America's History in the Making

"Americas History in the Making"
Producer/Director: OPB, Sam Ward

Team: Sean Hutchinson, Heather Cunningham

"America's History in the Making" is a 22-part series produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting. It examines the lives of some well-known, and many lesser-known heroes in the sweep of American history. Their rich biographies provide the backdrop for significant themes in the development of this country: like Elizabeth Key, an early slave who sued for her freedom in a Virginia courtroom in 1655, and Black Hawk, the Native American leader who resisted incursions by US military into tribal lands in the 1830’s. At the Producers Institute, the OPB team of Sam Ward, Sean Hutchinson and Heather Young developed the AMERICAN VOICES interactive project, designed to help users actually participate in history. Through a Yahoo map interface, biographical stories from the series are tied to specific regions, color-coded icons are used to tie individuals to their stories, these icons prompt streamed video segments, and a section of the site prompts users to collect, share and map their own personal histories.