As U of I Big Ten Network producer Tim Hartin was preparing to retire after three decades of producing high quality television programming for the University, he was also scrambling to put the finishing touches on his final documentary. Research that preceded production of “Cold War: Illinois Stories,” had taken months, and revealed many more stories than could be told in one half-hour show. As always, selecting which stories to tell was critical, and parsing those stories to their core was difficult, time-consuming work.
That work was rewarded on Saturday, October 29, 2022, when Hartin and his co-producer, Kaitlin Southworth, heard their names called as “Cold War: Illinois Stories” won the Mid-America Regional Emmy Award for best magazine program.
It was Hartin’s seventh Emmy Award for work promoting the U of I, and the fifth for Southworth.
“Cold War: Illinois Stories” documents the effect that the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union – and the era's “red scare” politics – had on the people and programs at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. These stories were edited into four chapters.
Music professor Norman Cazden was being considered for tenure in 1952 when he was investigated by the FBI and blacklisted from academia for the next 16 years.
English professor Charles Shattuck, the co-chairman of the Student-Community Interracial Committee, sparred with infiltrating communist sympathizers who hoped to use his group’s influence for their own agendas.
And, University President George Stoddard was asked to resign in 1953 after the Board of Trustees passed a “no confidence” vote. His actions were seen as too progressive and he was accused of harboring communists in the ranks of faculty and staff.
College of Fine and Applied Arts Dean Kevin Hamilton and communication professor Ned O’Gorman uncovered a secret Hollywood studio tasked with creating propaganda films and wrote a book about it, “Lookout America!: The Secret Hollywood Studio at the Heart of the Cold War.” Hamilton and O’Gorman describe how the U.S. government used the Lookout Mountain Laboratory in Hollywood, California, from 1947 to 1969, to created hundreds of films covering nuclear testing and anti-communist materials, featuring top Hollywood talent including Jimmy Stewart, Bob Hope and Marilyn Monroe.
Watch the 30-minute documentary, “Cold War: Illinois Stories,” on YouTube.