American Experience - Season 1

Monday 9:00 PM on PBS Premiered Oct 04, 1988 In Season


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Episode Guide

  • Sins of Our Mothers
    Sins of Our Mothers
    Episode 16
    A tale of a woman in the 1800s who risked scorn by marrying a man much younger than herself - a person later found to be her biological son from long ago.
  • The World That Moses Built
    A biography of Robert Moses, the single-minded visionary behind many of New York City's largest and most expensive construction projects.
  • Eudora Welty: One Writer's Beginnings
    The work of author and photographer Eudora Welty and her impressions of the South after the turn of the 20th century.
  • Views of a Vanishing Frontier
    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.
  • Hearts and Hands
    Hearts and Hands
    Episode 12
    An examination of the women of 19th century America - as suffragists, abolitionists, authors - and the record they and many others left through quilt-making.
  • The Radio Priest
    The Radio Priest
    Episode 11
    A Catholic priest (Charles Coughlin) takes to the radio airwaves in the 1930s and broadcasts his conservative views on the condition of the country.
  • That Rhythm, Those Blues
    The growth of rhythm and blues music and its eventual acceptance by mainstream audiences in the 1950s.
  • Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: Revisited
    Life on Alabama tenant farms in the 1930s with comparisons to the living situation today.
  • 2/21/12
    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 independentcounsel 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.moreless
  • Geronimo and the Apache Resistance
    Account of the famous Native American leader's battle against the US in the American southwest from the viewpoints of historians and modern Apaches.
  • 2/21/12
    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.moreless
  • Kennedy vs. Wallace: A Crisis Up-Close
    John Kennedy and George Wallace clash over questions of civil rights in early 1960s Alabama.
  • 2/20/12
    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.moreless
  • Do You Mean There Are Still Real Cowboys?
    A visit to working ranches in western Wyoming to examine the lifestyle of modern-day cowboys and compare it to the romantic historical notions.
  • The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter
    A treatment of women's contributions to the World War II manufacturing and defense industries including interviews with women who participated.
  • Not So Wild A Dream
    Mid 20th century America through the eyes of famous journalist Eric Sevareid.
  • Indians, Outlaws and Angie Debo
    The US government attempts to claim lands that have value from Native American dwellers.
  • Radio Bikini
    Radio Bikini
    Episode 2
    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.
  • The Great San Francisco Earthquake
    A film exploration of the great 1906 quake and its effect on the city's future.