Introduction to Witness to a Century

Program Information

Program: Witness to a Century
Segment Number: 1 (Watch entire program)
Duration: 00:02:17
Year Produced: 2008
Description:

Have you dreamed of living to an exceptionally old age? How about the prospects of living a full century?

The Roaring Twenties. Prohibition. The Great Depression. World Wars. The explosive growth of technology. Testimony from Virginia’s centenarians is used to create WCVE PBS’ one-hour documentary, “Witness to a Century.” WCVE PBS and the Virginia Historical Society have collaborated on this look back at the enormous changes that took place in Virginia in the twentieth century through the eyes of those that lived through them.

For more information visit: http://www.ideastations.org/witness/index.html

Transcript

Have you dreamed of living to an exceptionally old age?

How about the prospects of living a full century?

Living to the age of one hundred has become a real possibility for many of us, especially given the recent advances in medicine and science, and the changes in nutrition and health care.

According to the U.S. Census, about one in four thousand Americans is one hundred years old or older---that means about 2,000 Virginians are centenarians.

You are about to meet several of these Virginians who were born at the beginning of the 1900's.

Think about what each has experienced over the course of his or her own century: World War One, the 1918 Flu Epidemic, the Great Depression; World War Two, and all that has followed since.

Each has witnessed the advent of electricity, the automobile, the airplane, the telephone, radio, television, antibiotics and pharmaceuticals . . . and, of course, the personal computer.

Each also lived for more than 50 years in a segregated society and then saw first-hand the strides made in civil rights and desegregation.

During their early years, these centenarians learned from their elders by listening to stories--narratives told to them by their parents, grandparents and family members. Now they'll pass on their experiences to you - as they have been "Witness To A Century”