American Experience

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

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  • Reagan on the Enemy: The Soviet Threat

    Clip

    11/1/11

  • LBJ and Age: A Young Leader

    Clip

    11/1/11

  • Carter and Crisis: Rescuing Hostages

    Clip

    11/1/11

  • Reagan and Crisis: Assassination Attempt

    Clip

    11/1/11

  • Bush on Unity: Ideological Housecleaning

    Clip

    11/1/11

  • Stonewall Uprising Preview

    Clip

    4/18/11

  • American Experience: Freedom Summer

    Trailer

    In the hot and deadly summer of 1964, the nation could not turn away from Mississippi. Over 10 memorable weeks known as Freedom Summer, more than 700 student volunteers joined with organizers and local African Americans in a historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in one of the nation's most segregated states -- even in the face of intimidation, physical violence, and death.moreless
  • American Experience: The Rise And Fall Of Penn Station

    Trailer

    New York's Pennsylvania Station opened to the public in 1910. The station was a massive civil engineering project, covering nearly eight acres and requiring the construction of 16 miles of underground tunnels. No one could imagine that this architectural marvel built for the ages would be torn down a few decades later. Trace the brief life of New York's Penn Station, whose destruction spurred landmarks preservation.moreless
  • The American Experience: Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid

    Trailer

    Long before Paul Newman and Robert Redford immortalized them on screen, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid captivated Americans from coast to coast. In the 1890s, their exploits robbing banks and trains in the West - and then seemingly vanishing into thin air - became national news and the basis of rumors andmoreless
  • The American Experience: The Amish: Shunned

    Trailer

    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.moreless
  • The American Experience: 1964

    Trailer

    It was the year of the Beatles and the Civil Rights Act of the Gulf of Tonkin and Barry Goldwater's campaign for the presidency the year that Americans learned smoking was bad for their health and Cassius Clay became Mohammed Ali the year that cities across the country erupted in violence and Americans tried to make sense of the assassination of their president.moreless
  • The American Experience: The Poisoner's Handbook

    Trailer

    In the early 20th century*the average American medicine cabinet was a would-be poisoner's treasure chest. There was radioactive radium in health tonics*thallium in depilatory creams*and morphine in teething medicine and potassium cyanide in cleaning supplies. While the tools of the murderer's trade multiplied as the pace of industrial innovation increased*the scientific knowledge (and the political will) to detect and prevent the crimes lagged behind. All this changed in 1918*when New York City hired its first scientifically trained medical examiner Charles Norris. Over the course of a decade and a half*Norris and his extraordinarily driven and talented chief toxicologist*Alexander Gettler*would turn forensic chemistry into a formidable science*sending many a murderer to the electric chair and setting the standards that the rest of the country would ultimately adopt.moreless
  • The American Experience: Jfk (Trailer 1)

    Trailer

    Scheduled for broadcast around the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, this biography provides a fresh look at an enigmatic man who has become one of the nation's most beloved and most mourned leaders. The newest addition to The Presidents collection, the documentary explores Kennedy's childhood years as the overlooked second son of a multimillionaire exploding with ambition, his early political career as a lackluster congressman, his subsequent successful run for senate, and the election victory that turned him into the youngest elected president in U.S. history. With the benefit of newly opened archives and recently released documents, the film re-evaluates JFK's strengths and weaknesses in the Oval Office and looks at how he navigated some of the most explosive events of the mid-20th century: the Cuban missile crisis, the escalating conflict in Southeast Asia, and the urgent demands of an increasingly impatient civil rights movement. It also provides new insights into his private life -- his relationship with his beautiful, accomplished wife, his obsessive womanizing, his inappropriate friendships, his reliance on his younger brothers, and his deference to the all-powerful father who had helped make him who he was.moreless
  • The American Experience: Jfk

    Trailer

    Scheduled for broadcast around the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, this biography provides a fresh look at an enigmatic man who has become one of the nation's most beloved and most mourned leaders. The newest addition to The Presidents collection, the documentary explores Kennedy's childhood years as the overlooked second son of a multimillionaire exploding with ambition, his early political career as a lackluster congressman, his subsequent successful run for senate, and the election victory that turned him into the youngest elected president in U.S. history. With the benefit of newly opened archives and recently released documents, the film re-evaluates JFK's strengths and weaknesses in the Oval Office and looks at how he navigated some of the most explosive events of the mid-20th century: the Cuban missile crisis, the escalating conflict in Southeast Asia, and the urgent demands of an increasingly impatient civil rights movement. It also provides new insights into his private life -- his relationship with his beautiful, accomplished wife, his obsessive womanizing, his inappropriate friendships, his reliance on his younger brothers, and his deference to the all-powerful father who had helped make him who he was.moreless
  • American Experience: War Of The Worlds

    Trailer

    Relive Orson Welles' infamous radio dramatization 75 years after the mass hysteria event it spawned. The film examines the elements that made America ripe for the hoax: America's longtime fascination with life on Mars the emergence of radio as a powerful new medium the shocking Hindenburg explosion of 1937 and Welles himself, the 23-year-old wunderkind director of the drama and mischief-maker supreme.moreless
  • American Experience: Henry Ford

    Trailer

    HENRY FORD paints a fascinating portrait of a farm boy who rose from obscurity to become the most influential American innovator of the 20th century. Ford's Model T automobile and his five-dollar-a-day wage ushered in the modern world, earning Ford reverence from millions of Americans. Yet many of the changes he wrought deeply troubled the carmaker. In frustration, he lashed out at enemies, real and imagined.moreless
  • Jesse Owens

    Full Episode

    S 24 : Ep 7 -

    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.moreless
  • The American Experience: Jesse Owens

    Trailer

  • Grand Coulee Dam

    Full Episode

    S 24 : Ep 6 -

    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.moreless
  • The Amish

    Full Episode

    S 24 : Ep 5 - 2/28/12

    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?moreless
  • Clinton - The Comeback Kid

    Full Episode

    S 24 : Ep 4 - 2/20/12

    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.moreless
  • Billy the Kid

    Full Episode

    S 24 : Ep 3 - 1/10/12

    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.moreless
  • Custer's Last Stand

    Full Episode

    S 24 : Ep 2 - 1/17/12

    The story of a United States' attempt to spark a fresh Native uprising only to result in the massacre of a well-known soldier and his men.

  • Freedom Riders

    Full Episode

    S 23 : Ep 12 - 5/16/11

    A documentary on Americans of all ages and races who traveled the deep South to protest local segregation laws in 1961.
  • Stonewall Uprising

    Full Episode

    S 23 : Ep 10 - 4/25/11

    Riots in New York City in 1969 bring the issues of gay civil rights into the public eye.
  • The Great Famine

    Full Episode

    S 23 : Ep 9 - 4/11/11

    When the Soviet Union suffers a massive famine in the early 1920s, the United States rushes to send food and manpower to alleviate the crisis.
  • Triangle Fire

    Full Episode

    S 23 : Ep 8 - 2/28/11

    The deplorable conditions of "sweat shop" production factories are brought to America's attention after 150 people are killed in a 1911 fire in New York City.
  • The Greely Expedition

    Full Episode

    S 23 : Ep 7 - 1/31/11

    An 1881 maritime expedition to document the world of the high Arctic runs into adverse conditions that prove to be disastrous for the members of the crew.
  • The Panama Canal

    Full Episode

    S 23 : Ep 6 - 1/24/11

    The Atlantic and Pacific oceans are finally connected after one of the most arduous engineering struggles of all.
  • Dinosaur Wars

    Full Episode

    S 23 : Ep 5 - 1/17/11

    Two American paleontologists are unable to overcome their Victorian-era desires to be the top scientist of the day - and instead, wage a battle to find and describe the first dinosaurs being discovered in the American west.moreless
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