As some of you know already, the documentary on the Chinese Educational
Mission produced by Hu Jingcao of Central China Television, who filmed in
the Hartford area in the summer of 2002, is being aired in China this week.
At the same time, a slightly altered English version is being shown on
CCTV-9, the Chinese English-language station, which can be viewed by those
with the satellite system called DirecTV.
If you have DirecTV, or. like me, have a gracious neighbor who does, the
program airs at 430 am, 1030 am, 430 pm, and 1030 pm Beijing time. 430 am
Beijing time is 430 pm the same day for those of us on the East Coast. The
episode viewable starting at 4:30 pm today, May 4, is Part III, in which the
boys arrive in Hartford. I believe there are five parts, and they may be
repeated after the fifth is aired, but it's a little hard to tell from the
CCTV website. I am taping the episodes for a Hartford-area showing.
Those of you in the Mark Twain Forum may not all be aware of this
extraordinary educational effort, in which 120 Chinese boys aged 9 to 12
were sent to the United States to study. Headquarters of the CEM was in
Hartford. The Rev. Joseph Twichell was a strong and intimate supporter of
this effort, which ran from 1872-1881. Mark Twain and Gen. U.S. Grant were
involved in an effort to save the CEM in 1880 that seemed momentarily to
have succeeded, but the effort foundered in Sino-American politics related
to the U.S. interest in closing off immigration.