Watch American Experience Season 23
aired: Sun, May 15, 2011
The story behind a courageous band of civil rights activists called Freedom Riders who in 1961 challenged segregation in the American South.
aired: Sun, Apr 24, 2011
Told by those who took part and featuring a rich trove of archival footage, Stonewall Uprising revisits a time when homosexual acts were illegal throughout America, and homosexuality itself was seen as a form of mental illness.
The Great Famine
aired: Sun, Apr 10, 2011
When a devastating famine descended on Soviet Russia in 1921, Americans responded with a massive two-year relief campaign.
aired: Mon, Feb 28, 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.
The Greely Expedition
aired: Sun, Jan 30, 2011
Using scientific accounts, diaries, photographs and letters, this film reveals how poor planning, personality clashes, questionable decisions and pure bad luck conspired to turn a noble scientific mission into a human tragedy.
aired: Thu, Jan 13, 2011
The story of two Americans who laid the foundation for modern paleontology and whose rivalry nearly destroyed them both.
Robert E. Lee
aired: Mon, Jan 3, 2011
The life and reputation of the Confederate general of the American Civil War whose military successes made him the scourge of the Union and the hero of the Confederacy, and who was elevated to almost god-like status by his admirers after his death.
Watch American Experience Season 22
Into the Deep: America, Whaling and the World
aired: Sun, May 9, 2010
For two centuries, American whale oil lit the world - illuminating and powering the start of the industrial revolution and laying the groundwork for a truly global economy.
Roads to Memphis
aired: Sun, May 2, 2010
On April 4, 1968, escaped convict James Earl Ray shot and killed Dr. Martin Luther King. Roads to Memphis is the fateful narrative of this killer and his prey, set against the seething, turbulent forces in American society at that time.
aired: Fri, Apr 23, 2010
In an exploration of the morality of actions taken in the name of war, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE directs its lens to the 1968 My Lai massacre and asks what drove a company of American soldiers to commit the worst atrocity in American military history?
aired: Thu, Apr 8, 2010
Earth Days traces the origins of the modern environmental movement.
aired: Mon, Mar 1, 2010
Dolley Madison lived through the two wars that established the U.S., was friends with the first 12 Presidents, and watched America evolve from a struggling young republic to the first modern democracy in the world. She was nicknamed "Queen Dolley," and when she died she was given the largest state funeral the capital had ever seen for a woman.
The Bombing of Germany
aired: Fri, Feb 5, 2010
In World War II British and American Allied forces carried out a bombing campaign of unprecedented might over Germany's cities, claiming the lives of nearly half a million civilians.
aired: Mon, Jan 25, 2010
Celebrated as a man who took control of his own destiny, Wyatt Earp came to epitomize the town-taming marshal responsible for bringing the forces of law, order and civilization to the Wild West.
Civilian Conservation Corps
aired: Sun, Nov 1, 2009
Over a decade, the CCC put more than three million young men to work in the nation’s forests and parks, planting trees, building flood barriers, fighting fires and maintaining roads and trails.
Watch American Experience Season 21
We Shall Remain: Wounded Knee
aired: Sun, Jan 25, 2009
On the night of February 27, 1973, 54 cars rolled, horns blaring, into a small hamlet on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Within hours, some 200 Oglala Lakota and American Indian Movement (AIM) activists had seized the few major buildings in town and police had cordoned off the area. The occupation of Wounded Knee had begun. Demanding redress for grievances, the protesters captured the world's attention for 71 gripping days. With heavily armed federal troops tightening a cordon around meagerly supplied, cold, hungry Indians, the event invited media comparisons with the massacre of Indian men, women and children at Wounded Knee almost a century earlier. In telling the story of this iconic moment, the final episode of WE SHALL REMAIN examines the broad political and economic forces that led to the emergence of AIM in the late 1960s, as well as the immediate events that triggered the takeover. Though the federal government failed to make good on many of the promises that ended the siege, the event succeeded in bringing the desperate conditions of Indian reservation life to the nation's attention. Perhaps even more important, it proved that despite centuries of encroachment, warfare and neglect, Indians remained a vital force in the life of America. This is the last of a 5-part American Experience mini-series.
We Shall Remain: Geronimo
aired: Sun, Jan 25, 2009
In February of 1909, the indomitable Chiricahua Apache warrior and war shaman Geronimo lay on his deathbed. He summoned his nephew to his side, whispering, "I should never have surrendered. I should have fought until I was the last man alive." It was an admission of regret from a man whose insistent pursuit of military resistance in the face of overwhelming odds confounded not only his Mexican and American enemies, but many of his fellow Apaches as well. Born around 1820, Geronimo grew into a leading warrior and healer. But after his tribe was relocated to an Arizona reservation in 1872, he became a focus of the fury of terrified white settlers and of the growing tensions that divided Apaches struggling to survive under almost unendurable pressures. To angry whites, Geronimo became the archfiend, perpetrator of unspeakable savage cruelties. To his supporters, he remained the embodiment of proud resistance, the upholder of the old Chiricahua ways. To other Apaches, especially those who had come to see the white man's path as the only viable road, Geronimo was a stubborn troublemaker, unbalanced by his unquenchable thirst for vengeance, whose actions needlessly brought the enemy's wrath down on his own people. At a time when surrender to the reservation and acceptance of the white man's civilization seemed to be the Indians' only realistic options, Geronimo and his tiny band of Chiricahuas fought on. The final holdouts, they became the last Native-American fighting force to capitulate formally to the government of the United States. This is the fourth of a 5-part American Experience mini-series.
We Shall Remain: Trail of Tears
aired: Sun, Jan 25, 2009
The Cherokee would call it Nu-No-Du-Na-Tlo-Hi-Lu, "The Trail Where They Cried." On May 26, 1838, federal troops forced thousands of Cherokee from their homes in the Southeastern United States, driving them toward Indian Territory in Eastern Oklahoma. More than 4,000 died of disease and starvation along the way. For years the Cherokee had resisted removal from their land in every way they knew. Convinced that white America rejected Native Americans because they were "savages," Cherokee leaders established a republic with a European-style legislature and legal system. Many Cherokee became Christian and adopted westernized education for their children. Their visionary principal chief, John Ross, would even take the Cherokee case to the Supreme Court, where he won a crucial recognition of tribal sovereignty that still resonates. Though in the end the Cherokee embrace of "civilization" and their landmark legal victory proved no match for white land hunger and military power, the Cherokee people were able, with characteristic ingenuity, to build a new life in Oklahoma, far from the land that had sustained them for generations. This is the third of a 5-part American Experience mini-series.
We Shall Remain: Tecumseh’s Vision
aired: Sun, Jan 25, 2009
In the course of his brief and meteoric career, Tecumseh would become one of the greatest Native American leaders of all time, orchestrating the most ambitious pan-Indian resistance movement ever mounted on the North American continent.
We Shall Remain: After the Mayflower
aired: Sun, Jan 25, 2009
In March of 1621, in what is now southeastern Massachusetts, Massasoit, the leading sachem of the Wampanoag, sat down to negotiate with a ragged group of English colonists. Hungry, dirty and sick, the pale-skinned foreigners were struggling to stay alive; they were in desperate need of Native help. Massasoit faced problems of his own. His people had lately been decimated by unexplained sickness, leaving them vulnerable to the rival Narragansett to the west. The Wampanoag sachem calculated that a tactical alliance with the foreigners would provide a way to protect his people and hold his Native enemies at bay. He agreed to give the English the help they needed. A half-century later, as a brutal war flared between the English colonists and a confederation of New England Indians, the wisdom of Massasoit's diplomatic gamble seemed less clear. Five decades of English immigration, mistreatment, lethal epidemics, and widespread environmental degradation had brought the Indians and their way of life to the brink of disaster. Led by Metacom, Massasoit's son, the Wampanoag and their Native allies fought back against the English, nearly pushing them into the sea. This is the first of a 5-part American Experience mini-series.
The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer
aired: Sun, Jan 25, 2009
The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer featuring interviews with the scientist’s former colleagues and scholars to present a revealing portrait of one of the most important and controversial scientists of the twentieth century.
Watch American Experience Season 20
Watch American Experience Season 15
aired: Mon, Apr 21, 2003
This film about Seabiscuit's unlikely career illuminates the precarious economic conditions that defined America in the 1930's and explores the behind-the-scenes world of thoroughbred racing.
Jimmy Carter: Hostage
aired: Mon, Nov 11, 2002
Jimmy Carter secures his place in history by brokering the first Middle East peace treaty, but he is caught in a maelstrom: an energy crisis, runaway inflation, hostages in Iran.
Jimmy Carter: Jimmy Who?
aired: Sun, Nov 10, 2002
Former Naval officer, peanut farmer, born-again Christian and one-term governor of Georgia Jimmy Carter miraculously captures the White House in 1976. He finds governing in Washington even more difficult than getting there.
Watch American Experience Season 10
Surviving the Dust Bowl
aired: Mon, Mar 2, 1998
Despite the desertification of the once bountiful wheat fields, people stayed, steadfastly refusing to give up on the land and a way of life.
Reagan: An American Crusade
aired: Mon, Feb 23, 1998
(Part 2 of 2) Ronald Wilson Reagan left the White House one of the most popular presidents of the 20th century - and one of the most controversial.
aired: Mon, Feb 23, 1998
(Part 1 of 2) Ronald Wilson Reagan left the White House one of the most popular presidents of the 20th century - and one of the most controversial.
We Shall Remain: Tecumseh's Vision
aired: Mon, Apr 20, 2009
In the spring of 1805, Tenskwatawa, a Shawnee, fell into a trance so deep that those around him believed he had died. When he finally stirred, the young prophet claimed to have met the Master of Life. He told those who crowded around to listen that the Indians were in dire straits because they had adopted white culture and rejected traditional spiritual ways. For several years Tenskwatawa's spiritual revival movement drew thousands of adherents from tribes across the Midwest. His elder brother, Tecumseh, would harness the energies of that renewal to create an unprecedented military and political confederacy of often antagonistic tribes, all committed to stopping white westward expansion. The brothers came closer than anyone since to creating an Indian nation that would exist alongside and separate from the United States. The dream of an independent Indian state may have died at the Battle of the Thames, when Tecumseh was killed fighting alongside his British allies, but the great Shawnee warrior would live on as a potent symbol of Native pride and pan-Indian identity. This is the second of a 5-part American Experience mini-series.
Truman, Part 2
aired: Sun, Oct 5, 1997
(Part 2 of 2) After Harry Truman's unlikely rise to the presidency, he would face some of the biggest crises of the century.
Truman, Part 1
aired: Sat, Oct 4, 1997
(Part 1 of 2) After Harry Truman's unlikely rise to the presidency, he would face some of the biggest crises of the century.
Watch American Experience Season 7
Watch American Experience Season 4
LBJ, Part 2
aired: Mon, Sep 30, 1991
(Part 2 of 2) Lyndon Baines Johnson was the poor boy from Texas who ascended to the pinnacle of power - only to see his presidency undermined by the conflict in Vietnam.
LBJ, Part 1
aired: Sun, Sep 29, 1991
(Part 1 of 2) Lyndon Baines Johnson was the poor boy from Texas who ascended to the pinnacle of power - only to see his presidency undermined by the conflict in Vietnam.
Watch American Experience Season 3
The Crash of 1929
aired: Sun, Feb 18, 1996
This film chronicles the year the boom went bust through the words and experiences of the descendants of these titans of finance.
aired: Mon, Jan 8, 1996
On April 2, 1936, when the 22-year-old son of a sharecropper entered the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, he was barely able to control his anger in the face of Nazi racism. But instead of letting himself be distracted, the young athlete channeled his raw emotions into one of the most remarkable achievements in athletic history: four gold medals in two days.
1. Grand Coulee Dam
aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012
When Grand Coulee Dam was being built during the depths of the Great Depression, everything about it--generators, powerhouses, pumps--was the biggest in the world. Grand Coulee was more than a dam; it was a proclamation: America could still do great things. The mile-long behemoth was the largest hydroelectric power-producing facility in the world when it was completed in March 1941--just in time to power the nation's defense plants and the atomic reactors for the Manhattan Project.
American Experience: The Survivor
aired: Mon, Apr 2, 2012
The final hour begins as Clinton sails buoyantly into his second term. Times are good, the economy is booming, and American prestige and power internationally are at an all-time high. Clinton’s dream of repairing the breach with Republicans seems within reach. But Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky —a White House intern — becomes public after she confides in a co-worker named Linda Tripp. The ensuing scandal gives independent counsel Kenneth Starr the ammunition he needs to re-charge his stalled investigation of the Whitewater affair. Congress initiates impeachment hearings, but the Republican leadership fails to remove Clinton from office. And when Starr’s damning report is finally released, the ire of the American public is focused more on the independent counsel than the President. Though the President survives the ordeal, confounding both his enemies and friends, he loses some of his drive and ambition during his final two years in office.
American Experience: A Real President
aired: Mon, Apr 2, 2012
Shattered by the Republican victory, Clinton begins to sideline his most trusted advisors in favor of an aggressive political consultant named Dick Morris who uses extensive polling to diagnose the administration’s weaknesses and develop strategies to correct them. The Republican “Contract with America” is riding high and by spring 1995, Gingrich and his allies select the ground on which to wage their war: a plan to eliminate the federal budget deficit by drastically cutting Medicare and Medicaid. The plan leads to a government shutdown and slowly the tide begins to turn toward the President, who reclaims the political center with a stream of new initiatives that will curb big government and appeal to middle class families. Clinton wins the 1996 election in a landslide, pulling off one of the greatest turnarounds in political history. But events have been set in motion that will soon divide the country and nearly destroy Clinton's presidency.
American Experience: Blood Sport
aired: Mon, Apr 2, 2012
Despite all of their education and experience, the Clintons are unprepared for politics in Washington, which quickly descends into open warfare with the Republican establishment and much of the media. Hour 2 chronicles the tumultuous first two years of the Clinton presidency, years that see the beginning of the Whitewater scandal, the shocking death of Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster and the humiliating defeat of Hillary’s healthcare bill. Although the administration has its domestic successes, troubles brewing in the remote countries of Somalia and Rwanda and the arrival of a new and formidable rival named Newt Gingrich threaten to derail the Clinton presidency before it ever gets off the ground. When Republicans gain control of Congress in the midterm elections, the entire political landscape shifts to the right, leaving Clinton seemingly bereft of power.
American Experience: The Comeback Kid
aired: Mon, Apr 2, 2012
From the political backwaters of Arkansas, Bill Clinton emerges as a political force unlike any seen on the national stage in a generation. Overcoming a troubled upbringing marred by alcoholism and violence, Clinton is determined from the start to succeed, first in Arkansas, then at Georgetown, Oxford and finally Yale. There he meets a young woman named Hillary Rodham who shares his intellect and idealism. Together they forge a marriage and political partnership that takes them to the Arkansas governor’s mansion and ultimately the White House. Hour 1 follows their bumpy road to the 1992 presidential victory, an amazing triumph over repeated scandals and setbacks. Although they have won the presidency, the Clintons have not yet won the country. In their moment of triumph, the first couple has no way of imaging the turmoil that lies ahead.
American Experience: The Rockefellers
aired: Mon, Feb 11, 2013
John D. Rockefeller was the world's first billionaire and the most hated man in America. Watch the epic story of the man who monopolized oil. Broadcasting on many PBS stations February 12, 2013. Check your location listings.
American Experience: Silicon Valley
aired: Tue, Feb 5, 2013
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.
American Experience: Henry Ford
aired: Mon, Jan 28, 2013
The biography of a farm boy who rose from obscurity to become the most influential American innovator of the 20th century, this documentary of Henry Ford offers an incisive look at the birth of the American auto industry with its long history of struggles between labor and management.
American Experience: Silicon Valley Chapter 1
aired: Wed, Jan 23, 2013
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. Premiering February 5, 2013 at 9pm ET.
American Experience: The Abolitionists
aired: Mon, Jan 7, 2013
The story of how abolitionist allies William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Brown and Angelina Grimke turned a despised fringe movement against chattel slavery into a force that literally changed the nation.
American Experience: Death and the Civil War
aired: Tue, Sep 18, 2012
How the young United States dealt with the unprecedented and overwhelming number of dead in the Civil War, premiering on PBS Sept 18, 8/7c. The Ric Burns film is based on the book "This Republic of Suffering" by Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust.
American Experience: Jesse Owens
aired: Wed, May 2, 2012
The most famous athlete of his time, his stunning triumph at the 1936 Olympic Games captivated the world even as it infuriated the Nazis. Despite the racial slurs he endured, Jesse Owens' grace and athleticism rallied crowds across the globe. But when the four-time Olympic gold medalist returned home, he could not even ride in the front of a bus.
American Experience: Grand Coulee Dam
aired: Wed, Apr 4, 2012
Of the many public works projects of the New Deal, Grand Coulee Dam loomed largest in America's imagination during the darkest days of the Depression. It promised to fulfill President Franklin Roosevelt's vision for a "planned promised land" where hard-working farm families would finally be free from the drought and dislocation caused by the elements.
American Experience: The Amish
aired: Wed, Feb 29, 2012
An intimate portrait of contemporary Amish faith and life, this film examines how such a closed and communal culture has thrived within one of the most open, individualistic societies on earth. What does the future hold for a community whose existence is so rooted in the past? And what does our fascination with the Amish say about deep American values?
American Experience: Clinton
aired: Tue, Feb 21, 2012
The biography 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.
American Experience: Tupperware!
aired: Wed, Feb 15, 2012
Using interviews with Tupperware executives and dealers from the early days and wonderful, little-seen footage of Tupperware Jubilees, this funny, probing program re-examines assumptions about American culture in the 1950s.
American Experience: Jesse James
aired: Wed, Feb 1, 2012
A product of the American Civil War, James was less heroic than brutal; America's own Robin Hood who robbed not only the rich, but the poor and defenseless as well, always saving the treasure for himself.
American Experience: Annie Oakley
aired: Wed, Feb 1, 2012
Annie Oakley excelled in a man's world by doing what she loved, and won fame and fortune as the little lady from Ohio who never missed a shot.
American Experience: Custer's Last Stand
aired: Wed, Jan 18, 2012
General George Custer, his martyrdom was shrouded in controversy and contradictions. The final act of his larger-than-life career played out on a grand stage with a spellbound public engrossed in the drama.
American Experience: Billy the Kid
aired: Wed, Jan 11, 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.
American Experience: Attica Prison Riot
aired: Wed, Sep 7, 2011
Robert Douglass served as Counsel and later Secretary to Governor Nelson Rockefeller from 1965-1972. He was sent to Attica during the uprising to represent the Governor and to help quell the riot and appease the inmates. Frank Smith was an inmate at the prison and acted as a guard during the uprising, trying to assure that none of the officials sent in to negotiate with the prisoners were harmed.
American Experience: World Trade Center Construction Footage
aired: Wed, Aug 3, 2011
How did they do it? Find out in this eighteen-minute film, Building the World Trade Center, produced by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 1983 with original footage of the towers under construction.
American Experience: Prospects of Mankind with Eleanor Roosevelt
aired: Wed, Aug 3, 2011
"Prospects of Mankind with Eleanor Roosevelt" first aired on WGBH in October, 1959. The monthly series was a forum for prominent leaders and decision makers to discuss current issues with Eleanor as mediator and host. "Prospects of Mankind" is an example of Eleanor Roosevelt's fervent interest in world affairs during the last years of her life.
American Experience: War Letters
aired: Fri, May 27, 2011
Based on newly discovered personal correspondence from the Revolutionary War to the Gulf War, War Letters brings to life vivid eyewitness accounts of famous battles, intimate declarations of love and longing, poignant letters penned just before the writer was killed, and heartbreaking "Dear John" letters from home.
American Experience: The Panama Canal
aired: Tue, Jan 25, 2011
On August 15, 1914, the Panama Canal opened connecting the world's two largest oceans and signaling America's emergence as a global superpower. The story of the canal features a delightful cast of colorful characters ranging from an indomitable President to visionary engineers to tens of thousands of workers from around the world, rigidly segregated by race.
American Experience: Into the Deep: America, Whaling & the World
aired: Tue, Sep 14, 2010
The history of the American whaling industry from its 17th-century origins in drift-and-shore whaling off the coast of New England and Cape Cod, through the golden age of deep ocean whaling, and on to its demise in the decades following the American Civil War.
American Experience: Riding the Rails
aired: Mon, May 24, 2010
At the height of the Great Depression, more than 250,000 teenagers were living on the road in America.
American Experience: Interview with Linda Edquist
aired: Thu, May 19, 2011
In her work as a conservation specialist at the National Postal Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., Linda Edquist has worked to preserve countless letters and other objects in the museum's enormous collection. How can you use some conservation techniques on your letters at home? Watch Linda demonstrate, in 2001 this video interview.
American Experience: Stonewall Uprising
aired: Tue, Apr 19, 2011
In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969 police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in the Greenwich Village section of New York City. That night the street erupted into violent protests and street demonstrations that lasted for the next three days. The Stonewall riots marked a major turning point in the modern gay civil rights movement in the United States and around the world.
American Experience: The Great Famine
aired: Tue, Mar 22, 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. Half a world away, Americans responded with a massive two-year relief campaign, championed by Herbert Hoover, director of the American Relief Administration known as the ARA.
American Experience: Interview with Author Kristin Downey
aired: Sat, Feb 26, 2011
Author Kristin Downey on the labor rights activist Frances Perkins, who would go on to become the secretary of labor and the first woman in a U.S. Cabinet.
American Experience: The Presidents: Reagan
aired: Mon, Aug 23, 2010
In 1988, after two terms in office, Ronald Reagan left the White House one of the most popular presidents of the twentieth century -- and one of the most controversial. A failed actor, Reagan became a passionate ideologue who preached a simple gospel of lower taxes, less government, and anti-communism.
American Experience: The Presidents: LBJ
aired: Mon, Jun 14, 2010
Sworn in after the assassination of JFK, Lyndon Johnson pushed progressive programs like the Civil Rights Act through Congress and won a term as president before the Vietnam War eroded his support.
American Experience: The Hurricane of '38
aired: Tue, May 18, 2010
As the storm made its way across the Atlantic and up the eastern seaboard, there was little warning. Radar had not been invented. The National Weather Bureau predicted it would blow itself out at North Carolina, but it didn't. No one had ever seen a storm like this.
American Experience: Government Film: Target Tokyo
aired: Thu, Mar 18, 2010
Special Film Project 153, produced by the Army Air Forces in 1945 and narrated by Hollywood actor and future president Ronald Reagan, is better known as Target Tokyo. The film follows the bombers' first mission, from crew training in Nebraska to deployment on the Pacific island of Saipan -- secured as an air assault launching point -- and then to Japan and the new aircraft's first bombing raid.
American Experience: Amelia Earhart
aired: Tue, Feb 16, 2010
The first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, Amelia Earhart was one of America's first celebrities. After only a few years as a pilot she became the best-known female flier in America, not only for her daring and determination but also for her striking looks and outspoken personality. Three weeks before her 40th birthday Earhart disappeared over the Pacific Ocean, and her story became legend.
American Experience: The Donner Party
aired: Mon, Feb 1, 2010
Three years before the Gold Rush, 87 pioneers took a shortcut westward to California, only to get caught in the snows of the Sierra Nevada. The emigrants' fateful journey culminated in death and cannibalism.
American Experience: Influenza 1918
aired: Wed, Jan 6, 2010
Influenza 1918 is the story of the worst epidemic the United States has ever known. Before it was over, the flu would kill more than 600,000 Americans - more than all the combat deaths of this century combined.
American Experience: Surviving the Dust Bowl
aired: Tue, Nov 17, 2009
The story of the determined people who clung to their homes and way of life, enduring drought, dust, disease and even death for nearly a decade.
American Experience: Hoover Dam
aired: Tue, Nov 10, 2009
Hoover Dam's electrical output helped build the ships and planes used in World War II; its water grew fruits and vegetables in California. It tamed a wild river and, for a time, renewed faith in American ingenuity and technology.
American Experience: Seabiscuit
aired: Thu, Oct 29, 2009
Seabiscuit was dung-colored and boxy, with stumpy legs that wouldn't completely straighten, a straggly tail and an ungainly gait, but though he didn't look the part, he was one of the most remarkable thoroughbred racehorses in history.
American Experience: The Crash of 1929
aired: Tue, Oct 27, 2009
Based on eight years of continued prosperity, presidents and economists alike confidently predicted that America would soon enter a time when there would be no more poverty, no more depressions -- a "New Era" when everyone could be rich.
American Experience: The Presidents: Truman
aired: Fri, Jul 10, 2009
Of all the men who had held the office, he was the least prepared. As president, Harry Truman was responsible for dropping the atomic bomb on Japan, ending World War II and finding America's place in the international order at the start of the Cold War.
American Experience: We Shall Remain: Wounded Knee, Pt. 5 of 5
aired: Mon, Jun 29, 2009
On the night of February 27, 1973, fifty-four cars rolled into the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Within hours, some 200 Oglala Lakota and American Indian Movement activists had seized the few major buildings in town. The occupation of Wounded Knee had begun. Demanding redress for grievances--some going back more than 100 years--the protesters captured the world's attention for 71 gripping days.
American Experience: The Presidents: Nixon
aired: Mon, Jun 15, 2009
From ending the Vietnam War and improving relations with China and the Soviet Union, and finally, his resignation in the face of impeachment, Richard Nixon was a tragically insecure man with a bold vision.
American Experience: The Presidents: George H.W. Bush
aired: Mon, Jun 15, 2009
This biography examines the life and career of our 41st president, from his service in World War II to his days in the Oval Office with the fall of the Berlin Wall, race riots in LA and the breakup of the Soviet Union.
American Experience: The Kennedys
aired: Mon, May 18, 2009
A saga of ambition, wealth, family loyalty and personal tragedy. From Joseph Kennedy's rise on Wall Street, through John, Robert and Edward's successes and scandals, the family has left a storied political legacy.
American Experience: The Presidents: FDR
aired: Tue, Apr 21, 2009
Franklin Delano Roosevelt restored hope after the Great Depression and led the nation during World War II.
American Experience: The Presidents: Jimmy Carter
aired: Tue, Apr 21, 2009
A peanut farmer who rose to become America's thirty-ninth president, Jimmy Carter was a failure in his single term in office. He turned to humanitarian work as an ex-president.