Politics… Science… Music… Fashion… Civil Rights… The Women’s Movement… New CPTV Documentary Takes a Memorable Trip Through Th
For Immediate Release
Lee Newton, CPTV
cpbn.org, cptv.org, wnpr.org
Politics… Science… Music… Fashion… Civil Rights…
The Women’s Movement…
New CPTV Documentary Takes a Memorable Trip Through The ‘60s in Connecticut
Premieres Monday, May 9 at 9:30 p.m. on Connecticut Public Television (CPTV)
HARTFORD, Conn. (April 26, 2011) – The 1960s are defined as a time of change in the United States, and the people of Connecticut felt those tremors of change as well. It was a time of longstanding and evolving contradictions. Prosperity and inequality. Naiveté and disillusionment. Courage and fear.
Premiering Monday, May 9 at 9:30 p.m. on Connecticut Public Television (CPTV), The ‘60s in Connecticut, a new CPTV original production, takes an unflinching look at this turbulent and transformative decade through the eyes of Connecticut residents. Using interviews, historical still photographs, archival footage, as well as viewer-submitted home movies and photos, the one-hour documentary chronicles the political upheaval, the cultural transformation and the social changes in the state, from civil rights and the women’s movement to Connecticut’s role in the space race and the music scene.
Beginning with the optimism and innocence of the early 1960s, the special reflects back on John F. Kennedy’s monumental campaign visit to a rainy Waterbury where nearly 50,000 people greeted the presidential candidate at 3 a.m., signaling a momentum shift in his campaign. The documentary includes an interview with an engineer from Windsor Locks’ Hamilton Standard who relives his role in the Apollo space program. And it takes an inviting look back at popular local television shows like Ranger Andy as well as and the delights of everyday life from Christmas at the G. Fox store to sledding in the park.
However, not everyone enjoyed the comfort and prosperity of the period. Others were striving to find better opportunities and achieve the American dream. The ‘60s in Connecticut addresses the wave of minority citizens who moved into the cities looking for good-paying jobs, while other residents moved out to the suburbs in a phenomenon that came to be known as “white flight.” The state also became the epicenter of the women’s movement when the landmark court case Griswold vs. Connecticut freed up access to birth control for women and established a fundamental “right of privacy,” a concept cited eight years later in the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court case.
The ‘60s in Connecticut takes a hard look at the war on poverty, the race riots of 1968 after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the influence of the Black Panthers in the state, including the New Haven trial of several Black Panthers after the 1969 murder of 19-year-old Alex Rackley.
But the documentary has its playful side as well. Viewers take a lighthearted look back at the fashions and hairstyles of the day from Chesterfield coats to shift mini-dresses. Individuals interviewed for the special recall how young men grew their hair out in search of the perfect Beatles mop-top, while girls teased and sprayed their hair into the ultimate Pageboy flip.
From national superstar Gene Pitney to local garage band sensation The Shags, Connecticut enjoyed a vital music scene during the decade. And when it came to watching music on television, every teenager knew to tune in to The Brad Davis Show. Modeled after American Bandstand and sponsored by Connecticut Milk for Health, the weekly show became unofficially known as The Milk Show. But even The Milk Show played a role in the civil rights movement by allowing white and black teenagers to dance together on television.
It was a time of Kennedy and Camelot, great music, scientific innovation and optimism for a better tomorrow. But it was also a period of unrest between the races, the sexes, young and old and tradition and modernism. As Yohuru Williams, Fairfield University professor and author of Black Politics/White Power, summed it up, “The sixties for all of us is a place that is so comfortable and so familiar and so inviting, and yet I don’t think anybody’d want to go back.”
Producer/Writer: Elizabeth Warren
Producer/Director: Jennifer Boyd
Post Producer/Editor: Karen Silverstein
About Connecticut Public Television
CPTV is a media service of the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN). It is a locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming, including UConn Women’s Basketball, original documentaries and educational programming. CPTV has built a reputation as a leader in children’s programming, including playing an historic role in bringing Barney & Friends™, Bob the Builder™ and Thomas & Friends™ to public television. The station offers 11 hours of positive, nurturing children’s programs each weekday, reaching 50,000 to 70,000 households daily. The Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network also includes WNPR, an affiliate of National Public Radio, Public Radio International and American Public Media. WNPR serves over 200,000 listeners weekly in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island with news and information. Its award-winning local programming includes The Faith Middleton Show and Where We Live hosted by John Dankosky. CPBN also includes two affiliate channels: CPTV4U, a 24/7 television channel featuring award-winning drama, news and talk programming, concert performances, independent films, nature shows, British comedy and more; and CTSN, Connecticut’s first-ever 24-hour local sports network, covering statewide high school and college sports. Overall, the network brings a broad spectrum of public affairs, entertainment, sports and educational programming to viewers, listeners and readers. For more information, visit www.cptv.org.