Richard Gerdau ('64) and the ABC News Century  Project

 

Richard Gerdau, CHS '64 of ABC-TV is a senior producer at "The Century" series for ABC-TV and the History Channel. In 1977 he wrote, produced and directed the ABC-TV documentary "The Class That Went to War," an examination of the problems facing America's Vietnam veterans with a specific focus on the Chatham High School class of 1964.

The History Channel project is a 15 hour series focusing on events of the twentieth century with some footage from Chatham. The first episode was broadcast on Monday April 12, 1999 and began with five or six minutes of footage set in Chatham taken from the video tape of the Great Reunion '97. The Great Reunion video was produced by Richard and his wife Patricia Motamed. It was narrated by Peter Jennings and shot by an ABC-TV camera crew. Episode 10 incorporates home movies taken by Lester Lehman of his family in Chatham during the 1950s and `60s. The clips feature shots of his children, all graduates of CHS in the seventies. Episode 15 closes with more Lehman home movies. Episodes 10 and 15 were aired during the the last two weeks of April. 

The ABC network project is a 12 hour series which was broadcast in six two-hour segments over two weeks beginning on March 29. While there are no scenes from Chatham in this series, the network episode broadcast of Thursday April 8th dealt with the blacklist era in Hollywood was written, produced and directed by Gerdau.

Peter Jennings hosted both the network and History channel broadcasts and co-wrote the best selling "Century" companion book. He was, says Gerdau, particularly impressed with how images from Chatham set up the issues effecting American life over the century.

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