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More about the film Patriots Day

Reenactors It's been over two and a quarter centuries since local American militias routed the British at the Battle of Lexington and Concord, but 65 men of his Majesty's 10th Regiment and 67 American rebels are still fighting.

American Experience takes a look at who they are and what has taken them on their personal journeys into the American past.

Among the characters on the British side is an amateur actor and electrical engineer, Paul O'Shaughnessy, who assumes the role of Major John Pitcairn. Helping defend Lexington is high school teacher Wayne McCarthy, who plays the militia's Captain John Parker. Among the supporting characters are Henry Liu, a Chinese American banker, Mike Coppe, a pediatric dentist, and Dan Fenn, who calls himself a "forensic historian" and who leads discussions about historical accuracy.

The film follows the re-enactors as they shuffle between their 18th- and 21st-century lives. It captures them building sets, planning military engagements, drilling, rehearsing battles as well as celebrating Thanksgiving, moving house and working. In the end it shows that patriotism, a love of costumes, civic duty, an urge to perform and a passion for history all play a role in these Americans' lives.

Film Description
A synopsis of the film, plus film credits.

The program transcript.

Primary Sources
News of the battle, plus memorial poems.

Further Reading
A list of books, articles, and Web sites relating to the program topic.

Program interviewees and consultants.

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AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is closed captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers by The Caption Center at WGBH.

Descriptive Video Services Logo

A special narration track is added to the series by Descriptive Video Service® (DVS®), a service of WGBH to provide access to people who are blind or visually impaired. The DVS narration is available on the SAP channel of stereo TVs and VCRs.

page created on 3.30.2004
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