A Capitol Fourth — Celebrate With the Beach Boys and Joshua Bell
Posted on July 2, 2018 at 8:00 am
Every year I look forward to the magnificent concert in front of the US Capitol Building on the 4th of July, broadcast on PBS. I’ve even been lucky enough to see it in person a couple of times.
This year, the Capitol Fourth concert features the Beach Boys, violinist Joshua Bell, Jimmy Buffett with the cast of his Broadway musical Margaritaville, opera star Renee Fleming, a capella all-stars Pentatonix, Broadway legend Chita Rivera, gospel legend CeCe Winans, the US Army Herald Trumpets, and “Pershing’s Own,” the magnificent US Army Band. Plus fireworks!
Independence Day Will Smith, Bill Pullman, and Jeff Goldblum star in one of the all-time great popcorn pleasures. Aliens attack the earth and it takes a quirky engineer, a plucky President, and a heroic military pilot to save the day. What does that have to do with the 4th of July? Listen to the President’s stirring pep talk.
The Patriot There are many films about the Civil War, but not many about the Revolutionary War. Mel Gibson stars in this uneven but stirring film about a farmer pulled into the rebellion.
1776 I love this film, based on the Broadway musical about the signing of the Declaration of Independence, with almost all of the stars from the acclaimed stage production, including William Daniels as the “obnoxious and disliked” John Adams, Ken Howard as a dashing Thomas Jefferson, and Howard Da Silva as Benjamin Franklin.
The World at War This classic is considered the definitive history and a landmark of television reporting. It was created long enough after the war ended to have perspective but close enough in time to have access to the participants, with eyewitness accounts by civilians, enlisted men, officers, and politicians as well as historians. The 30th anniversary DVD set issued in 2004 has three hours of new material and additional documentaries.
GI Jews Fifty thousand Jewish American fought in WWII, often struggling with anti-Semitism in the military. They look back on their experiences and how it affected their lives.
Korea, The Forgotten War It was the Cold War era, but a real war was being fought in Korea that embodied the geopolitical conflicts. This documentary covers that story, from Inchon to Pork Chop Hill.
Vietnam War: America’s Conflict Many documentaries cover the politics and the protests, and that is covered here, too, but this series focuses on the stories of the battles and the men who fought them.
Hidden Wars of Desert Storm Interviews with General Norman Schwarzkopf, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, former UN Iraq Program Director Denis Halliday, former UNSCOM team-leader Scott Ritter and many others help tell the story of the American response to the invasion of Kuwait.
Restrepo This is the award-winning story of one of the most dangerous postings in the U.S. military, covering the deployment of a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. The remote 15-man outpost was named after a platoon medic who was killed in action.
The War Tapes Three National Guardsmen (“citizen soldiers”) document their time in Iraq.
This adorable gif from “Madame Satan” celebrates the moment that the old year ends and the new one begins. Happy happy new year to all of my readers and I look forward to sharing more with you in 2018.