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WHRO TV Productions

Classroom to Community: WHRO Celebrates 50 Years
On October 2, 1961, WHRO-TV broadcast its first "tele-lesson" in Hampton Roads. In celebration of 50 years in broadcasting and educational programming, we bring you a retrospective of WHRO from its humble beginnings as an education television station to its community engagement initiatives of today. Many of the key players in WHRO's half-century history, like Vince Thomas, John Morison, Virginia Biittner, and Jim Newsom are interviewed as we showcase footage from our archives not seen in decades! Hosted by HearSay's Cathy Lewis, you'll also see behind-the-scene photos and video of WHRO through the years as it has become a Hampton Roads institution for not only education, but the community.

Civil War in Hampton Roads: A New Beginning

A New Beginning is the fourth and final episode in WHRO’s documentary series Civil War in Hampton Roads. In the wake of the Peninsula Campaign, the Union seized control of all of Hampton Roads and the South lost the use of critical shipbuilding transportation, industrial and agricultural area. The Confederates attempted to recapture Suffolk in the spring of 1863. The resulting siege only enabled the Confederacy to obtain food supplies from the surrounding rich agricultural area. Only Smithfield would remain unoccupied by the Union throughout the war. Fort Monroe became a center for the recruitment of U.S. Colored Troops (USCT), as many African-Americans sought to serve in this war to end slavery.
Now available on DVD. Click here to order.

Civil War in Hampton Roads: Peninsula Campaign continues the story begun in the previous two episodes of this series and picks up with the events that followed the Battle of the Ironclads. Major General George Brinton McClellan assumed command of the Army of the Potomac following the Union debacle at Bull Run. He arrived on the Virginia Peninsula on April 2, 1862. The Federal commander thought that he could trap Major General John Bankhead Magruder’s Army of the Peninsula at Yorktown like George Washington had cornered Lord Cornwallis during the American Revolution in 1781. The conflicts in Southeast Virginia during the first six months of 1862 comprise the Civil War’s greatest amphibious operation – the Peninsula Campaign.
Now available on DVD. Click here to order.

Civil War in Hampton Roads: Battle of the Ironclad
In the second episode in the series tensions increased as the North and the South simultaneously built Ironclad ships. The side finishing first could win the Civil War. As it turned out, it was a virtual tie. On March 8th 1862 the U.S.S. Monitor was at risk of sinking in a storm on the Atlantic Ocean as it steamed south along the east coast. That very morning the C.S.S. Virginia almost destroyed the Union’s wooden fleet in Hampton Roads Virginia. But on March 9th the U.S.S. Monitor surprised the captain and crew of the Virginia who upon returning to the Roads expected to make short work of the remaining ships in the Union fleet. The stakes were high and the whole world was watching as the two ships pounded each other for four hours at close range. Battle of the Ironclads brings this story to life and illustrates how naval warfare was changed forever.
Now available on DVD. Click here to order.

Civil War in Hampton Roads: First Episode, 1861
WHRO is producing a series of one-hour historical documentaries about the War Between the States. The first episode illustrates the events at the beginning of the war in 1861. This was the year that Southern Militia soldiers captured Gosport Navy Shipyard and Fort Norfolk, Brigadier General Benjamin F. Butler arrived at Fort Monroe and issued his Contraband of War decision, new technologies changed the way this war would be fought and residents of Hampton burned their city to the ground, shocking the Union command at Fort Monroe. Fort Monroe’s moat-encircled masonry bastion was the only fort in the Upper South not to fall into Confederate hands when the war erupted. Future episodes of this series will focus on the Battle of the Ironclads as well as the Peninsula Campaign. John V. Quarstein, director of the Virginia War Museum, will host this series of programs focusing on the Civil War in Hampton Roads.
Now available on DVD. Click here to order.

Everyone at some point in their lives has code-switched. You may not be all that familiar with the term, but if you’ve every transitioned from an informal speech pattern to a more formal type of speech, you’ve code-switched. The “Code-Switching” documentary looks at how the inability to code-switch can impact where you work and what you earn. The documentary does not point the finger at a particular dialect as incorrect or wrong. Nor does it imply that only Mainstream or Standard English should be spoken at all times – but it does address the pitfalls of only being able to speak informally in a society that expects formal speech in certain environments. Click here to learn more.

Hampton 400 - From the Sea to the Stars
Since 1610, Hampton has witnessed many historical firsts, many of which – such as the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia in 1619 or NASA’s Mercury 7 Project – have shaped our nation’s destiny. Hampton, the oldest continuous English speaking community in North America, has a tremendous history that unfolds throughout this documentary. It’s a story of valor, sacrifice, leadership, community, education, hard work, technology, military, science and economic advancement. All these things were planted at the Virginia Indian village of Kecoughtan in 1610 and carried onward by individuals like Peter Heyman, John Baytop Cary, Mary Peake, Harrison Phoebus, James McMenamin, Harry Holt, Hunter Andrews, and Ann Kilgore. The city’s history is a tribute to the men and women who have made the city a success, lovingly told in Hampton 400: From the Sea to the Stars.

Here and Then
Hampton Roads is packed with history. Local audiences love it. WHRO tells it with Here and Then. Click here for Here and Then podcast.

Net Files
This monthly in-service magazine program shows educators the tools and equipment needed to be Net Wise as on-air instructor Tom Doering features the latest and greatest educational web tools and sites. Each program includes visits to real classrooms where real teachers are using real technology with real students.

The Norfolk 17: Their Story
They were just teenagers who wanted a chance at a better education. But in 1959 Norfolk, that was a problem. African-American students weren’t allowed to go to historically white schools.

…Until the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision opened the door for them by striking down the doctrine of “separate but equal.” But it still took years of legal wrangling before any of the Norfolk 17 set foot into an integrated classroom.

A weekly magazine program for educators featuring utilization tips for upcoming WHRO programs, interviews with organizations offering educational outreach, on-location segments featuring area education events, and the School Of The Week websites highlighting local schools throughout the year.

The Virginian-Pilot Spelling Bee
Broadcast live on WHRO-TV15.1, the Virginian Pilot Spelling Bee is an annual event hosted by WHRO's Raymond Jones, who serves as the Bee’s pronouncer. The finest area middle school spellers come to the WHRO studio to compete for the title. The first, second and third place winners receive trophies from the Virginian-Pilot. The Virginian-Pilot also pays the first place winner’s travel expenses to go to Washington, DC and compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in June. WHRO presents the first place winner with a special prize. If your 6th - 8th grade students would like a chance to compete in our bee, your school may inquire about registering contacting Scripps National Spelling Bee at www.spellingbee.com. Watch the 2012 Spelling Bee now.