American Experience

Continuing / 7:00pm PBS US 61 min.
Presents an absorbing look at the personalities, events and resources that have had a profound impact on the shaping of America's past and present.

Season 36

5 Episodes

Apr 22 2024
Poisoned Ground: The Tragedy at Love Canal tells the dramatic and inspiring story of the ordinary women who fought against overwhelming odds for the health and safety of their families. In the late 1970s, residents of Love Canal, a working-class neighborhood in Niagara Falls, New York, discovered that their homes, schools and playgrounds were built on top of a former chemical waste dump, which was now leaking toxic substances and wreaking havoc on their health. Through interviews with many of the extraordinary housewives turned activists, the film shows how they effectively challenged those in power, forced America to reckon with the human cost of unregulated industry, and created a grassroots movement that galvanized the landmark Superfund Bill.
Apr 22 2024
The story of how the life-saving cervical cancer test became an ordinary part of women�s lives is as unusual and remarkable as the coalition of people who ultimately made it possible: a Greek immigrant, Dr. George Papanicolaou; his intrepid wife, Mary; Japanese-born artist Hashime Murayama; Dr. Helen Dickens, an African American OBGYN in Philadelphia; and an entirely new class of female scientists known as cyto-screeners. But the test was just the beginning. Once the test proved effective, the campaign to make pap smears available to millions of women required nothing short of a total national mobilization. The Cancer Detectives tells the untold story of the first-ever war on cancer and the people who fought tirelessly to save women from what was once the number one cancer killer of women.
Mar 26 2024
Fly With Me tells the story of the pioneering young women who became flight attendants at a time when single women were unable to order a drink, eat alone in a restaurant, own a credit card or get a prescription for birth control. Becoming a �stewardess,� as they were called, offered unheard-of opportunities for travel, glamour, adventure and independence. Although often maligned as feminist sellouts, these women were on the frontlines of the battle to assert gender equality and transform the workplace. Featuring firsthand accounts, personal stories and a rich archival record, the film tells the lively and important but neglected history of the women who changed the world while flying it.
Feb 20 2024
In February 1939, more than 20,000 Americans filled Madison Square Garden for an event billed as a �Pro-American Rally.� Images of George Washington hung next to swastikas and speakers railed against the �Jewish controlled media� and called for a return to a racially �pure� America. The keynote speaker was Fritz Kuhn, head of the German American Bund. Nazi Town, USA tells the largely unknown story of the Bund, which had scores of chapters in suburbs and big cities across the country and represented what many believe was a real threat of fascist subversion in the United States. The Bund held joint rallies with the Ku Klux Klan and ran dozens of summer camps for children centered around Nazi ideology and imagery. Its melding of patriotic values with virulent anti-Semitism raised thorny issues that we continue to wrestle with today.
Jan 23 2024

Season 35

9 Episodes

The War on Disco explores the culture war that erupted over the spectacular rise of disco music. Originating in underground Black and gay clubs, disco had unseated rock as America�s most popular music by the late 1970s. But many diehard rock fans viewed disco, with its repetitive beat and culture that emphasized pleasure, as shallow and superficial. A story that�s about much more than music, The War on Disco explores how the powerful anti-disco backlash revealed a cultural divide that to some seemed to be driven by racism and homophobia. The hostility came to a head on July 12, 1979, when a riot broke out at �Disco Demolition Night� during a baseball game in Chicago.
Oct 30 2023
Explore what happened when the small Mississippi town of Leland integrated its public schools in 1970. Told through the remembrances of students, teachers and parents, the film shows how the town � and America � were transformed.
Sep 12 2023
On September 12, 1974, police were stationed outside schools across Boston as Black and white students were bused for the first time between neighborhoods to comply with a federal court desegregation order. The cross-town busing was met with shocking violence, much of it directed at children: angry white protestors threw rocks at school buses carrying Black children and hurled racial epithets at the students as they walked into their new schools. The chaos and racial unrest would escalate and continue for years. Using eyewitness accounts, oral histories and news footage that hasn�t been seen in decades, The Busing Battleground pulls back the curtain on the volatile effort to end school segregation, detailing the decades-long struggle for educational equity that preceded the crisis.
Sep 11 2023
In the 1950s and �60s, an underground network of transgender women and cross-dressing men found refuge at a house in the Catskills region of New York. Known as Casa Susanna, the house provided a safe place to express their true selves
Jun 27 2023
For nearly 50 years, chemical engineer and inventor M�ria Telkes applied her prodigious intellect to harnessing the power of the sun. She designed and built the world�s first successfully solar-heated modern residence and identified a promising new chemical that, for the first time, could store solar heat like a battery. And yet, along the way, she was undercut and thwarted by her boss and colleagues � all men � at MIT. Despite these obstacles, Telkes persevered and, upon her death in 1995, held more than 20 patents. She is now recognized as a visionary pioneer in the field of sustainable energy. An unexpected and largely forgotten heroine, Telkes was remarkable in her vision and tenacity � a scientist and a woman in every way ahead of her time. Her research and innovations from the 1930s through the �70s continue to shape how we power our lives today.
Apr 04 2023
The Movement and the �Madman� shows how two antiwar protests in the fall of 1969 � the largest the country had ever seen � pressured President Nixon to cancel what he called his �madman� plans for a massive escalation of the U.S. war in Vietnam, including a threat to use nuclear weapons. At the time, protestors had no idea how influential they could be and how many lives they may have saved. Told through remarkable archival footage and firsthand accounts from movement leaders, Nixon administration officials, historians, and others, the film explores how the leaders of the antiwar movement mobilized disparate groups from coast to coast to create two massive protests that changed history.
Mar 28 2023
For generations, Monopoly has been America�s favorite board game, a love letter to unbridled capitalism and � for better or worse � the impulses that make our free-market society tick. But behind the myth of the game�s creation is an untold tale of theft, obsession and corporate double-dealing. Contrary to the folksy legend spread by Parker Brothers, Monopoly�s secret history is a surprising saga that features a radical feminist, a community of Quakers in Atlantic City, America�s greatest game company, and an unemployed Depression-era engineer. And the real story behind the creation of the game might never have come to light if it weren�t for the determination of an economics professor and impassioned anti-monopolist.
Feb 20 2023
Raised in the small all-Black Florida town of Eatonville, Zora Neale Hurston studied at Howard University before arriving in New York in 1925. She would soon become a key figure of the Harlem Renaissance, best remembered for her novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. But even as she gained renown in the Harlem literary circles, Hurston was also discovering anthropology at Barnard College with the renowned Franz Boas. She would make several trips to the American South and the Caribbean, documenting the lives of rural Black people and collecting their stories. She studied her own people, an unusual practice at the time, and during her lifetime became known as the foremost authority on Black folklore. Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space�is an in-depth biography of the influential author whose groundbreaking anthropological work would challenge assumptions about race, gender and cultural superiority that had long defined the field in the 19th century.
Jan 17 2023
In the first decades of the 20th century, when life was being transformed by scientific innovations, researchers made a thrilling new claim: they could tell whether someone was lying by using a machine. Popularly known as the �lie detector,� the device transformed police work, seized headlines and was extolled in movies, TV and comics as an infallible crime-fighting tool. Husbands and wives tested each other�s fidelity. Corporations routinely tested employees� honesty and government workers were tested for loyalty and �morals.� But the promise of the polygraph turned dark, and the lie detector too often became an apparatus of fear and intimidation. The Lie Detector is a tale of good intentions, twisted morals and unintended consequences.
Jan 03 2023

Season 34

6 Episodes

Nov 15 2022
Revisit the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, when 52 Americans were held hostage in Tehran, through stories of those whose ordeal riveted the world.
Nov 14 2022
More than 100 years before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world and set off a wave of fear and anti-Asian sentiment, an outbreak of bubonic plague in San Francisco�s Chinatown in 1900 unleashed a similar furor.
May 24 2022
Explore the 1928 St. Francis Dam collapse, the second deadliest disaster in California history. A colossal engineering failure, the dam was built by William Mulholland, who had ensured the growth of Los Angeles by bringing water to the city via aqueduct.
May 03 2022
The American Diplomat explores the lives and legacies of three African-American ambassadors � Edward R. Dudley, Terence Todman and Carl Rowan � who pushed past historical and institutional racial barriers to reach high-ranking appointments in the Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations. At the height of the civil rights movement in the United States, they were asked to represent the best of American ideals abroad while facing discrimination at home. Colloquially referred to as �pale, male, and Yale,� the U.S. State Department fiercely maintained and cultivated the Foreign Service�s elitist character and was one of the last federal agencies to desegregate. Through rare archival footage, in-depth oral histories, and interviews with family members, colleagues and diplomats, the film paints a portrait of three men who created a lasting impact on the content and character of the Foreign Service and changed American diplomacy forever.
Feb 15 2022
Discover the fascinating story of this iconic American garment. From their roots in slavery to the Wild West, hippies, high fashion and hip-hop, jeans are the fabric on which the history of American ideology and politics is writ large.
Feb 07 2022

Season 33

8 Episodes

Follow William Randolph Hearst�s continued rise to power and expansion into Hollywood. The model for Citizen Kane, he had a decades-long affair with actress Marion Davies, built an enormous castle at San Simeon, and forever transformed modern media.
Sep 28 2021
Trace the rise of William Randolph Hearst, who built the nation�s largest media empire by the 1930s. Born into one of America�s wealthiest families, he used his properties to achieve unprecedented political power, then ran for office himself.
Sep 27 2021
Discover the story of the Supreme Court�s first female justice. A pioneer who both reflected and shaped an era, she was the deciding vote in cases on some of the 20th century�s most controversial issues�including race, gender and reproductive rights.
Sep 13 2021
Billy Graham explores the life and career of one of the best-known and most influential religious leaders of the 20th century. From modest beginnings on a North Carolina farm, Graham rose to prominence with a fiery preaching style, movie-star good looks and effortless charm. His early fundamentalist sermons harnessed the apocalyptic anxieties of a post-atomic world, exhorting audiences to adopt the only possible solution: devoting one�s life to Christ. Graham became an international celebrity who built a media empire, preached to millions worldwide, and had the ear of tycoons, royalty and presidents. At age 99, he died a national icon, estimated to have preached in person to 210 million people. Billy Graham examines the evangelist�s extraordinary influence on American politics and culture, interweaving the voices of historians, scholars, witnesses, family, and Graham himself, to create a kaleidoscopic portrait of a singular figure in the American experience.
May 17 2021
Explore the life and times of author L. Frank Baum, the creator of one of the most beloved, enduring and classic American narratives. By 1900, when The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published, Baum was 44 years old and had spent much of his life in restless pursuit of success. With mixed results he dove into a string of jobs � chicken breeder, actor, marketer of petroleum products, shopkeeper, newspaperman and traveling salesman � Baum continued to reinvent himself, reflecting a uniquely American brand of confidence, imagination and innovation. During his travels to the Great Plains and on to Chicago during the American frontier�s final days, he witnessed a nation coming to terms with the economic uncertainty of the Gilded Age. But he never lost his childlike sense of wonder and eventually crafted his observations into a magical tale of survival, adventure and self-discovery, reinterpreted through the generations in films, books and musicals.
Apr 19 2021
In 1946, Isaac Woodard, a Black army sergeant on his way home to South Carolina after serving in WWII, was pulled from a bus for arguing with the driver. The local chief of police savagely beat him, leaving him unconscious and permanently blind. The shocking incident made national headlines and, when the police chief was acquitted by an all-white jury, the blatant injustice would change the course of American history. Based on Richard Gergel�s book Unexampled Courage, the film details how the crime led to the racial awakening of President Harry Truman, who desegregated federal offices and the military two years later. The event also ultimately set the stage for the Supreme Court�s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, which finally outlawed segregation in public schools and jumpstarted the modern civil rights movement.
Mar 30 2021
On Easter Sunday, 1939, contralto Marian Anderson stepped up to a microphone in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Inscribed on the walls of the monument behind her were the words �all men are created equal.� Barred from performing in Constitution Hall because of her race, Anderson would sing for the American people in the open air. Hailed as a voice that �comes around once in a hundred years� by maestros in Europe and widely celebrated by both white and black audiences at home, her fame hadn�t been enough to spare her from the indignities and outright violence of racism and segregation. Voice of Freedom interweaves Anderson�s rich life story with this landmark moment in history, exploring fundamental questions about talent, race, fame, democracy, and the American soul.
Feb 15 2021
Based on the book The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America's Enemies, The Codebreaker reveals the fascinating story of Elizebeth Smith Friedman, the groundbreaking cryptanalyst whose painstaking work to decode thousands of messages for the U.S. government would send infamous gangsters to prison in the 1930s and bring down a massive, near-invisible Nazi spy ring in WWII. Her remarkable contributions would come to light decades after her death, when secret government files were unsealed. But together with her husband, the legendary cryptologist William Friedman, Elizebeth helped develop the methods that led to the creation of the powerful new science of cryptology and laid the foundation for modern codebreaking today.
Jan 11 2021

Season 32

8 Episodes

Part Two examines the mounting dispute over strategy and tactics, and reveals how the pervasive racism of the time, particularly in the South, impacted women's fight for the vote. Explore the final four years of the long and arduous road to the passage of the 19th Amendment.
Jul 07 2020
One hundred years after the passage of the 19th Amendment, The Vote tells the dramatic culmination story of the hard-fought campaign waged by American women for the right to vote, a transformative cultural and political movement that resulted in the largest expansion of voting rights in U.S. history.
Jul 06 2020
The Super Outbreak of 1974 was the most intense tornado outbreak on record, tearing a vicious path of destruction across thirteen states, generating 148 tornadoes from Alabama to Ontario, damaging thousands of homes, and killing more than 300 people. Meteorologist Tetsuya Theodore �Ted� Fujita spent ten months studying the outbreak�s aftermath in the most extensive aerial tornado study ever conducted, and through detailed mapping and leaps of scientific imagination, made a series of meteorological breakthroughs. His discovery of �microbursts,� sudden high wind patterns that could cause airplanes to drop from the sky without warning, transformed aviation safety and saved untold numbers of lives. Mr. Tornado is the remarkable story of the man whose groundbreaking work in research and applied science saved thousands of lives and helped Americans prepare for and respond to dangerous weather phenomena.
May 19 2020
Part Two opens with the ensuing war in Iraq and continues through Bush's second term, as the president confronts the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina and the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression.
May 05 2020
Part One chronicles Bush's unorthodox road to the White House. The once wild son of a political dynasty, few expected Bush to ascend to the presidency. Yet 36 days after the November 2000 election, Bush emerged the victor of the most hotly contested race in the nation's history. Little in the new president's past could have prepared him for the events that unfolded on September 11, 2001. Thrust into the role of war president, Bush's response to the deadly terrorist attack would come to define a new era in American foreign policy.
May 04 2020
The story of the man who would not only solve India�s famine problem but would go on to lead a �Green Revolution� of worldwide agriculture programs estimated to have saved one billion lives.
Apr 21 2020
By the close of the Industrial Revolution, the American food supply was tainted with frauds, fakes, and legions of new and untested chemicals, dangerously threatening the health of consumers. Based on the book by Deborah Blum, The Poison Squad tells the story of government chemist Dr. Harvey Wiley who, determined to banish these dangerous substances from dinner tables, took on the powerful food manufacturers and their allies. Wiley embarked upon a series of bold and controversial trials on 12 human subjects who would become known as the �Poison Squad.� Following Wiley�s unusual experiments and tireless advocacy, the film charts the path of the forgotten man who laid the groundwork for U.S. consumer protection laws, and ultimately the creation of the FDA.
Jan 28 2020
McCarthy 32x01
Chronicles the rise and fall of Joseph McCarthy, the Wisconsin senator whose zealous anti-communist crusade would test the limits of American decency and democracy.
Jan 06 2020

Season 31

10 Episodes

The Feud 31x10
The feud between the Hatfields and McCoys is perhaps the most famous family conflict in American history. As legend has it, two neighboring families in the backwoods of Appalachia waged a crude and bloody war against each other over a stolen hog, an illicit romance, and longstanding grudges. Yet the events that took place near the end of the 19th century between the Hatfields and McCoys are part of a much richer and more complex narrative of the American experience. Anderson Hatfield and Randolph McCoy, the patriarchs of the legendary feud, were entrepreneurs seeking to climb up from hardship after fierce economic competition and rapid technological change had turned their lives upside down. When members of both families took their grievances to court, their dispute escalated into a war between two families and a struggle between two states. The Feud reveals more than an isolated story of mountain lust and violence between �hillbillies� � the Hatfield - McCoy feud was a microcosm of the tensions inherent in the nation�s rapid industrialization after the Civil War.
Sep 10 2019
In August, 1969, half a million people from all walks of life and every corner of the country converged on a small dairy farm in upstate New York. They came to hear the concert of their lives, but most experienced something far more profound: a moment that would change them and the country forever, and define a cultural revolution.
Aug 06 2019
Part three, which covers 1969�1970, takes Americans to the moon and back. Dreams of space dramatically intersect with dreams of democracy on American soil, raising questions of national priorities and national identity. The final episode also considers what happens to scientific and engineering programs�and to a country�after ambitious national goals have been achieved.
Jul 10 2019
Part two covers 1964�1968, four heady, dangerous years in the history of the space race, focusing on the events surrounding the Apollo 1 and Apollo 8 missions. As Americans moved through the 60s and reflect on the challenges ahead, many begin to wonder: What exactly is it going to take to beat the Soviets to the moon?
Jul 09 2019
Part one begins in 1957 and tracks the early years of the space race as the United States struggles to catch up with the Soviet Union. The episode reveals breathtaking failures and successes of the nascent American space program and demonstrates the stakes and costs of reaching the moon.
Jul 08 2019
Sealab 31x05
On a February day in 1969, off the shore of northern California, a US Navy crane carefully lowered 300 tons of metal into the Pacific Ocean. The massive tubular structure was an audacious feat of engineering � a pressurized underwater habitat, complete with science labs and living quarters for an elite group of divers who hoped to spend days or even months at a stretch living and working on the ocean floor. The Sealab project, as it was known, was the brainchild of a country doctor turned naval pioneer who dreamed of pushing the limits of ocean exploration the same way NASA was pushing the limits of space exploration. As Americans were becoming entranced with the effort to land a man on the moon, these divers, including one of NASA�s most famous astronauts, were breaking depth barrier records underwater. Sealab tells the little-known story of the daring program that tested the limits of human endurance and revolutionized the way humans explore the ocean.
Feb 12 2019
The Swamp 31x04
The history of the Everglades is a dramatic yet little known story of humanity�s attempt to conquer nature.
Jan 15 2019
The Eugenics Crusade tells the story of the unlikely �� and largely unknown �� campaign to breed a �better� American race, tracing the rise of the movement that turned the fledgling science of heredity into a powerful instrument of social control. Populated by figures both celebrated and obscure, The Eugenics Crusade is an often revelatory portrait of an America at once strange and eerily familiar.
Oct 16 2018
The Circus explores the history of this popular and American form of entertainment, from the first one-ring show at the end of the 18th century to 1956, when the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey big top was pulled down for the last time. For more than a century, the circus had brought daily life to a standstill. And then, when day broke, the miracle had vanished.
Oct 09 2018
The Circus explores the history of this popular and American form of entertainment, from the first one-ring show at the end of the 18th century to 1956, when the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey big top was pulled down for the last time. The Circus brings to life an era when Circus Day would shut down a town, its stars were among the most famous people in the country, and multitudes gathered to see the improbable and the impossible, the exotic and the spectacular.
Oct 08 2018

Season 30

6 Episodes

Examine the origin, history and impact of the 1882 law that made it illegal for Chinese workers to come to America and for Chinese nationals already here ever to become U.S. citizens. The first in a long line of acts targeting the Chinese for exclusion, it remained in force for more than 60 years.
May 29 2018
In the summer 1931, Honolulu's tropical tranquility was shattered when a young Navy wife made a drastic allegation of rape against five nonwhite islanders. What unfolded in the following days and weeks was a racially-charged murder case that would make headlines across the nation, enrage Hawai'i's native population, and galvanize the island's law enforcers and the nation's social elite.
Apr 17 2018
Explore the story behind the first terrorist attack in the U.S., a mostly-forgotten 1920 bombing in the nation�s financial center that left 38 dead � a crime that remains unsolved today.
Feb 13 2018
Meet the titans and barons of the glittering late 19th century, whose materialistic extravagance contrasted harshly with the poverty of the struggling workers who challenged them. The vast disparities between them sparked debates still raging today.
Feb 06 2018
In the fall of 1940, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill delivered his country�s most valuable military secret � a revolutionary radar component � to a Wall Street tycoon, Alfred Lee Loomis. Using his connections, his money, and his brilliant scientific mind, Loomis and his team of scientists developed radar technology that played a more decisive role than any other weapon in World War II.
Jan 16 2018
The remarkable story of President Theodore Roosevelt�s journey with legendary Brazilian explorer Candido Rondon into the heart of the South American rainforest to chart an unexplored tributary of the Amazon.
Jan 09 2018

Season 29

10 Episodes

Apr 12 2017
Apr 11 2017
Apr 10 2017
A riveting account of the event that helped give rise to the modern American militia movement.
Feb 14 2017
On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh, a former soldier deeply influenced by the literature and ideas of the radical right, parked a Ryder truck with a five-ton fertilizer bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City. 168 people were killed and 675 were injured in the blast. Oklahoma City traces the events � including the deadly encounters between American citizens and law enforcement at Ruby Ridge and Waco � that led McVeigh to commit the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history.
Feb 07 2017
The dramatic story of the country's first subway in late-19th-century Boston, Massachusetts.
Jan 31 2017
She set out to save a An intimate portrait of the woman whose groundbreaking books revolutionized our relationship to the natural world.
Jan 24 2017
A chilling nightmare plays out at a Titan II missile complex in Arkansas in September, 1980. A worker accidentally drops a socket, puncturing the fuel tank of an intercontinental ballistic missile carrying the most powerful nuclear warhead in our arsenal, an incident which ignites a series of feverish efforts to avoid a deadly disaster.
Jan 10 2017
Revisit this pivotal 1950 Korean War battle through the eyewitness accounts of participants. A harrowing story of bloody combat and heroic survival in the first major military clash of the Cold War.
Nov 01 2016
Tesla 29x01
A profile of Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), the genius engineer who developed a way to distribute electricity over vast distances; and who envisioned a world linked by wireless technology.
Oct 18 2016

Season 28

10 Episodes

A group of working-class boys from the University of Washington, in the United States, surprise a nation when they capture the gold medal in rowing at the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin.
Aug 02 2016
Space Men 28x09
In the 1950s and early '60s, a small band of high-altitude pioneers exposed themselves to the extreme forces of the space age long before NASA's acclaimed Mercury 7 would make headlines. Though largely forgotten today, balloonists were the first to venture into the frozen near-vacuum on the edge of our world, exploring the very limits of human physiology and human ingenuity in this lethal realm.
Mar 01 2016
The shocking story of Richard Leopold and Nathan Loeb, two wealthy college students who murdered a 14-year-old boy in 1924 to prove they were smart enough to get away with it. Their trial, with famed defense attorney Clarence Darrow and Cook County Prosecutor Robert Crowe, set off a national debate about morality and capital punishment.
Feb 09 2016
The story of James Garfield, one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president, and his assassination by a deluded madman named Charles Guiteau. Follow Garfield's unprecedented rise to power, his shooting only four months into his presidency, and its bizarre and heartbreaking aftermath.
Feb 02 2016
Go inside the coal miners' bitter battle for dignity at the dawn of the 20th century with The Mine Wars. The struggle over the material that fueled America led to the largest armed insurrection since the Civil War and turned parts of West Virginia into a bloody war zone.
Jan 26 2016
Though their exploits were romanticized, the Barrow gang was believed responsible for at least 13 murders, including nine law enforcement officers, as well as numerous robberies and kidnappings. Discover the true story of the most famous outlaw couple in U.S. history -- Bonnie and Clyde.
Jan 19 2016
The challenges the Pilgrims faced in making new lives for themselves still resonate almost 400 years later: the tensions of faith and freedom in American society, the separation of Church and State, and cultural encounters resulting from immigration.
Nov 24 2015
When William Morgan was executed outside a Havana prison on March 11, 1961, his strange story seemed to vanish from the popular imagination as quickly as it had appeared; it was lost in the classified archives of the Cold War and edited out of Cuban history by Fidel Castro�s retelling of the revolution.
Nov 17 2015
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE offers an unprecedented look at the life and legacy of one of America�s most enduring and influential storytellers in Walt Disney, a new two-part, four-hour film premiering Monday and Tuesday, September 14-15, 2015, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET on PBS
Sep 15 2015
In 1966, the year Walt Disney died, 240 million people saw a Disney movie, 100 million tuned in to a Disney television program, 80 million bought Disney merchandise, and close to seven million visited Disneyland. Few creative figures before or since have held such a long-lasting place in American life and popular culture.
Sep 14 2015

Season 27

8 Episodes

Blackout 27x08
First responders, journalists, shop owners, those inside the pressure-packed control center of Con Edison on West End Avenue, and other New Yorkers tell about what happened when the lights went out on July 13, 1977
Jul 14 2015
The North Vietnamese Army was nearing Saigon and the South Vietnamese resistance was at a low. Nearly 5,000 Americans still needed to remove from South Vietnam, but their South Vietnamese allies, co-workers and friends would be captured by the North Army if they where left behind. Many of these South Vietnamese people were able to escape with the help of a number of memorable Americans, who, unsanctioned, managed to complete operations that saved many of the South Vietnamese.
Apr 28 2015
By the dawn of the 19th century, the most deadly killer in human history, tuberculosis, had killed one in seven of all the people who had ever lived. Throughout the 1800s, the disease struck America with a vengeance, ravaging communities and touching the lives of almost every family. The battle against the deadly bacteria had a profound and lasting impact on America. It shaped medical and scientific pursuits, social habits, economic development, western expansion, and government policy. Yet both the disease and its impact are poorly understood; in the words of one writer, tuberculosis is our "forgotten plague."
Feb 10 2015
In the summer of 1910, hundreds of wildfires raged across the Northern Rockies. By the time it was all over, more than three million acres had burned and at least 78 firefighters were dead. It was the largest fire in American history.
Feb 03 2015
Edison 27x04
EDISON explores the complex alchemy that accounts for the enduring celebrity of America's most famous inventor, offering new perspectives on the man and his milieu, and illuminating not only the true nature of invention, but its role in turn-of-the-century America's rush into the future.
Jan 27 2015
The rise of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina during the 1960s is recalled. In 1963, Bob Jones Sr. started the state's chapter for the racist organization, and grew its membership to more than 10,000 within three years. Included: remarks from sociologist David Cunningham, whose book "Klansville, USA" the documentary is partially based on; historians David Cecelski and Gary Freeze; the Southern Poverty Law Center's Mark Potok; and journalist Patsy Sims, author of "The Klan."
Jan 13 2015
Robert Ripley's obsession with the odd and keen eye for the curious made him one of the most successful men in America during the Great Depression. Over three decades, his Believe It or Not! franchise grew into an entertainment empire, expanding from newspapers to radio, film and, ultimately, television. Americans not only loved his bizarre fare, but were fascinated by the man himself, and the eccentric, globetrotting playboy became an unlikely national celebrity. This is the story of the man who popularized the iconic phrase, and proof of why we still can�t resist his challenge to �Believe it � or not!�
Jan 06 2015
In the fall of 1959, at the height of the Cold War, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev toured the United States for 12 days at the invitation of President Dwight Eisenhower. For both men, the visit was an opportunity to halt the escalating threats of the Cold War and potentially chart a new course toward peaceful coexistence. For the American press, it was the media blockbuster story of the year.
Nov 18 2014

Season 26

9 Episodes

In the summer of 1964, more than 700 students join with organizers and local blacks to canvas for voter registration, create Freedom Schools and establish the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.
Jun 24 2014
In 1910, the Pennsylvania Railroad successfully accomplished the enormous engineering feat of building tunnels under New York City's Hudson and East Rivers, connecting the railroad to New York and New England, knitting together the entire eastern half of the United States. The tunnels terminated in what was one of the greatest architectural achievements of its time, Pennsylvania Station. Penn Station covered nearly eight acres, extended two city blocks, and housed one of the largest public spaces in the world. But just 53 years after the station�s opening, the monumental building that was supposed to last forever, to herald and represent the American Empire, was slated to be destroyed.
Feb 18 2014
Robert Leroy Parker and Harry Alonzo Longabaugh, better known as Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, form the Wild Bunch gang and pull off the longest string of holdups in history.
Feb 11 2014
Filmed over the course of twelve months, The Amish: Shunned follows seven former members of the Amish community as they reflect on their decisions to leave one of the most closed and tightly-knit communities in the United States. Estranged from family, the ex-Amish find themselves struggling to understand and make their way in modern America. Interwoven through the stories are the voices of Amish men and women who remain staunchly loyal to their traditions and faith. They explain the importance of obedience, the strong ties that bind their communities together, and the pain they endure when a loved one falls away.
Feb 04 2014
1964 26x05
Recalling 1964, a pivotal year in U.S. history. While the Beatles captured the imaginations of the nation's youth, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, unveiled his vision of a "Great Society" and squared off against Barry Goldwater in the presidential election. Also covered: the murders of three Freedom Summer volunteers; and the influence of Betty Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique." Based in part on Jon Margolis' "The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964."
Jan 14 2014
The story of New York City's first medical examiner, Charles Norris (1867-1935), and his chief toxicologist, Alexander Gettler (1883-1968), who pioneered the use of forensic science to explain violent and suspicious deaths. Included: remarks from renowned medical examiners Marcella Fierro and Michael Baden; and author Deborah Blum ("The Poisoner's Handbook"). Oliver Platt narrates.
Jan 07 2014
JFK�s campaign for president is the first to be waged on television, a distinct advantage for the telegenic candidate. Despite his lack of legislative achievements and his Catholicism � which many Americans see as a negative � Kennedy wins the election on the promise that he will stand up to the Soviets and protect American preeminence in the world.
Nov 12 2013
JFK�s rise to power. With illuminating interviews from family members, including sister Jean Kennedy Smith, historian Robert Dallek, and author Robert Caro, this episode offers new insight into Kennedy�s early years. John Fitzgerald Kennedy is one of nine children born to one of the wealthiest men in America. Unlike his robust siblings, he is haunted by a mysterious illness. Finally diagnosed with Addison�s disease, he will spend his life in and out of hospitals and in constant pain. Jack Kennedy first bursts onto the national stage as a war hero through his courageous rescue of his PT-109 crewmen. When his older brother, Joe Jr., is killed in the line of duty in 1944, the family�s political hopes shift to Jack. Despite the odds, he wins his Grandfather Fitzgerald�s old Massachusetts congressional seat. With his congressional win, Kennedy rises in power and influence, unseating Senator Henry Cabot Lodge in a surprising victory.
Nov 11 2013
Shortly after 8 p.m. on October 30th, 1938, the voice of a panicked radio announcer broke in with a news bulletin reporting strange explosions taking place on the planet Mars, followed minutes later by a report that Martians had landed in the tiny town of Grovers Mill, New Jersey. It turned out to be H.G. Wells' classic 'The War of the Worlds', performed by 23-year-old Orson Welles. Although most listeners understood that the program was a radio drama, the next day's headlines reported that thousands of others plunged into panic, convinced that America was under a deadly Martian attack. 75 years after the original radio broadcast, 'American Experience' examines the elements that came together to create one of the biggest mass hysteria events in U.S. history.
Oct 29 2013

Season 25

6 Episodes

Led by physicist Robert Noyce, Fairchild Semiconductor began as a start-up company whose radical innovations would help make the United States a leader in both space exploration and the personal computer revolution, changing the way the world works, plays, and communicates. Noyce's invention of the microchip ultimately re-shaped the future, launching the world into the Information Age.
Feb 05 2013
An absorbing life story of a farm boy who rose from obscurity to become the most influential American innovator of the 20th century, Henry Ford offers an incisive look at the birth of the American auto industry with its long history of struggles between labor and management, and a thought-provoking reminder of how Ford's automobile forever changed the way we work, where we live, and our ideas about individuality, freedom, and possibility.
Jan 29 2013
Examine the forces leading to war and to the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment.
Jan 22 2013
See how the activities of the five principals intersect and affect the anti-slavery movement.
Jan 15 2013
Abolitionist allies Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Brown and Angelina Grimk� turned a despised fringe movement against chattel slavery into a force that literally changed the nation.
Jan 08 2013
With the coming of the Civil War, and the staggering casualties it ushered in, death entered the experience of the American people as it never had before -- permanently altering the character of the republic and the psyche of the American people. Contending with death on an unprecedented scale posed challenges for which there were no ready answers when the war began. Americans worked to improvise new solutions, new institutions, and new ways of coping with death on an unimaginable scale.
Sep 18 2012

Season 24

7 Episodes

Despite Jesse Owens' remarkable victories in the face of Nazi racism at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the athlete struggled to find a place for himself in a United States that was still wrestling to overcome its own deeply entrenched bias.
May 01 2012
Featuring the men and women who lived and worked at Grand Coulee in the wake of the Great Depression and the Native people whose lives were changed alongside historians and engineers, this film explores how the tension between technological achievement and environmental impact hangs over the project's legacy.
Apr 03 2012
The Amish 24x05
The first documentary to deeply penetrate and explore this profoundly attention-averse group, The Amish answers many questions Americans have about this insistently insular religious community, whose intense faith and adherence to 500-year-old traditions have by turns captivated and repelled, awed and irritated, inspired and confused for more than a century.
Feb 28 2012
Clinton tells the story of a president who rose from a broken childhood in Arkansas to become one of the most successful politicians in modern American history and one of the most complex and conflicted characters to ever stride across the public stage. From draft dodging to the Dayton Accords, from Monica Lewinsky to a balanced budget, the presidency of William Jefferson Clinton veered between sordid scandal and grand achievement. Clinton had a career full of accomplishment and rife with scandal, a marriage that would make history and create controversy, and a presidency that would define the crucial and transformative period between the fall of the Berlin Wall and 9/11.
Feb 21 2012
Clinton tells the story of a president who rose from a broken childhood in Arkansas to become one of the most successful politicians in modern American history and one of the most complex and conflicted characters to ever stride across the public stage. From draft dodging to the Dayton Accords, from Monica Lewinsky to a balanced budget, the presidency of William Jefferson Clinton veered between sordid scandal and grand achievement. Clinton had a career full of accomplishment and rife with scandal, a marriage that would make history and create controversy, and a presidency that would define the crucial and transformative period between the fall of the Berlin Wall and 9/11.
Feb 20 2012
A profile of Gen. George Armstrong Custer (1839-76), nicknamed "the boy general" for his Civil War exploits, who died with many other members of the 7th Cavalry while battling the Cheyenne and Lakota along the Little Bighorn River in Montana Territory. The documentary details his time at West Point, where he became infamous for his rebellious nature; his relationship with his wife Libbie; his year-long suspension from the service; and the campaign against the Cheyenne that led to his death.
Jan 17 2012
A fascinating look at the myth and the man behind it, who, in just a few short years transformed himself from a skinny orphan boy to the most feared man in the West and an enduring western icon.
Jan 10 2012

Season 23

15 Episodes

The story behind a courageous band of civil rights activists called Freedom Riders who in 1961 challenged segregation in the American South.
May 16 2011
The story of the American civil rights movement told through the freedom songs protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, in paddy wagons and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality. The music enabled African-Americans to sing words they could not say and helped protesters face brutal aggression with dignity. With heart-wrenching interviews, dramatic images and contemporary performances by top artists, including John Legend, Joss Stone, Wyclef Jean and The Roots.
May 09 2011
The event that launched a worldwide rights movement -- a story told by those who took part, from drag queens and street hustlers to police detectives, journalists and a former mayor of New York. The Stonewall Inn, a Mafia-run gay bar in Greenwich Village, was raided by police on June 28, 1969. Gay men and women fought back, and the streets of New York erupted in street demonstrations, announcing that the gay rights movement had arrived.
Apr 25 2011
The little-known story of the American effort to relieve starvation in the new Soviet Russia in 1921, The Great Famine is a documentary about the worst natural disaster in Europe since the Black Plague in the Middle Ages. Five million Soviet citizens died. Half a world away, Americans responded with a massive two-year relief campaign, championed by Herbert Hoover, director of the American Relief Administration.
Apr 11 2011
It was the deadliest workplace accident in New York City�s history. A dropped match on the 8th floor of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory sparked a fire that killed over a hundred innocent people trapped inside. The private industry of the American factory would never be the same.
Feb 28 2011
In 1881, 25 men led by Adolphus Greely set sail from Newfoundland to Lady Franklin Bay in the high Arctic, where they planned to collect a wealth of scientific data from a vast area of the world�s surface that had been described as a "sheer blank." Three years later, only six survivors returned, with a daunting story of shipwreck, starvation, mutiny and cannibalism. The film reveals how poor planning, personality clashes, questionable decisions and pure bad luck conspired to turn a noble scientific mission into a human tragedy.
Jan 31 2011
The 1904-1914 construction of the Panama Canal, the 50-mile link between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, is recalled via archival footage, photos and interviews with workers, as well as insights from historians. The undertaking cost the U.S. about $375 million and 5609 workers (out of 56,307), who perished from both accidents and disease. The documentary also explores what life was like for the workers, who were a mix of Americans, Europeans and West Indians. On August 15th, 1914, the Panama Canal opened, connecting the world�s two largest oceans and signaling America�s emergence as a global superpower. American ingenuity and innovation had succeeded where, fifteen years earlier, the French had failed disastrously. But the U.S. paid a price for victory: a decade of ceaseless, grinding toil, an outlay of more than 350 million dollars -- the largest single federal expenditure in history to that time -- and the loss of more than 5,000 lives. Along the way, Central America witnessed the brazen overthrow of a sovereign government, the influx of over 55,000 workers from around the globe, the removal of hundreds of millions of tons of earth, and engineering innovation on an unprecedented scale. The construction of the Canal was the epitome of man�s mastery over nature and signaled the beginning of America�s domination of world affairs. The second half of the 19th century was a time of expansion and great technological advancement. Americans built the Brooklyn Bridge and completed the Transcontinental Railroad. The French had constructed the Suez Canal in Egypt in 1869 and set their sights on a canal through the Panamanian Isthmus. But after eight years of earthquakes, floods and disease-stunted progress, the French returned home bankrupt. The canal project would lay abandoned for nearly 15 years. When President Theodore Roosevelt came to office in 1901, he saw the creation and control of the canal as the key to America projecting itself as a world powe
Jan 24 2011
In the late 19th century, paleontologists Edward Cope and O.C. Marsh uncovered the remains of hundreds of prehistoric animals in the American West, including dozens of previously undiscovered dinosaur species. But the rivalry that developed between them would spiral out of control, permanently damaging their careers and threatening the future of American paleontology.
Jan 17 2011
Robert E. Lee, the leading Confederate general of the American Civil War, remains a source of fascination and, for some, veneration.
Jan 03 2011
God in America comprises six 60-minute episodes. Conservative evangelicals' embrace of presidential politics ends in disappointment and questions about mixing religion and politics. New waves of immigrants from Asia, the Middle East and Latin America make the United States the most religiously diverse nation on earth. In the 2008 presidential election, a religious voice reemerges in the Democratic Party.
Oct 13 2010
God in America comprises six 60-minute episodes. Hour five explores the post-World War II era, when rising evangelist Billy Graham tried to inspire a religious revival that fused faith with patriotism in a Cold War battle with Godless Communism.
Oct 13 2010
God in America comprises six 60-minute episodes. Isaac Mayer Wise embraces change and establishes Reform Judaism in America. Presbyterian biblical scholar Charles Briggs seeks to wed his evangelical faith with modern biblical scholarship, and is tried for heresy. In the 1925 Scopes trial, Christian fundamentalist William Jennings Bryan faces off against freethinker Clarence Darrow in a battle between scientific and religious truth.
Oct 12 2010
God in America comprises six 60-minute episodes. During the 19th century, the forces of modernity challenged traditional faith and drove a wedge between liberal and conservative believers.
Oct 12 2010
God in America comprises six 60-minute episodes. A New Eden explores how an unlikely alliance between evangelical Baptists and enlightenment figures like Thomas Jefferson served as the foundation of American religious liberty.
Oct 11 2010
God in America comprises six 60-minute episodes. A New Adam explores the origins of Christian religion in America and examines how the New World changed the faiths that the settlers brought with them.
Oct 11 2010

Season 22

8 Episodes

The story of the American whaling industry and its role in the development of the ocean-going capacites of the 19th century United States.
May 10 2010
A treatment of the assassination of Martin Luther King by James Earl Ray from the perspective of the actual lives of the two men.
May 03 2010
My Lai 22x06
Examines one of the darkest chapters of the Vietnam War: the 1968 My Lai massacre, its cover-up and the soldiers who broke rank to halt the atrocities.
Apr 26 2010
Director Robert Stone traces the origins of the modern environmental movement through the eyes of nine Americans who propelled the movement from its beginnings in the 1950s.
Apr 19 2010
Tony Award-winner Eve Best stars as Dolley Madison, America�s �first First Lady�; Tony Award-winner Jefferson Mays is James Madison.
Mar 01 2010
This film examines the defining moments of the offensive that led the U.S. across a moral divide. Weaving interviews with WWII pilots and historians with stunning archival footage of the bombing and its aftermath, the program is a haunting reminder of the dilemma imposed by war�s civilian casualties.
Feb 08 2010
The complex life of a man who has come to represent western justice but had many connections to lawlessness.
Jan 25 2010
FDR establishes a back-to-work program that generates employment and addresses some of the nation's environmental needs during the Great Depression.
Nov 02 2009

Season 21

9 Episodes

Rebellious Lakota and allies take up arms in 1973 and force an examination of the failures of the reservation system in the United States.
May 11 2009
A portrait of the Chiracahua Apache who was one of the last Native Americans to continue armed resistance in North America.
May 04 2009
Perspectives on the forced move of the Cherokee from the southeast to the newly established "Indian Territory" of what is now Oklahoma
Apr 27 2009
The story of a great Native American alliance to counter the 1800s US westward expansion from the Atlantic coast.
Apr 20 2009
A chronicle of the early relations and negotiations between the tribes of what became known as New England and the European settlers.
Apr 13 2009
A 1951 murder by a Mexican-American laborer brings into question the legal status of Hispanics in the United States.
Feb 23 2009
On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford�s Theatre in Washington, D.C. Over the next twelve days, as a fractured nation mourned, the largest manhunt ever attempted closed in on his assassin, the renowned 26-year-old actor John Wilkes Booth. The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln recounts this great American drama: two tumultuous months when the joy of peace was shattered by the heartache of Lincoln�s death.
Feb 09 2009
The human story behind the massive American effort to eliminate the debilitating effects of the polio virus and the truly untested nature of Salk's original vaccine.
Feb 02 2009
The career of America's most famous and controversial nuclear physicist and his fall from grace during the Cold War.
Jan 26 2009

Season 20

18 Episodes

May 06 2008
A detailed chronicle of the Bush family and the life of the 41st President of the United States - from World War II to the Gulf War and beyond.
May 05 2008
An examination of the athletic career and humanitarian interests of the acknowledged baseball star of the late 60s and earliest 70s.
Apr 21 2008
A chronicle of the poetry of Whitman through the lens of his personality and background - with a discussion of both the literary praise and criticism of his work.
Apr 14 2008
A documentary of a young Greenland Inuit who experiences New York City at the end of the 19th century.
Mar 31 2008
The varied career of William Cody - from western legend to even greater fame in preserving the culture and mystique of the lifestyle through his "Wild West" shows.
Feb 25 2008
Covers the Miami riot of 1980 and the election of Harold Washington as the first African-American mayor of Chicago. The film finishes with an overview of the Civil Rights Movement and its effect upon the United States and the world.
Feb 24 2008
The documentary examines the Boston school desegregation crisis involving busing in Massachusetts. The second part of the film chronicles the election of Maynard Jackson as mayor of Atlanta and the first African American to become mayor of a major U.S. city in the southern United States. The last part of the film examines affirmative action and the landmark United States Supreme Court ruling Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978).
Feb 24 2008
The true story behind the mountain man whose unique abilities were critical to America's westward expansion.
Feb 18 2008
Chronicles the leadership and assassination of Fred Hampton of the Black Panther Party (BPP) in Chicago. The second part of the film covers the Attica Prison riot in Attica, New York.
Feb 17 2008
Chronicles the emergence of boxer Muhammad Ali, the student movement at Howard University, and the gathering of the National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana.
Feb 17 2008
Chronicles the final years of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life. It also covers the Poor People's Campaign and Resurrection City in Washington, D.C.
Feb 10 2008
Chronicles the election of Carl Stokes as the mayor of Cleveland and one of the first two African Americans to become mayor of a major U.S. city. The film also covers the formation of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and community control of the Ocean Hill-Brownsville school district in Brooklyn during the New York City teachers' strike of 1968.
Feb 10 2008
The story of the origins of New York's re-imagined Grand Central Station in the early 20th century, proclaimed in its time as the most majestic and advanced train terminal of all.
Feb 04 2008
Follows Martin Luther King Jr. during the Chicago Freedom Movement in Illinois and the tumultuous Detroit Riot of 1967 in Michigan.
Feb 03 2008
Examines a lead member of the Nation of Islam - Malcolm X. It also chronicles the political organizing work of the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO) in Alabama and the shooting of James Meredith during the March Against Fear.
Feb 03 2008
A look at the controversial work of Walter Freeman, a neurosurgeon who sought to alleviate severe mental disorder by permanently disabling the brain's frontal lobes.
Jan 21 2008
A re-examination of the JFK assassination and the subsequent investigations that led to a mistrust of the government's explanations of the act.
Jan 14 2008

Season 19

18 Episodes

A profile of the aristocratic founding father, his efforts to bring federal economic reforms to the fledgling country, and how his aloof personality led to opposition and tragedy.
May 14 2007
A story of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - its beginnings in 1830, the migration of its persecuted members, and its role and influence in the modern world.
May 01 2007
A story of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - its beginnings in 1830, the migration of its persecuted members, and its role and influence in the modern world.
Apr 30 2007
A chronicle of Haight Ashbury in the summer of 1967 and the peak of American youth counterculture.
Apr 23 2007
The details behind the beginnings and end of Peoples Temple headed by Jim Jones, including the tragic suicides of many of its members in the jungles of Guyana.
Apr 09 2007
The story of the career of the extremely influential evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson.
Apr 02 2007
The historical, social, and geographic factors that shaped one of America's most uniquely individual cities.
Feb 12 2007
The history and ramifications of biological weapons and the stand the United States took in ending further research.
Feb 05 2007
It could have been the start of World War III. Instead, it became the largest humanitarian campaign the world had ever seen. On June 24, 1948, one of the first major crises of the Cold War occurred when the Soviet Union blocked railroad and street access to West Berlin. For nearly a year two million civilians and twenty thousand allied soldiers in the city's western sector were fed and fueled entirely from the air. Former German soldiers built airfields and repaired engines for the enemies they had been shooting out of the sky just three years before. British and American pilots, so recently delivering death, were now angels of mercy, supplying coal and flour, coffee and chocolate to the beleaguered city. Through lavish re-enactments and the personal stories of those who lived through the airlift, this American Experience production provides a dramatic and striking portrait of the first battle of the Cold War.
Jan 29 2007
The story of gold in California and the migration, immigration, and economy that remained after the riches were gone.
Nov 06 2006
Walter Reed travels to Cuba to investigate the radical theory that mosquitoes spread deadly Yellow Fever.
Oct 30 2006
Science enables advances in reproduction and the establishment of a new medical industry, but often not one as successful as people imagine.
Oct 23 2006
A decade of lessons is applied in the climactic and bloody march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. A major victory is won when the federal Voting Rights Bill passes, but civil rights leaders know they have new challenges ahead.
Oct 16 2006
Mississippi's grass-roots civil rights movement becomes an American concern when college students travel south to help register black voters and three activists are murdered. The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party challenges the regular Mississippi delegation at the Democratic Convention in Atlantic City.
Oct 16 2006
The civil rights movement discovers the power of mass demonstrations as the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. emerges as its most visible leader. Some demonstrations succeed; others fail. But the triumphant March on Washington, D.C., under King's leadership, shows a mounting national support for civil rights. President John F. Kennedy proposes the Civil Rights Act.
Oct 09 2006
Black college students take a leadership role in the civil rights movement as lunch counter sit-ins spread across the South. "Freedom Riders" also try to desegregate interstate buses, but they are brutally attacked as they travel.
Oct 09 2006
States' rights loyalists and federal authorities collide in the 1957 battle to integrate Little Rock's Central High School, and again in James Meredith's 1962 challenge to segregation at the University of Mississippi. Both times, a Southern governor squares off with a U.S. president, violence erupts -- and integration is carried out.
Oct 02 2006
Individual acts of courage inspire black Southerners to fight for their rights: Mose Wright testifies against the white men who murdered young Emmett Till, and Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama.
Oct 02 2006

Season 18

13 Episodes

Documentary on Joseph Goebbels and the propaganda behind the success of the Nazi regime - told mainly though his own diaries and speeches.
May 22 2006
Chronicle of the amazing markswoman, her life, the discovery of her talent, and the promotion of her career.
May 08 2006
The engineering behind the challenging work of transporting oil during the height of the energy crisis and the subsequent environmental impact of the pipeline.
Apr 24 2006
Account of David Vetter, a boy with an immune system so compromised that he led a life of isolation in a sealed enclosure.
Apr 10 2006
The life of one of the 20th century's most acclaimed playwrights.
Mar 21 2006
Hijacked 18x08
The motivations of the "Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine" and the airplane hijackings they carried out.
Feb 25 2006
An examination of the real details of the notorious outlaw and his brother.
Feb 06 2006
On November 20, 1945, the twenty-two surviving representatives of the Nazi elite stood before an international military tribunal at the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg, Germany. This American Experience production draws upon rare archival material and eyewitness accounts to re-create the dramatic tribunal that defines trial procedure for state criminals to this day.
Jan 30 2006
A chronicle of the lives of the couple and their mutual regard for each other's abilities and intelligence.
Jan 23 2006
The story of the circumstances that led to the founding of what would become a huge tourist destination in the desert.
Nov 15 2005
The story of the circumstances that led to the founding of what would become a huge tourist destination in the desert.
Nov 14 2005
The Apollo 8 mission to orbit the moon and the men and women behind the effort.
Oct 31 2005
Discord in two different places - a withering ambush of US troops by the Viet Cong 40 miles west of Saigon and a student protest that turns violent at the University of Wisconsin.
Oct 17 2005

Season 17

11 Episodes

The kidnapping of the heiress and her later sympathies to the cause of her captors.
May 23 2005
The genesis of one of America's most influential performing families and the struggles to keep the group together in the face of personal problems.
May 09 2005
How the end of World War II in the Pacific Theater affected Americans and Japanese.
May 02 2005
Racial anger erupts in Hawaii after five non-White men are wrongly accused of raping a Navy wife in the early 1930s.
Apr 18 2005
America lays a telegraph cable across the Atlantic and enables almost-instant communication with Europe for the first time in history.
Apr 11 2005
The life and career of one of the first "superstars" of the American screen.
Apr 04 2005
Kinsey 17x05
The startling and controversial findings of a biologist who sought to understand the range of human sexual relations.
Feb 14 2005
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE presents Building the Alaska Highway, the story of nearly 11,000 Army engineers who battled freezing temperatures, ice and snow, mountains, mud, muskeg, and mosquitoes to blaze a 1,500-mile road through one of the harshest landscapes in North America, and take a huge step forward in defending the nation from threats in the Pacific. The program interweaves interviews with historians and engineers who built the highway, and presents archival footage and beautiful cinematography of the sub-Arctic route the road took. The film also features never-before-seen home movies of the Alaska Highway.
Feb 07 2005
The rise of communist rule in Cuba and Castro's long era of leadership.
Jan 31 2005
The Fight 17x02
The 1938 fight between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling and the political and social ideologies the world thought were represented by the boxers.
Oct 18 2004
RFK 17x01
After an assassin's bullet took his brother's life, Robert F. Kennedy was bereft, not only of someone he loved, but of a role that had given meaning to his life. He had devoted himself to his glamorous brother John, suppressing his own ambitions for the sake of the Kennedy name. JFK's death plunged him into unremitting pain and grief, and left him struggling to find his own voice. In his suffering he began to empathize with impoverished Americans and others who were marginalized or disenfranchised � African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans. Just as he began to discover his own identity and move beyond the shadow of his brother, he, too, was assassinated.
Oct 04 2004

Season 16

9 Episodes

The struggle of Joseph Strauss to spearhead the construction of the amazing bridge so important to San Francisco today.
May 03 2004
A study of modern-day Americans who re-enact the opening skirmish of the Revolutionary War each year.
Apr 19 2004
Story of the Russian immigrant who was deemed so radical and subversive that she was persecuted and deported by the US government.
Apr 12 2004
The invention of the plastic containers and the story of Brownie Wise, the woman who realized how to market them.
Feb 09 2004
Residents of Tejas (Texas) fight for independence from Mexico, only to face annexation by the United States soon after.
Feb 02 2004
Contemporaries of Martin Luther King reflect on the later years of his life.
Jan 19 2004
The long road to recovery after the Civil War, as the south seeks to establish a society separate from its African American citizens.
Jan 13 2004
The long road to recovery after the Civil War, as the south seeks to establish a society separate from its African American citizens.
Jan 12 2004
A documentary film examines the rise and fall of the World Trade Center -- from its conception in the post-World War II economic boom, through its controversial construction in the 1960s and 1970s, to its tragic demise in the fall of 2001 and extraordinary response of the city in its aftermath.
Sep 08 2003

Season 15

13 Episodes

A modern re-creation of the possible events behind the sensational murder of Dr. George Parkman in 1849 Boston.
Jul 14 2003
The daring rescue by US Army Rangers of American POWs captured on Bataan as World War II came to a close.
Jul 07 2003
He was boxy, with stumpy legs that wouldn't completely straighten, a short straggly tail and an ungainly gait, but though he didn't look the part, Seabiscuit was one of the most remarkable thoroughbred racehorses in history. In the 1930s, when Americans longed to escape the grim realities of Depression-era life, four men turned Seabiscuit into a national hero. They were his fabulously wealthy owner Charles Howard, his famously silent and stubborn trainer Tom Smith, and the two hard-bitten, gifted jockeys who rode him to glory. By following the paths that brought these four together and in telling the story of Seabiscuit's unlikely career, this film illuminates the precarious economic conditions that defined America in the 1930s and explores the fascinating behind-the-scenes world of thoroughbred racing.
Apr 21 2003
The story of the daughter of a Vietnamese woman and an American naval officer as she grows up in the United States.
Apr 07 2003
The Pill 15x09
The discoveries that led to the birth control pill and its subsequent impact on American women.
Feb 24 2003
A tale of the partnership between a white doctor and a young African-American in pioneering cardiac surgical procedures during the World War II era.
Feb 10 2003
The combination of ambition, money, and power that led to the completion of the famous railway that spanned America's west.
Jan 27 2003
In August 1955, a fourteen-year-old black boy whistled at a white woman in a grocery store in Money, Mississippi. Emmett Till, a teen from Chicago, didn't understand that he had broken the unwritten laws of the Jim Crow South until three days later, when two white men dragged him from his bed in the dead of night, beat him brutally and then shot him in the head. Although his killers were arrested and charged with murder, they were both acquitted quickly by an all-white, all-male jury. Shortly afterwards, the defendants sold their story, including a detailed account of how they murdered Till, to a journalist. The murder and the trial horrified the nation and the world. Till's death was a spark that helped mobilize the civil rights movement. Three months after his body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River, the Montgomery bus boycott began.
Jan 20 2003
Jan 15 2003
Jan 14 2003
Jan 13 2003
The story of the Georgia governor who won the presidency and the numerous challenges that plagued his administration.
Nov 12 2002
The story of the Georgia governor who won the presidency and the numerous challenges that plagued his administration.
Nov 11 2002

Season 14

14 Episodes

The military career and troubled administration of the 15th President of the United States.
May 12 2002
The military career and troubled administration of the 15th President of the United States.
May 05 2002
Story of the life of MIT mathematician John Nash - from exceptional theory to struggles with mental illness.
Apr 28 2002
From the day that a 14-year-old Ansel Adams first saw the transcendent beauty of the Yosemite Valley, his life was, in his words, "colored and modulated by the great earth-gesture of the Sierra." Few American photographers have reached a wider audience than Adams, and none has had more impact on how Americans grasp the majesty of their continent. In this elegant, moving and lyrical portrait of the most eloquent and quintessentially American of photographers, producer Ric Burns seeks to explore the meaning and legacy of Adams' life and work. At the heart of the film are the great themes that absorbed Adams throughout his career: the beauty and fragility of "the American earth," the inseparable bond of man and nature, and the moral obligation the present owes to the future.
Apr 21 2002
The career and violent death of bank robber John Dillinger and the role of the FBI in finally stopping him.
Feb 24 2002
Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan square-off in a battle of rhetoric and legal manuevers over the teaching of evolution in Tennessee.
Feb 17 2002
Racial tensions in 1942 Los Angeles resulting from conflicts between young Mexican-American men and off-duty sailors.
Feb 10 2002
The growth of the famed beauty contest from a small promotional event for late-season tourism to a national phenomenon.
Jan 27 2002
The grand vision of sculptor Gutzon Borgum and the logistics behind the massive monument located in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Jan 20 2002
The contributions of a history professor and college administrator to the American presidency in the first part of the 20th century.
Jan 13 2002
The contributions of a history professor and college administrator to the American presidency in the first part of the 20th century.
Jan 06 2002
An episode that focuses on the letters that passed between soldiers and those at home during American history.
Nov 11 2001
In exploring the social, economic and physical forces that swept through the city in the post-war period, Episode Seven examines the great African-American migration and Puerto Rican immigration of the '40s, '50s, and '60s; the beginnings of white flight and suburbanization; and the massive physical changes wrought by highways and urban renewal -- all of which were directed, to a surprising degree, by one man: Robert Moses. The film comes to a climax with the destruction of Penn Station, the battle over the Lower Manhattan Expressway, the social and fiscal crises of the '60s and '70s, and New York's miraculous revival in the last quarter-century.
Sep 17 2001
In little more than ten years, immense new forces were unleashed in New York, from the Depression itself to the New Deal, which permanently altered the city and the country. Along the way, two of the most remarkable New Yorkers of all time came to the fore: Mayor Fiorello La Guardia and master builder Robert Moses, both of whom attempted to create, in the darkest of times, a bold new city of the future. The episode examines their careers in detail, as well as the immense public works that transformed the city in the '30s. Also explored are the demise of Mayor Jimmy Walker, the coming of the New Deal, the fate of Harlem during the Depression, and the increasingly complex impact of the automobile on the city.
Sep 10 2001

Season 13

15 Episodes

Chronicle of the short life of one of America's first nationally-recognized songwriters.
Apr 23 2001
A story of the flooding of the Mississippi River in 1927 and how it exposed social and racial problems beyond the natural disaster itself.
Apr 16 2001
False allegations of rape taint the record of justice in Alabama during the early 1930s.
Apr 02 2001
Focuses on the battle of Gettysburg, the surrender at Appomattox and Lincoln's assassination.
Feb 21 2001
While criticism of Abraham Lincoln increases during the Civil War, Mary Lincoln plunges into debt.
Feb 21 2001
Mary struggles with personal grief, as Abraham Lincoln becomes consumed with the nation's tragedy.
Feb 20 2001
The Lincolns arrive in Washington with Abraham's ability to lead in question.
Feb 20 2001
Sheds light on the Lincoln marriage during Abraham's time in Congress and his run for president.
Feb 19 2001
The story of the Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln's childhoods and their courtship is told.
Feb 19 2001
The story of Marcus Garvey, his ideas for Black re-settlement in Liberia, and his controversial ideas on race relations.
Feb 12 2001
Chronicle of the short epoch when sleek passenger trains dominated American transportation.
Feb 05 2001
An account of American P.O.W.s in Vietnam and their return to life in the United States.
Nov 13 2000
The contributions of James B. Eads in understanding and altering the great Mississippi River during the second half of the 19th century.
Oct 30 2000
Continuation of the biography of one of America's wealthiest and most influential families.
Oct 23 2000
Biography of the family through four generations and their changing ideas on the use of money and power in America.
Oct 16 2000

Season 12

15 Episodes

The story of the innovations that made photography affordable and easy enough for any American to enjoy.
May 22 2000
The life of the "Yankee Clipper," from his humble beginnings as the son of an Italian-American fisherman in California to his world-wide acclaim.
May 08 2000
Traveling singers from an all-Black school tour the north and overseas in the decade after the Civil War.
May 01 2000
Apr 24 2000
The tumultuous career of the controversial politician from Alabama.
Apr 23 2000
Rise and fall of the volatile and sometimes violent abolitionist.
Feb 28 2000
The Duel 12x09
The background and aftermath of the 1804 conflict between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton.
Feb 14 2000
Nixon and Kissinger decide to engage China as leverage in the Cold War.
Jan 31 2000
Houdini 12x07
In 1912 Harry Houdini was lowered into New York's East River in a crate wrapped in chains. The crowd of spectators gasped; reporters pulled out their stop watches. Houdini was out in less than a minute. The resulting media blitz established him forever as the world's greatest escape artist. On stage, Houdini subjected himself to the Water Torture Cell, being buried alive, and other perils of his own design. Throughout his rise from Hungarian immigrant to international star, Houdini confronted our greatest fears entrapment, pain, death -- and emerged victorious. Produced by Nancy Porter. Mandy Patinkin narrates.
Jan 24 2000
Biography of the wife of FDR, her early life, marriage, and rise to the position of one of the most influential and respected women of the 20th century.
Jan 10 2000
In this short but dazzling period, New York became the focal point of an extraordinary array of human and cultural energies, reaching its highest levels of urban excitement and glamour. In just over a decade, New York gave birth to its signature skyscrapers, the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings, and to artistic creations like F. Scott Fitzgerald's THE GREAT GATSBY, George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," and to the jazz compositions of Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. Along the way, Harlem emerged as the undisputed capital of the African- American experience and the new media industries of advertising, radio networks, public relations, and magazines found their homes in midtown Manhattan.
Nov 18 1999
As New York spilled into the new century, the extraordinary interplay of capitalism, democracy and transformation surged to a climax. During a single generation, over 10 million immigrants arrived in New York. The city itself became an even more dramatic lure with the construction of the first subways and skyscrapers. And arising from the plight of New York's most exploited citizens came landmark legislation that would eventually transform the lives of all Americans.
Nov 17 1999
Now the spotlight shines on the growth, glamour and grief of New York during America's giddy postwar "Gilded Age." Exploring the incomparable wealth of the robber barons and the unabashed corruption of political leaders, such as Tammany Hall boss William M. Tweed, the episode examines the era when the expansion of wealth and poverty -- and the schism between them -- built to a crescendo. The program ends as the city itself dramatically expands its boundaries, annexing Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island into a single massive metropolis -- Greater New York.
Nov 16 1999
Already established as America's premier port, New York City swelled into the nation's greatest industrial metropolis as a massive wave of German and Irish immigration turned the city into one of the world's most complex urban environments, bringing with it a host of new social problems. Episode Two reveals how the city's artists, innovators and leaders, from poet Walt Whitman to Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux (the designers of Central Park) grappled with the city's growing conflicts -- which culminated in the catastrophic Civil War Draft Riots of 1863.
Nov 15 1999
The series begins by identifying the key themes that shaped New York's history: commerce and capitalism, diversity and democracy, transformation and creativity. The episode charts the development of the city founded by the Dutch as a purely commercial enterprise, first as New Amsterdam, a freewheeling enclave of trade and opportunity; then as the British New York, a colony fueled by slavery which was bestowed as a birthday gift upon the Duke of York by his brother, King Charles; soon after as a strategically pivotal locale in the American Revolution; and ultimately as the city of New York: the nation's first capital and the place destined to define urban life in America -- and American ideals.
Nov 14 1999

Season 11

13 Episodes

Fly Girls 11x13
The lives of the Women Air Service Pilots (WASPs) and their flying exploits within the US during World War II.
May 24 1999
The conclusion of MacArthur focuses on his "return" to the Philippines in 1944, his years as Supreme Allied Commander in Japan after the war and his controversial command in Korea.
May 18 1999
Part 1 of a two-part biography of Douglas MacArthur takes "America's first soldier" from his brilliant WWI service into WWII, when his knack for alienating superiors hindered his "return" to the Philippines.
May 17 1999
Geologist and explorer John Wesley Powell undertakes a dangerous water trip down the Colorado River with a crew of adventure-seekers.
Apr 05 1999
An account of the causes of the partial core meltdown at the Pennsylvania nuclear power plant in 1979 and the reactions of staff and the public.
Feb 22 1999
The collision of two large ocean-going vessels in 1909 puts the new wireless telegraph to the test.
Feb 15 1999
An account of Robert Byrd's adventures at the poles and his trials in Antarctica.
Feb 08 1999
The story behind building one of the greatest Depression-era projects, the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River.
Jan 18 1999
The United States and the Soviet Union work on weapons even more powerful than the earlier atomic bomb during the height of the Cold War.
Jan 11 1999
Nov 25 1998
Nov 25 1998
Nov 18 1998
Nov 18 1998

Season 10

10 Episodes

The subculture of young hobos that sprang up during the Great Depression.
Apr 13 1998
The story of the farmers who came to the Southern Plains of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas dreaming of prosperity, and lived through ten years of drought, dust, disease and death.
Mar 02 1998
The career of Ronald Reagan, from his movie career to his growing interest in politics.
Feb 24 1998
The career of Ronald Reagan, from his movie career to his growing interest in politics.
Feb 23 1998
The worst epidemic in American history killed over 600,000 Americans during World War I. Nicknamed "Spanish influenza," it died out quickly the following winter.
Feb 09 1998
Documentary of Carl Graham Fisher, an opportunist who saw potential for tourism in the swamp lands of Florida.
Feb 02 1998
The life of a midwife living in Maine during the late 18th century, based on the journals of Martha Ballard and the research of a modern-day author.
Jan 19 1998
Oct 07 1997
Oct 06 1997
Oct 05 1997

Season 9

23 Episodes

Ten years after American ground troops arrived in South Vietnam, communists seize Saigon in a lightning attack that brings the war to a startling conclusion. An edited re-broadcast of the 1983 series Vietnam: A Television History.
Jul 28 1997
Americans at home divide over a distant war, clashing in the streets as demonstrations lead to bloodshed, bitterness and increasing doubts. An edited re-broadcast of the 1983 series Vietnam: A Television History.
Jul 21 1997
As President Nixon escalates the bombing of Hanoi and North Vietnamese troops advance, negotiators struggle for four years to sign a peace treaty that will be broken quickly. An edited re-broadcast of the 1983 series Vietnam: A Television History.
Jul 14 1997
With fighting already spread to neighboring Laos, President Richard Nixon orders a secret bombing campaign against Cambodia, which will soon endure a nightmarish post-war holocaust. An edited re-broadcast of the 1983 series Vietnam: A Television History.
Jul 07 1997
As the U.S. turns over the war to the South Vietnamese army, American soldiers and Vietnamese citizens feel the dimming prospects for victory. An edited re-broadcast of the 1983 series Vietnam: A Television History.
Jun 30 1997
North Vietnam's dramatic offensive on the lunar New Year stuns American military and political leaders, leading to calls for the withdrawal of U.S. troops. An edited re-broadcast of the 1983 series Vietnam: A Television History.
Jun 23 1997
The war Americans seldom saw: the view from North Vietnam, featuring the perspectives of communist leaders, Vietcong guerrillas and American prisoners of war. An edited re-broadcast of the 1983 series Vietnam: A Television History.
Jun 16 1997
With the South Vietnamese army in disarray, the U.S. military assumes control of the war, leading to increased American casualties in a country both beautiful and horrific. An edited re-broadcast of the 1983 series Vietnam: A Television History.
Jun 09 1997
Charging that North Vietnam has attacked American ships in the Gulf of Tonkin, President Lyndon B. Johnson orders bombing raids and sends 200,000 troops into an undeclared war. An edited re-broadcast of the 1983 series Vietnam: A Television History.
Jun 02 1997
The United States is drawn into Vietnam through its support ? then abandonment ? of South Vietnam's president, Ngo Dinh Diem, who is assassinated in a coup. An edited re-broadcast of the 1983 series Vietnam: A Television History.
May 26 1997
This program traces the rise of a pro-American Vietnamese nationalist, Ho Chi Minh, whose Viet Minh guerrillas grab a stunning victory over French colonial forces. An edited re-broadcast of the 1983 series Vietnam: A Television History.
May 26 1997
The story of the last great gold rush in North America, the search in the Yukon and Klondike at the end of the 19th century.
May 12 1997
Groundbreaking New York reporter Nellie Bly uses all manner of transportation to beat the fictional feat of Verne's Phileas Fogg.
Apr 28 1997
A story of the realities leading to the vanishing role of the family farm in the United States.
Apr 14 1997
Chronicle of the construction of the New York subway and its dramatic impact on the city.
Feb 17 1997
How Philo Farnsworth combined his work with other emerging technologies to contribute to the development of television.
Feb 10 1997
The debut of the telephone in 1876 and its subsequent impact on American communication, and even, America's landscape.
Feb 03 1997
In 1893, the last sovereign ruler of Hawaii is removed by forces that want the islands to come under the official jurisdiction of the United States.
Jan 27 1997
A chronicle of the rise of industrialist Andrew Carnegie, his steel empire, and his philanthropy.
Jan 20 1997
Oct 07 1996
Oct 07 1996
Oct 06 1996
Oct 06 1996

Season 8

9 Episodes

The Cold War forces the United States to build very high altitude U2 planes to record photographs of opposing nations.
Feb 26 1996
The story of Wilbur and Orville Wright and the earliest days of aviation.
Feb 12 1996
Orson Welles' movie stirs the ire of publisher William Randolph Hearst, the man who the film was patterned after.
Jan 29 1996
Biography of Chicago mayor Richard Daley, considered one of the last major heads of big city "machine" politics in the United States.
Jan 22 1996
An account of the struggle to register African Americans to vote in the state of Mississippi in the 1960s.
Jan 15 1996
The story of orphaned inner-city children shipped to rural locations and new lives as part of a social engineering experiment.
Nov 27 1995
The nation watches a political convention that in many ways is a symbol of the turbulent times in which it was held.
Nov 13 1995
Inventor Thomas A. Edison experiments with electricity, long-burning filaments, and glass bulbs to give America an alternative to gas lights.
Oct 23 1995
The nation is fascinated by the high-profile murder of a famous architect, apparently because of jealousy over a popular female stage performer.
Oct 16 1995

Season 7

18 Episodes

Chronicles the crackdown on Native American tribes across the Northwest in the aftermath of the Battle of the Little Big Horn in June 1876, and charts the final, desperate days of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull. Examines the rise of the heartbreaking Ghost Dance religion, and the last, horrendous massacre at Wounded Knee.
May 09 1995
May 09 1995
May 08 1995
May 08 1995
Feb 15 1995
The struggle of the women's movement and the 19th Amendment that finally extended national suffrage to women.
Feb 15 1995
Jan 18 1995
Jan 17 1995
Jan 17 1995
Jan 16 1995
Jan 16 1995
American forces moving toward Germany to end the war are opposed by a deadly counter-offensive that leads to a great loss of life.
Nov 09 1994
Oscar Micheaux and the History of Race. Oscar Micheaux wrote, produced and directed over 40 movies and despite this was really not known because he was African American . This movie recounts the history of the black film industry from 1910 to the 1940s and includes rare clips and highlights.
Oct 26 1994
A program that examines America's fascination with spiritualism and the occult in the second half of the 1800s.
Oct 19 1994
In this last episode, the story turns to the war years. The days leading up to the bombing of Pearl Harbor and America's entry into World War II were turbulent ones in America. FDR's strong leadership charted America's course, as the newly emerging world power took on the responsibilities of the war in Europe. Meanwhile, back in America, the New Deal was still a work in progress.
Oct 12 1994
In episode three, the subject is FDR's leadership of America during the Great Depression. The nation turned to this son of great wealth for a host of social programs that promised a New Deal for the common man.
Oct 12 1994
In this second episode, the subject is FDR's courageous fight with polio. With his wife Eleanor Roosevelt at his side, FDR, wins the Democratic nomination for president. He takes office at the beginning of the Great Depression. Exhorting the nation to keep the faith, FDR utters his famous words: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
Oct 11 1994
This first episode looks at the early life of FDR. Born into a wealthy family, there was little about his youth that would suggest the giant of history that he would become. His entry into state politics and a significant meeting with a woman named Eleanor would change his life and the course of a nation.
Oct 11 1994

Season 6

9 Episodes

D-Day 6x09
Archival footage and the voices of people who participated provide a unique perspective on the World War II Allied invasion of Normandy.
May 25 1994
America's reaction to the plight of European Jews both immediately before and during World War II.
Apr 06 1994
Story of the controversial Malcolm X, his early years, his connection to the Nation of Islam, and his legacy.
Jan 26 1994
The last member of a diminished Native American tribe from California makes himself known at the beginning of the 20th century.
Jan 19 1994
Story of a massive storm that unexpectedly gained strength as it worked its way up the eastern seaboard and the 300 million dollars of damage it caused.
Nov 17 1993
Part 2 follows Eisenhower's election to the presidency and two terms in the White House, as well as his retirement.
Nov 10 1993
Part 1 chronicles Eisenhower's childhood, education at West Point and military career, culminating in his service as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.
Nov 10 1993
"Black Jack" Pershing pursues the famed outlaw into Mexico, with little success.
Nov 03 1993
The life and risks taken by the famous woman aviator.
Oct 27 1993

Season 5

12 Episodes

Goin� Back to T-Town tells the story of Greenwood, an extraordinary Black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that prospered during the 1920s and 30s despite rampant and hostile segregation. Torn apart in 1921 by one of the worst racially-motivated massacres in the nation�s history, the neighborhood rose from the ashes, and by 1936 boasted the largest concentration of Black-owned businesses in the U.S., known as �Black Wall Street.� Ironically, it could not survive the progressive policies of integration and urban renewal of the 1960s. Told through the memories of those who lived through the events, the film is a bittersweet celebration of small-town life and the resilience of a community�s spirit.
Mar 01 1993
Her 1963 warnings about the effects of pesticides and herbicides - especially DDT - sparked a revolution in environmental policy and created a new ecological consciousness.
Feb 08 1993
The story of Walter Reuther and the struggle to unionize the automobile workers of the US in the 1930s.
Feb 01 1993
The short but notable career of the coach and his team with stories from some of those who remember him.
Jan 25 1993
Growing resistance to segregation, the Supreme Court decision to end it, and the life of Thurgood Marshall.
Jan 18 1993
The story of "march king" John Philip Sousa and the connections between his music and the mood of the nation during his time.
Dec 09 1992
The historic battle discussed from the perspective of both sides that participated in the conflict.
Nov 25 1992
The life and achievements of Washington - as a British colonist, American general, and first President of the United States.
Nov 18 1992
They were African-American soldiers. They were inducted into a rigidly segregated army. They trained in white America. Their commanders never intended to send them into battle, and yet African-American soldiers fought through six European countries into the heart of the most violently racist empire the world has ever known. The victims of nazi terror would never forget them.
Nov 11 1992
Tragic tale of families attempting a short-cut passage to California in the 1840s, with narration of their life-and-death struggle taken from their own journals.
Oct 28 1992
For the three Kennedy sons (John, Robert, Ted) it was the story of triumph followed by tragedy. Their political careers from 1961-80 are detailed in this episode.
Sep 21 1992
The life of Kennedy patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy is the subject of this episode.
Sep 20 1992

Season 4

13 Episodes

Documentary on the late 19th/early 20th century educational effort to teach Native Americans to adopt western cultural ways and abandon their own traditions.
Feb 17 1992
P.T. Barnum launches a scheme to bring entertainment and marvels to the country - something that one day becomes "The Greatest Show on Earth."
Feb 10 1992
The modern movement to preserve natural wilderness in the United States.
Jan 27 1992
Eugene and Peggy Dennis were members of the Communist Party who moved to the USSR in the 1930s. When they returned to the US, the couple was coerced into leaving their 5-year-old son Tim behind in Moscow. Twenty years would pass before they would see him again. In 1951, Eugene was sent to prison for almost five years by the House Un-American Activities Committee. The family was reunited in 1961 at Eugene Dennis' funeral.
Jan 13 1992
Behind-the-scenes examination of the quiz show craze of the 1950s and how the outcomes of these television shows came to be fixed.
Jan 06 1992
Biography of the famed jazz composer and pianist, including rare footage of his performances.
Dec 09 1991
The rise of the FBI from a minor government bureaucracy to the premiere law enforcement agency in the world under the controversial leadership of J. Edgar Hoover.
Nov 18 1991
Recounting the historic attack of 1941, including the planning and military outlook of both the United States and Japan at the time.
Nov 11 1991
Documentary of the 1889 disaster caused by a broken dam.
Nov 04 1991
The story of the corrupt political dominance of Mayor James Curley and its effect on the city of Boston in the early 20th century.
Oct 28 1991
A story of the formation and service of the first all-Black military unit in the United States during the Civil War.
Oct 14 1991
LBJ (2) 4x02
Lyndon Johnson's ascension to the Presidency and the controversial events of his tenure such as the Great Society and the Vietnam War are chronicled here.
Oct 01 1991
LBJ (1) 4x01
LBJ's career started in 1938 when he was elected a congressman, one of the youngest ever. He was elected to the Senate in 1948 under a cloud of suspicion. LBJ won by only 87 votes. In 1954, when the Democrats took over the Senate, LBJ became the youngest majority leader ever at age 46. In 1957, LBJ engineered passage of the first civil rights bill since Reconstruction, but the bill had too many compromises and no teeth. By 1960, LBJ felt he was ready for the presidency, but John Kennedy got there first and then picked LBJ as his vice president.
Sep 30 1991

Season 3

14 Episodes

A history of the three major amusement parks that made Coney Island one of America's favorite recreational diversions in the early to mid 20th century and the ultimate fate of Coney Island.
Feb 04 1991
A story of Mexican-American workers in early 20th century copper mines in the southwest.
Jan 28 1991
After the stock market crashed in 1929, thousands suffered unemployment and poverty in the Great Depression. The most desperate year, 1932, brought World War I veterans' Bonus March, the election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the New Deal.
Jan 07 1991
Oil exploration and the fortunes and failures of the independent opportunists who searched for it.
Dec 17 1990
The distinctive music of Louisiana including Cajun and Zydeco performances.
Dec 10 1990
America is spanned when the Central Pacific and Union Pacific join track and enable a railroad system that is truly transcontinental.
Nov 26 1990
The unbounded optimism of the Jazz Age and the shocking consequences when reality finally hit on October 29th, ultimately leading to the Great Depression.
Nov 19 1990
The story behind orbiting satellites, the "space race," and the proliferation and uses of man-made satellites.
Nov 05 1990
The trial of Charles Guiteau, a seeming madman who killed President James Garfield.
Oct 29 1990
Episode focusing on Polish immigration in the 1910s and the contributions of Poles to the United States.
Oct 22 1990
Oct 15 1990
Oct 15 1990
Oct 15 1990
After his famous flight, Charles Lindbergh becomes known to all the world but struggles with life in the limelight.
Oct 01 1990

Season 2

15 Episodes

A chronicle of the organized efforts to help slaves find freedom in the north.
Jan 16 1990
A profile of an early environmental dispute over the construction of a dam in California after the earthquake of 1906.
Jan 09 1990
The Americanization of Chinese people in the 1920s and 30s, including public roles that ran counter to their cultural history.
Jan 02 1990
A tale of British children sent to North America during the early World War II bombing of London.
Dec 26 1989
The work of a notable civil rights crusader in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Dec 19 1989
Story of a folklore historian who sought to preserve the traditional music of the Appalachians for posterity.
Dec 12 1989
Documentary on the great influx of immigrants between 1890 and the 1920s.
Dec 05 1989
Documentary on the life of civil rights advocate Powell, including his career as a Harlem minister and a US Congressman.
Nov 28 1989
The story of Yosemite told through the diary of one of the first white Americans to visit the California valley.
Nov 21 1989
The story behind the mail order tome that brought merchandise (or dreams of it) within reach of Americans far and wide.
Nov 14 1989
A nostalgic treatment of the national pastime and its meaning in history.
Nov 07 1989
America enters the fighting in what is now called World War I.
Oct 24 1989
An examination of a the story of a Japanese family in America from their arrival in the US to the days of suspicion during World War II.
Oct 17 1989
The story of how prohibition went from local preferences to national law, with specific reference to its application in Detroit, MI.
Oct 10 1989
Early American aviators try to cross the planet with primitive planes of limited range and under harsh conditions.
Oct 03 1989

Season 1

16 Episodes

A tale of a woman in the 1800s who risked scorn by marrying a man much younger than herself, and a person later found to be her biological son from long ago.
Jan 17 1989
A biography of Robert Moses, single-minded visionary behind many of New York City's largest and most expensive construction projects.
Jan 10 1989
The work of photographer and author Eudora Welty and her impressions of the south after the turn of the 20th century.
Jan 03 1989
A German prince and a Swiss painter interpret the United States in a new light during a visit to the American west during the 1830s.
Dec 27 1988
An examination of the women of 19th century America - as suffragists, abolitionists, authors - and the record they and many others left through quilt-making.
Dec 20 1988
A Catholic priest (Charles Coughlin) takes to the radio airwaves in the 1930s and broadcasts his views on the condition of the country.
Dec 13 1988
The growth of rhythm and blues music and its eventual acceptance by mainstream audiences in the 1950s.
Dec 06 1988
Life on Alabama tenant farms in the 1930s with comparisons to the living situation today.
Nov 29 1988
Account of the famous Native American leader's battle against the US in the American southwest from the viewpoints of historians and modern Apaches.
Nov 22 1988
John Kennedy and George Wallace clash over questions of civil rights in early 1960s Alabama.
Nov 15 1988
A visit to working ranches in western Wyoming to examine the lifestyle of modern-day cowboys and compare it to the romantic historical notions.
Nov 08 1988
A treatment of women's contributions to the World War II defense industry including interviews with women who participated.
Nov 01 1988
Mid 20th century America through the eyes of famous journalist Eric Sevareid.
Oct 25 1988
The US government attempts to claim lands that have value from Native American dwellers.
Oct 18 1988
The story of atomic bomb research after World War II and how above-ground testing led to the evacuation of a previously-populated atoll in the Pacific Ocean.
Oct 11 1988
From Enrico Caruso to the ordinary San Franciscan, this film presents vivid memories of those trapped in the terrifying event of 1906. Four hundred eighty square blocks were reduced to rubble; thousands were killed, tens of thousands left homeless. Then the heroic struggle to rebuild a city from the ashes began.
Oct 04 1988