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A Capitol Fourth 2012

Airs Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at 8 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. on KPBS TV (8 p.m. on KPBS Radio)

Above: Celebrate America’s Independence Day with "A Capitol Fourth," the nation’s premier birthday party and a gala salute to our country’s independence starring (L to R): Matthew Broderick, Phillip Phillips, Megan Hilty, Tom Bergeron, Josh Turner, Javier Colon and Apolo Anton Ohno.

This July 4th, America’s national Independence Day celebration kicks off our country’s 236th birthday, as "A Capitol Fourth" welcomes a new host, Emmy Award-winning television personality Tom Bergeron.

“American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips.
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Above: “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips.

Two-time Tony Award winner Matthew Broderick (right) performs songs from the hit Broadway musical "Nice Work If You Can Get It" with four-time Tony nominee Kelli O’Hara.
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Above: Two-time Tony Award winner Matthew Broderick (right) performs songs from the hit Broadway musical "Nice Work If You Can Get It" with four-time Tony nominee Kelli O’Hara.

Test Your Knowledge of the 4th

The story of our nation's founding is filled with larger-than-life personalities and fascinating events. Try taking one of these fun, short quizzes to test your knowledge of the 4th — then and now.

Photographing Fireworks

Get tips on photographing fireworks displays from Smithsonian Institution photographers.

Hot off another winning season as host of the hit TV series “Dancing With the Stars,” Bergeron will lead an all-star cast in a patriotic evening of unrivaled musical performances, topped off by the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation.

The multi award-winning event will feature “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips; two-time Tony Award winner Matthew Broderick performing songs from the hit Broadway musical "Nice Work If You Can Get It" with four-time Tony nominee Kelli O’Hara; acclaimed Broadway and television star Megan Hilty (“Smash”); singer-songwriter Javier Colon (winner of “The Voice”); country music star Josh Turner; R&B superstars Kool & the Gang; the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly.

Eight-time Olympic medalist Apolo Anton Ohno will host a tribute to Team USA, honoring the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams, featuring five-time Academy Award-winner John Williams conducting his “Olympic Fanfare.”

Broadcast live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, "A Capitol Fourth" airs live in HD on PBS before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, as well as to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network.

The program can also be heard live in stereo over NPR member stations nationwide including KPBS Radio 89.5 starting at 8 p.m. "A Capitol Fourth" has truly become America’s favorite Independence Day celebration.

"A Capitol Fourth" is on Facebook.

Video

Watch Steve Martin Sizzle

Video

A Capitol Fourth 2012: Tom Bergeron on America's Independence Day

Above: Watch the new host of "A Capitol Fourth" Tom Bergeron reflect on the meaning of America's Independence Day and why he is looking forward to hosting the 2012 show.