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PBS ANNOUNCES PROGRAMS
IN HONOR OF VETERANS DAY, INCLUDING
SPECIAL ENCORE OF ACCLAIMED “THE WAR”
ARLINGTON, VA — October 29, 2008 — PBS presents special programs in honor of current and past U.S. servicemen and women in commemoration of Veterans Day, November 11, and throughout the month. A weekend encore of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s epic film on World War II offers another chance to see — or tape — this critically acclaimed documentary series (check local listings).
Press Preview Copies of Programs Available Upon Request
MEDAL OF HONOR
Wednesday, November 5, 2008, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET
The story of the Medal of Honor — the highest U.S. award for valor in combat — is told through personal accounts of bravery and daring. The medal, dating from the Civil War through the war in Iraq today, is presented to individuals for service “above and beyond the call of duty.” Most have been awarded posthumously, yet in this film 13 living recipients tell their inconceivable stories. This documentary about finding courage and succeeding against overwhelming odds transports audiences to the battlegrounds of Little Round Top, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq.
Read more about the Medal of Honor and some of its recipients at pbs.org/medalofhonor.
MEDAL OF HONOR is available from PBS Home Video: ShopPBS.org; 877-PBS-SHOP, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
INDEPENDENT LENS “Lioness”
Thursday, November 13, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET
How did five female Army support soldiers — mechanics, supply clerks and engineers — end up fighting alongside the Marines in some of the bloodiest counterinsurgency battles of the Iraq War? Directors Meg McLagan and Daria Sommers give viewers an intimate look at war through the eyes of the first women in U.S. history sent into direct ground combat, despite a policy that bans them from doing so. Through harrowing personal stories, these women candidly share their experiences in Iraq as well as experiences from their lives back home to form a portrait of the emotional and psychological effects of war.
To learn more about the film, visit the LIONESS interactive companion Web site (pbs.org/lioness), which features detailed information about the film, including an interview with the filmmakers and links and resources pertaining to the film’s subject matter. The site also features a Talkback section for viewers to share their ideas and opinions, preview clips of the film and more.
THE RAPE OF EUROPA
Monday, November 24, 2008, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET
THE RAPE OF EUROPA relates how Europe’s art treasures survived the systematic theft and deliberate destruction perpetrated by Germany’s Third Reich during World War II. For 12 years, the Nazis looted and destroyed art on a scale unprecedented in history, but heroic young art historians and curators from America and Europe fought to rescue and return millions of lost, hidden and stolen treasures. The legacy of this tragic time in history continues to play out today as families recover looted works of art and nations fight over the ill-gotten spoils of war. Joan Allen narrates. In HD where available.
THE RAPE OF EUROPA is available from PBS Home Video: ShopPBS.org; 877-PBS-SHOP, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
RESERVED TO FIGHT
November 2008 (check local listings)
RESERVED TO FIGHT follows four Marines as they struggle through social and psychological reintegration for three years after returning from combat in Iraq. Living among loved ones who don’t yet understand them, and suffering from a psychological disorder that is difficult to acknowledge, these veterans grapple to find purpose and healing.
AIR GROUP 16: WE CAME TO REMEMBER
Wednesday, November 5, 2008, 10:30-11:00 p.m. ET
AIR GROUP 16: WE CAME TO REMEMBER tells the story of the last reunion of Air Group 16 — the pilots, radiomen and gunners who served on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Lexington in the Pacific in World War II. The film follows the veterans and their families as they make the journey by train, plane and car to Washington, DC, for their final reunion at the dedication of the National World War II Memorial in May 2004. Through stunning archival footage, period music and dramatic first-person accounts, the film follows Air Group 16 as they tell their stories, remember their fallen comrades and accept official honors from the country they served.
AIR GROUP 16 is available from PBS Home Video: ShopPBS.org; 877-PBS-SHOP, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “The Berlin Airlift”
November 2008 (check local listings)
On June 24, 1948, the Soviet Union blocked railroad and street access to West Berlin, starving the population and choking commerce. Allied forces refused to cede the city and for nearly a year, succeeded in doing what even the best military minds considered impossible — supply two million civilians and 20,000 allied soldiers entirely from the air. Operating on a strict plan masterminded by U.S. General William Turner, allied forces landed planes every three minutes and delivered more than 4,500 tons of supplies each day. Former German soldiers built airfields and repaired engines for the enemies they had been shooting out of the sky just three years before. American and British pilots, so recently delivering death, were now angels of mercy, supplying coal, flour, coffee and chocolate to the beleaguered city. Through the personal stories of those who were there, this program provides a striking look at the first battle of the Cold War and the largest humanitarian campaign the world had ever seen.
The interactive companion Web site features an online poll, newspaper accounts of the reaction to the massive supply effort, details about the people involved in the blockade and airlift, maps and a timeline (pbs.org/wgbh/amex/airlift).
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “The Berlin Airlift” is available from PBS Home Video: ShopPBS.org; 877-PBS-SHOP, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
NOVA “Missing in MiG Alley”
Tuesday, November 4, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
In 1950, Russian and American fighters clashed over Korea in the fastest dogfights ever seen. This was the world’s first jet war, pitting the two most advanced planes of their day, the American F-86 Sabre and the Soviet MiG-15, in furious air battles that pushed their pilots’ skills to the limit. The epicenter of the air campaign was MiG Alley, a strip of airspace between the Korean-Chinese border. Flying higher and faster than ever before, American and British pilots had little idea of the hidden dangers that awaited them if they were shot down. Thirty-one Sabre pilots are believed to have survived crash landings, and the evidence suggests that a few of the pilots were captured and secretly imprisoned in Russia. In “MiG Alley,” NOVA follows the poignant and sometimes harrowing efforts of family members to trace what happened to pilots who went missing more than a half-century ago. The program combines forensic detective work with an in-depth look at why the Sabre and the MiG acquired their reputations as legendary fighting machines. With the help of dramatic reconstructions, rare archival footage and interviews with veteran aces, NOVA puts viewers in the cockpit to experience the lethal split-second duels in the skies over MiG Alley.
On the companion Web site, learn all about G forces, bringing home MIAs, outfitting a fighter pilot and more (pbs.org/wgbh/nova/warplanes).
NOVA “Missing in MiG Alley” is available from PBS Home Video: ShopPBS.org; 877-PBS-SHOP, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
RED TAIL REBORN
November 2008 (check local listings)
Amidst racial naysayers during World War II, the Tuskegee Airmen, the first and only black fighter pilots, were commissioned in 1941 to help defend the distressed bombers in the European theater. This film tells their story and the story of people who strive to educate Americans about the airmen and the signature planes that bear a distinctive red tail.
Read more about the Tuskegee Airman at the companion Web site (pbs.org/redtailreborn).
RED TAIL REBORN is available from PBS Home Video: ShopPBS.org; 877-PBS-SHOP, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
SECRETS OF THE DEAD “Dogfight Over Guadalcanal”
Wednesday, November 5, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
In the summer of 1942, two ace fighter pilots — one American and one Japanese — faced off during a dramatic dogfight in the skies over Guadalcanal. Eventually the Japanese pilot shot down the American, who crash-landed behind enemy lines but managed to escape before being captured. Using both pilots’ comprehensive (but sometimes contradictory) memoirs, and following a forensic expedition to the recently found American plane, this episode examines and re-creates every anxious second of the WWII showdown over the Pacific, revealing just how evenly matched the two men were and how they both survived, despite serious injuries.
The companion Web site (pbs.org/wnet/secrets/previous_seasons/case_dogfight) offers clues and evidence that led investigators to their conclusions, an interview with Colonel Ralph Wetterhahn, the crash site investigator, computer wallpaper of fighter planes and links to more information.
SECRETS OF THE DEAD episodes are available from PBS Home Video: ShopPBS.org; 877-PBS-SHOP, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Sunday, November 9, 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. ET (check local listings), Episodes #101-#104
Sunday, November 16, 1:00-8:00 p.m. ET (check local listings), Episodes #105-#107
THE WAR, a seven-part documentary series directed and produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, explores the history and horror of the Second World War from an American perspective by following the fortunes of so-called ordinary men and women who become caught up in one of the greatest cataclysms in human history.
The companion Web site to THE WAR is divided into categories: At Home, At War, The Witnesses. The Search and Explore section features a media gallery and themes and topics. Separate sections for educators and for the Veterans History Project as well as links to other WWII-related resources are also available (a href="http://www.pbs.org/thewar" target="_blank">pbs.org/thewar).
THE WAR is available from PBS Home Video: ShopPBS.org; 877-PBS-SHOP, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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Cara White, CaraMar Publicity, 843-881-1480; firstname.lastname@example.org