Edna Purviance's bio

Currently working on Edna Purviance's family biography. Draft is done. Photo: Leading Ladies © used by ednapurviance.org

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ken Burns The War

While this is not a silent film, it was an event Edna and Charlie both lived through, as well as many of our readers parents and grandparents, maybe even yourself. While it would have been great to see more stories from different countries, I did find the first night quite good.

Not a doc full of re-created events, but actual film footage, photos and real life stories about WWII. More of the program this week on PBS, so check your listings. (Check for reruns on the weekend too.)

Follow-up: Good program again this evening. Interesting to hear again how fast they built the planes for the war in the US. All the car plants were turned in 'war factories' basically.

During the whole US time in the war (1941-1945) only 139 new cars were built, but one B-25 plane (I believe they said) was turned out at one of the car plants, every 63 minutes. That is one plane with over 1,500,000 parts...

They also continued to follow the Japanese-Americans and how they were sent to prison camps in the US. Very sad chapter, not mentioned in the history books I read in school, which makes it sadder still. (I did learn about it from family members and books not in those schools.)

Oct. 1 - Found Part Five (FUBAR) the best of the series yet, with a variety of gripping stories never fully told before about WWII.

Oct. 2 - Not as gripping of story tonight as Part Five. Fubar has stories rarely told, like the story of the Japanese-Americas fighting for the US. Equally interesting since my mother-in-law had to live in one of those America camps, after being forced to leave her family farm in the central valley of California. Interesting too, the Japanese America family who bought Edna's Lovelock property in the 1940s, didn't have to go to the camps, and ran their Laundry business in Lovelock during the entire war. (Nevada wasn't considered the west coast.)

Oct. 3 - The War is over, but if you don't know anything about WWII, this Ken Burns' series would be an excellent place to learn. This is not the clean version, from the general and leaders point of view, but the real dirty version from the people who actually fought it. My father fought in that war for two and half years, but hardly ever talked about and the schools I attended never talked about it like this series does.

Follow-up: The series is continuing on PBS, as it reruns during the Columbus Day Weekend. Some reviews mention the 'unbalance' telling of the story. Well, there are thousands of stories about this war, some with stories from different sides, which I felt was missing from the first night of this series. But after seeing the whole series (especially part 5), this story was well told, and had stories rarely mentioned, unless you really dig for it. The personal stories made the series and it should go along with other great documentaries on this subject.

3 comments:

Paul C. said...

It is incredible how fast this country mobilized. I live in N. California, and the replacement for the east span of the Bay Bridge is in its 15th year of construction, with another 2 years to go. Seventeen years to replace ONE SPAN OF ONE BRIDGE. by contrast, we fought and won WWII in three years and ten months.

Edna's Place said...

The cost of that one span is most likely through the roof too.

Just shows when people are focused on doing something, they can do it. Maybe some, kicking and screaming, or whatever, but things can be done.

Very interesting too, that it could the government about six months to get the east coast to turn down their city lights, as things were being bombed along the east coast. (Something my old school history class failed to mention.)

Bad for the tourist business was the excuse. Bombs are bad for the tourist trade, too...

Edna's Place said...

"we fought and won WWII in three years and ten months"

As long as we remember WWII didn't start when the US got involved, it was going on for about two years before the US entered after Pearl Harbor. It was already a world war before the US got involved. And the US was not the only country fighting. Britain, Russia, the US and others did it together. The US was just lucky, with the mainland not being hit by bombs, as everyone else was.

The British have some great documentaries on this event, and this latest America one just adds to it with the personal stories from the US towns involved.