Former history teacher Stan Ellsworth tours the country on a Harley Davidson for the television show “American Ride.” Ellsworth’s approach to American history in AMERICAN RIDE removes the “bow tie and sweater vest” of history professors, puts on the “skull rag and denim vest” and breaks down stereotypes. His adventurous spirit and love for the United States is contagious and engaging. His approach is more like an invitation to walk (and ride) with him through the footsteps of history. He hopes the stories and “postcards” from the highways and byways of the country will make American history relevant to today’s audiences, and motivate them to take an active part in the preservation of the values this country was built upon. Now in the sixth season, Stan takes you across the world to see how the clouds of war gathered once again and what led America to enter WWII. New episodes air each Monday 9PM ET/ 7PM MT on BYUtv.
If you've missed any episodes, you can catch up with all of the previous seasons online anytime at www.byutv.com/americanride.
I don' think that I've talked about it much on this blog, but I am a big fan of history books, documentaries, and television shows. I was the kid who actually liked history in high school. So of course, I jumped at the opportunity to check out American Ride. I am reading a book on World War II right now so season six held special interest for me.
Today I am featuring episode 8, Overlord - the story of the Allied invasion of France on the beaches of Normandy. In it, Stan takes a ride to key locations in and around Normandy, France. With the aid of historical film footage and photographs, he vividly describes the military tactics used by both sides and their impacts. It is an interesting mix of yesterday and today. What sets this show apart from others like it? Good old-fashion storytelling. You can tell that Stan really enjoys the subject. He doesn't drone on, stringing together endless lists of facts. He tells the story behind the story.
As Stan and a WWII veteran discussed on the show, freedom is not free. It makes me sad to think that young people aren't learning much American history and older people are forgetting it. Kudos to Stan Ellsworth for keeping warm fires burning. If you like U.S. history with a healthy dose of patriotism, you'll really enjoy American Ride.
I enjoyed season six a little too much. I have decided to go back and watch the show from the very beginning. Season one, here I come! Think that I can convince Stan to let me tag along on a motor scooter while filming an episode of an upcoming season?
American Ride: Overlord | Season 6 Episode 8 | Originally Aired: 6/2/2014
D-Day, the Great Invasion, the Longest Day--call it what you will, but the Allied invasion of France on the beaches of Normandy was, as General Eisenhower said, the hour of America's "Great Crusade."
ABOUT STAN ELLSWORTH
The 6’ 2”, 300-lb muscle-clad Harley Davidson-riding host of BYUtv’s acclaimed American history program, American Ride, would like nothing better than to inspire the next generation of George Washingtons, Susan B. Anthonys and Thomas Jeffersons. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and raised in the Carolinas, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Pennsylvania, Ellsworth was steeped in the landmarks and stories of American history throughout his formative years. His family lineage includes such historic luminaries as Revolutionary War patriot Ethan Allen; both Generals of the Cival War, Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant (also the 18th president of the U.S.); and American folk heroes Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett. Ellsworth’s goal—both when he was in the classroom, and now in his weekly television program—has always been to “wake people up” to the stories of our founding fathers and mothers, and to the sacriﬁces they made in creating this nation. In his gruff baritone voice, he speaks eloquently of our heritage and extols the wisdom and bravery of those who came before. “LET’S TAKE A RIDE” ~ Stan Ellsworth
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