Evolution of America:
1619 to today

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ABOUT THE FILM

As Americans focus on solving the many challenges our country faces today

it is often without a thoughtful consideration of the key events in our early history that helped form our place in the world today.

Across centuries, the long term ramifications of what took place in the seemingly obscure year of 1619 have both bedeviled and helped define the United States. From the initial incarnation of representative government in the New World to the arrival of the first Africans to the English colony, these events played an important part of shaping the American experience. Coupled with two other key events that year, they have remained integral to political and social life in the U.S.

“Evolution of America: 1619 to Today” explores those pivotal events and examines, in depth, their effect on the growth and development of the U.S. and how they resonate today.

“Evolution of America: 1619 to Today” is a legacy project of the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution, a national observance of the 400th anniversary of key historical events that occurred in Virginia in 1619 that continue to influence America today.

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EXTENDED INTERVIEWS

GOV. GEORGE ALLEN

Governor George Allen, former Governor and Senator from Virginia.

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DR. JOHN COOMBS

Dr. John Coombs, Professor of History, Hampden-Sydney College. He earned a Ph.D. in history from the College of William and Mary. Before his time at Hampden-Sydney, John taught at Florida International University.

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SUZANNE GOULD

Suzanne Gould, Historian and Archivist for the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

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DR. LINDA HEYWOOD

Dr. Linda Heywood, professor of African History and the History of the African Diaspora and African American Studies at Boston University. She is a member of the Advisory Board, Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

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SEN. TIM KAINE

Senator Tim Kaine is serving as the junior United States Senator from Virginia since 2013. He previously was the state’s 38th Lieutenant Governor from 2002 to 2006 and 70th Governor from 2006 to 2010.

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REV. DR. WILLIAM BOBBY MCCLAIN

Rev. Dr. William Bobby McClain, former Professor of Religion at Wesley Theological Seminary. Professor McClain met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Montgomery, Alabama, where Dr. King was pastoring and McClain was a teen-aged preacher in his hometown of Gadsden, Alabama.

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DR. SONYA MICHEL

Dr. Sonya Michel, Professor Emerita, American Studies and History, University of Maryland and senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.

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CHIEF ANNE RICHARDSON

Chief Anne Richardson, Chief of the Rappahannock Tribe of Virginia. Anne was elected Assistant Chief to her father in 1980. She served in that position for eighteen years.

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ANNE MARIE SLAUGHTER

Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO and President of the think tank New America and Professor Emerita of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University.

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GRAHAM WOODLIEF

Graham Woodlief, direct descendant of Captain John Woodlief, who conducted the first “official” English Thanksgiving at Berkeley Plantation in December 1619.

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DR. ASHLEY ATKINS-SPIVEY

Dr. Ashley Atkins-Spivey, Director, Pamunkey Indian Resource Center, the tribe of Powhatan, paramount chief of 32 tribes at the time of the English arrival in Virginia. She earned a Ph.D. in anthropology from the College of William and Mary.

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DR. REX ELLIS

Dr. Rex Ellis, Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

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JUDGE ROGER GREGORY

Judge Roger Gregory, Chief Judge, 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, VA. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude from Virginia State University in 1975 and his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School in 1978.

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DR. JAMES HORN

Dr. James Horn, President and Chief Officer, Jamestown Rediscovery Project at Historic Jamestowne. Horn has a D.Phil. from the University of Sussex, England, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

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DR. JOHN KINNEY

Dr. John Kinney, former Dean of the School of Theology, Virginia Union University, in Richmond, VA.

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MIKE MCCURRY

Mike McCurry is best known for having served as the eighteenth White House Press Secretary for Bill Clinton’s administration.

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DR. CASSANDRA NEWBY-ALEXANDER

Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander, Dean, College of Liberal Arts, Professor of History and Director of the Joseph Jenkins Roberts Center for the Study of the African Diaspora at Norfolk State University, VA.

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DR. LARRY SABATO

Dr. Larry Sabato, American political scientist and political analyst. He is the Robert Kent Gooch Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, where he is also the founder and director of the Center for Politics. He has had visiting appointments at Oxford University and Cambridge University in Great Britain. A Rhodes Scholar, he received his doctorate from Oxford, and he is the author or editor of two dozen books on American politics.

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GOV. L. DOUGLAS WILDER

Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, the first African-American elected governor in the United States, leading the commonwealth of Virginia from 1990 to 1994.

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SPONSORS

This program is being released nationally by NETA in January 2019. Check your local public television station for broadcast schedule.