The Peabody Awards

The Peabody Awards

Blue and Gray and Red All Over

Noel Holston - 4/7/2015
Blue and Gray and Red All Over

Blue & Gray, this season’s fourth and final offering of The Peabody Decades, a series of original documentaries highlighting different television genres or themes, will premiere at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 21, in the auditorium of the University of Georgia’s Russell Special Collections Library, 300 Hull Street, Athens.

Co-produced by the Peabody Awards and the Peabody Awards Collection and curated with help from students of UGA history professor Daniel Rood, the screening is admission free and open to the general public.

Blue & Gray commemorates the end of the American Civil War 150 years ago this month. Excerpts from The Civil War, Ken Burns’ landmark, Peabody-winning series will be included, but that’s only one of nearly two dozen relevant programs we’ve gleaned from the Peabody archive.

The project’s guiding idea is to give audiences not just an overview of our nation’s bloodiest conflict but to show off the breadth and depth of the archive and underscore how various writers and producers over decades have interpreted and shaped our perception of the war.

To that end, Blue & Gray encompasses scenes not only from big -budget network dramas such as Sandburg’s Lincoln (1975), Gore Vidal’s Lincoln (1988) and Gettysburg (1994) but also from documentaries such as Slavery and the Making of America (2005) and local-station specials such as Death Knell – Atlanta, 1864, produced by WAII-TV on the 100th anniversary of the war.

The oldest archive treasure excerpted is Fletcher Pratt’s History of the Civil War (1959), a staged reading of a then-popular historian’s book by a quartet of actors assembled by Chicago’s WTTW and directed by William Freidkin who, a few years later, would pick up an Oscar for his theatrical film The French Connection. The most surprising find from our combing of the archive is silent film footage of a 1914 parade of Confederate veterans that was attached to the conclusion of a Jacksonville TV station’s 1961 documentary about Civil War battles in Florida.

Refreshments at 6:30 p.m. will precede the screening. Evening event parking will be available in UGA’s Hull Street Parking Deck.

Event Details:
Screening, Peabody Decades, “Blue & Gray: Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War’s End,”
Auditorium, 2nd floor, Special Collections Building
Contact: Mary Miller, 706-542-4789,