Ken Burns

Please watch the video above to learn more about upcoming projects and the goals of The Better Angel Society.

Lincoln spoke these immortal final words of his 1st Inaugural Address as his country was on the verge of a civil war that would nearly end its national existence. Today, we face a subtler, but perhaps no less serious threat to the national unity Lincoln was trying desperately to preserve. Our media culture permits us almost perpetual access to information, and yet we find ourselves less and less connected to each other, less and less aware of the stories, moments, events and heroic individuals - in short our history - that have earned us our freedoms and brought us to this moment.

For more than 30 years, the work of Ken Burns, and other filmmakers documenting the American experience, has remained a bulwark against a troubling historical amnesia. PBS productions by documentary filmmakers such as Ken Burns have insisted on listening to the voices of a true, honest, complicated past, and have been unafraid of engaging controversy or tragedy. These filmmakers are also equally drawn to those stories and moments that suggest an abiding faith in the human spirit, and particularly the unique role this remarkable Republic has played in the positive progress of mankind. That is why they regularly touch tens of millions of Americans each time they are broadcast.

It is in this spirit that we have created The Better Angels Society, dedicated to helping continue to produce high-quality documentaries that will introduce current and future generations of Americans to their history. The Society is working closely with WETA-TV, the non-profit PBS affiliate in Washington, D.C., which has been a production partner in the creation of award-winning documentaries, most notably those of Ken Burns, and others for over 25 years.