America’s de facto televisual historian laureate — chronicler of Jazz, baseball, World War II, Mark Twain, the Brooklyn Bridge, and (perhaps most famously) the Civil War — will be in San Anto in the flesh on the 24th, previewing and discussing (with producer Dayton Duncan), his new PBS project, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. While the Current finds the title a little overblown (I mean, we love the national parks too, but c’mon, “Best Idea?” What about the telephone? The internets? A representative bi-cameral Congress? Dippin’ Dots??), we’re totally behind filmically celebrating the National Parks as an essential U.S. institution. After all, in our current Obama era, which is suffused with a hopeful spirit of can-do optimism as well as an awareness of the vulnerability of our national landscape, all the while shadowed by the urgent need to put many, many Americans to work at creative (not to mention sustainable) jobs, a resurgence of National Park development may just be overdue. Why not take timely inspiration from our gorgeous public legacy? This land was made for you and me! (And it makes for a nice tie-in with the Witte’s ongoing celebration of local greenspace; An Evening With Ken Burns. Free, 6:30pm Tue, Mar 24, Lila Cockrell Theatre, 200 E. Market.

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