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Light Up the Land

"Light Up the Land" was presented as part of the 75th anniversary of the University of Detroit in November 1952. The story is about the history and value of education in an American democracy. It starts out with a young couple thinking about leaving school to get married believing that education is a waste of time. A kindly professor guides them through the history of education and how democracy played a role, from the time of Moses, the City of Athens during the Golden Age, the American Revolution, and other eras up to modern America.

After the eleven day run, the Ford Motor Company provided the funds to have the production filmed in color. The two and a half hour pageant had to be cut down to less than two hours, so many of the scenes from the original play ended up on the cutting room floor. The film made its premier June 11, 1954. The film was intended to be presented to schools and institutions around the state to show American ideals in education and democracy.

If you need assistance with this collection, please contact Pat Higo at


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