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More Highlights for WRAL Documentaries

  • America’s Favorite Journey: The Blue Ridge Parkway

    America’s Favorite Journey: The Blue Ridge Parkway

    The Blue Ridge Parkway is the most popular destination in our national park system, hosting about 17 million visitors a year.

    Nearly half the 469-mile route runs through North Carolina, including its highest elevations. Some of the parkway’s iconic features are in our state, including its highest peak and the Linn Cove Viaduct at Grandfather Mountain.

    Visitors to the parkway generate more than $2 billion dollars a year for mountain communities. Its biological diversity, rich history and its parks and trails make the parkway a valuable educational and recreational resource.

    Host: WRAL News anchor Bill Leslie
    Producer/writer: Clay Johnson
    Photographer/editor: Jay Jennings

    America’s Favorite Journey’ aired June 29, 2010 on WRAL-TV.

  • Stories of Honor documentary

    World War II: the defining moment of the 20th century. More than 16 million soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen served in the war, and more than 400,000 lost their lives. They have become known as the Greatest Generation for their service and their sacrifice. In 2004, a national memorial was dedicated on the mall in Washington D.C. in their honor.

    The Triangle Flight of Honor is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that is flying WWII veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the memorial. While the organization serves veterans of all wars, special priority is being given to WWII veterans, because they are dying at a rate of 1,200 a day nationwide. Flights, ground transportation and personal assistance are offered free of charge to veterans who might not otherwise have the opportunity to see the memorial in their lifetime.

    WRAL News viewers raised $50,481 dollars to help fund the first flight on Oct. 7, 2010.

    “Stories of Honor” is a half-hour documentary profiling three veterans who made the flight. They are:
    Derwood Copeland, a B-17 pilot who was shot down over France and spent nearly two years in a German POW camp. Hugh Shearin, a soldier who fought in the Battle of the Bulge and whose unit suffered many casualties. D.C. Lawson, a Marine who was wounded and nearly died in the battle of Okinawa.

    WRAL News Anchor Kelcey Carlson
    Producer/Writer Clay Johnson
    Photographer/Editor Jay Jennings

  • “Tar Heel Titans” profiles top global companies based in Raleigh and Cary

    “Tar Heel Titans” looks at three companies based in Raleigh and Cary, North Carolina known for leading edge technology and business culture. Cree’s innovations is in LED lighting, Red Hat’s role in the world of open source software, and SAS’s leadership in the development of analytical software for businesses and government applications. The documentary also looks at what the success of these three companies means for our state’s economic future.

    The documentary aired March 3, 2011.

    Host: WRAL news anchor Gerald Owens
    Producer: Clay Johnson
    Photographer/Editor: Jay Jennings.

  • Grape Expectations documentary about NC wine industry

    “Grape Expectations” examines the economic success story that is the North Carolina wine industry. Meet the pioneers of the industry, learn how the industry is generating revenue, examine the sustainability of the industry’s growth and explore the wide variety of wineries and vineyards that span our state from the mountains to the coast.

    Hosted by WRAL reporter Monica Laliberte.
    Produced by Clay Johnson.
    Photographer/editor Jay Jennings
    Aired 2012.

  • Hurricane Hazel documentary with Charlie Gaddy

    On October 15, 1954, Hurricane Hazel delivered a devastating blow to North Carolina. It was the only category 4 hurricane to hit the state in the 20th century, and by most measures, was the worst.

    WRAL News anchor Charlie Gaddy takes us through the days and hours leading up to landfall of Hazel. Aired 2004.

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