From the Vault

"What Trees do They Plant?"
September 18 2008

Curator's note: This video by Rich Samuels first aired on WTTW's "Chicago Tonight" program on September 18, roughly corresponding with the 40th anniversary of the airing (on September 15, 1968) of the film "What Trees do they Plant?" on WGN-TV and a number of other stations across the nation. The city of Chicago produced the film (using news footage provided by Chicago's television stations) which was designed to counter negative portrayals of the city's handling of the disorders surounding the 1868 Democratic National Convention. Featured in this piece, apart from clips from the film, are interviews with Ruth Ratney, one of its producers, and Bob Crawford, reporter for all-news WBBM-AM. As it turns out, Earl Bush, Mayor Richard J. Daley's press secretary, oversaw the editing of the piece and transformed what the producers thought would be an objective account into a propaganda piece.

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