“The Address” by Ken Burns on PBS

“The Address,” a 90-minute documentary by Ken Burns, airs this week on PBS.  Check your local listings, but many stations should have it Tuesday (tonight) at 9:00 pm.  The show tells the story of a school in Putney, Vermont, where each year students memorize and recite the Gettysburg Address.  For more information, see http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/the-address/home/.

PBS to air “Lincoln at Gettysburg” November 19 @ 9:00 pm

You can watch “Lincoln at Gettysburg” on your local PBS station tonight at 9:00 pm (probably; check your local listings).  Here is a press release with information about this show:

PBS to Air LINCOLN@GETTYSBURG on 150th Anniversary of Historic Speech, November 19 at 9:00 p.m. 

– New special traces Abraham Lincoln’s pioneering use of the telegraph and the words that remade America, the Gettysburg Address –

ARLINGTON, VA; October 8, 2013 — This fall, PBS presents LINCOLN@GETTYSBURG, a special airing on the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. Premiering Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET., the program describes a major turning point in American history: the rebirth of a nation and the dawn of the information age.

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln proved himself a master of a new frontier with his “high-tech” command center — the War Department Telegraph Office, America’s first “Situation Room.” The telegraph, the internet of the 19th century, gave Lincoln the power to re-invent leadership and wield control across distant battlefields and have his finger on the pulse of the nation.  This flow of communication led to some of the most dramatic moments of the Civil War, and shaped the words that Lincoln would use to reunite a shattered country at Gettysburg.

Narrated by David Stratharin (Lincoln, The Bourne Legacy, Good Night, and Good Luck) LINCOLN@GETTYSBURG reveals how Lincoln’s interest in new technologies gave him control never before exercised by any commander-in-chief. “Abraham Lincoln recognized that he who controls the conduit also controls the content,” said Tom Wheeler, author of Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails. Lincoln used these innovations to connect himself to the country – receiving dispatches by telegraph from his generals in the field – and, in turn, transmitting his words and strategic plans for the nation with more clarity and efficiency than ever before. Throughout the documentary audiences hear a range of views from historians, political scientists and Civil War and military experts; including screenwriter for the award-winning motion picture Lincoln, Tony Kushner; former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Colin Powell; historian and author Eric Foner; author Jeff Shaara; political scientist and TV commentator Melissa Harris-Perry and more.

“Abraham Lincoln is held in high esteem as an American president for so many significant acts of leadership, including the transformative power of his Gettysburg address,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS.  “Many viewers may not be aware of Lincoln’s pioneering use of technology to lead the country.  It’s only fitting on the 150th anniversary of this historic speech that we bring this story to light.”

LINCOLN@GETTYSBURG highlights the significance of several elements: the battle and its aftermath; the genesis of America’s new National Cemetery; the last-minute invitation for Lincoln to speak; the president’s daylong “special” train from Washington; the assembly of thousands of spectators from all across the union to the little town in the hills of southern Pennsylvania; and the ceremony itself — crowned by the 272 words with which our 16th president reaffirmed the meaning and purpose of American democracy, and made his case that preserving the union was the only end that could justify the horrors of the war and the slaughter of 10,000 men in the fields and forests surrounding Gettysburg. The address was the opening salvo in a new battle for the fate of the nation.

“Lincoln’s powerful and poetic words are still relevant today. One of the most masterfully written addresses of all time, there’s a reason why it was the first political speech to go viral. ‘Of the people, by the people, for the people…’ It doesn’t get much better than that,” said Peter Schnall, producer and director.

LINCOLN@GETTYSBURG is a production of Partisan Pictures. Producer/director: Peter Schnall. Writer: Chana Gazit. Editors: E. Donna Shepherd and Jim Isler. Coordinating producer: Whitney Johnson. Associate producer: Tristan Walker. Associate editor: Matt Flassig. Production manager: James Burke. Director of photography: Peter Schnall.

Some Civil War-related shows on Canadian Cable TV station DTour

For those of you reading from Canada, the new Canadian cable TV station DTour (formerly TVTropolis) has a few shows that, while not brand new, haven’t been aired in Canada before and that relate, at least in part, to the American Civil War:

  • “Dig Wars” has a few episodes relating to Civil War locations, including Antietam and Fort St. Philip.
  • Some of the episodes of “Mysteries at the Museum” touch on, in part, items related to the Civil War.

For more info, see their web site at http://www.dtourtv.com/.

Constitution USA with Peter Sagal

Constitution USA with Peter Sagal” is a four-part series airing on PBS this month (check your local listings) about the constitution of the United States. This week’s episode, “Created Equal”, may be of interest to those interested in Reconstruction.  It discusses the Fourteenth Amendment, passed shortly after the Civil War, which made equality a constitutional right and gave the federal government the power to enforce it, as well as the consequences of that amendment.

“Abe Lincoln in Illinois” on TCM Monday @ 10:15 pm

The 1940 biographical movie Abe Lincoln in Illinois airs on Turner Classic Movies tomorrow (Monday, February 11) at 10:15 pm. The movie details Lincoln’s life during the time when he lived in Illinois.  See http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/1309/Abe-Lincoln-in-Illinois/ for more information.

P.S.  With Lincoln’s birthday being celebrated on Tuesday, be sure to check your local television listings; there’s likely several Lincoln-related shows on.  Add a Comment if you’d like to let us know about anything of interest.

“The Abolitionists” on “American Experience” on PBS

“The Abolitionists,” a three-part series, airs on American Experience on PBS this January. This series shows how several prominent abolitionists between 1820 and 1865 turned what was at one point a despised fringe movement into a force that changed the United States.

In particular, part 3, which covers the period from 1854–1865, will likely be interesting to those with an interest in the Civil War.

On most PBS stations, part 1 will air this week (January 8, 2013), part 2 next week, and part 3 the week after; check your local listings.

For more information on the series as well as other interactive content, see the web site for “The Abolitionists”.

“American Experience: Death and the Civil War” on PBS

On PBS’ American Experience this week is “Death and the Civil War“. The American Civil War brought death to the American people on a scale never seen before, with hundreds of thousands of deaths. Contending with such death posed challenges for Americans, who worked to improvise new solutions, institutions, and ways with coping with death. Check your local PBS affiliate for dates and times, or you can view the episode online.