American History Culture Ethics History History Unwrapped Movies Video / Audio
Rewriting History
Feb 9, 2011
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D.W. Griffith directed the 1915 epic-making silent film masterpiece The Birth of a Nation, based on the play by Thomas Dixon called The Clansman. The purpose of the film was to rewrite the history of the South and the Civil War. The title The Clansman was changed to The Birth of a Nation to give the film broader appeal. President Woodrow Wilson, a former classmate of Dixon’s, praised the Ku Klux Klan in his writings and is extensively quoted throughout the film. The Birth of a Nation was the first film shown in the White House. In time, the film shaped Americans racial attitudes. School children were taken to see the movie to learn history. More than 200 million people saw the film, and the revival of the Ku Klux Klan may have resulted from the racial attitudes and fears that were shaped by the movie.

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About author

Gary DeMar

Gary is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and earned his M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1979. He is the author of countless essays, news articles, and more than 27 book titles, His most recent book is Exposing the Real Last Days Scoffers. Gary lives in Marietta, Georgia, with his wife, Carol. They have two married sons and four grandchildren, Gary and Carol are members of Midway Presbyterian Church (PCA).

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