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December 19, 2003
Launches Companion Site
For American Experience Reconstruction: The Second Civil War
On a misty April evening in 1865, a jubilant crowd packed the White House lawn to hear President Abraham Lincoln’s first speech since the end of the Civil War. They expected a stirring celebration of the Union victory—but instead got harsh reality.
Even with the South defeated, Lincoln warned, the future would be “fraught with great difficulty.” He called the task ahead reconstruction—a word that has returned to American headlines nearly a century and a half later, in the aftermath of the war in Iraq.
On Monday and Tuesday, January 12 and 13, 2004, at 9pm on PBS, American Experience premieres Reconstruction: The Second Civil War, a two-part, three-hour series that examines one of the least understood periods in American history. Elizabeth Deane (The Kennedys, The Rockefellers, Ulysses S. Grant) is series producer; Llewellyn Smith (Africans in America, Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory, Race: The Power of an Illusion) is producer of Part I; Patricia Garcia-Rios (Chicago: City of the Century) is co-producer of Part II. Dion Graham narrates.
A comprehensive Web site at pbs.org/amex/reconstruction features a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, a state-by-state exploration of Reconstruction events and laws, personal accounts from the era, bonus video material, and a teacher’s guide.
What you can do online:
• Southern owners return to ruined plantations:
• America's first black legislators are elected:
• Northerners travel South to seek opportunities:
• The first public schools open in the South:
• Former slaves and landowners make new labor arrangements:
• Northerners debate what they've done for former slaves:
• Secret terror organizations like the KKK start in the South:
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Online serves an average of 4.6 million pages of history content to visitors every month. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE sites have been critically acclaimed by Yahoo!, Netscape, Yahooligans!, USA Today, TipWorld, The Scout Report, UK Plus Site of the Day, Surfing the Net with Kids, and Learning in Motion’s Top Ten List.
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Online is produced by WGBH Interactive, Boston, which produces Web sites supporting WGBH national series such as NOVA, Antiques Roadshow and ARTHUR. The WGBH Educational Foundation is the single largest producer of primetime television programs and Web sites seen nationally on PBS and PBS.org.
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