SPECIAL GUESTS

Ken Burns

Photo Credit: Evan Barlow

Ken Burns has been making documentary films for nearly five decades. Since the Academy Award nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, Burns has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz, The War, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, Prohibition, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, The Vietnam War, Country Music, The U.S. and the Holocaust, and, most recently, The American Buffalo. 

Burns’ films have been honored with dozens of major awards, including seventeen Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards, and two Oscar nominations. In September 2008, Burns was honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In November 2022, he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.

Future film projects include Leonardo da Vinci, The American Revolution, Emancipation to Exodus, and LBJ & The Great Society.

To learn more about Ken Burns and his work, visit www.kenburns.com.

Sam Waterston

Sam Waterston is an Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated actor. Known for his compelling performances on stage, screen, and television, Waterston has garnered critical acclaim over the course of his more than 60-year career. He is perhaps best known for his role as Jack McCoy, the steadfast and principled district attorney in the long-running legal drama series Law & Order. Waterston has also appeared in numerous films, television shows, and stage productions including notable roles in The Great Gatsby, The Killing Fields, The Newsroom, and, most recently, Grace and Frankie. He is the voice of Abraham Lincoln in Ken Burns’ epic PBS series, The Civil War, and has portrayed the 16th President in several other theatrical and television productions.

Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen is one of the most accomplished actors of the last six decades with more than 250 professional credits across his storied career. He is synonymous with The West Wing, the acclaimed television series where he portrayed President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet, for which he received six Primetime Emmy nominations. Among a vast bevy of acclaimed films, Sheen is responsible for well-received roles in Badlands, Apocalypse Now, Wall Street, Gettysburg, The American President, The Way, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Judas and the Black Messiah. Other major television roles of Sheen’s include his role in the miniseries Blind Ambition, Kennedy, Grace and Frankie and his recurring role in Anger Management. He is an Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild award winner. 

Sarah Botstein

Sarah Botstein is a documentary film producer who has worked with Ken Burns and Lynn Novick on some of PBS’s most popular documentaries, including Jazz, The War, Prohibition, The Vietnam War, College Behind Bars, and Hemingway. More recently, Botstein co-directed The U.S. and the Holocaust. She is also an original contributor to Ken Burns UNUM and a developer of educational content for programming as part of the Ken Burns Classroom (PBS LearningMedia/WETA-TV).

Susan Eisenhower

Photo Credit: Miranda Harple

Susan Eisenhower is an author, consultant, and a D.C.-based policy strategist with many decades of work on national security issues. One of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower’s four grandchildren, she is a frequent lecturer on topics such as strategic leadership and diplomacy. Her books include Breaking Free: A Memoir of Love and Revolution, Mrs. Ike: Memories and Reflections on the Life of Mamie Eisenhower, and, most recently, How Ike Led: The Principles Behind Eisenhower’s Biggest Decisions.

Harold Holzer

Photo Credit: Matt Capowski

Harold Holzer, winner of The 2015 Gilder-Lehrman Lincoln Prize, is one of the country’s leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era. A prolific writer and lecturer, and frequent guest on television, Holzer served for six years (2010–2016) as chairman of The Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation. For the previous 10 years he co-chaired the U. S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (ALBC), appointed by President Clinton. President Bush awarded Holzer the National Humanities Medal in 2008, and in 2013, Holzer wrote an essay on Lincoln for the official program at the re-inauguration of President Obama. He is now chairman of The Lincoln Forum.

Jeff Shaara

Jeff Shaara is the author of more than a dozen New York Times best-selling novels, including Gods & Generals, The Last Full Measure, Rise to Rebellion, and The Rising Tide. Over the years, Shaara has covered many topics in his historical novels, from the Civil War to the World Wars and the Korean Conflict. He is a four-time winner of the William Young Boyd Award from the American Library Association. He is also the son of Michael Shaara, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Killer Angels, was adapted into the 1993 movie Gettysburg. Shaara’s latest book, The Shadow of War, which focuses on the Cuban Missile Crisis, will be released in May 2024.

Jean Howard-Green

Jean Howard-Green is a local historian in Gettysburg known for her extensive contributions to preserving and sharing the town’s Black history. Serving as the president of the Lincoln Cemetery Project Association, she has dedicated herself to the perpetual care and preservation of Gettysburg’s only existing Black cemetery. Beyond her stewardship duties, Howard-Green is the author of a book, My Ancestor’s Journey, about her family’s path from slavery to freedom in Gettysburg. After a long career in the hospitality management industry, Howard-Green now serves on the board of trustees of the Adams County Historical Society and as Church Historian of the Gettysburg United Methodist Church. 

Jay Ungar & Molly Mason

Since joining forces – artistically and as a married couple – Jay Ungar and Molly Mason have played an influential role on the American acoustic music scene. Ungar and Mason have provided historic and original music since the 1980s for more than a dozen Ken Burns documentaries. Millions were entranced by their performance of Ungar’s haunting composition “Ashokan Farewell,” the signature tune of Burns’ documentary The Civil War. The Civil War soundtrack went on to win a Grammy and “Ashokan Farewell” was nominated for an Emmy. Today, Ungar and Mason continue to share their music, stories, and incredible talent all over the country, inspiring the next wave of folk musicians.

Alisha Sanders

As a proud native of Gettysburg and Adams County, Alisha Sanders enjoyed growing up in a place with such historical and significant importance in our nation’s history. This generated an interest in preserving history through education. Sanders has been an educator for almost 15 years teaching eighth graders the value and relevance of history and civics in their lives. In the past 20 years, she has also served her community through volunteer service on several boards and committees. She currently serves on the Gettysburg Borough Council and is involved with the Interfaith Center for Peace & Justice, YWCA Advocacy Committee, Lincoln Cemetery Preservation Association, Adams County Historical Society, and Children’s Advocacy Committee. 

J.D. Huitt

J.D. Huitt is the creator of The History Underground on YouTube. His channel, which recently surpassed 600,000 subscribers, serves as an educational resource for viewers to connect with history through historic sites and artifacts. Huitt covers a variety of topics in his videos ranging from the Civil War to presidential history.

Chris Mowery

Chris Mowery is the creator of Vlogging Through History on YouTube. Mowery started the channel in 2020 to document his visits to historic sites and to pass along his love of history to the next generation. His introduction to Civil War history began at age 12 with the release of Ken Burns’ Civil War series. 

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