- Life of the Party: National Archives Honors Filmmaker Ken Burns Great American producer and documentarian, Ken Burns, receives The Records of Achievement Award presented by actor and Archives Gala Chair, Morgan Freeman.
Great American producer and documentarian, Ken Burns, receives The Records of Achievement Award presented by actor and Archives Gala Chair, Morgan Freeman.
By Sheila Mulhern
Renown filmmaker and documentarian, Ken Burns, received The Records of Achievement Award, the highest honor from The Foundation for the National Archives at its seventh annual gala. The award was presented by actor, Morgan Freeman, Archives Gala Chair with lead sponsor, Bank of America and additional support from the Maris S. Cuneo Foundation and The Boeing Company. This honor is presented to an individual who has brought a significant cultural awareness to the American experience and the country’s historic identity by using the Archives’ primary sources. This goes along with the Archives mission of defining and cultivating a sense of the cultural values, democratic ideals and rich heritage found in the billions of documents, photographs, maps, films, and recordings.
Previous recipients include: Tom Brokaw, Brian Lamb and C-SPAN, the late John Hope Franklin, Annette Gordon-Reed, David McCullough, and James McPherson.
National Archives Chairman and President, Ken Lore, shared how through education from published works such as Emmy Award winning, The Civil War (1990) and Baseball (1994) as well as notable productions of Jazz (2001), The War (2007), and The National Parks: America’s Best Idea (2009), Ken Burns has embodied the spirit and humanity of the American identity and hardships through everyday citizens and their shared history.
Morgan Freeman, whose narrations of escaped slave and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass in The Civil War, was honored to pay tribute to the works and present The Records of Achievement Award.
As Vice President of the Foundation for the National Archives, Ken Burns is currently working on a three-part, six-hour history of Prohibition, tentatively scheduled for PBS broadcast in 2011 which also most recently aired Burns’ The Tenth Inning, an update to his 1994 epic Baseball.
In attendance were Foundation President Ken Lore and his wife Pat, Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero and his wife Gail Zimmermann, U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra, U.S. Senator and Mrs. Lamar Alexander, Thurgood Marshall Jr. and his wife, Teddi Levy Marshall, Bill Couper of Bank of America Mid-Atlantic, Josh Hanna of Ancestry.com, David Pryor Jr. of Microsoft and his wife Judith Pryor, and Paula Collins of Texas Instruments.
Other attendees included Foundation Board members Sue Gin McGowan, Cokie Roberts, and A’Lelia Bundles, Bitsey Folger and husband Sidney Werkman, and past presidents of the Foundation Larry O’Brien and wife Helen, and Tom Wheeler and wife Carol.