Around the Nation: 150 Years After the American Civil War

BY Lauren Knapp  April 12, 2011 at 11:14 AM EDT

Tuesday marks the 150th anniversary of the opening shots of the American Civil War. The military battle between the North and South began when Confederate soldiers fired at the Union-held Fort Sumter, off the shore of Charleston, S.C.

See how public media outlets across the nation are covering the Civil War 150 years later:

Civil War reenactors commemorated the 150th anniversary of the inaugural shots outside Charleston, S.C. Special thanks to SCETV for filming the event.

Many Georgians expected the separation from the Union to be a fairly quick and painless event. Rickey Bevington of Georgia Public Broadcasting spoke to Todd Groce of the Georgia Historical Society about Georgian’s reaction to the attack on Fort Sumter and their expectation of a short and easy war.


Listen to an interview with historian Annette Atkins about Minnesota’s role in the Civil War from Minnesota Public Radio:


And learn about the story behind the Emancipation Proclamation, President Lincoln’s order that freed slaves in 1863, from David Rubenstein, managing editor of the Carlyle Group:


Nashville Public Television is rolling out a five-part documentary series on Tennessee’s involvement in the war. You can watch the first episode on Tennessee’s secession from the Union and see some additional interviews.

The Kojo Nnamdi Show talked to musicologists who contributed to the Smithsonian Folkways collections of Civil War tunes. While “Dixie” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic” might be the most well-known Civil War songs, both tunes actually predate the war.

Listen to a report from West Virginia Public Broadcasting on how the Civil Wart Trust, an organization that preserves battlefields, is creating a curriculum for high school American history classes.

The Story revisits an interview with two Civil War widows conducted in 1998 when Daisy Anderson and Alberta Martin were still alive.

Georgia Public Broadcasting reports on a Confederate prison camp discovered last August. The piece was originally broadcast on the NewsHour on August 20, 2010:


View some of the key documents from the Civil War:

The Surrender of Fort Sumter

Emancipation Proclamation

The Gettysburg Address