe, and Canada. As one of the poorest municipalities in the United States, it is still a welcoming place for newcomers including new immigrants mostly from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Independent Lens: Scenes From a Parish takes a look at issues of community, tolerance, and immigration from the perspective of a Catholic priest who is trying to hold his disparate congregation together. Meet the people that make up this town and learn that their idea of home and belonging is deeper than a simple matter of ethnicity.

Watch Independent Lens: Scenes From a Parish Sunday, December 23 at 1:30am on WETA TV26 and WETA HD.

Learn more about the making of Scenes From a Parish from Director/producer James Rutenbeck here!

 

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Watch Dust Bowl | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

When Hurricane Sandy devastated much of the North East last month, it was a terrible natural disaster. In the 1930s, a disaster of a different kind tore through America and left its mark as the worst man-made ecological disaster: The Dust Bowl. Optimistic for a more fruitful future, Americans and European immigrants mistakenly (and regrettably) believed the Great Plains would serve as a profitable stomping ground for cultivating crops. When a succession of droughts plagued the Great Plains, the land that had once been a source of life for so many Americans was devastated and poor farming practices were to blame. With the grass gone, furious winds swept over the plains and produced dust storms that could have potentially eradicated the “breadbasket of America”.

Presented Nationally by WETA through PBS, award-winning director and filmmaker Ken Burns takes on this major event in our history in his newest documentary Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl. Interviews with survivors, archival photographs, and rare film footage tell the stories of those who lived through the “Dirty Thirties”. Survival, determination, human error, nature, and most importantly the relationship between humans and the land we live on, Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl shows how a nation overcame this catastrophe. Check out this interactive Dust Bowl experience on PBS.org! 

 

Watch the two-part series of Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl Sunday, November 18 at 8:00pm and Monday, November 19 at 8:00pm on WETA TV26 and WETA HD.

 

Encore presentations of The Dust Bowl Part 1 on WETA TV26 & WETA HD:

November 18 at 10:00pm, November 19 at 2:30pm, November 22 at 2:00pm

Encore presentations of The Dust Bowl Part 2 on WETA TV26 & WETA HD:

November 19 at 10:00pm, November 20 at 2:30pm, November 22 at 4:00pm