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Swing Out Sweet Land

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John Wayne in "Swing Out Sweet Land"
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Swing Out Sweet Land (1970) starring John Wayne and a host of celebrities

Swing Out Sweet Land is John Wayne’s tribute to the United States of America. It’s a star-studded tribute to America starring John Wayne, Lorne Greene, William Shatner, Dan Blocker, Michael Landon, Ann-Margret, Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Hugh O’Brian, Roscoe Lee Browne, Glen Campbell, Greg Morris, Ross Martin, Johnny Cash, Roy Clark, Bing Crosby, Phyllis Diller, Bob Hope, Celeste Holm, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Dan Rowan, Dick Martin, Tom Smothers, Red Skelton, Leslie Uggams, Dennis Weaver, Ed McMahon and more.

It was the highest rated show of the week it aired.


Comedy – Peter Minuit (Michael Landon) buys Manhattan from an Indian chief (Dan Blocker)

Drama – Reenactment of the Boston Tea Party

Comedy – Bob Hope entertaining the troops at Valley Forge. Ann Margaret sings “It Was Good Enough For Grandma“.

Musical signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Comedy – Inauguration of George Washington (Lorne Greene), with Alexander Hamilton (Ross Martin), Thomas Jefferson (Hugh O’Brian), and Jack Benny (as the man who found the silver dollar), and a cameo by George Burns

Comedy – Eli Whitney (Dean Martin) with John Wayne, and his “boy” Bud (Lisa Todd)

Louisiana Purchase – with Tom (Dennis Weaver), Nancy (Celeste Holm), their daughter Sarah & son Abraham.

Comedy – Newspaper printer (Red Skelton) and Tom Smothers.

Drama – the American Civil War.

Andrew Jackson’s inauguration, with Roy Clark singing.

Railroad joining the East and the West, with Johnny Cash singing.

John Wayne in the Old West. Leslie Uggams sings “My Darling Clementine“.

Phyllis Diller running for President.

Mark Twain (Bing Crosby) with Frederick Douglas (Roscoe Lee Browne). The dialog is actual quotes from those two famous gentlemen. Lucille Ball, as the Statue of Liberty, recites the “Prayer of Lady Liberty“.

Comedy – Dick Martin and Dan Rowan as the Wright Brothers.

After closing words by John Wayne, the cast sings “God Bless America“.

Cast of characters

  • John Wayne … Self
  • Ann-Margret … Entertainer at Valley Forge
  • Lucille Ball … Statue of Liberty (voice)
  • Jack Benny … Man Who Finds Silver Dollar
  • Dan Blocker … Indian Who Sells Manhattan
  • Roscoe Lee Browne … Frederick Douglass
  • Glen Campbell … Self
  • Johnny Cash … Self
  • Roy Clark … Banjo Player at Andrew Jackson’s Inaugural
  • Bing Crosby … Mark Twain
  • Phyllis Diller … Belva A. Lockwood
  • Lorne Greene … George Washington
  • Celeste Holm … Nancy Lincoln
  • Bob Hope … Self – Entertaining Troops at Valley Forge
  • Michael Landon … Peter Minuit
  • George Burns … Cameo at George Washington’s inauguration

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