historical films

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The Ghost Army was officially known as the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops. From June 1944 to March 1945 it staged 20 battlefield deceptions, beginning in Normandy and ending at the Rhine River. These deceptions included an array of inflatables (tanks, trucks, jeeps, and airplanes), sound trucks, phony radio transmissions and even playacting to fool the enemy.

In the hot and deadly summer of 1964, the nation could not turn away from Mississippi. Over ten memorable weeks known as Freedom Summer, more than 700 student volunteers joined with organizers and local African Americans in a historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in one of the nation's most segregated states, even in the face of intimidation, physical violence, and death.

In 1948, the Soviet Union blocked access to West Berlin, starving the population and choking commerce. Allied forces refused to cede the city, and for nearly a year, supplied two million civilians and 20,000 allied solders entirely from the air. Through the personal stories of those who were there, this program provides a striking look at the first battle of the Cold War and the largest humanitarian campaign the world has ever seen.

On October 29, 1929 - Black Monday, large and small investors alike lost corporate and personal fortunes when the stock market crashed. This program examines the reasons behind the crash and whether the crash was predictable.

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Explore History: E-lectrified and Keep It Real: E-lectrified badges.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.

Documents the Vietnam War using footage from the Dick Cavett Show, archival footage and newly filmed interviews.

Recounts the assassination and excruciating final months of President James Garfield's life. A brilliant scholar, courageous general, and fervent abolitionist, Garfield never wanted the job of president. But once in office, he worked tirelessly to reunite a nation still divided 15 years after the Civil War. As he lay dying, the North and South came together to pray for his recovery.

In the early 1900s, San Francisco stood as a proud and flourishing symbol of America's recent conquest of the once-wild West. But on April 19, 1906, the city would experience an awesome reminder of the uncontrollable forces lying dormant just beneath the splendors of its cosmopolitan surface. Thirty times more powerful than the temblor that decimated northern California in 1989, this earthquake measured a ground-wrenching 8.3 on the Richter scale, resulting in the worst catastrophe suffered by a North American city in the twentieth century. Contains rare, newly restored movie footage from the period and the personal accounts of eyewitnesses.

It was the year of the Beatles and the Civil Rights Act, of the Gulf of Tonkin and Barry Goldwater's campaign for the presidency. The year that Americans learned smoking was bad for their health, and Cassius Clay became Mohammed Ali. The year that cities across the country erupted in violence and Americans tried to make sense of the assassination of their president. Based on The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964.

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Explore History: E-lectrified badge.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.

The National Film Registry of the Library of Congress has just announced it's list of inductees for 2015. Established in 1989, the films are selected for their enduring importance to United States culture. For a history of the Film Registry you can watch the fascinating documentary These amazing shadows: the movies that made America. Titles available in the Library's collection can be found below. The entire list — complete with film history — can be found here.

Circumstances propel a feeble-minded gardener, whose entire knowledge of life comes from watching television, into becoming adviser to a powerful but dying tycoon. Starring Peter Sellers and Shirley MacLaine.

Commercial motion pictures were invented at the Edison Laboratory between 1888 and 1893. Perhaps none of the component parts were strictly new, but the ability of Edison and his staff to reorganize them for a specific purpose was an extraordinary cultural achievement. In 1894, Edison was the sole producer of motion pictures in the world. Many Edison films continue to be impressive as the company employed such accomplished early directors as John Collins and Alan Crosland. This film made in January 1894 by W.K.L. Dickson, is also known as "Fred Ott's Sneeze" or simply "The Sneeze" and is one of the earliest film recordings,  as well as  the oldest surviving copyrighted motion picture.

When ghosts go on a rampage, only three men can save the world. Soon every spook in the city is loose and our heroes face the supreme challenge If you want your spirits raised, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! Starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis.

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