1953 – Burns was born in Brooklyn, New York on the 29th of July.
1975 – He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts and went on to be one of the co-founders of Florentine Films.
1990 – He created 11-hour documentary "The Civil War".
1994 – He created 18-hour documentary "Baseball".
2002 – He received an L.H.D. from Bates College and currently resides in Walpole, New Hampshire with his wife Julie and three daughters.
2006 – Burns delivered the commencement address for the Georgetown College Class at Georgetown University and also for Lehigh University’s Class.
2007 – He was also the keynote speaker for the opening of National History Day at the University of Maryland.