Being Martha Washington
Around Presidents’ Day every year in border town Laredo, Texas, the many incarnations of revolutionary heroes grace its finest halls. The “Independent Lens” film Las Marthas pulls back the veil on a distinctly regional tradition. A bevy of teenage Hispanic girls from Laredo and its sister city, Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, attend a month of bicultural events culminating in a reenactment of a Colonial debutante soiree hosted by the elite Society of Martha Washington. It airs on PBS Feb 17.
Fighting for freedom
African-American soldiers trained and fought separately from white soldiers during World War II. Even after Germany was freed from Nazi rule, they continued to experience racism back home. The two-hour documentary Breath of Freedom, narrated by Cuba Gooding Jr., traces the struggles that helped to fuel the civil rights movement in the US. It features interviews with former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Congressman John Lewis, noted historians, and veterans. It airs Feb. 17 at 8 p.m.
Teens who sell
What happens when companies court teens on social media? In Generation Like, “Frontline” examines how the teens seem all for it, from fan tweets that serve as free advertising to young YouTube stars who score corporate sponsorship. “The icons of this generation are the like button, the tweet button, the reblog button,” one executive says. “This is the biggest transformation that we’ve had in terms of communicating with consumers in our lifetime.” It airs on PBS Feb. 18.
Lincoln ate this
It’s hard to imagine a new angle on America’s 16th president, but food historian Rae Katherine Eighmey has succeeded with Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen. While exact recipes tied to Lincoln are few, the author uses his life’s path to explore the 1800s foodways of the Midwest through authentic recipes easily tested in today’s kitchens. From the gingerbread men of Lincoln’s pioneer childhood, to barbecue and biscuits on the campaign trail, to the elegant French cuisine of White House banquets, this unique taste of history will be enjoyed by foodie readers.
Have your children been inspired by any heroic feats of athleticism while watching the Sochi Winter Games? Maybe they are asking for curling lessons or a new pair of ice skates? NBC has created an Olympic Gold Map to help the Olympians of tomorrow not only watch their favorite athletes online but find the training and facilities that could help them reach for gold. Check it out at NBCOlympics.com/gold-map.
Song and storytelling
In October, Sting previewed his upcoming Broadway play, The Last Ship, at a special performance at New York’s Public Theater, bringing people into his creative process. It inspired his album of the same name, his first in nearly a decade, which celebrates a passing way of life in his shipbuilding coastal hometown in the north of England. PBS will air the concert film, “The Last Ship,” on “Great Performances,” Feb. 21 at 9 p.m.