July 2 @ 7pm – The Statue of Liberty
This 1985 Ken Burns film explores the creation and history of the remarkable Statue of Liberty and what she represents to all Americans. Narrated by David McCullough, the film traces the development of the monument — from its conception to its fascinating and often controversial construction to its final dedication — and offers interviews with a wide range of Americans, including former New York governor Mario Cuomo, the late congresswoman Barbara Jordan and the late writers James Baldwin and Jerzy Kosinski, to explore the meaning of the Statue of Liberty.
July 3 @ 9pm – Anthem
ANTHEM tells the story behind Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the song famously penned after the relentless bombardment by the British of Fort McHenry during The War of 1812. Historians and music experts discuss the Colonial-era songs and events that influenced Key to write what would become the U.S. national anthem. ANTHEM also reveals interesting facts about Key’s upbringing and religious leanings while tracing the origins of the song. During the program, the U.S. Naval Academy Glee Club and St. John’s College Chorus give voice to this stirring and elegant song, including a performance of its first draft.
July 4 @ 7pm, encore @ 8:30pm – A Capitol Fourth
A CAPITOL FOURTH welcomes back Emmy Award-winning television personality Tom Bergeron (“Dancing With the Stars”) to host America’s national Independence Day celebration live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Bergeron will lead an all-star cast during the top-rated musical and fireworks extravaganza that has become America’s favorite birthday party. With 20 cameras positioned around the city, viewers at home are front and center for the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation. A CAPITOL FOURTH also airs on National Public Radio and to our troops around the world on the American Forces Network.
July 5 @ 9pm – Tomlinson Hill
In the mid-1800s just outside of Marlin, Texas, a slave plantation named Tomlinson Hill was founded by James K. Tomlinson. The establishment would have long lasting effects on the rural community. TOMLINSON HILL documents how the legacy of slavery in east and central Texas has created a region still divided despite the civil rights changes of the last 60 years. Reporter Chris Tomlinson, a descendant of slave owner James K. Tomlinson, confronts the shame and guilt he feels from his ancestry and digs deeper into the real legacy of the area. He comes across Loreane Tomlinson, a descendant of slaves on Tomlinson Hill, who has returned to her hometown with a vision of civic improvement.
July 7 @ 8pm – Masterpiece Mystery – Endeavor (Series)
DC Morse (Shaun Evans) and DI Thursday (Roger Allam) investigate burgled gas meters, the sudden death of a young secretarial student and a string of Post Office robberies, confounding the solution to a pair of violent murders. Could Morse’s future on the force be in jeopardy?
July 9 @ 7pm – Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery (series)
Sent by President Thomas Jefferson to find the fabled Northwest Passage, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led the most important expedition in American history — a voyage of danger and discovery from St. Louis to the headwaters of the Missouri River, over the Continental Divide to the Pacific. It was the United States’ first exploration of the West and one of the nation’s most enduring adventures. This program tells the remarkable story of the entire corps — not just the two famous captains, but the young army men, French-Canadian boatmen, Clark’s African-American slave and the Shoshone woman, Sacagawea, who brought along her infant son. Hal Holbrook narrates.
July 10 @ 7pm – NOVA – Building Pharaoh’s Chariot
Some historians claim that the Egyptian chariot launched a technological and strategic revolution and was the secret weapon behind Egypt’s greatest era of conquest known as the New Kingdom. But was the chariot really a revolutionary design? How decisive was its role in the bloody battles of the ancient world? A team of archaeologists, engineers, woodworkers and horse trainers builds and tests two accurate replicas of Egyptian royal chariots. Driving them to their limits in the desert outside Cairo, NOVA’s experts test the claim that the chariot marks a crucial turning point in ancient military history.
July 15 @ 9pm – POV: Only The Young
Follow three unconventional Christian teenagers coming of age in a small Southern California town. Skateboarders Garrison and Kevin, and Garrison’s on-and-off girlfriend, Skye, wrestle with the eternal questions of youth: friendship, true love and the promise of the future. Yet their lives are also touched by the distress signals of contemporary America — foreclosed homes, abandoned businesses and adults in financial trouble. As graduation approaches, these become shocking realities. By Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims.
July 17 @ 8pm – NOVA – Ghost of Machu Picchu
Perched atop a mountain crest, mysteriously abandoned more than four centuries ago, Machu Picchu is the most famous archeological ruin in the Western hemisphere and an iconic symbol of the power and engineering prowess of the Inca. In the years since Machu Picchu was discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911, there have been countless theories about this “Lost City of the Incas,” yet it remains an enigma. Why did the Incas build it on such an inaccessible site, clinging to the steep face of a mountain? Who lived among its stone buildings, farmed its emerald green terraces and drank from its sophisticated aqueduct system? NOVA joins a new generation of archeologists as they probe areas of Machu Picchu that haven’t been touched since the time of the Incas and unearth burials of the people who built the sacred site. The program explores the extraordinary trail of clues that began on that fateful day in 1911 and continues to the present.
July 17 @ 9pm – Nazi Mega Weapons (series)
In a quest for world domination, the Nazis built some of the biggest and deadliest pieces of military hardware and malevolent technology in history. This new six-part series recounts World War II from a unique new perspective, uncovering the engineering secrets of iconic megastructures, telling the stories of the engineers who designed them and revealing how these structures sparked a technological revolution that changed warfare forever.
July 23 @ 7pm – The Buddha
Two-and-a-half millennia ago, a new religion was born in northern India, generated from the ideas of a single man, the Buddha, a mysterious Indian sage who famously gained enlightenment while he sat under a large, shapely fig tree. The Buddha never claimed to be God or his emissary on earth. He said only that he was a human being who, in a world of unavoidable pain and suffering, had found a kind of serenity that others could find, too. This documentary by award-winning filmmaker David Grubin tells the story of his life, a journey especially relevant in our own bewildering times of violent change and spiritual confusion. Richard Gere narrates.
July 24 @ 8pm – NOVA: 3D Spies of WWII
During World War II, Hitler’s scientists developed terrifying new weapons of mass destruction. Alarmed by rumors about advanced rockets and missiles, Allied intelligence recruited a team of brilliant minds from British universities and Hollywood studios to a country house near London. Here, they secretly pored over millions of air photos shot at great risk over German territory by specially converted, high-flying Spitfires. Peering at the photos through 3D stereoscopes, the team spotted telltale clues that revealed hidden Nazi rocket bases. The photos led to devastating Allied bombing raids that were crucial setbacks to the German rocket program and helped ensure the success of the D-Day landings. With 3D graphics that recreate exactly what the photo spies saw, NOVA tells the suspenseful, previously untold story of air photo intelligence that played a vital role in defeating Hitler.
July 26 @ 9pm – David Phelps Classic
Grammy-winning tenor and well-known member of the Gaither Vocal Band, David Phelps, takes viewers on a musical journey in this live concert event. The program features the world-class vocals and eclectic musical influences of this renowned musician. From the beautiful Franklin Theatre in Franklin, Tennessee, Phelps brings an electrifying voice to a variety of classical selections, patriotic standards and inspirational favorites.
July 30 @ 7pm – A Ride Along the Lincoln Highway
Rick Sebak travels across America’s first transcontinental highway, checking out the changing landscape along the route from Times Square to San Francisco. This road show incorporates American culture, history, food, family, traditions and the changing way of the automobile.