U.S. History & Culture; See also Recommended U.S. Feature Films, U.S. Musical

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A Raisin in the Sun

DVD eng/ 791.43 L579

After moving to Chicago's South Side in the 1950s, a black family struggles to deal with poverty, racism, and inner conflict as they strive for a better life. Adapted for the screen from Lorraine Hansberry's play, this is a moving portrait of dreams deferred.


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The corporation (Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott)

無字幕,英文發音 (136 min.)


An epic in length and breadth, this documentary aims at nothing less than a full-scale portrait of the most dominant institution on the planet Earth in our lifetime--a phenomenon all the more remarkable, if not downright frightening, when you consider that the corporation as we know it has been around for only about 150 years. It used to be that corporations were, by definition, short-lived and finite in agenda. If a town needed a bridge built, a corporation was set up to finance and complete the project; when the bridge was an accomplished fact, the corporation ceased to be. Then came the 19th-century robber barons, and the courts were prevailed upon to define corporations not as get-the-job-done mechanisms but as persons under the 14th Amendment with full civil rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
Captain John Smith: Founder of Virginia

無字幕, 英文發音

EV/900/009B01 V0013066

The Civil War: The Cause, 1861 (Episode One)

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The stage is set for war as the nation begins to tear apart.  Opposition by the North to slavery in the South fuels a bitter debate, and the country wrestles with conflicts between the Union and States' rights.  Commanding center stage are twering figures-- Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee.  From Harper's Ferry to Fort Sumter, the first chapters unfold in a conflict from which there would be no turning back.
The Civil War: A Very Bloody Affair, 1862 (Episode Two) 

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The war to preserve the Union becomes a war to free the slaves, and political fights become as fierce as those on the battlefield.  The chains of slavery begin to crumble while the Confederacy struggles for recognition, and its resourceful army hands the Union critical defeats.  New Weapons and strategies emerge, as ironclad ships do battle and Ulysses S. Grant wins at Shiloh.  With unprecedented ferocity, the age of modern warfare takes hold. 
The Civil War: Forever Free, 1862 (Episode Three)

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Dark clouds of defeat hover over the Union Army as President Lincoln prepares the landmark Emancipation Proclamation to free the slaves.  While Lincoln waits for a victorious moment for this announcement, Union troops lose repeatedly to the brilliant generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.  Finally, with a victory at Antietam Creek, the bloodies day of the war gives way to the dawn of emancipation.  The definition of freedom in America would never be the same again. 
The Civil War: Simply Murder, 1863 (Episode Four)

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Their names are etched forever in history-- Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Vicksburg-- some of the Civil War's stormiest battlegrounds.  While life in the South becomes more desperate, Northern opposition to Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation also grows.  The combat spearheaded by Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee brings the war to a fever pitch, and both sides strain with the weariness of so many years under siege.
The Civil War: The Universe of Battle, 1863 (Episode Five)

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The turning point of the war is reached at the legendary Battle of Gettysburg, one of the most awesome battles ever waged.  While 150,000 men face death in
Pennsylvania's fileds, the war spreads westward to Chattanooga and Chickamauga.  As the Union drats more soldiers, riots rage in New York, and African
American troops join the fight.  At Gettysburg's cemetery, President Lincoln articulates the poignant hope "that government of the people, by the people, and
for the people shall not perish from the earth." 

The Civil War: Valley of the Shadow of Death, 1864 (Episode Six)

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It's a chess game between two masters-- played out on the board of life.  The Union's General Grant and the Confederacy's General Lee are a study in
contrasts as they vie for victory.  In one month's time, their armies suffer more casualties than in three years of war, but the impasse continues.  A standoff at
Petersburg and General Sherman's campaign through Georgia push the death toll higher, and hospitals are strained beyond belief.  Lincoln's prospects for
re-election fade, along with hope for the Union's survival. 
The Civil War: Most Hallowed Ground, 1864 (Episode Seven)

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The presidential campaign of 1864 finds a nation truly divided against itself, and Lincoln seems doomed to defeat.  The Union armies have stalled, and
people have turned against the war.  Unexpectedly, eleventh-hour victories sway the votes Lincoln's way, and the flame of Confederate independence flickers out.  In a personal blow to General Lee, his Virginia mansion is turned into Arlington National Cemetery, to assure that no one would ever live in the home again. 

The Civil War: War Is All Hell, 1865 (Episode Eight) 

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Sherman's lengendary "March to the Sea" portends the war's end, searing the heartland of Georgia and the Carolinas.  Key Southern cities fall under General Grant's command, and General Lee's troops have nowhere left to flee.  In the stillness of Appomattox Court House, Lee's dramatic surrender to Grant finally unfolds.  As the news echoes through Washington, a plan for the South's revenge is hatched in the angry mind of a man named John Wilkes Booth. 
The Civil War: The Better Angels of Our Nature, 1865 (Episode Nine) 

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In the bittersweet days after the war's end, the Union's triumphs quickly turns to sorrow.  Just five days after victory, President Lincoln dies by the hand of John Wilkes Booth, and the nation's story is again changed forever.  This final episode surveys the fates of the people who left their indelible marks on this remarkable era.  And it leaves us with insights into the meaning of a conflict that helped make us the nation we are today. 

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Dr. Toer’s Amazing Magic Lantern Show (Brown, Joshua, Bret Eynon)

DVD eng/070.1/B877c/

Takes a look at the Magic Lantern Show of J.W. Toer, a Baptist minister and former slave who traveled the rural South in the years following the Civil War. The show featured music and stories of the black people before, during and after the Civil War. Especially focuses on the misrepresentation by the North of the former slaves and the progress of Reconstruction.

Doing As They Can: Slave Life in the American South (Brown, Joshua, Steve Brier)

DVD eng/ 070.1/B877e

In this dramatized narrative illustrated with photographs and illustrations from nineteenth century books and periodicals, a fugitive woman slave describes life, work and day-to-day resistance to slavery on a cotton plantation in North Carolina during the 1840s and 1850s. She escapes to the North in the 1850s, only to discover that her former master's legal power extends even to the free city of New York.

Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash)

DVD eng/791.43 D229d

Languid look at the Gullah culture of the sea islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia where African folk-ways were maintained well into the 20th Century and was one of the last bastion of these mores in America. Set in 1902.

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Explaining Globalization (The Best of MavNeil / Lehrer) Jim Lehrer

無字幕,英文發音 (44 min.)


What does globalization mean for the world economy and for Americans? That's the topic explored in this series of reports and discussions from The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Business correspondent Paul Solman strolls through Brookline, Massachusetts with Harvard economics professor Robert Lawrence, exploring what globalization looks like at street level. David Gergen discusses globalization with New York Times columnist Tom Friedman. Peruvian economist Hernando De Soto discusses his book "The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else." And the implications of a world without borders are discussed with Friedman and Moises Naim, editor of "Foreign Policy" magazine.

The End of Camelot (about JFK)無字幕, 英文發音

U.S. History (1)                 EV/900/020B01        V0013083
History (2)                EV/900/021B01        V0013087
U.S. History (3)                 EV/900/003B01        V0013090
U.S. History (4)                EV/900/004B01        V0013086

所有的美國人永遠都不會忘記1963年的這一天. 約翰甘迺迪總統為競選連任, 希望獲得德州人民的支持, 決定於當年秋天探訪德州, 沒想到此趟行程卻使其命喪黃泉, 約翰甘迺迪成為史上另一位遭槍殺身亡的美國總統. 此一刺殺事件至今仍是美國全體人民最深沉的哀慟, 不禁令人大嘆生命的虛無與人類的脆弱.

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Focus on American culture   


EVHS/407/142M11      142M EV/407/142B01        V0032990

Mid-Life Moms, Fast Track Parents, Is Love Color-blind? Manufacturers Engage in False Advertising on the Environment, Beyond 9 to 5, The Joys and Risks of The Daddy Track, Bilingual Education, Judgment Day, Cheating in College, New suburban Design for Living, Health Care for the Poor, The Perfect Baby.

Five Points: New York’s Irish Working Class in the 1850s (Brown, Joshua, Stephen Brier)

DVD eng/070.1/B877g/

Part 5 of a seven-part series exploring the central role working men and women have played in the key events and developmenmts of American history. In this dramatized narrative New York City in the 1850s is seen through the conflicting perspectives of a native-born Protestant reformer and an immigrant Irish-Catholic family. As members of the Irish family describe their daily lives, the Five Points slum is revealed as a complicated world that contradicts nineteenth century stereotypes about the behavior and beliefs of the immigrant poor.

Freedom Riders (Stanley Nelson)

DVD eng/070.1/N424/

This is the story of more than four hundred Americans who participated in a bold and dangerous experiment designed to awaken the conscience of a complacent nation. These self-proclaimed, 'Freedom Riders' challenged the mores of a racially segregated society by performing a disarmingly simple act.

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Global Village or Global Pillage?

300 B829

Shows constructive ways ordinary people around the world are addressing the impact of globalization on their communities, workplaces, and environments. It weaves together video of local and transnational activities, interviews, music, and original video comics to show that, through grassroots organizing combined with mutual support around the world, ordinary people can empower themselves to deal with the global economy.  -- IMDb
Great American Series The Road To Independence


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1. Abraham Lincoln

2. Beniamin Franklin

3. George Washington

4. Thomas Jefferson

1877: The Grand Army of Starvation (Stephen Brier)

DVD eng/070.1/B853/

Chronicles the events of the railroad strike of 1877 and its origins in the economic and social injustices of 19th century America using contemporary graphics and photographs.

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The Harlem Renaissance and Beyond


DVD eng/ 810 G946h

A two-part production which introduces the viewer to the major black writers of the 1920's, and in particular, to those writers of this period who collectively were refessed to as the "Harlem Renaissance," the "Negro Renaissance," or the "Negro Awakening," which was a period from 1925 to 1929.

Hawaii's Last Queen

DVD eng/920/S642/

Before Hawaii was a hot spot for honeymooners and surfers, prior to its petition by American sugar growers for annexation to the United States, the Kingdom of Hawaii was an independent monarchy. Queen Lili'uokalani was its last queen. Succeeding to the throne in 1891, Lili'uokalani's focus was to frame a new constitution that would restore power to native Hawaiians that had been diminished by the success of white American business owners. Shortly into her reign, the U.S. government effectively revoked Hawaii's favored position on the American sugar market and Lili'uokalani's kingdom faced economic collapse. Convinced the only way to survive was annexation to the United Sates, the sugar growers stirred a clash of interests among plantation owners, native Hawaiians, the U.S. government, and the Queen's cabinet. Eventually, Lili'uokalani would lose her throne at gun point and yield her power to the U.S. government. In 1898, Hawaii was recognized as part of the United States by President William McKinley.

Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl (Brown, Joshua, Andrea Ades Vasquez and Pennee Bender)

DVD eng/ 070.1/B877f

The dramatic story of the "Uprising of the 20,000," the 1909 shirtwaist strike, is told through vignettes that explore immigrant women's lives in turn-of-the-century New York. The experiences of young Jewish and Italian working women address subjects including immigration, intergenerational conflict, "romance," ethnic tensions, industrial conflict, and the creation of a new consumer and entertainment culture.

History: The Big H (Brown, Joshua, Steve Brier)

DVD eng/070.1/B877d

A film-noir detective story that is also an introduction to the history of working people and the problems of understanding the past. Private-eye Clio Malarkey investigates "How things got to be the way they are," and in the process learns the importance of studying United States history as well as the dangers of misinterpreting it.

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If the Mango Tree Could Speak

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Separate versions of the documentary run back-to-back, the first narrated in English and the second in Spanish. There is no common menu from which to choose one version or the other. The version narrated in English uses English subtitles for speech in Spanish or Indian languages; the version narrated in Spanish includes Spanish voice-overs when speech is in an Indian language.

"A documentary about children and war in Central America"--Container. DVD release of a videocassette originally released in 1993.

I Am A Promise : The Children of Stanton Elementary School (Susan Raymon)

(color, 90 min) (New Video, 2005)

070.1 R268i

DVDe W051472V

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and widely celebrates as an HBO premiere, I AM A PROMISE has been applauded by The New York Times as a "strong documentary…unsparing yet tender"
Directed by the innovative, award-winning team of Alan and Susan Raymond (An American Family), I AM A PROMISE paints an unflinching v?rit? portrait of the children of Stanton Elementary School in North Philadelphia, an inner-city neighborhood where 90% of the students live below the poverty line. As seen through the devoted and determined viewpoint of principal Deanna Burney, the film shows Stanton as underfunded, understaffed, and filled with children struggling to overcome their difficulties. But for these at-risk kids, the only hope for their future survives in the success of their education.
Astoundingly relevant today, I AM A PROMISE imparts a poignantly captivating series of vignettes concerning children growing up outside the American dream, echoing current urban-education issues in our country's ongoing political discussion.

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Just a Little Red Dot

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Inspired by a true story, Mitra Sen's film tells of a Canadian 5th grade class that encounters a new Sri Lankan student who wears a red dot (bindi) on her forehead. In an effort to foster understanding, their teacher begins wearing a little red dot, too, and soon the other students follow suit, prompting negative attitudes on the school playground. In a show of solidarity, the class creates an ingenious solution to peer discrimination.
Juno and the Paycock (Alfred Hitchcock)


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DVDe W051732V

This classic, fast-moving melodrama was Hitchcocks first foray into the gangster genre. The style and pacing of this films set the trand for later crime movies. Cast includes Barry Fitzgerald, Sara Allgood , Edward Chapman and Marie ONeill.

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Martin Luther King (Alan C. McLean)

CD eng/ 407 Ma478

The United States in the 1950s and 60s was a troubled place. Black people were angry, because they did not have the same rights as whites. It was a time of angry words, of marches, of protests, a time of bombs and killings. But above the angry noise came the voice of one man - a man of peace. 'I have a dream,' said Martin Luther King, and it was a dream of blacks and whites living together in peace and freedom. This is the story of an extraordinary man, who changed American history in his short life.



DVD eng/ 791.43 S231m

Using flashbacks from a statement recorded late in life and archival footage for atmosphere, this film traces Harvey Milk's career from his 40th birthday to his death. He leaves the closet and New York, opens a camera shop that becomes the salon for San Francisco's growing gay community, and organizes gays' purchasing power to build political alliances. He runs for office with lover Scott Smith as his campaign manager. Victory finally comes on the same day Dan White wins in the city's conservative district. The rest of the film sketches Milk's relationship with White and the 1978 fight against a statewide initiative to bar gays and their supporters from public school jobs.

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Nothing But A Man (Michael Roemer)

(color, 92 min) (New Video, 2004)

791.43 R715

DVDe W051474V 

A landmark independent film, NOTHING BUT MAN is one of the most sincere and sensitive pictures ever made about the struggles and hardships of Black life in 1960s American. Lauded by critics at the Venice and New York Film Festivals when it first premiered in 1963, this quietly moving, beautiful film remains as relevant and powerful today as it was then.
Set against the stirrings of the civil rights movement and a rising wave of burgeoning Black pride, NOTHING BUT A MAN tells the story of Duff, a railroad section hand, who is forced to confront racial prejudice and self-denial when he falls in love with Josie, an educated preacher's daughter. Starring Ivan Dixon (Porgy and Bess, A Raisin in the Sun) and Jazz great Abbey Lincoln in performances Siskel & Ebert called "terrific", it is ultimately an uplifting story about a man and a woman whose love overcomes racial and class barriers. The original soundtrack features Motown stars Stevie Wonder, Mary Wells, Martha and the Vandellas, The Miracles, and The Martelettes.
From acclaimed director Michael Roemer, NOTHING BUT A MAN is a devastatingly powerful film about living life without the basic necessities of dignity and respect. Watching this film, we are forced to confront not only what we were but what we are, how far we are, how far we've come, and how far we still have to go. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, this groundbreaking American classic is available for the time ever on DVD.

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DVD 987.83 5661

The film presents a sharp contrast between the American and Indian cultures.  It also involves the great impact caused by globalization and new technologies.

The low-key, charming Outsourced is a thoughtful satire about the human side of contemporary frustrations associated with the global economy. Josh Hamilton (The House of Yes) stars as Todd Anderson, vice president of customer relations for a Seattle company that sells phone-order, patriotic kitsch. Part of Todd's job is keeping his operators' order-taking time down to a few minutes. He's good at what he does, but that doesn't stop the company from outsourcing Todd's entire department to somewhere in India, where local workers can field customer calls more cheaply. A reluctant Todd is sent to the subcontinent to train his own replacement and get the new operators up to speed. Neither task goes well, but adding to Todd's frustration is culture shock over everything from Indian table manners to public transportation to minimal bathroom fixtures. There’s something familiar about this particular fish-out-of-water tale (television’s Northern Exposure, as well as such features as Local Hero and Doc Hollywood). The gentle but illuminating Outsourced proves the story, as long as it's told well, never gets old. Todd eventually realizes the best way to escape India and get back to Seattle, ironically, is to let go of his resistance to India's culture and people. Transformation precedes liberation, but the lovely question in Outsourced is this: once Todd is transformed, what does he need to be liberated from? The film's deliberate, carefully paced narrative can't obscure the feeling of epiphany that permeates Outsourced. Nor can some of its other delights: assured location shooting and a fine supporting cast, including a wry Ayesha Dharker as Todd's romantic interest, and a brief appearance by Larry Pine as a kind of older, more serene version of the disoriented central character.  -- Amazon

Out of Ireland: The Story of Irish Emigration to America

(narrated by Kelly Mcgillis)

(written and directed by Paul Wagner)

(color, Approx. 111 mins.)

Out of Ireland traces the story of flight from the famine-swept villages of 19th century Ireland to the industrialized cities of 20th century America. The program personalizes this transatlantic journey by focusing on the lives of eight specific immigrants, utilizing letters they wrote home to Ireland describing their experiences in the New World.

In Ireland, the story is of a people yearning for change even as they clung desperately to ancient traditions. In America, the story is of policemen and maids, priests and politicians, rogues, wanderers, and victims of discrimination, bemoaning their forced departure from the Old World even as they reaped the benefits of the New World.

The mid-19th century famine in Ireland set the stage for one of the first big waves of European immigrants to America. They tested and profoundly changed America's notion of itself. As Walt Whitman would say, America had become a "nation of nations." Out of Ireland, therefore, is about all Americans and the profound historical and psychological consequences which are our heritage as a nation of immigrants.

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The Rose Parks Story ( Julie dash)

(color, 94 min) (Xenon Pictures, Inc., 2002) 791.43

D229 DVDe W051316V 

(ISBN: 1-57829-744-3)

The Rose Parks Story is a 2002 TV movie about the civil rights heroine Rosa Parks, whose refusal to obey racial bus segregation was just one of her acts in her fight for justice. The film stars Angela Bassett as Rosa Parks; she won an Image Award for her role.

Roads to Memphis (Steve Ives)

DVD eng/791.43/I95

This film tells the story of an assassin, James Earl Ray, his target, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the seething, turbulent forces in American society that led these two men to their violent and tragic collision in Memphis in April 1968.

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SAVAGE ACTS: Wars, Fairs and Empire 1898-1904 (Brown, Joshua, Penee Bender & Andrea Ades Vásquez)

DVD eng/ 070.1/B877/

U.S. overseas expansion at the turn of the century was not just the concern of government and business; it was the stuff of everday life. Savage Acts tells the story of how the Phillippine War and American domestic culture forged a new U.S. foregin policy. Soldiers' letters, world's fair exhibitions, early films, travel guides, and heroic monuments expressed the growing sense of national mission based on ideas of racial superiority. But the victory of imperialist policies was not inevitable; expansion and the way it was expressed in the daily life of the nation sparked opposition both at home and abroad.

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Tea Party Etiquette (Brown, Joshua, Stephen Brier)

DVD eng/ 070.1/B877a

In this dramatized narrative illustrated with photographs and illustrations from nineteenth century books and periodicals, a poor shoemaker from colonial Boston, George Robert Twelves Hewes, describes his experiences in the struggle for American independence, revealing how working people helped make the American Revolution and how they were changed in the process. It depicts the Revolutionary War Period of American history which included the Boston Tea Party.

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Up South: African-American Migration in the Era of the Great War (Brown, Joshua, Andrea Ades Vasquez and Pennee Bender)

DVD eng/ 070.1/B877b/

Between 1916 and 1921, 500,000 African-Americans moved from the South to cities in the North. Mississipians chose Chicago as their destination in the great migration. Their story is told through the recollections of migrants themselves and through letters, oral histories, songs, photographs, and art.

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The Voyage of LaAmistad: A Quest for Freedom

(Color, 70 mins; 1998)

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On the morning of June 28, 1839, the schooner La Amistad set sail from Havana, Cuba, with a cargo that included 53 Africans who had been abducted from Sierra Leone and sold into slavery in violation of international law. Unware of their fate and fearing they would be killed, the Africans revolted, sparing only two crew members to guide the ship eastward toward their home. After a two-month voyage on a zigzag course, La Amistad was finally captured at Long Island, New York, where the Africans were jailed and charged with piracy and murder. Thus began an adventure of immense historical consequences, with a legacy that continues today.

Three-time Emmy Award-winner Alfre Woodard narrates this chronicle of the story of the abducted Africans and their battles for freedom, first on the Amistad and then as they stood trial in a strange land, taking their case all the way to the Supreme Court with various abolitionists and former president John Quiney Adams leading the way. Court documents and transcripts, letters written by the Africans and their lawyers, newspaper articles and testimony from present-day scholars painstakingly recount the history of this seldom-told historical event. The incident is brought to life through drawings and paintings, as well as through the heartfelt interpretations of principal characters by Tony Award-winner Charles Durning and Emmy Award-winner Brock Peters.

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Video Catalogue
English Department
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