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Christine Herbes Sommers, senior producer at WGBH-TV, Boston, will speak on documentary film and the making of A Biography of America at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 3, in the auditorium of Lafayette’s Kirby Hall of Civil Rights.

Sponsored by Lafayette’s Friends of Skillman Library, the talk is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Donald L. Miller, Lafayette’s John Henry MacCracken Professor of History, is the lead scholar and on-air host of A Biography of America, a new, 26-part PBS television series and telecourse airing nationwide beginning this fall. Miller conceptualized and named the series and helped recruit the other nationally-known historians who are participating. He wrote 17 of the scripts, edited the others, and hosted on-air interviews with numerous historians and novelists.

The series covers American history from the pre-Columbian beginnings to the present. It was produced by WGBH in cooperation with the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress, and was funded by Annenberg/CPB.

In Lafayette’s home region A Biography of America will air on Lehigh Valley PBS (WLVT-TV) in prime time with two half-hour programs showing back-to-back each Friday at 10 p.m. It debuts Oct. 6 with the first two programs in the series, “New World Encounters” and “English Settlement.”

Viewers in other regions can contact local PBS stations for air dates and times.

The series’ companion web site ( includes highly interactive features, ranging from interpreting events from a variety of viewpoints to viewing visuals and documents with mouse rollovers. The site presents animated maps, additional documents for analysis, and lecture transcripts. It also include timelines, bibliographies, and links to other pertinent American history sites.

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