The Truman Show, a critically (yt) acclaimed movie from 1998, is set to become a TV series. [h/t to mwhybark, a
"Untold History of the United States challenges the basic narrative of the U.S. history that most Americans have been taught.... [Such history] is consoling; it is comforting. But it only tells a small part of the story." Instead of clips of modern people pondering the past, Oliver Stone's ten-part series relies heavily on archival footage and clips from old Hollywood films, with narration by Stone. Towards the end, he gets into the assassination of JFK, "but that should not detract from a series that sets out to be a counterweight to the patriotic cheerleading and myth-making." [more inside]
Most of us reading on the blue lived through at least a portion of it. Forty-plus years of tension between the world's two superpowers and their allies. That's right: The Cold War. Then, they made a documentary. Aired on CNN in 1998, and never released on DVD, the 24 episode, 20 hour series features tons of archival footage, along with many interviews with individuals directly involved at some of the highest levels. You might not be able to see it on DVD, but you can watch the full series on Youtube, starting with Part 1: Comrades (1917-1945).
One hot June morning in 1953, a retired couple from western Missouri packed their Chrysler New Yorker with 11 suitcases and started driving east. A few hours later, they stopped at a diner in Hannibal, Mo., and ordered fruit plates and iced tea. “We thought we were getting by big as an unknown traveling couple until we went to the counter to pay the bill,” Harry Truman later wrote of that lunch. “Just as we arose from the table some county judges came in and the incog was off.” And thus began an excellent adventure of a type that happened once and will never happen again: The Harry and Bess Truman Ex-Presidential Road Trip. [more inside]
More than 600 Universal Newsreels at Internet Archive, both whole and partial reels (the same collection, with a few more newsreels is also on YouTube but it's in lower quality). Newsreels were short collections of current events that ran before feature films. They ran from the start of the film era up into the 1960s. This collection goes from the early 30s through the mid 60s. Here are a few interesting ones: Eleanor Roosevelt tells a joke, 1935 car industry workers strike, Australian who was orphaned in China and raised by Chinese parents returns to Australia, FDR inaugurated, Enos the chimpanzee goes into space and returns to Earth, Vietnam War protest marches in New York, San Francisco and Rome, Busby Babes plane crash, Gagarin hugged by Kruschev, Truman brings the funny, Seattle be-in and Nuremberg trials.
It has now been 60 years since the awesome terror of nuclear weapons was revealed to the world. Whether the decision to use such a fearsome weapon was right or wrong is still being debated. Much of that debate now centers around the intercepts of Japanese communications under the Ultra [British code name] or Magic [US code name] program and whether Japan was ready to surrender under acceptable terms. Some of these intercepts can be read here and here.