via press release:
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA TO OPEN ONE-HOUR SPECIAL
A STAR-SPANGLED STORY:
BATTLE FOR AMERICA
PREMIERING THIS SATURDAY ON SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL™
AT 9PM ET/PT
Special Includes Rare Access To Smithsonian’s Artifacts, Which Illuminates Story Of America’s National Anthem In Time For Its 200th ANNIVERSARY
NEW YORK, June 13, 2014 – President Barack Obama will introduce Smithsonian Channel’s one-hour special A STAR-SPANGLED STORY: BATTLE FOR AMERICA, which premieres on Saturday, June 14 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In the special video message, the President will invite viewers to reflect on the National Anthem on its 200th Anniversary, and its impact on American history and viewers’ lives.
Sung before almost every sporting event in the nation, The Star-Spangled Banner has stirring lyrics and a powerful melody. But many Americans don’t actually know the words or the historic events that inspired them.
Two hundred years ago, America was a young nation battling the British Empire in a conflict known as the War of 1812. By late summer 1814, the fate of the entire country hung in the balance. Washington was in flames. The President and Congress had fled the city, the American army had collapsed, and conquering troops were burning the nation’s capital. But out of this catastrophic time was born an inspiration and rallying song recognized by every American: The Star-Spangled Banner.
A STAR-SPANGLED STORY: BATTLE FOR AMERICA explores the bicentennial of the National Anthem and the battle that inspired it, combining interviews with leading historians, conservators, and soprano superstar Renée Fleming, who sang the anthem at the 2014 Super Bowl. Experts explain why the song is so unique and what the individual lyrics mean to them. Historians reveal the story behind the War of 1812 and shed light on the divisive war whose outcome was vital to the fate of America. This special also includes historical re-enactments, 3-D computer graphics, hands-on demonstrations, and behind-the-scenes tours of the Smithsonian’s extraordinary collection of artifacts to unlock the forgotten story of a time when the future of America was on the line.
A STAR-SPANGLED STORY: BATTLE FOR AMERICA gives viewers exclusive access inside the sealed chamber that houses the flag Francis Scott Key named the Star-Spangled Banner. Beginning in 1998 a decade-long conservation project stabilized the wool and cotton textile and removed harmful dirt and debris from the face of the flag. The flag is now on exhibit in a custom-built, low-oxygen chamber at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and Smithsonian Channel cameras were there when it was examined for the first time since it was sealed inside this chamber in 2008. The Smithsonian has been home to the flag for more than 100 years.
A STAR-SPANGLED STORY: BATTLE FOR AMERICA is produced by The Biscuit Factory for Smithsonian Channel. Executive Producers for Smithsonian Channel are Tim Evans David Royle and Charles Poe.
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Smithsonian Channel™, owned by Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution, is where curiosity lives, inspiration strikes and wonders never cease. This is the place for awe-inspiring stories, powerful documentaries and amazing entertainment across multiple platforms. Smithsonian Channel combines the storytelling prowess of SHOWTIME® with the unmatched resources and rich traditions of the Smithsonian, to create award-winning programming that shines new light on popular genres such as air and space, history, science, nature, and pop culture. Among the network’s offerings are series including Aerial America, L.A. Frock Stars, Secrets, Mighty Ships, Mighty Planes and Air Disasters, as well as critically-acclaimed specials that include Civil War 360, 9/11: The Heartland Tapes; MLK: The Assassination Tapes and The Day Kennedy Died. Find out more at www.smithsonianchannel.com.