Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Atlanta History Center Partner on “37 WEEKS: Sherman on the March”

Premieres Monday, April 14

April 2014 marks the 150th anniversary of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's 1864 march into Georgia.  Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Atlanta History Center are commemorating this extraordinary event with the launch of a new original series, “37 Weeks: Sherman on the March.” The series will bring Sherman’s devastating 37-week journey across Georgia to life and highlight key turning points in the history-making trek.  The 90-second segments will premiere Monday, April 14 during the 7 p.m. telecast of GPB’s nightly program “On the Story.”

“37 Weeks” is produced by award-winning filmmaker Bruce Burkhardt, in collaboration with Atlanta History Center Civil War historian Gordon Jones. Burkhardt also wrote and produced GPB’s highly successful documentary “Augusta’s Master Plan-From Sherman’s March to Arnie’s Army.” Jones is sharing his expertise and the vast Civil War collection of photos, maps, documents, diaries and newspaper accounts curated by the Atlanta History Center.

In April of 1864, the American Civil War was raging on, and more than half a million soldiers were dead. President Abraham Lincoln was facing a tough election as his political opponents were calling for a negotiated peace with the Confederacy. Lincoln, however, was determined to restore the Union at any cost, and Georgia paid the price. Without Gen. Sherman's march to the sea, the Civil War may have ended very differently and the Union dissolved. 

"GPB is honored to partner with the Atlanta History Center on this project,” said Teya Ryan, president and CEO of GPB. “We are very fortunate to have access to its rich resources and knowledgeable staff.  By taking audiences on this week-by-week journey of Sherman’s March, we give our audience the opportunity to relive the dramatic history of the Civil War in Georgia."

Each of the 90-second  “37 Weeks” segments will air multiple times on GPB’s television and radio platforms during the week paralleling the same week in Shermanʼs campaign and tell a story that brings an understanding to the human dimension of war. What did it feel like when Shermanʼs army - 100 thousand strong - was bearing down on your city? What was motivating Shermanʼs fateful decisions? What was it like for the foot solider on either side of the battlefield? What were some of those twists of fate or ironic moments that war inevitably produces? These are among the stories “37 Weeks” will explore.

“GPB and the Atlanta History Center wished to find a way to make the history of the war relevant to a new generation of Atlantans. It is no longer enough to just know what, where, and when something occurred, making it increasingly important to engage audiences beyond traditional Civil War monuments, plaques, and memorials.” said Sheffield Hale, president and CEO of Atlanta History Center. “The concept to highlight Georgia’s Civil War history by focusing on one event, and one story, per episode allowed the opportunity to use images, documents, diaries, and objects from the History Center’s collection, coupled with GPB’s production expertise, in a way that brings the past to life through storytelling while providing personal connections to our collective – and shared history.”

The series is hosted and narrated by Masud Olufani, who has worked with the Atlanta History Center for the last four years as part of their "Meet the Past Museum Theatre" program.  Most recently he played the role of African American journalist J. Max Barber in the award-winning production of the History Center's "Four Days of Fury: The Atlanta 1906 Race Riot."

ABOUT GPB:

As one of the largest PBS stations in the nation, Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB Media), has been creating content worth sharing for over 50 years. With nine television stations, 17 radio stations and a multi-faceted web presence, GPB strives to educate, entertain and enrich the lives of our viewers and listeners with programming that includes statewide radio news, current affairs, high school sports, educational resources for teachers and students and enlightening programs about our state like Georgia Outdoors, Georgia Traveler and On the Story.

ABOUT THE ATLANTA HISTORY CENTER: 

Founded in 1926, the Atlanta History Center is an all-inclusive, thirty-three-acre destination featuring the Atlanta History Museum, one of the nation’s largest history museums; two historic houses, the 1928 Swan House and the 1860 Smith Family Farm; the Centennial Olympic Games Museum; the Kenan Research Center; the Grand Overlook event space; a museum shop, and twenty-two acres of Historic Gardens with paths and the kid-friendly Connor Brown Discovery Trail.

In addition, the History Center operates the Margaret Mitchell House located in Midtown Atlanta. For information, call 404.814.4000 or visit AtlantaHistoryCenter.com.

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About Us

The Atlanta History Center is an all-inclusive destination featuring the Atlanta History Museum; two historic houses, 1928 Swan House and 1860 Smith Family Farm; the Centennial Olympic Games Museum; Kenan Research Center; Grand Overlook event space; Chick-Fil-A at the Coca-Cola Café, a museum shop, and the Goizueta Gardens, featuring 22 acres of gardens, walkways, paths and trails. In addition, the History Center operates the Margaret Mitchell House located in Midtown Atlanta.