History Specials - Season 1

The History Channel Premiered Jan 01, 2010 Unknown


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Episode Guide


  • 9/28/13
    Car collectors from around the world are flocking to a small town in the heart of the Midwest for the chance of a lifetime. In a closed down family car dealership in Nebraska, the mother lode of classic cars--many having less than 10 miles on the odometer--are going up on the auction block. In this special presentation HISTORY will have exclusive access to the collection and the auction. The special will be hosted by Brian Unger and feature Top Gear's Rutledge Wood and Tanner Foust.moreless
  • Target Earth
    Episode 194
    Electromagnetic explosions, devastating climate change, mysterious diseases...But perhaps the natural disasters carving a deadly path across the globe are not the biggest threat to life as we know it. On Target Earth, a 2-hour special on H2, scientists, government officials and other experts examine earth's infrastructures and life-support systems to theorize how humans would fare in an alien attack. See what they think would happen if extraterrestrial invaders targeted the earth's natural resources, telecommunications, food and water supplies, weapons and even the human body to seize control of our planet - and us. Would we have the weapons to fight back? Or would we be forced to surrender?moreless
  • 9/11: Relics from the Wreckage
    How do you honor the memory and legacy of over 3,000 lives lost to the terror attacks of 9/11? That is the challenge facing the creators of the National 9/11 Memorial Museum, opening in 2014. This world premiere special documents the stories of five objects that will soon be displayed in the National 9/11 Memorial Museum.moreless
  • 7/13/13
    Valued for its permanence, beauty and scarcity, people will lie, cheat, steal and kill in the name of gold. To finance the Third Reich, the Nazis went after the gold of Europe. Allied countries stored their gold offshore to keep it safe. It is estimated that worldwide, 3 million shipwrecks loaded with treasure lie at the bottom of the ocean. Odyssey Marine, an American company, spends huge amounts of money to search for that gold. But there's always the risk they will have to hand it over to countries claiming ownership. In recent years, economic uncertainty is giving gold a new lustre in the world of high finance. Whether it's a few coins or gold bars stored in one of the many vaults around the world, many investors are taking a shine to gold. But there's not a lot of it. Some claim that for every 100 ounces of gold traded, there exists only one ounce of real, physical gold. So, where is the gold--and who really owns it?moreless
  • 6/16/13
    From the catapult to the stealth fighter, the most basic and the most complex weapons alike have changed the course of history--and with it, our world. Whether it s the Chinese fire tube or the US Air Force s laser-guided smart bombs, weapons have enabled humans to be the ultimate predator at every corner of history and fueled the expansion of every empire. But despite the constant evolution of weapons with all their shock-inducing and awe-inspiring capabilities, some of the simplest weapons (such as the AK-47 with its nine moving parts) kill more people in one year (a quarter-million) than the combined deaths of the Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 (160,000 combined.) This is the ultimate countdown of every "boom" and "bang" since we began walking upright.moreless
  • Ultimate WWII Weapons
    Episode 190
    This countdown special reveals the weapons, inventions and vehicles that shaped and decided World War II. Counting down from 10 to 1, we ll provide an expert-led analysis of key game changers, from every theatre of the war. Designed to include surprising information and packed with visually stunning CGI, these instruments of WWII will come to life like never before.moreless
  • Killing Zone Atlantic
    Killing Zone Atlantic
    Episode 189
    An exciting race against time to uncover the lost wrecks of WWII's most epic campaign... the Battle of the Atlantic. Ian Lawler and a team of deep sea divers are on a mission to map the lost wrecks of the battle. But it isn't easy. The dive season is short, the weather is wild, and the wrecks are rusting away. The team has to fight high winds, terrible sea conditions and unexpected challenges to chart these forgotten wrecks and reveal the untold stories of the Battle. Will Ian and the team be able to complete their mission in time? The Pentagon's naval expert Dr. Randy Papadopolous, and German U-boat specialist Dr. Axel Niestle are on hand to study the underwater footage, identify the wrecks and help Ian piece together the stories behind the Battle. Could one of the wrecks prove to be Hitler's deadliest U-boat?moreless
  • Get ready to go on the job with the people who make iconic Stetson cowboy hats, woodworkers who create baseball bats from scratch for Major League Baseball, and a man whose high-stakes job is to keep a nuclear facility in Connecticut safe from terrorist attacks. And we'll stop people on the street to see if they'll answer the taboo question: "How much do you earn?moreless
  • Why are salaries so taboo in America? We'll finally find out--and get people to spill what's in their paychecks. Along the way, we'll meet a small business owner who turned his leather football-making hobby into a growing small business, factory workers with a long history of manufacturing combat knives for the Marines, and the expert beer brewers at Samuel Adams. And we'll learn incredible facts about American salaries past and present, including what George Washington earned as President.moreless
  • 2/24/13
    What is life really like in the American mafia? How do you get in, get made and make money? What happens when you get in too deep? This two-hour special takes viewers on a step-by-step journey through the world's most famous criminal organization as lived by one of its most notorious members. It will answer all these questions and more by turning to the ultimate authority: former Colombo family captain Michael Franzese.moreless
  • 2/16/13
    This 2-hour special, narrated by Deon Cole, gives a fresh perspective of the black movement in America, from Emancipation to the Civil Rights era. The special uses first-hand accounts, rare audio recordings, never-before-seen archival footage, and home movies to chronicle African American life as lived by regular people, in their own words, through 150 years of social upheaval.moreless
  • Invisible
    Episode 184
    As we look at the world around us, we think we're seeing things as they really are. But in fact, our human senses can only perceive less than 1% of what's actually there. The rest is invisible. Every day, unseen rays and waves bombard us. All around us there's an infinite, invisible ecosystem of wondrous and sometimes terrifying microorganisms struggling to survive. With the naked eye we can't see the things that are too fast or too slow, too big or too small...until now. In this fascinating documentary, we count down the 40 most amazing things you can't see with the human eye. We use the latest in cutting edge technology, and state of the art CGI animation to reveal the astonishing reality of the invisible world around us.moreless
  • 1/12/13
    Our lives are so full of stuff these days that the average object is instantly forgettable. But, when fate and history combine, even the simplest of objects become infused with destiny--so much so that they actually change the world. It may look like a lump of rock, but if it's a Moon Rock then it stands for mankind's giant leap. And while it's just a twisted loop of steel, if it's a Slinky it bounces us back to our youth. Sometimes a guitar is just a guitar, but if the guitar you're playing is Jimmy Hendrix's, then you're touching a generation. Some objects are one-of-a-kind (King Tut's mask,) others are ubiquitous (the wedding ring,) but they touch us all...personally and universally. They're icons, and without them, the world wouldn't be the same.moreless
  • 12/29/12
    It starts with a spark, but some ideas catch fire and in the process change the world. Necessity is the mother of invention--from darkness, man found light (the candle) and from even the farthest distances we can still find each other (the telephone). But some inventions have transformed our lives far beyond our homes (the steam engine), our planet (the telescope), and our wildest dreams (the Internet). This countdown highlights how human ingenuity comes in all shapes and sizes. Some were born from the humblest means (the hammer) while others push the limits of what was ever believed possible (the airplane). But regardless of the ratio of inspiration to perspiration, each invention to make the cut was destined to change our lives forever.moreless
  • 2012 the End is Now
    Episode 181
    Brad Meltzer connects the dots between ancient doomsday prophecy, modern science, and human behavior to decode the real threats to humanity when an extinction event strikes. Across the country, "preppers" are building and stocking underground bunkers and drawing up escape plans in anticipation of the apocalypse, but will they survive 2012?moreless
  • WW2 From Space
    Episode 181
    This spectacular two-hour special delivers the tipping points of World War II as you ve never seen them before. The key editorial feature of the program is an all-seeing CGI eye; a satellite, flying above earth, bringing a new visual approach to the biggest conflict of all time. Flying through space and time from above, we ll see these monumental moments in their global context, bringing new information to the forefront and explaining how a nation ranked 19th in the world s militaries in 1939, emerged six years later as the planet s only atomic superpower. Our view from above means we can re-interpret WWII; placing key events in perspective, flying around the world to show the importance of simultaneity, revealing the hidden ripple effects of crucial incidents, and re-creating ground-breaking moments that could never have been captured on camera.moreless
  • WW II From Space
    Episode 180
    This spectacular two-hour special delivers the tipping points of World War II as you ve never seen them before. The key editorial feature of the program is an all-seeing CGI eye; a satellite, flying above earth, bringing a new visual approach to the biggest conflict of all time. Flying through space and time from above, we ll see these monumental moments in their global context, bringing new information to the forefront and explaining how a nation ranked 19th in the world s militaries in 1939, emerged six years later as the planet s only atomic superpower. Our view from above means we can re-interpret WWII; placing key events in perspective, flying around the world to show the importance of simultaneity, revealing the hidden ripple effects of crucial incidents, and re-creating ground-breaking moments that could never have been captured on camera.moreless
  • 11/18/12
    Hurricane Sandy was one of the most devastating super storms to hit our shores, claiming over 160 lives and causing billions of dollars in damage. This special examines what happened when Sandy hit and how it happened. We also hunt for clues that could reveal if we are entering an age when bigger, more deadly storms will become a regular occurrence. Is it possible to tell when the next super storm will strike and ultimately will we be prepared?moreless
  • 10/25/12
    Forged over 4.6 billion years, the Earth is stacked with valuable riches, from timber to cattle to gold. Together, these resources have built our greatest civilizations. But what if we could scan the planet as if it were in a checkout line, counting up every tree and every nugget of gold left on Earth in the biggest inventory ever attempted? WHAT'S THE EARTH WORTH will put a price tag on everything the planet has to offer, look at how much we've used through human history and how much is left, to reveal the absolute value of the Earth.moreless
  • Lost Magic Decoded
    Episode 177
    Master illusionist Steve Cohen tracks down, decodes, and resurrects some of the most thrilling and terrifying magic effects ever witnessed. Magic has a secret history, and it takes an insider like Cohen to gain access to the ancient incantations, secret sorcery, and mysterious contraptions that have shocked audiences for centuries. Can their secrets somehow be rediscovered? And can they thrill and shock today's audiences like they once did? Explore the mysteries of how these legendary effects were influenced by their times, and even how the illusions themselves changed the course of history. Steve Cohen discovers that there is much more to magic than meets the eye, and he becomes drawn closer and closer to taking the same sometimes death-defying risks that conjurors have been taking for the sake of an illusion since magic began, over a thousand years ago.moreless
  • 10/11/12
    It is mystery 4.5 billion years in the making: how has our planet transformed, and why? New clues are being discovered not in volcanoes or canyons, but inside each of us. From a case of hiccups to the sensation of d j vu to how we throw a football, quirks of the human body and mind all trace back to enormous transformations on Earth, millions and even billions of years in the past. Inside us are the keys to asteroid impacts, global mass extinctions, and shifting continents...ultimately revealing the epic story of Earth s past--and our own.moreless
  • 10/9/12
    It only takes one person to make a difference and fewer than four years to wreak carnal havoc on the Roman Empire. Through Caligula: 1400 Days of Terror, HISTORY explores the orgies, incest and murderous acts of this reigning lunatic up to his demise at age 28 while looking beyond the legend and into the anguished life of a notorious leader.moreless
  • 10/2/12
    With the help of one controversial magazine challenging the roles of men and women, 20th-century American culture experienced a climax of reformation in sex, the sexes, race relations and freedom of speech. From the boardroom to the bedroom, HISTORY hops into the Playboy realm offering viewers a tantalizing glimpse through the pages of this 50+-year-old empire while discovering How Playboy Changed the World.moreless
  • 9/11/12
    "Known around the world for his vision and ability to turn raw metals into art, Jesse James still has one metalworking discipline he hasn\'t yet mastered. In the special Jesse James Blacksmith on HISTORY, Jesse travels to Israel to study under world-renowned blacksmith Uri Hofi to learn how to forge metal. Uri is Jesse\'s type of guy; over the years, he\'s had the courage to question tradition and convention and has developed new forging systems. Uri teaches his craft all over the world, including inside prisons, and is used to tough guys like Jesse. So when the two strong-willed artisans get together, it can be a clash of the craftsmen. But after absorbing some of Uri\'s very radical ideas, Jesse returns to his shop in Long Beach to apply what he\'s learned to build his most spectacular bike yet.moreless
  • The Godfather Legacy
    Episode 173
    The gripping story of an immigrant family that's held us captive for decades continues to make HISTORY. The Godfather trilogy's epic saga became a phenomenon as a best-selling novel and then burst onto the big screen in 1972. On the eve of its 40th anniversary, it remains one of cinema's most iconic films, and the Corleone family continues to influence popular culture. THE GODFATHER LEGACY includes exclusive interviews with the filmmakers, historians, FBI agents, federal prosecutors, and real Mafiosi whose lives and careers have been changed by the films.moreless
  • History Bee
    Episode 172
    Who was the first U.S. President from New York? What pre-Revolutionary event involved an unauthorized boarding of the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver? This school year, thousands of students from across the U.S. faced tough questions like these in the first annual National History Bee Competition. The top scorers, one from each of 32 regions, qualified for a two-day National Championship held in Washington, D.C. on May 11-12, where one young scholar walked away with a $50,000 scholarship and a national championship title. HISTORY will air the final rounds of this first-ever, fast-paced competition, in which students will race to demonstrate their knowledge of history from a wide array of eras and disciplines. Al Roker will serve as the moderator during the competition, and the special will be hosted by HISTORY/H2's Brian Unger. Joining them as a roving reporter will be Rutledge Wood from Top Gear, along with expert commentator Bob Harris.moreless
  • National History Bee
    Episode 171
    Who was the first U.S. President from New York? What pre-Revolutionary event involved an unauthorized boarding of the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver? This school year, thousands of students from across the U.S. faced tough questions like these in the first annual National History Bee Competition. The top scorers, one from each of 32 regions, qualified for a two-day National Championship held in Washington, D.C. on May 11-12, where one young scholar walked away with a $50,000 scholarship and a national championship title. HISTORY will air the final rounds of this first-ever, fast-paced competition, in which students will race to demonstrate their knowledge of history from a wide array of eras and disciplines. Al Roker will serve as the moderator during the competition, and the special will be hosted by HISTORY/H2's Brian Unger. Joining them as a roving reporter will be Rutledge Wood from Top Gear, along with expert commentator Bob Harris.moreless
  • It was called "unsinkable" and its power to fascinate remains unequalled. How was the ship wounded so quickly by an iceberg, forcing 1500 people beneath the waves of the North Atlantic? To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, HISTORY partnered with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and RMS Titanic, Inc. for the most extensive exploration and imaging ever undertaken of the wreck site in Titanic at 100: Mystery Solved. For the first time, the entire ship and debris field is made visible in stunning HD and 3D-HD. CGI illustrates what happened structurally to the ship, minute by minute, after the collision. Never-before-seen views dramatically underscore this tragic history.moreless
  • Nazi Titanic
    Episode 169
    Nazi Titanic is the amazing and unknown story of one of the most bizarre chapters of WWII. In the middle of the war, Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, who was fascinated by the Titanic, decided to make a movie based on the sinking of the ship. This movie was so large in its scale, the Nazis were forced to divert men, materials and ships from their war effort in order to complete the film. Over the course of production, Herbert Selpin, the movie's original director, clashed with Goebbels over their differing visions for the project. Selpin was arrested by the Gestapo and found dead in his cell the next day. Nazi Titanic reveals this little-known story by investigating the making of the film, what happened to the original, as well as the Ally sinking of the Arcona - the German liner used in the film to represent the Titanic - just days before the end of WWII, and how one Hollywood movie used footage from the Nazi-film to portray the sinking of the Titanic.moreless
  • 3/1/12
    From breakthrough technologies to never before seen weapons and defense systems, Secret Access: Superpower is an all-access pass to America's military might, featuring the most modern weapons taking on the age old challenges of terrorism, war, bomb threats, close combat, the deepest missions of sea and death-defying airborne fights. Hosted by actor/director and military enthusiast, Peter Berg, along with Peter Singer, the noted defense expert and NY Times best-selling author, this two-hour special leads viewers down the war path of America's most remarkable munitions of past and present in an exciting and surprise-filled journey behind the scenes of the world's last remaining superpower.moreless
  • Going Medieval
    Episode 167
    In this two-hour H2 special, historian and weapons expert Mike Loades goes medieval diving deep into the world of the Middle Ages. From the 5th to the 15th centuries, Mike battles the realities vs. the myths of this extraordinary time crusading for the core of real life while delivering fun-filled facts. From living, working and fighting to how to keep a knight's armor shiny using a vigorous rub of sand, vinegar and urine, Going Medieval is an expert account of life during medieval times.moreless
  • In America, behind the public facade of nine of our most famed institutions and landmark structures, there is another world that is hidden from view. The special pierces the veil of secrecy which conceals forbidden histories and fascinating insider information from the public. Go behind the walls of the Washington Monument to reveal a series of secret symbols and codes, one which was put there by one of the world's most mysterious societies. Dig deep into the dark past of Governor's Island and unearth another possible motive for the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. While in the heart of America, the Book of Secrets will uncover the shadowy past of the architect behind the St. Louis Gateway Arch and show how it relates to a theory that the Arch contains mystical powers which ultimately control the weather. Through exclusive channels of access and deep research, viewers will be taken behind the locked doors of seemingly familiar places, into worlds they weren't intended to see.moreless
  • Proving God
    Episode 165
    For centuries, science and faith have been polarized on some of the most fundamental questions in the universe, sometimes with deadly consequences. But as mankind seeks to answer the ultimate question--whether God exists--religion and science have joined in an unlikely alliance. Can new scientific discoveries and digital age technology reveal tangible proof of God? From the far reaches of the cosmos to the inner working of the human mind, scientists and believers around the world are using science to open new frontiers in this ultimate quest.moreless
  • 12/7/11
    This momentous special reveals the untold story of the little-known, yet pivotal, events that occurred after President Roosevelt received the call that Pearl Harbor had been attacked on December 7, 1941. Author Steve Gillon (The Kennedy Assassination: 24 Hours After) has unearthed new evidence from the FDR Library that shows the true panic that gripped the White House and shook the nation. Fearing an aerial attack in Washington, D.C., the underfunded U.S. Army assembled wooden sticks on the White House roof to resemble weapons from above. Concerned that a Japanese assassin might try to take Roosevelt's life as they drove him to Congress to deliver his speech, the Treasury Department used a bulletproof car confiscated from Al Capone. For the first time, the FDR library provides details that offer an intimate look at the paralyzed man behind the presidency, and how he had to be lifted out of bed and placed in braces and straps to hold him upright during his pivotal December 7th speech when he declared it a date which will live in infamy.moreless
  • 1/5/13
    Across borders, cultures and time, food is one thing that all people share. And from the time of the caveman to today s spaceman we like our food to go. While the burger and fries reign supreme in the world of fast food, grub on the go has taken us way past the drive-thru. Quick eats like beef jerky have allowed us to explore new frontiers and pocket-sized portables like protein bars enable us to push our bodies to the limit, no matter the conditions. Fueled by pizza, we have burned the midnight oil, and from the battleground (MREs) to the final frontier (space food,) food is always along for the ride. This is the countdown of fast foods that takes us back, propels us forward, and sometimes even gazes into the future (the fortune cookie.)moreless
  • Pirate Island
    Episode 163
    Isle Saint Marie, a coral-ringed island off the coast of Madagascar, was a safe outpost for the world's most successful and ruthless 18th century pirates to attack ships in the busy shipping lanes of the Indian Ocean. We'll follow underwater explorer Barry Clifford as he reveals the secrets and treasures on and off Isle Saint Marie. Back in 2001, Clifford made only one dive there and found Captain Kidd's flagship Adventure Galle as well as ten other sunken pirate ships. He recovered 11 gold coins in that one dive but had to stop because the Madagascar government was near collapse. What he found remains untouched. And there are promises of up to 10 billion dollars in the "stolen" goods these pirate ship remains could hold. Today, with all permits in place, Clifford is ready to go on a second expedition. And not only will he be diving for treasures, but he'll also be exploring the mysteries of this island and its labyrinth of secret underwater tunnels.moreless
  • Engineering Evil
    Episode 162
    Two years ago, a German family cleaning their attic discovered the original blueprints to one of history's most gruesome constructions - Auschwitz. The diagrams, never before seen on television, illustrate in painstaking detail the methods behind the madness of the Holocaust. While the Holocaust has become a symbol of man's gravest inhumanity, it was as much an elaborate machine as any of man's other inventions.moreless
  • Inside the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
    Like turkey and cranberry sauce, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has become a popular holiday tradition. This history special digs through the history of this great parade and everything it has meant to Thanksgiving.
  • 10/25/11
    Most people believe zombies are a recent phenomenon that grew out of comic books, movies and TV. The truth is very different. This two-hour special explores the real story of zombies beginning at the dawn of civilization and continuing right through to today. The first written reference to zombies can be found in the Epic of Gilgamesh, mankind's oldest work of literature. A look at both the old and new testaments of The Bible reveal numerous stories of the undead. We'll detail how Europe's Black Plague became one of the most prolific periods for myths and legends about zombies. Find out why Viking legends believed zombies were nearly indestructible except by decapitation or immolation. Examine other zombie legends from around the world, including secret stories of China's Terra Cotta Warriors and the voodoo rituals of Haiti. See how modern science added a whole new twist on zombies beginning with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.moreless
  • 10/6/11
    A rapid-fire history of our world, from the beginning of time as we know it to present day. This two-hour CGI-driven special delves into the key turning points: the formation of earth, emergence of life, spread of man and the growth of civilization--and reveals their surprising connections to our world today.moreless
  • Flight 93 Memorial Dedication Ceremony
    The Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, honors the memory of the 40 passengers and crew who died aboard United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001.
  • The Stoned Ages
    Episode 157
    From the early cave dwellers who first stumbled upon psychedelic mushrooms to the over 6000-year-old tradition of opium cultivation in the East to a modern pharmaceutical industry with over 24,000 drugs on the market, drugs have played a role in our lives since well before recorded human history. Explore the reasons we've used drugs through the ages, while considering the devastating consequences that accompany the choice to use certain drugs. This fascinating, fresh, and insightful documentary will ask the question: overall, have drugs done more to help us or hurt us? Host Dean Norris will journey through the millennia and look in on the greatest civilizations in human history to discover if drugs helped these societies flourish or fail and whether drug use was holy or hedonistic, a savior or a curse?moreless
  • Scammed
    Episode 156
    There are essentially five cons that are the basis for every swindle since the dawn of man; today's Nigerian email scam is nothing more than a derivation of a Spanish conquistador's bait-and-switch con that started more than 600 years ago. In Scammed, Paul Wilson, dubbed the "World's Greatest Con Man," and his team take a detailed look inside the complicated schemes and micro-cons that have plagued unsuspecting people for hundreds, even thousands of years, showing how many of these scams not only survived but evolved to be brutally effective with the help of modern technology. In each episode, Paul plays out long cons on designated marks so that he can help expose the cons, hustles and schemes that have victimized so many people, while teaching others how to avoid them. Though the tricks may be the same, the stakes are higher; nowadays more than money is on the line. Social security numbers, bank account information, and loads of private information are there for the taking... but only if you let a con man in.moreless
  • 9/11/11
    HISTORY'S commitment to honoring the memories of 9/11 continues with a modern marvel. The only structure at Ground Zero that will be completed by the tenth anniversary of the attacks is the National September 11 Memorial. Situated on eight acres within the footprints of the Twin Towers, two 30-foot waterfalls will cascade into below-surface reflecting pools, reminiscent of the voids left after the attacks. An illuminated bronze parapet inscribed with the names of the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives on 9/11 and in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing will surround each of the two squares, and a landscaped memorial plaza forested with hundreds of oak trees will form a park-like space around them. Architect Michael Arad goes onsite to describe the design behind his work, and contractor Chris Powers discusses the engineering challenges he faced when bringing Arad's design to life. As the largest pieces of the memorial are trucked into the city and put into place, this one-hour tour documents history in the making.moreless
  • 9/10/11
    At 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2001, American Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Within minutes, a deluge of telephone calls flooded the outside world. Through the voice recordings left by victims of the attacks, Voices From Inside the Towers, a two-hour special from HISTORY, provides for the first time a moving and emotional record of what was taking place inside the towers. With new access to phone messages, both sides of 9-1-1 emergency assistance conversations, survivor stories, and vivid recollections by families of their loved ones' last words, Voices From Inside the Towers combines those fateful moments into a minute-by-minute inside account of what happened after the planes struck. Among the stories: a young man still anguished that he let his brother's last call go to voicemail; a father who had one last heartfelt farewell with his daughter; a wife who finds comfort knowing her husband had a chance to say goodbye; and another wife who, fearing the worst after hearing a frightening message, was relieved to learn her husband had gotten out of the tower in time.moreless
  • 9/11: The Days After
    Episode 153
    The world changed irrevocably on 9/11. HISTORY shows us how. Following in the storytelling tradition of the Emmy Award-winning 102 Minutes That Changed America, 9/11: The Days After chronicles not only the hours, days and weeks after the worst terrorist attack in American history, but also the decade that followed. Beginning on September 12, 2001 - a Wednesday unlike any other - the special uses rarely seen and unexpected archival material from around the world to capture the themes that define us after the attacks and demonstrates how our lives were forever cleaved into "before 9/11" and "after."moreless
  • Clash of the Titans
    Clash of the Titans
    Episode 152
    The gap between winners and losers is narrowing. Rygaard's new greenhorn battles to prove himself, while Conner Aviation's substitute pilot gets wild with the chopper.
  • Targeting Bin Laden
    Episode 151
    He was the world's most wanted terrorist, and his death ended the costliest manhunt in American history. On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, HISTORY tells the inside story of the operation to hunt and kill Osama bin Laden. From decision-making in the White House to SEAL Team Six's attack on the compound in Abbottabad, How We Got Bin Laden weaves minute-by-minute strategies, dangerous tension and explosive action into a compelling drama-documentary. Probing interviews with key politicians, spies, generals, special force operatives, and al Qaeda experts in the U.S. and Pakistan combine rigorous journalistic standards with state-of-the art filmmaking to bring the most compelling story in recent history to life for the first time.moreless
  • The Day the Towers Fell
    This riveting HISTORY special reveals never-before-told stories of eyewitnesses, including amateur and professional photographers, caught in the horror of the World Trade Center tragedy.
  • The Man Who Predicted 9/11
    In 2001, Rick Rescorla, who was the head of security at the Morgan Stanley Bank in the South Tower at the World Trade Center, was convinced that Osama Bin Laden would use jets to try and destroy the World Trade Center.
  • 8/25/11
    Some believe the earliest documentation of alien visitation to Earth exists in prehistoric cave paintings and petroglyphs, where drawings of strange humanoid figures feature distinctively non-human attributes and anatomy, including helmets and other accoutrements too advanced to be from the ancient world.
  • You Don't Know Dixie
    Episode 147
    The idea that history is written by the victors is perhaps nowhere more true than in the aftermath of the American Civil War. The Union's defeat of the Confederacy brought the southern states back into the American fold, but in many ways, the two regions would remain divided, the North inheriting the credit for its impact on history.moreless
  • Meat America
    Episode 146
    Jamie Stachowski, the maestro of meat, lifts the lid on the American melting pot to see what's cooking. Beef, Pork and Chicken, the meats Jamie calls the "Usual Suspects" are definitely in the mix, but these animals weren't even on the continent before Columbus discovered the New World.
  • 7/6/11
    Gathered from archives and attics and now seen for the first time, these extremely-rare home movies tell the story of the children of Joseph and Rose Kennedy, as they grew up in the 1930s and 40s through November 1963, and include scenes of the last weekend Jack and Jackie Kennedy spent with Caroline and John, Jr., just two weeks before Dallas. The movies provide behind-the-scenes footage of the family at their Hyannis Port and Palm Beach homes, and on trips to Europe and Asia. Also featured are never-before-seen home movies filmed by Robert and Ethel Kennedy in the early 1950s. This footage, shot by the Kennedys and their closest friends, allows viewers to experience the forces and personalities that shaped their lives as never before. Interviews with family members of Kennedy friends provide fresh anecdotes and colorful stories, and distinguished historians contribute new insights into this larger-than-life American family.moreless
  • Lee & Grant
    Lee & Grant
    Episode 144
    This special offers an in-depth look at two iconic Civil War figures: Union General Ulysses S. Grant and Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
  • 6/15/11
    The history of the gadget is both the history of invention and the history of men's lives. What alpha male doesn't remember when they achieved mastery of the iPhone, the Swiss Army Knife, the Walkman, the condom? And while gadgets act as milestones in our personal narratives, what goes unnoticed is that gadgets can also change the course of history. How many people know that the transistor radio created rock and roll, or that the audio-cassette overthrew the Shah of Iran? Find out the historically game-changing stories behind the gadgets we now take for granted, from the combination lock to the zippo lighter, to the bra. Experts offer their insights into the gadgets that inspired, amused or confused them as HISTORY conducts a fun, fact-filled countdown to reveal the single most influential gadget ever invented.moreless
  • How the States Got Their Shapes
    Everyone is familiar with the map of the United States, but do you know why our states look the way they do? Every shape on the map tells a great story about our past.
  • Lee & Grant
    Episode 141
    Produced with the cooperation of leading Civil War historian and Forrest Gump author Winston Groom, Lee and Grant is a personal look at the two iconic leaders of the Civil War. Surprising details reveal the bold choices and almost godlike power Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee summoned on decisive battlefields like Vicksburg and Gettysburg that, within days of each other, turned the tide of the war and changed the course of American history.moreless
  • Gettysburg
    Episode 140
    The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here." Abraham Lincoln's iconic Gettysburg Address frames this epic, two-hour HISTORY special, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Executive produced by Tony Scott and Ridley Scott, Gettysburg looks at the battle from a visceral new perspective, that of the everyday soldiers who fought there, in a confrontation that changed the fate of our nation. Stripping away the romanticized veneer of past treatments, Gettysburg conveys new information and honors the sacrifice of those, both North and South, who fought and died in battle. Raw, immersive and emotional, this groundbreaking event puts viewers inside the three-day conflict where over 50,000 men paid the ultimate price.moreless
  • New evidence is highlighted that there may have been a lone survivor of the iconic Battle of Little Big Horn whose account of 'Custer's Last Stand' changes our view of that historical day. Who was the female Cheyenne warrior who struck Custer's fatal blow? Why did he leave his ultimate weapons, three Gatlin guns, on the boat that took him West? HISTORY raises old questions and reveals startling new truths in Custer's Last Man: I Survived Little Big Horn.moreless
  • The Antichrist
    The Antichrist
    Episode 138
    Many believe the antichrist has already come and gone, while others believe he has yet to arrive. This HISTORY special looks at the antichrist from every angle, examining theories of past antichrists and possible future ones.
  • Mysteries of the Garden of Eden
    The biblical Garden of Eden was located east of Israel where four rivers met--The Tigris and Euphrates and the Pison and the Gihoun. The latter two are believed to be mythical, but recent satellite imagery suggests they may have existed after all.
  • Bible Battles
    Bible Battles
    Episode 136
    Historians dig through the religious texts of the Old Testament to unlock the secrets of military weaponry, warriors and strategies held within.
  • 4/20/11
    According to the Bible, Jesus Christ spent 40 days on Earth after his resurrection that first Easter Sunday. Yet the New Testament devotes only a few paragraphs to this pivotal time period. What did Jesus do and say during those incredible 40 days, and can his words then contain his most important teachings now?moreless
  • Weird Warfare
    Episode 134
    Throughout history, mankind's ingenuity has pursued better ways to kill enemies and win wars. But hidden by our more famous inventions lie some highly unusual, sometimes unbelievable efforts. This special reveals the most absurd, ridiculous and radical examples of warfare ever recorded.
  • 3/30/11
    What happens inside the Vatican continues to compel billions of people and change history -- but few get to see it.
  • 3/23/11
    Civilization's final frontier may not be the furthest reaches of space, but the inner world underground. So far, the deepest humans have ventured is just a 500th of the way to the Earth's core. Using CGI, live action, and archives viewers will explore awesome natural wonders, bizarre life forms, and triumphs of human engineering -- all while traveling 5,000 miles to the center of the Earth.moreless
  • Surviving the Swarm
    Surviving the Swarm
    Episode 131
    Logging country is under siege. Melvin's gung-ho attitude puts the crew in danger. While Jimmy is on the prowl for logs, a gator is on the prowl for him. The Swamp Man fights his way through Hurricane Katrina debris, and at Browning, Jay collapses on the job.
  • Boiling Point
    Boiling Point
    Episode 130
    The forest fights back, as a careless mistake at Browning threatens to take out DJ and Cody.�At Pihl, Melvin and Leland face-off in a fight for the yarder seat, and down south, Jimmy's first dive may be his last.
  • Boneless Horror
    Boneless Horror
    Episode 129
    Throughout history there have been sightings of a massive Octopus big enough to attack and sink boats. Could such a creature actually exist?
  • Deeper into the Swamp
    Deeper into the Swamp
    Episode 128
    As the summer heats up, so do the men of the mountain. Shelby heads deeper into the swamp, but the mission may cost him everything. Rygaard breaks in its greenhorns, while Jay Browning takes a gamble on a new yarder operator.
  • Ax to Grind
    Ax to Grind
    Episode 127
    Ax Men is logging coast to coast. Shelby the "Swamp Man" Stanga braves gator-infested waters in search of sunken treasure. Browning, Rygaard, and Pihl are locked in competition as the brutal summer weather heats up.
  • 2/21/11
    We Americans like to think we know our President. We followed him during the campaign, invited him into our living rooms during countless televised appearances and even learned about his cholesterol count after each annual physical at Bethesda.
  • Reagan
    Episode 125
    As we approach what would have been President Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday in 2011, some say the totality of the man is still eclipsed by the myth. Some call him a hero, and others an empty suit, one thing is for certain - President Reagan made history. But what made him?moreless
  • 2/2/11
    A team of top scientists come together with one goal: to create the definitive guide to Bigfoot. Does the creature exist? And if it does where is it? And how can it survive without being detected?
  • 10.0 Megaquake
    Episode 123
    Scientists offer insight into how and where a 10.0 megaquake could strike. This two-hour History special explores one of the most deadly and perplexing mysteries that surrounds planet earth: huge megaquakes.
  • Prophets of Doom
    Episode 122
    Today's world has troubles unique to its time in history, from the global financial crisis to technological meltdowns to full-scale, computerized global war. HISTORY profiles three men "modern prophets" from different disciplines and with different theories who all believe America is on the decline, and will ultimately meet its end.
  • Third Reich: The Fall
    Episode 121
    How did the Germans experience the Allied victory in WWII? Rarely-and never-before-seen amateur films recount the catastrophic downfall of the Third Reich through the eyes of the people who lived it: the Germans themselves.
  • Third Reich: The Rise
    Episode 120
    A unique perspective on the rise of Nazi Germany and how millions of people were so vulnerable to fascism, told through rare and never-before-seen amateur films shot by the Germans who were there.
  • Big Bear
    Big Bear
    Episode 119
    From a 12-foot high sign of the iconic Philip Morris bellhop to vintage carnival rides, Mike and Frank find items that are both unique and valuable.
  • 12/1/10
    Moments after the President of the United States is sworn into office he gains access to "The Nuclear Football," a briefcase that contains the most volatile top-secret information in the world--America's nuclear launch codes.
  • 11/3/10
    America's number one cash crop isn't tobacco or even wheat - it's marijuana! And while recreational use of pot is still illegal, everyone seems to be using it, and a lot of people are making money from it. In this two-hour special event, HISTORY examines the true story of America's chronic relationship with weed, from the growers who supply it to the millions who use it; Marijuana: A Chronic History is an unprecedented journey through marijuana's past, present and future.moreless
  • WWII: The Air War
    Episode 116
    The untold story of the American 8th Air Force's bloody battle to defeat the German Luftwaffe in the months leading up to D-Day. Told through the gripping, first person accounts of three American airmen and Stars & Stripes reporter Andy Rooney, this special showcases breathtaking aerial combat--original, color footage, never before seen by most Americans--of the B-17s Flying Fortresses, P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustangs on missions such as Regensburg, Schweinfurt and Berlin. Never-before-seen 8mm footage of the airmen on the bases, the devastation in Germany, and the Luftwaffe perspective is also highlighted. Flying 25,000 feet above the earth in oxygen-devoid air, and temperatures as low as 50 below zero, the 8th Air Force fought a war unlike anything ever before experienced. By the end, they would suffer more than 26,000 combat deaths--more than the US Marines lost in all of World War II. Narrated by Emmy® nominated actor, Rob Lowe.moreless
  • Back Breaker
    Back Breaker
    Episode 115
    Mike has hurt his back but can't afford time off to recuperate, so the guys dive into a 92-year-old Iowa farmer's unbelievable collection. Later on Mike and Frank find a magnificent jukebox they've just got to have but the prolific Ohio collector doesn't seem willing to part with anything.
  • The Story of Veterans Day
    R. Lee Ermey shows us the real story behind Veteran's Day
  • Washington the Warrior
    The George Washington we all know is larger than life, an icon of mythic proportions. But before becoming "Father" of his country, he was a soldier. How did he become an American icon?
  • The Lincoln Assassination
    The Lincoln Assassination is The History Channel documentary that goes behind the assassination of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The legendary President was an outspoken opponent of slavery, issuing his famous Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and passing the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution which abolished slavery. In 1864, Lincoln was struck down by an assassin. A well-known actor and Confederate spy, John Wilkes Booth, had been formulating a plan to kidnap the President to get Confederate prisoners released. When he saw a speech where Lincoln was promoting voting rights for blacks, he changed his plans and decided to kill the President. When Lincoln was at Ford Theater, Booth found his opportunity when the President was left unguarded in his state box. Lincoln was shot at point-blank range and died hours later. Now The History Channel revisits the story to try to untangle the myths, as well as explain the emotional state of the country that brought such a violent act.moreless
  • The Road to Nowhere
    The Road to Nowhere
    Episode 111
    In this Episode of Life After People: What happens to the world when mankind stops traveling around it? Oil refineries become ticking timebombs, The Motor City breaks down, and bizarre creatures stake their claim to territories previously dominated by Man.
  • Abductions
    Episode 110
    The UFO Hunters take a look at the some of the infamous abduction cases.
  • On Friday the 13th of October 1972, a charter plane carrying 45 rugby team members crashed in the remote Andes Mountains. For 72 days, the world thought they were dead. But what 16 survivors endured was far worse than death, driven to what would become headline-making acts of cannibalism in their struggle for life. I Am Alive: Surviving the Andes Plane Crash presents one of the most remarkable human survival stories of all time as it has never been told before: through the first person, on-camera account of survivor Nando Parrado. Nando's simple, yet powerfully evocative storytelling allows viewers to experience the nearly two and half months of heroism and tragedy through the eyes and memories of the man who lived it. A window for viewers into the history of other stories of extreme survival, Nando's account is accompanied by new, high-resolution imagery of photos shot by the survivors throughout their ordeal, rarely seen footage of the crash site, as well as blended CGI/live action re-creations of the crash itself and the amazing struggle for survival that followed.moreless
  • 6/22/10
    Did other explorers beat Columbus to our shores? New evidence suggests that America may have been discovered -- and rediscovered -- by Asian, Celtic, and Polynesian tribes, among others. Dramatic recreations augment the story of these amazing journeys.
  • What Went Down: The Alamo
    Experience what it would have been like to be present at history's most world-changing moments in What Went Down, the gripping series from HISTORY that serves as an HD time machine to the past. From the showdown at the Alamo to the cockpit of a Japanese plane at Pearl Harbor, What Went Down brings crucial historical events vividly to life. With the help of top CGI artists and on-location experts, each detail of these earth-shaking moments is meticulously investigated and researched, allowing viewers to see history from firsthand angles and points of view, as if they were there themselves. Watch as Bill Chemerka, founder of the Alamo Historical Society, helps a production team re-create a view from above that would have been impossible to see in 1836, and follow Dr. Donald Goldstein on a site survey in Pearl Harbor to see the lucky shot that sunk the USS Arizona battleship on December 7th, 1941. Witness these crucial periods in history as never before what they looked like, what they sounded like what went down.moreless
  • 10/10/09
    Experience what it would have been like to be present at history's most world-changing moments in What Went Down, the gripping series from HISTORY that serves as an HD time machine to the past. From the showdown at the Alamo to the cockpit of a Japanese plane at Pearl Harbor, What Went Down brings crucial historical events vividly to life. With the help of top CGI artists and on-location experts, each detail of these earth-shaking moments is meticulously investigated and researched, allowing viewers to see history from firsthand angles and points of view, as if they were there themselves. Watch as Bill Chemerka, founder of the Alamo Historical Society, helps a production team re-create a view from above that would have been impossible to see in 1836, and follow Dr. Donald Goldstein on a site survey in Pearl Harbor to see the lucky shot that sunk the USS Arizona battleship on December 7th, 1941. Witness these crucial periods in history as never before what they looked like, what they sounded like what went down.moreless
  • 6/18/09
    America's myth makers don't like to look into defeats for their heroes. The disaster at Pearl Harbor was such a national humiliation that its chroniclers didn't care to remind the home front of its dead and ravaged. And never mind how hard and how well many of them had fought back, mostly unseen and unhonored. This program repays a debt long outstanding. The special shows that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was so overwhelming in its surprise and force that almost every United States soldier, sailor or Marine that rallied himself to resist it made himself part of a doomed and heroic last stand. It describes how badly these unsung heroes were let down by luck, fate and bureaucracy, shining even brighter light on their valor. The gripping special takes the viewer to the actual locations where unsung heroes fought and died, with live blow-by-blow accounts of the tragedy. The viewer visits the ambushed airfields where a whole air force died on the ground, the string of mooring quays still in place holding the ghosts of sunken battleships, the greatest of the American memorials above the annihilated Arizona ... and the forgotten memorial where the Utah and her crew died with honor. The thundering details of the doomed and epic run for the sea of the Nevada, and the horrific entombment and rescue of sailors in the capsized Oklahoma come out of the mouths of the men who lived that terrible day.moreless
  • Underwater Universe
    Episode 104
    Throughout history, tidal waves have drowned us, storm surges have sunk cities, and hurricanes and cyclones fueled by the ocean have blown away all in their path. Today, science forecasts that the oceans are getting fiercer, rising up to reshape our coastlines and create untold devastation, social unrest and economic crisis. Underwater Universe tracks the history and evolution of the ocean's seven deadliest zones locations that throughout history have been the direct cause of human devastation by floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, whirlpools, ice, underwater volcanoes, and shipping graveyards. Using expedition footage, 3D animation, and commentary from leading oceanographers, HISTORY helps depict the awesome cosmic and geological fluctuations that make the oceans deadly over time. See how, with advances in navigation, engineering, and meteorology, people today have learned to avoid some of these catastrophes. But our sophisticated technologies have also created new threats, and the possibility that our own actions are making the oceans deadlier is becoming greater.moreless
  • Titanic's Final Moments
    In August 2005, John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, hosts of THC's "Deep Sea Detectives," led an expedition to the wreck of RMS Titanic. Diving 2 ½ miles down in Russian submersibles, they searched outside the known debris field for new evidence. On their final dive they made an extraordinary find: two large intact sections of Titanic's bottom hull, in pristine condition with the red bottom paint still on them.moreless
  • 6/8/09
    1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic has inspired years of conjecture and speculation, including numerous conflicting theories about how and why the liner plunged into the depths. In August 2005, a HISTORY expedition to Titanic, led by John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, found two huge intact sections of the ship's bottom, the original red paint still on them. Based on preliminary analysis of these pieces, a panel of experts led by naval architect Roger Long concluded that, due to a previously unknown design flaw, the world famous vessel broke apart earlier in its sinking than had been thought. When Chatterton and Kohler's research vessel is recalled by the Russian government on a 2006 return trip to the Titanic wreck, the duo heads to Greece to dive Titanic's lost sister ship, the Britannic. Titanic's Achilles Heel examines the hypothesis they formed while there that Titanic did have a fatal design flaw, and the Britannic was quietly modified in order to correct the problem. Watch in this revealing special as the HISTORY team continues its work, and answers emerge slowly from the murky depths of the Mediterranean Sea.moreless
  • 12/12/08
    The White House has been home to America's presidents and their families for more than 200 years. It is the most photographed and toured residence in the country, but inside access to television cameras is normally off limits. Now, almost half a century since Jackie Kennedy took viewers on a personal tour of the home, HISTORY goes behind the velvet ropes at America's most famous address, giving the country a long overdue look inside. Join in as President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush guide our cameras through the public places at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, offering a glimpse of the private residence normally off-limits to cameras. Accompanying President and Mrs. Bush on the tour will be America's foremost antique experts, Leigh and Leslie Keno, of Antique Roadshow fame. Throughout the visit, some of the most intriguing questions about the White House and its famous residents will be answered. From who installed running water, to who commissioned the construction of the famous balcony off the third floor's private quarters and what happened to the White House swimming pool, The White House: Behind Closed Doors reveals the secrets of America's most recognizable residence.moreless
  • 6/1/09
    Is Pro Wrestling on the level or is it fake? And, if it's fake, was it ever really real to being with? THE UNREAL STORY OF PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING traces the evolution of an American ritual from respectable sport to performance art. The two-hour A&E documentary examines the world's oldest sport from both a historical and sociological point of view. Featured are such wrestling legends and innovators as Strangler Lewis, Gorgeous George, Killer Kowalski, The Fabulous Moolah, Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan. Interviewees include stars of yesterday and today.moreless
  • From the Jungles of Congo to the mountains of Bolivia and streets of Havana...Che was everywhere. A righteous Robin Hood to some, a war-mongering menace to others, Che Guevara's quest to expand revolution across the globe would have armies dying to crush him, and thrust him into a life cloaked in danger, mystery and intrigue. Che's almost god-like power to inspire insurrection would also inspire CIA plots, espionage missions, and a host of covert military action. With ambitions to start a third world war, his life would finally come to an end inside a ramshackle schoolhouse in a remote village in Bolivia. The True Story of Che not only captures the making of a legend, but also sheds light on the turbulent relationship between Cuba and the United States for the past 40 years.moreless
  • The True Story of Charlie Wilson's War
    As incredible as anything in the pages of Tom Clancy or John le Carré, this is a gripping story of international intrigue, booze, drugs, sex, high society and arms deals. It is the true story of Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's and CIA operative Gust Avrakotos's covert dealings in Afghanistan, and how they armed the Afghan Mujahideen in what became the CIA's largest and most successful campaign in history. Their goal was to turn Afghanistan into the Soviet Union's Vietnam. The effort would blow back to haunt America into the next century.moreless
  • The Templar Code
    Episode 97
    For nearly two centuries, the Knights Templar were the medieval world's most powerful order, a fearsome and unstoppable Crusader militia. Then came accusations of unspeakable crimes. Who were the Templars, really? How did they become so powerful, so fast, and why did they fall just as quickly? Evidence hints that the Templars excavated under Jerusalem's Temple of Solomon. What did they find there? Was it, as The Da Vinci Code suggests, the true identity of the Holy Grail--the bloodline of Christ? Or an unimaginable treasure, documented in the Dead Sea Scrolls, buried 1,000 years before Christ's birth? We explore the Templar's origin, how they lived, trained, fought and became a medieval world power, and the suspicious circumstances behind their sudden downfall. Plus, we reveal why these warriors, dead for seven centuries, and their treasure still populate Hollywood blockbusters. Narrated by Ed Herrmann and featuring preeminent Templar authors.moreless
  • The Real Wolfman
    The Real Wolfman
    Episode 96
    In the mid 1700s, a mysterious beast viciously attacked and killed 102 villagers in the French village of Gevaudan. The victims, mostly women and children, were mauled and decapitated, their naked bodies all bearing the bite marks of a non-human creature. The killings mark the largest number of alleged werewolf attacks in history and are the basis of the Hollywood Wolfman legend. Venture deep into the mythology and folklore of werewolves with renowned cryptozoologist Ken Gerhardt and veteran criminal profiler George Deuchar as they investigate this reviled creature that brutally kills when the moon is full. In their investigation, they uncover intriguing paranormal transformations, diseases that make men look and act like animals, strange but true stories of children raised by wolves and, eventually, the dark side of human nature in the horrific truth behind the Gevaudan werewolf attacks.moreless
  • The Real Tomb Hunters: Snakes, Curses and Booby Traps
    Fighting Nazis; grabbing golden treasure; fleeing angry natives; dodging pitfalls in a booby-trapped temple--we all know how fictional explorers and archaeologists spend their days. But does real life compare? We follow some of the most daring archaeologists and take on the dangers they face--Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass steps into a booby-trapped tomb; American Arthur Demarest fights looters in the jungles of Cancuen; and in Chiapas, angry villagers kidnap Australian-born Peter Mathews. We also examine stories of past explorers who helped shape the "Indiana Jones" stereotype--paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews battled venomous snakes and Mongol bandits in the Gobi Desert; John Pendlebury, the British archaeologist, fought Nazis on Crete; and Sylvanus Morley, who was the first American archaeologist/spy.moreless
  • The Plague
    Episode 92
    It began like the common cold. Then fever, baseball-sized black swellings on the neck, coughing of blood. Few lived more than two days. The year--1347. It was history's worst biological disaster and almost half of Europe's population died within three years. Visit the plague ships' rat-infested holds, witness the terror that swept through the towns, and walk with the religious flagellants. Follow a princess as she travels into the center of the plague, a doctor who struggles to understand what is happening, and a Jewish merchant caught up in violent attacks. Hear the actual words of the victims, taken from diaries and journals. From the Pope's palace to the humble huts of medieval peasants, watch as people live and die in the unforgiving grip of fear and death, and wonder how we would act if such a terrible event happened today.moreless
  • The People Speak
    The People Speak
    Episode 91
    Using dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries and speeches of everyday Americans, The People Speak focuses on the concept of democracy based on the lives and experiences of ordinary Americans who, through their words and actions, changed the course of history. Narrated by Howard Zinn and based on his bestselling book, A People's History of the United States, and Voices of a People's History, this groundbreaking documentary film illustrates the relevance of these passionate historical moments to our society today, reminding us that democracy is not a spectator sport and to never take liberty for granted. A journey from the founding of this country to the civil rights movement and beyond, The People Speak uses star power to celebrate democracy: executive producer Matt Damon reads from The Declaration of Independence; Bruce Springsteen performs Woody Guthrie'sThis Land is Your Land; while other accomplished performers, including Morgan Freeman, Marisa Tomei, Josh Brolin, Viggo Mortensen, Kerry Washington, Bob Dylan and Eddie Vedder lend their voices to help re-create the emotional impact of these moments in history.moreless
  • The Lost Pyramid
    Episode 90
    On the edge of the Giza Plateau, a team of archaeologists is uncovering a giant pyramid. As they excavate deep into the pyramid chambers, evidence shows this is the lost fourth pyramid of Giza. Its construction five thousand years ago had been a race against time. In seven short years between gaining power and his death, the aging pharaoh Radjedef had been determined to exceed the achievements of his hated father, the great Khufu, the most powerful pharaoh Egypt ever knew. Radjedef would stamp his supremacy in this world and the next by erecting the highest pyramid ever built, towering some 60 feet above Khufu's Great Pyramid of Giza. Over the next five millennia Radjedef's pyramid was forgotten and almost buried beneath the encroaching desert sands on a remote edge of the Giza plateau, and its significance to the three great pyramids was lost. Today, the top is missing because parts of it had been removed and recycled over the millenia to build old Cairo; it was more vulnerable to man's destruction than the other three because of its more remote location. The sand had reclaimed some of the lower parts of the pyramid as well. For these reasons, archaeologists and Egyptologists did not make the connection with the pyramids at Giza until recently. Today, it's only with positive re-identification that American and English Egyptologists, including Michel Vallogia of Geneva University, Joanne Rowlands of Oxford University, and led by the Head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr Zahi Hawass, have rediscovered the fourth and greatest of the pyramids. The History Channel will have exclusive rights to the excavation itself, the final positive identification and all the scientific revelations that are being found about it. By tunnelling under the fourth pyramid and using advanced technology, including ground-penetrating radar, the experts will lay bare the structure of Radjedef's pyramid, identify its layout, and establish the individual chambers. Themoreless
  • The Knights Templar
    Episode 89
    For nearly two centuries, the Knights Templar was the most powerful order in the medieval world. Despite the Knights' long reign of power, the order experienced a sudden collapse in the early fourteenth century when certain members stood accused of unspeakable crimes and were subsequently tortured and killed. Today, the group's legacy has been popularized in the writings of Dan Brown, and is played out in an array of Hollywood blockbusters and numerous other works of literature. This insightful program from HISTORY interviews some of the world's leading biblical scholars and visits historic sites throughout Europe and the Near East to probe the remarkable rise and rapid descent of this powerful and obscure order. Did the Knights Templar, as many believe, guard the Holy Grail? Or was the object of their attentions buried a thousand years before the birth of Christ?moreless
  • In 2009, 46 years after he was shot, JFK will be gone for as long as he was alive. While the moments and hours after his tragic assassination were some of the most formative and important for our country, that story has rarely, and only partially, been told. For the first time, using never-before-seen transcripts only recently made public, this film pieces together the 24-hour period after those fateful shots were fired. The timeline reveals startling new information about the death of the president and the dramatic transfer of power to his successor, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson. From new details about when JFK really died, to the truth behind LBJ's oath of office photo on Air Force One, The Kennedy Assassination: 24 Hours After uncovers an unfamiliar story born out of one of the most crucial days in American history.moreless
  • The Hunt for John Wilkes Booth
    It was the largest manhunt in history - ten thousand federal troops, detectives and police hunted those responsible for the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The conspiracy was vast - an effort to decapitate the United States government at the end of the Civil War. The manhunt was intense - ending 12 days later in a fiery showdown with the man who pulled the trigger - John Wilkes Booth.moreless
  • The Guns of Afghanistan
    The history of Afghanistan is a history of resistance. The small country's strategic location at the heart of central Asia has made it the target of such formidable invaders as Alexander the Great, the British Empire and the Soviet Red Army. For centuries, defiant Afghan warriors have repelled foreign aggressors through a combination of unconventional tactics and the adoption and mastery of increasingly advanced weaponry. In this episode of "Tales of the Gun," leading historians, weapons experts, veterans of both the Afghan and Soviet armies and the former chief of the CIA Afghan Task Force discuss the unique history of firearms in Afghanistan. Some of the many weapons covered include the indigenous Jezail flintlock musket, the ubiquitous AK-47 assault rifle imported from Russia and the Stinger anti-aircraft missile supplied to Mujahideen rebels by the CIA in the 1980's.moreless
  • The French Revolution
    18th-century France was the world's wealthiest nation with the most powerful king, best-educated population, and strongest army in Europe. But it also boasted an exploding national debt (partly due to the King's support of the American Revolution) and an increasingly restless middle and lower class. On July 14, 1789, the festering boil of discontent erupted when a ragtag mob of Parisians stormed the Bastille, seizing arms and gunpowder and instituting a decade of revolutionary ideals and a murderous cycle of carnage. The French Revolution shook the very foundations of monarchy, destroyed the last vestiges of feudalism, and planted the seeds of modern politics, diplomacy, and nationalism. Travel back to the heady days of the guillotine and meet the rebels and rebelled against, including Marie-Antoinette, Louis XVI, Maximilien Robespierre, Jean-Paul Marat, Georges Danton, and Charlotte Corday.moreless
  • The Exodus Decoded
    The Exodus Decoded
    Episode 84
    At the very heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam lies the story of the Exodus, an epic tale of plagues, miracles and revelations. But the truth behind these events has been obscured by faith and time--until now. After six years of unprecedented research, host Simcha Jacobovici and a team of renowned archeologists, Egyptologists, geologists, and theologians shed revelatory new light on the Exodus and the era's ruling Egyptian Dynasty. Their new theory pushes events hundreds of years earlier than previously thought, allowing age-old stories to sparkle with new perspectives and startling historical import. Using elaborate, state-of-the-art CGI, The Exodus Decoded offers a stunning virtual account of stories like the birth of Moses, the ten plagues, and the parting of the Red Sea, revealing once and for all the difference between acts of nature and the hand of God.moreless
  • The Dark Ages
    Episode 83
    The Roman Empire, rotten to the core by the fifth century, lay open to barbarian warriors. Europe was beset by famine, plague, persecutions, and a state of war that was so persistent it was only rarely interrupted by peace. These centuries are remembered today as the Dark Ages. Beneath this cloak of darkness were people like Charlemagne, St. Benedict and the Empress Theodora who helped to bridge the gap of civilization between Rome and the Renaissance. Ultimately, these points of light would illuminate the darkness, and Western Europe would rise from the Dark Ages to a level of cultural and political power unseen for a thousand years.moreless
  • The Crusades: Crescent & The Cross, Pt. 2
    In 1099 the Crusaders took Jerusalem in the bloodiest of battles, wrenching it back from the Muslims for the first time in 400 years. But, over the decades that followed, the Islamic world dreamed of fighting back. In 1144 the Muslims seized the city of Edessa from the Christians. The news reverberated back to Europe, and the Pope called for a Second Crusade. But this Crusade was a disaster. It failed to expand the Christian empire, and strengthened the resolve of the Muslims. Under their great leader, Saladin, the Muslim swept through the Christian Kingdom taking town after town. In 1187 he took Jerusalem. This shocked the west into responding, with a Third Crusade. Led by Richard the Lionheart they defeated Saladin and marched on Jerusalem. Richard failed to take the city and the Third Crusade failed.moreless
  • The Crusades: Crescent & The Cross, Pt. 1
    The shadow of war between Christian and Muslim hangs over us today, but it is a war that began nearly a thousand years ago. By the close of the 11th century, Jerusalem had been in Muslim hands for over 400 years. In 1095 Pope Urban II launched an unprecedented military campaign to seize it back--a "Crusade" to purge the Holy Land of "the infidel". Over 60,000 Christian warriors would journey 3000 miles and for almost three years to reclaim the Holy City in the name of God. But their adversaries, the Turkish warlords of the Middle East would resist them every step of the way. In a series of epic battles and bloody massacres, tens of thousands would die as the crusaders inched ever closer towards Jerusalem.moreless
  • The Brain
    Episode 80
    The Brain is a voyage of discovery into the evolutionary history of our last biological frontier. From early civilizations' attempts at neurosurgery to today's robotic laser surgery, revolutionary new techniques are finally unlocking the story of the brain. As a result we've learned more in the last 5 years than in the past 100. Using simple analogies, real examples, and state of the art CGI this series will explain how the brain grows, show why it's so delicate and so resilient, and unravel the mystery of consciousness. We'll see life through the eyes of living case studies, from newborns to college football stars. And we'll travel inside the minds of people in extreme situations: How does a soldier make decisions under fire? What makes us good or evil? And why do autistic people like the "Rain Man" display such breathtaking skills?moreless
  • 2/26/09
    Living in the Soviet Republic of Belorussia during World War II, Tuvia, Asael and Zus Bielski saved more than twelve-hundred of their fellow Jews from perishing in the Holocaust, yet their story has largely gone untold. The Bielski's built an elaborate village in the woods, from which they rescued Jews and mounted guerilla attacks against the Nazis. Their forest haven included a gun workshop, a bakery, a synagogue, a communal bath and even a theater company. Containing interviews with Bielski Brigade survivors in the United States, Israel and Great Britain, we proudly pay tribute to three of the greatest unsung heroes of the Holocaust.moreless
  • 11/23/09
    Join ever-acerbic comedian Lewis Black on an odyssey through history to rediscover and understand the origins of the "Big Four" holidays - Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah and New Year's. Once the "happiest season of all," it's hard to deny that the 35 days between Thanksgiving and New Year's have become weighed-down with enough stress and anxiety - the shopping, the wrapping, the eating, the drinking, the card-writing, the obligations, the office parties, the pressures, the bills - to make even the most cheery holiday-goers bitter. What's with Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, and New Year's? Are we losing touch with our most important holidays and with what made them, well...holidays? And what can we do about it? Armed with history and humor, and filled with the knowledge and advice of experts and fellow comedians, Surviving the Holidays with Lewis Black targets the holidays in an effort to preserve the ideals they are meant to represent, and to help us all relax and reconnect with the joy of the season.moreless
  • Stealing Lincoln's Body
    Before Lincoln finally came to rest in a steel-and-concrete-reinforced underground vault in Springfield, the President's body was repeatedly exhumed and moved, his coffin frequently opened. In 1876, eleven years after Abraham Lincoln's assassination, a band of Chicago counterfeiters plotted to steal Lincoln's body and hold it for ransom. Their plan was to demand $200,000 and the release of the gang's master engraver, who was in prison in Illinois. The Secret Service--recently formed to deal with the country's ballooning counterfeiting problem--infiltrated the gang with an informer. It also set in motion a cringe-inducing chain of events in which a group of well-intentioned, self-appointed guardians took it upon themselves to protect Lincoln's remains by any means necessary. This strange story of Lincoln at un-rest reveals how important this man was to so many, and perhaps our reluctance to let such a beloved and visionary leader go.moreless
  • Sputnik Mania
    Episode 76
    October 4, 2007 is the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik, the first man-made object ever to leave the atmosphere and successfully orbit the earth. By the end of that year, nothing was the same. Sputnik spurred us into an arms and space race, and forced the US to pull together an academic army of scientists and engineers. This led to the development of NASA, massive reforms in our education system, and the discoveries that enabled many of the consumer technologies on which we depend today. Sputnik Mania tells the satellite's story from America's point of view. Like today, 1957 was a time of fear. In place of Al Qaeda, dirty bombs, and the war in Iraq, there were the Soviets, hydrogen bombs, and the Cold War. The world's two superpowers were hell-bent on beating one another by any means necessary. The film leads us through the first year following the launch of Sputnik. Paralleling the shocks we felt in the aftermaths of Pearl Harbor and September 11, Sputnik Mania sings the uncannily prophetic song of the past to the tune of the present. It tells a story of great relevance to the issues of the 21st century. As the film's epilogue asks: what will be our next "Sputnik moment" -- the event that drives us to address these and other challenges?moreless
  • Sherman's March
    Episode 73
    Known affectionately as "Uncle Billy" by Union soldiers, but reviled in the South as a brutal war criminal, General William Tecumseh Sherman is one of the truly enigmatic and complex figures in the American pantheon. His legacy was built during a five-week campaign of terror and destruction that would become known as "total war". Sherman ordered his troops to burn crops, kill livestock, destroy railroads, pilfer food supplies and to make sure the South's civilian infrastructure was shattered. Although the concept had been around for centuries, this is the first time in modern warfare that total war was used to such an extensive degree. First Savannah was captured, and then he marched from Georgia through South Carolina and burned the capital to the ground. On the heels of Sherman's destructive onslaughts, the Confederacy officially conceded victory to the Union on April 9, 1865.moreless
  • Peer into the sex life of the ancients, from the princes and queens of Egypt to the prostitutes of Pompeii, in these two revealing episodes of Sex in the Ancient World. Observe with HISTORY the world's first sex manual, the Egyptian Turin Papyrus, and a wonderfully preserved brothel in Pompeii where pleasure-seeking male and female clients expressed multiform desires. From Egypt's fascinating tombs and temples, where the sex lives of the ancient Egyptians have been hidden from history for centuries, to the backstreets of Pompeii, where the perfectly preserved imprints of prostitutes' sandals, designed to leave arrows with the words this way on the dusty streets, Sex in the Ancient World Egypt and Pompeii make public the once concealed practices and private pleasures of these earliest of civilizations.moreless
  • Sex In '69: Sexual Revolution In America
    Travel back to 1969 and uncover fascinating trends, people and events that forever changed the way Americans think about and have sex. Viewers will travel from the Playboy Penthouse in Los Angeles to San Francisco's Hippie crash pads, New York's Gay bathhouses, the boardwalk in Atlantic City, a court room in Miami, and other spots across America to meet some of the women and men who found themselves caught between old values and new desires in 1969, and decided to do something about it. Some of them, like Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner, actors Dyan Cannon and Jim Brown, and Ray Manzarek of The Doors, will be famous. Others will be average Americans whose lives were transformed by the sexual tides coursing through the nation as the Sixties came to a close. But they will all have one thing in common--they will all have fascinating stories to tell.moreless
  • Seven Signs of the Apocalypse
    War, famine, plague According to the Book of Revelation in the Bible, these are three of the four horsemen of a coming apocalypse. The fourth? The anti-Christ, in human form, walking somewhere among us. Could this 2,000-year-old prophecy actually come true? And could it be about to happen today? In this fascinating special, History decodes the ancient prophecy, which consists of seven signs within seven signs within seven more signs, and examines whether any of them could be linked to real or potential occurrences today, occurrences such as asteroids, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, red tides, global warming and plagues. Explore what would happen if the seven signs prophecy were to unfold right now. A word of warning: the prophecy ends with Armageddon, the final battle between good and evil.moreless
  • 11/16/08
    The Koran is one of the most important works ever written. For almost one billion people worldwide, it is the Holy Scripture, the word of God and his prophet. For others, it is a historical artifact that has left an indelible imprint on the world. Decoding the Past: Secrets of the Koran probes the heart of the work that many outside Islam find mysterious. This feature-length program examines the history of the verses and their implications for modern times, as well as the striking similarities and differences between the Koran and the Bible. Trace the influence of the Koran from the Golden Age of Islam to the modern rise of jihadism, and hear from top Islamic scholars and holy men as they share their insights into the work that lies at the foundation of one of the world's great religions.The History Channel provides the perfect guide to understanding the fundamental work that has shaped the Muslim faith for over 1,400 years, and will long continue to influence modern history.moreless
  • Secrets of Kabbalah
    Secrets of Kabbalah
    Episode 68
    An ancient, inspirational form of Jewish mysticism, Kabbalah has now reached cult-like popularity among celebrities and throughout America. But what is behind the new found fascination with this sacred body of wisdom? Once exclusively reserved for study by ultra-religious male scholars of Judaism, Kabbalah has recently become known as a multi-million dollar, celebrity-endorsed phenomenon. Secrets of Kabbalah strips away the hype and demystifies the writings that have been studied by Jewish scholars for thousands of years. Is the Kabbalah of the stars the same Kabbalah that Jewish scholars have studied for generations? Even as more and more people are seen wearing the red string bracelets associated with Kabbalah, the original teachings behind this seemingly new fad are in fact understood by precious few. The History Channel traces Kabbalah from its spiritual foundations to the present-day high-glamor incarnation in this fascinating program that debunks the myths surrounding this awe-inspiring ancient philosophy.moreless
  • Secrets of Body Language
    Most people think they communicate primarily with words, but research shows only 7% of understanding comes from the words we speak. The bulk of communication 93% occurs through our gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice and body movement. Delve into the science of non-verbal signals as Secrets of Body Language exposes a fascinating world of non-verbal communication that goes well beyond words. From President Franklin D. Roosevelt, to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and 2008 presidential hopefuls Senators Barack Obama and John McCain, see how politicians and celebrities use the subtle movements of body language to persuade masses, establish power, and advance careers. Watch as experts, proficient in decoding how people use their bodies, their voices and their faces, deconstruct video footage of movie stars, sports figures and criminals to show the truth behind the spoken word, and see scientific experiments expose the extent to which people are manipulated by non-verbal communication, even when they are totally unaware of it.moreless
  • Secret Societies
    Episode 66
    They are the subject of controversy and curiosity, clandestine organizations with members that include incredibly powerful individuals, political leaders and the super-rich. Delve into the tightly guarded world of secret societies as HISTORY attempts to lift the veil of mystery surrounding groups like the Skull & Bones, Bilderbergs, Tri-Lateral Commission and Council on Foreign Relations. Who belongs to these groups? What are their goals? Why are they so secretive? And do they, as a growing number of people believe, really exert an influence over our lives through a process that is largely invisible? Historians examine a number of these groups, both past and present, and help document what is known about their origins and aims. Hear from conspiracy theorists who believe these secret societies are scheming to take over the world and others who contend that they already have, and heed the warnings from some who believe the fears about these organizations may be justified.moreless
  • Secret Access: Air Force One
    Viewers will go where only the most elite insiders from the highest levels of the US government are allowed--on board Air Force One. Discover what makes this uniquely modified Boeing 747 faster, more secure, more comfortable and more capable than any other comparable plane. Take a 20,000-mile voyage through the heart of Africa and join the crew and privileged passengers on one of Air Force One's most challenging missions.moreless
  • Samurai
    Episode 64
    More than 350 years after his death, Miyamoto Musashi is celebrated in Japan as a national hero. The ultimate warrior of the Samurai era, his innovative fighting style is still taught and used by martial artists today. In the two-hour special Samurai, HISTORY follows modern-day martial artist and actor Mark Dacascos as he journeys to Japan in search of the life and legacy of this enigmatic warrior. Musashi's inventive style of combat was so effective that even modern businessmen the warriors of the 21st century model their cutthroat culture on his philosophies of strategic warfare. Yet by the end of his violent life of killing, Musashi had become a celebrated artist, poet and philosopher. In his search for the samurai spirit, Dacascos visits iconic Japanese landmarks associated with Musashi's legendary battles, learns the secret ancient craft of forging a samurai sword, and rides in a simulated battle wearing genuine centuries-old samurai gear. He also meets and trains with modern-day masters of the great warrior's renowned two-sword fighting style, and travels to the place where Musashi spent his final, redemptive years of peaceful reflection as an artist and author.moreless
  • 11/7/09
    When the Berlin Wall was built with a few railway cars and a lot of barbed wire in August 1961, no one could have foreseen its rise and fall. In this two-hour special, HISTORY? uses computer imagery to reconstruct how the wall grew from a mere and far-from-mighty obstacle to seven concentric walls with ditches, fences, signal wires, tank-traps and a flood-lit death strip patrolled by half-starved dogs - a nearly impenetrable barrier with a 96-mile circumference, 245 bunkers and 302 watchtowers. The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall gets firsthand accounts from the people who tried to escape this "Wall of Death" by any means possible, including tunnels, hot air balloons, wind surfing boats, bi-planes and a cable railway. Additional interviews with border guards, security officials who designed the wall and Stasi men who protected it, politicians, historians and journalists help breathe life into this infamous border.moreless
  • In this hour, experts dissect the Bernie Madoff $50 billion Ponzi scheme -- how it began, how it was carried out, and how the government missed it. What Madoff did is compared and contrasted with other Ponzi schemes throughout history and the economic climate and historical context in which they appear.moreless
  • 3/2/08
    The existence and location of the Ark of the Covenant has remained one of the most enduring mysteries in archaeology. Professor Tudor Parfitt from London's School of Oriental and African Studies will reveal where he believes the Ark is. Parfitt is well-known for discovering that the Lemba tribe in Zimbabwe is one of the lost tribes of Israel. Follow this global quest-detective as he decodes ancient texts and pieces together clues. Ultimately he builds a picture of what he thinks the Ark looks like and where it is. The journey takes viewers through Israelite wars, Philistine shrines, Solomon's Temple and Africa to the final, critical clue which led Parfitt to its current location.moreless
  • Primal Fear
    Episode 60
    Primal Fear will be a two-hour Special detailing our most pervasive and terrifying fears. Each fear -- buried alive, eaten alive, drowning, burned alive, vermin, and the unknown - will be explored by looking at its history, the science behind it, and a contemporary experience. The history will examine the roots of each fear, when the fear flourished, how the fear has changed over time, and how the fear has been manipulated to create mass hysteria; the science -- experts supported by CGI describe how the body reacts to each fear and the physiological cause of death; and the contemporary -- survivors' stories relating what a near-death experience was like. Doctors, historians, psychologists and scientists will give us perspective on our most primal fears.moreless
  • Prehistoric Monsters Revealed
    Since the beginning of time, 99% of all the animal and sea creatures that ever lived on Earth have become extinct. Watch as a paleontological forensics team employs technological devices such as CT scanning, computer imaging and x-ray beam technology to shed new light on these strange and horrifying beasts. Freakish armored carnivores, deadly murderous insects, and oversized herbivores that weighed in the tons are brought back to life in an effort to understand how they lived, and why they died. See how most species were wiped out during one of the five major extinctions in Earth's history, when the chemistry of the entire planet was altered by impacts from a comet, an asteroid, and eruptions of super volcanoes, and learn how paleontologists discovered these long-dead creatures, how they make sense of the record they left behind, and why our notions of how these monsters looked and lived are constantly changing.moreless
  • 3/19/09
    The course of history could have been so different if the first plot to kill Adolf Hitler, in 1939, had been successful. But Hitler proved a hard man to kill. We review the many attempts on his life, and analyze what went wrong.
  • Nostradamus 2012
    Episode 56
    It's a year that many have prophesized will bring a catastrophic end to life as we know it. Whatever is in store a massive cosmic collision, a global environmental disaster, an Armageddon-like religious showdown, or a more subtle transformation many believe that 2012 will mark a major shift in the history of our planet. But what is there to substantiate such fears? A detailed, historical investigation of this chilling prophecy is the mission of Nostradamus 2012, an explosive new two-hour sequel that picks up where The Lost Book of Nostradamus left off. Is there any proof that an Earth-shattering astrological alignment will indeed happen? Is there any compelling evidence that 2012 will be a year of unprecedented, even deadly, upheaval? From the mystical realms of the Guatemalan jungles to the Hopi elders and Mayan shaman to the most respected thinkers of the modern age; from the symbology of the ancient pyramids in Mexico and Egypt to that of the gothic cathedrals and monuments of Europe, Nostradamus 2012 casts the doomsday warning in a frighteningly modern context. December 21, 2012 is bearing down on us with alarming speed. Whether or not we are able to collectively heed the warnings and affect a course to avert disaster may be the defining moment of the modern age.moreless
  • Suspected throughout their long history of plotting to overtake the world, accused of fomenting revolution, and reviled as devil worshippers that stole King Solomon's treasure, the Freemasons claim they're merely a civic-minded fraternity, bound together by harmless rituals. Our high-energy cocktail of dramatic reenactment, expert interviews, and on-location footage entertains historians Akram Elias, Stephen Bullock, and Brent Morris to retell the Freemasons' central myth concerning Hiram Abiff, mythical builder of Jerusalem's Temple of Solomon. During construction, he was killed by three workers who believed his "secret" would impart magical powers--representing the three evils against which Freemasons believe they're still struggling: ignorance, fanaticism, and tyranny. Today, the world's 2.5 million Freemasons meet to reenact the ritual of Hiram's murder as the initiation ceremony for the main rank of Master Mason.moreless
  • 9/17/09
    Is America the creation of the Freemasons? For hundreds of years, suspicions of a plot to take over America have swirled around the Freemasons, the world's oldest secret society. Freemasons led the Revolution, framed the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, designed our nation's capital, and in the early years of the Republic, grew to unmatched heights of influence and power. The untold story of the Freemasons in America reveals secret codes, patterns in the sky, murder, and a radically new picture of the nation's Founding Fathers. We'll explore this remarkable story through dramatic reenactments, expert interviews, sophisticated CGI, and original location documentary footage. Features historians Stephen Bullock, Dan Burstein, Brent Morris, Akram Elias, and author David Shugarts. But will a rational view reveal the Freemasons as an important and honorable thread in the fabric of America?moreless
  • Manson
    Episode 53
    He was the mastermind of the most notorious murders in U.S. history, a crazed guru who terrified the world and plunged the city of Los Angeles into a state of paranoia and panic. This two-hour docudrama from HISTORY? takes viewers deep inside Charles Manson's twisted world of hate, fear, and mind control to tell the story of how one man transformed a harmless group of hippies into a gang of brutal murderers. Intertwining first-person accounts with rare archive footage, Manson: 40 Years Later looks back at the nine months leading up to and including the brutal murder of Sharon Tate, the Manson family's most famous victim, four decades after her bludgeoning. It features key Manson family member Linda Kasabian, who was at the scene of the Sharon Tate murders as lookout and getaway driver, in her first interview in 20 years, as well as interviews with fellow Manson family member Catherine Share; Vincent Bugliosi, the lead prosecutor who wrote Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders; and Deborah Tate, Sharon Tate's sister.moreless
  • Lost Book of Nostradamus
    In 1994, Italian journalist Enza Massa was at the Italian National Library in Rome when she stumbled upon an unusual find. It was a manuscript dating to 1629, titled: Nostradamus Vatinicia Code. Michel de Notredame, the author's name, was on the inside in indelible ink. The book contains cryptic and bizarre images along with over eighty watercolor paintings by the master visionary himself. Follow the investigative trail of how the manuscript was found in the archives and exactly how it got there. New insight is given into the life of Nostradamus and his relationship with Pope Urban VIII, who knew about this manuscript and in whose possession it was for many years.moreless
  • 3/8/07
    After Custer, Thermopylae is the most famous last stand in history. In a narrow pass in Northern Greece, seven thousand Greek soldiers await an onslaught of epic proportions. They will soon face the largest fighting force ever assembled--the war machine of the mighty Persian Empire, estimated at over a million men. The Greeks are led by three hundred of the most ferocious warriors of the ancient world--the Spartans. Their leader is the fearless King Leonidas, who after this battle would be catapulted into legend. When it is over, every Spartan in the pass will have sacrificed his life for freedom. Creating a fresh visual style and using new technologies we will dramatically recreate the significant events that lead to Thermopylae and the clash of arms.moreless
  • King
    Episode 49
    Tom Brokaw brings to life the epic story of one of the most important figures in history. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr., relive his remarkable journey for civil rights starting from the moment he reluctantly joined the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama. See his rise as a world figure, to his tragic death in Memphis at age 39. Interviews with Andrew Young, Harry Belafonte and Martin Luther King lll will be included. Celebrity activists such as Bono, Be Be Winans and Forest Whitaker will appear in a montage of music and historical speeches that add a contemporary flair to this historical program.moreless
  • Journey to 10,000 BC
    It was a time of cataclysmic change a disruption in the global climate unlike anything the earth had ever seen caused a flash relapse into ice-age conditions. Suddenly the temperature in North America plummeted, blizzards and ice storms took over and the mile-high glaciers of the ice age re-advanced. Mammoths, saber-tooth cats, and dire wolves were all driven into extinction...but somehow, humans survived. Using state-of-the-art computer graphics, Journey to 10,000 BC re-creates the events of this lost world and attempts to solve the mystery of mankind's continued existence. Travel with leading scientists to major mammoth and early human archaeological sites in North America as they reconstruct this ancient world one bone and artifact at a time.moreless
  • 11/9/09
    He was one of the most fabled antiheroes of the Old West, a complicated figure whose outlaw reputation captured the imagination of a nation. In central Kansas, a treasure hunt is underway that could call into question much of what we think we know of him. What happened to the gold Jesse James stole? Can any part of it be found? And if so, does it suggest that Jesse James was more than a bandit stealing for his own personal gain? Was he, in fact, a clandestine member of a powerful Confederate secret society determined to help the South rise again? Follow in Jesse James’ Hidden Treasure a team of amateur historians as they search for James’ secret treasure in an attempt to discover new truths about the American legend, including why he robbed, and when he died.moreless
  • Jefferson
    Episode 46
    His life is a seemingly impenetrable thicket of contradictions: he enshrined the words '"All Men are Created Equal," and yet was a lifelong slave-owner; he was simultaneously a "man of the people" and the personification of the Virginia aristocrat; he was a die-hard American revolutionary who was also a dedicated lover of European culture and art; he advocated ruthless fiscal responsibility as president, yet his own finances were mired in debt. Thomas Jefferson is the most researched, most written about, most referenced, and most quoted of our Founding Fathers. And yet, somehow, he remains the most stubbornly inscrutable. Embrace and celebrate the third president's complicated life and legacy in the two-hour HISTORY documentary, Jefferson, the story of a national icon who remains, in historian Joseph Ellis' memorable phrase, "a great American Sphinx."moreless
  • Inside Islam
    Inside Islam
    Episode 45
    It is the second largest of the world's great religions, and the fastest growing. Its name comes from the word for peace, yet to many Westerners it is synonymous with terror. "INside Islam" lifts the veil of mystery surrounding a misunderstood faith. Trace its roots back to the Hebrew Bible and discover how the Five Pillars, the religion's central tenets, helped spread Islam to the far corners of the world. Find out what the Qu'Ran says about war, violence and suicide, and how these words have been co-opted by extremists. And hear from experts like Khaled Abou el Fadl (Speaking in God's Name), who debate the challenges facing Islam today, including a crisis of authority and deep divisions among many sects. Illuminating, important and objective, "Inside Islam" exposes the heart of a faith mired in controversy.moreless
  • Hunting Hitler
    Episode 44
    The target of a daring assassination plot by members of his military, Hitler nearly died at Wolf's Lair, his main wartime headquarters. It was one of 15 known attempts on his life. This is the story of those diverse individuals who tried to alter history's course, and of a top secret British plot to kill the most hated man on earth.moreless
  • 4/6/10
    We are so familiar with the map of United States, but do we know why our states look the way they do? Every shape on the map tells a great story about our past. Why is California bent? To cling on to gold. Why does Oklahoma have a panhandle? Because of shifting borders for slavery. Why does Missouri have a boot? Because of a massive earthquake. This special examines how every state is a puzzle piece ultimately revealing the unique geography, political and social history of America.moreless
  • How the Earth Was Made
    From a once seething, hellish mass of molten rock to the world that inhabits life today, take a rollercoaster ride through the entire history of Planet Earth. Its 4.5 billion year epic, a story of unimaginable timescales, earth-shattering forces, incredible life forms, radical climates and mass extinctions. Discover how the continents were formed, canyons were carved, and why the world's animals live where they do.moreless
  • How Life Began
    Episode 41
    Explore the earliest history of our planet and how it evolved to support a rich and vibrant menagerie of creeping, crawling, walking creatures in How Life Began. Visually stunning animation supplemented with expert interviews from leading historians, geologists and physicists, plus expeditions to exotic locations combined with cutting-edge science, help tease out answers about life's origins. Was life triggered by some event (like lightning hitting a pond full of amino acids) or did it float from some distant galaxy on the back of a meteor? Can we create life in a laboratory? Journey back with HISTORY to a young Earth, with massive asteroids colliding into the planet. See single-celled organisms as they divide, mutate and evolve into other, more complex creatures. And go beyond life on Earth as today's leading scientists try to create new life.moreless
  • How Bruce Lee Changed the World
    One of the most influential martial artists of the 20th century, Bruce Lee blazed across movie screens with charisma and speed, introducing martial arts to mainstream America and changing the way Asian American men were portrayed in films. Influenced by one of the world's most ancient cultures, he went on to influence the modern world. How Bruce Lee Changed the World provides new insight into the legendary martial artist, fascinating teacher and celebrated actor. Starring in television's The Green Hornet as the sidekick Kato, Lee went on to make two of the most successful Asian films ever Fists of Fury and Way of the Dragon. In a tragic turn of events, Lee mysteriously died three weeks before the debut of Enter the Dragon, his only U.S. film. With seldom-seen interviews, rare home movies, and commentary from those he influenced most, such as John Woo, Brett Ratner, LL Cool J, Stan Lee and Jackie Chan, How Bruce Lee Changed the World helps uncover the man behind the legend.moreless
  • Hotel Ground Zero
    Hotel Ground Zero
    Episode 39
    There is an untold story from 9/11--the incredible tale of the 940 tourists, visitors and staff in the Marriott WTC Hotel, located beneath and between the Twin Towers, who found themselves at the epicenter of a terrifying disaster. Despite jet engines and burning debris raining down on the building, somehow almost all of the hotel guests escaped. Of those who were still trapped inside, 14 miraculously survived the towers' devastating collapse. Hear the remarkable story of their escape, and the courage and heroism of the victims and their rescuers.moreless
  • 9/20/09
    Has the Holy Grail been in America all along? In 1898, a Minnesota farmer clearing trees from his field uprooted a large stone covered with mysterious runes that tell a story of land acquisition and murder. The stone allegedly dates back to 1362. Initially thought to be a hoax, new evidence suggests the find could be real, and a clue that the Knights Templar discovered America 100 years before Columbus, perhaps bringing with them history's greatest treasure...the Holy Grail. Watch as experts use erosion studies on the rune stone and match symbols in Templar ruins all over Europe to support this theory. Though the Knights Templar were long thought to have been massacred, stones with similar markings have been found on islands across the Atlantic Ocean, and in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Is it possible the Knights Templar escaped on an incredible journey and were leaving clues to the whereabouts of the stone? Find out in the HISTORY wo-hour special, Holy Grail in America.moreless
  • History of the Joke
    History of the Joke
    Episode 36
    Get an inside look at the past, present and future of great joke-telling in this provocative journey to discover the secret ingredients of a great joke. Celebrated comedian Lewis Black's side-splitting adventure uncovers what it takes to tell the perfect joke timing, surprise, sex, pain, hard work, and plenty of humiliating failure all elements firmly rooted in ancient comedic tradition. Black not only looks to the past for the greatest joke, but finds living history among America's greatest joke tellers, including George Carlin, Robin Williams, Robert Klein, Kathy Griffin, Dave Attell and more revealing what inspires comedians to get into comedy, the historical elements of joking, including slapstick and physical comedy, and the nature of laughter. Will all this taken together the wisdom of the ancients, plus the experiences of today's hottest comedians reveal the perfect joke?moreless
  • Heroes of Iwo Jima
    Heroes of Iwo Jima
    Episode 35
    The story of two photos taken during the brutal WWII battle of Iwo Jima--one, the famous photo of five U.S. Marines and one Navy corpsman raising the flag atop Mt. Suribachi; the other, also shows flag-raisers, but is largely forgotten. Battle veterans tell the story through letters, interviews, and poignant recollections, and what they say may surprise viewers. To the men of Iwo Jima, the Mt. Suribachi photo, which stirs feelings of pride in many Americans, has been tainted by decades of distortion.moreless
  • God vs. Satan
    God vs. Satan
    Episode 34
    Armageddon. It is a universal theme that has spanned centuries and cultures, and has, as some say, become increasingly more relevant today. Surprisingly, however, a final chapter of this apocalyptic end has received little examination: the actual final battle between God and Satan, good and evil. The Bible points to a battlefield at Meggido in present day Israel, with each side taking a series of steps that will lead up to, and unfold, during this actual battle. What will this battle look like? Where do the stories come from, and how have they differed throughout history, between religions? God vs. Satan: The Final Battle will take viewers on a tour of the final days, and moments, as envisioned by believers of the three Abrahamic religions. Intriguingly, the ancient accounts all build on one another. Jewish beliefs about the end times are based on scripture found in the Talmud and the book of Isaiah. Christianity relies heavily on scriptures in Isaiah and adds the book of Revelation. Muslims build on Judeo-Christian tradition and find additional inspiration in the Koran and the Sunnah. This program will examine where they differ from one another and where they converge. And we'll watch as they culminate in an epic battle that will, as the texts say, usher in the end of the world as we know it.moreless
  • First Mothers
    Episode 32
    Who were the real powers behind the men who would be President of the United States? Who were they that even presidents trembled before them? Mothers! This feature-length special, based on the book First Mothers: The Women Who Shaped the Presidents by Time Magazine correspondent and bureau chief Bonnie Angelo, takes a look at the lives of ten mothers of world leaders, including aristocrat Sara Delano Roosevelt, pacifist Ida Eisenhower, family matriarch Rose Kennedy, stoic Hannah Milhous Nixon, courageous Dorothy Ford, Peace Corps mother Lillian Carter, actress Nelle Reagan, champion athlete Dorothy Bush, hard-living Virginia Clinton, and Barbara Bush, the former First Lady and later First Mother. Interviews with presidents, historians, and scholars shed light on the influence that these women wielded then and now.moreless
  • Earth 2100
    Earth 2100
    Episode 31
    Easter Island, the Mayan ruins, and the abandoned pueblos of Chaco Canyon all stand as haunting monuments to extinct civilizations. Each of these societies collapsed because of man-made ecological disasters. Each confronted choices chillingly similar to the ones we face today. Are we living in the last century of our civilization?moreless
  • Death Masks
    Episode 30
    Faces...and facts...fleshed out from the grave. Unprecedented technology brings to life extraordinary mirror images and powerful last impressions of history's most powerful men. Every line, every wrinkle, every expression tells a story. Forensic-science and anthropology experts have identified that history's most relevant figures left behind highly-detailed casts of their faces, created at their moment of death, to preserve their souls and physical memory for eternity. Using advanced facial-reconstruction techniques and 3-D imprint detailing, these death masks render an exact replica of every feature, and an intimate look at how their characteristics affected their lives. Includes startling new insights into the persistent mysteries surrounding these historic icons like Julius Caesar, Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon and George Washington, and just may reveal some secrets these men preferred to conceal.moreless
  • Day After Disaster
    Episode 29
    Against a morning sky, a mushroom cloud spirals heavenward. A nuclear bomb has detonated in the heart of Washington D.C., incinerating 15,000 residents in just 15 seconds. More than 50% of the population living within a half-mile radius of the explosion is either dead or severely injured. The next 24 hours will determine whether the rest of the city lives or dies. To survive this horrific ordeal they will need a plan. And lucky for them there is one. But will it work? For the first time on television, the Department of Homeland Security reveals its most detailed plan to save America should terrorists go nuclear. Day After Disaster is a chilling two-hour special that delves into the complex and highly secretive world of disaster planning. We've seen what can go wrong when federal, state and local agencies fail to respond to disaster in an organized and timely manner. But what must go right when the unthinkable happens a 10-kiloton nuclear blast in the middle of an American city?moreless
  • Crumbling of America
    Throughout world history, great civilizations have survived and extended their rule through dependence on great infrastructures. Rome had its roads and aqueducts. The Mayans had their pyramids and palaces. But what happens when society neglects its infrastructure? Right now, the U.S. infrastructure is collapsing and it impacts every single person in this country. In the first half of the 20th century, our bridges, highways, tunnels, dams, levees, ports, water and gas pipelines were built during the greatest age of construction the world had ever seen. But now these steel and concrete achievements are deteriorating. More than 70,000 of our nation's bridges are rated structurally deficient. Massive grid failures have left millions in the dark. 25,000 miles of commercial navigable waterways and locks have exceeded their 50-year design life. Everything from dilapidated levees to pipelines to railroads is past their expiration date.moreless
  • Crucifixion
    Episode 27
    Throughout history, crucifixion has been one of the cruelest and most excruciating ways to die. Approximately 500 years before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Persian King Darius crucified political opponents and both Alexander the Great and Caligula used crucifixion as a means of punishment and entertainment. Watch as a team of forensic experts reconstruct a 2000-year-old body using the only physical evidence of a crucifixion ever discovered. Modern day footage will show real crucifixions that take place in the Philippines. Recreations will be used along with extensive CGI animation and CSI forensic-style graphics to illustrate the different types of crucifixion techniques throughout history and how it eventually kills its victim.moreless
  • 10/18/09
    John Dillinger, Machine Gun Kelly, Baby Face Nelson, and Bonnie and Clyde are some of the most notorious criminals of the last century. Technological advances like the Tommy Gun, V-8 engines with electric starters, and bulletproof vests often gave the robbers the advantage over the police. A spree of robberies, killings and kidnappings during an 18-month period from 1933 to 1934 shook the nation to its core. The government responded with a war on crime that began with America's first national police force and the rise of the FBI. HD location photography, archival footage and evocative recreations are used to transport the viewer back to this era and to capture the hectic pace of this crime wave.moreless
  • 5/16/09
    This special looks at the current economic meltdown in the US and compares and contrasts it with what led up to the Great Depression, the 1929 Crash, its immediate aftermath and what helped to bring us out of the Depression. Threading first person accounts with expert interviews, the special lets viewers understand how much history is repeating itself and what does history tell us about our future?moreless
  • Comets
    Episode 24
    Comets--these celestial travelers have forever filled us with fear and wonder. Lurking in the furthest reaches of our solar system, they come close to Earth as they orbit our Sun. Could something as destructive as comets hold the key to life? Are the building blocks of carbon-based life forms frozen inside? Might they contain information about the creation of our solar system? At the conclusion of two spectacular NASA missions that sent spaceships to rendezvous with these mysterious objects, we examine the scientific and historical record of comets, including man's reaction to them. Did a comet lead the Wise Men to Bethlehem? Did they foretell the death of kings, the destruction of civilizations? How did Halley's Comet provide Isaac Newton with the clues for his theories of gravity? Finally, what comprises this "dirty snowball" and how can we protect ourselves if headed on a collision-course with one?moreless
  • 10/8/07
    Ten years after his famous 1492 voyage, Christopher Columbus awaited the gallows on criminal charges in a Caribbean prison. He plotted an escape--a last voyage that would restore his reputation. This last and most treacherous journey ended with the loss of all four of his ships and Columbus and his crew shipwrecked. Viewers will take a journey, through dramatic reconstruction, to the very heart of Columbus's ordeals: the lush shores of Central America; the remote beach in Jamaica where his ships washed up and the jungle where Columbus fought his own mutineers. Included are interviews with historian and explorer Martin Dugard, and with experts from the US, the Dominican Republic and the UK.moreless
  • Clash of the Cavemen
    25,000 B.C. In Europe, arctic glaciers reach as far south as London. Massive predators are on the prowl. Across the continent, two species of primitive man struggle to survive. The Neanderthals are natural hunters, built for brute strength and well-adapted to the cold. However, they lack the understanding of technology and ability to speak in abstract terms that our species has. The Cro-Magnon, Homo sapiens are smarter but more fragile. With exciting new research in anthropology, archaeology and genetics, follow these early humans through a season of survival.moreless
  • China's First Emperor
    He would become an emperor more powerful than Napoleon, capture more territory than Alexander the Great and create the largest army the world has ever seen. In 240 B.C. Chin Shi Huang Di, ruler of the Qin Kingdom, rose to power, defeated six states and created an empire that would lay the groundwork for modern day China. Learn about the life and times of this unique leader and see what still remains of the Qin Dynasty today--from the Great Wall of China to the army of 8,000 life-sized terracotta warriors and horses that guard his empire in the afterlife.moreless
  • Breaking Vegas
    Breaking Vegas
    Episode 20
    They were "Whales"--the highest of high rollers. Treated like royalty by casinos worldwide, they won millions throughout the early to mid-1990s. And nobody had a clue that they were MIT students, part of an underground blackjack team--card counters who used mathematical wizardry to win. In this 2-hour special, we chronicle the true story of the rise and fall of the MIT Blackjack Team, featuring interviews with Ben Mezrich, author of Bringing Down the House, casino executives, security experts, and actual members of the team.moreless
  • Black Blizzard
    Black Blizzard
    Episode 19
    On May 9, 1934, a massive storm darkened the skies over the Great Plains. As it marched east, it became a towering wall of soil and dust more than 10,000 feet high, carrying enough debris to fill dump trucks that could circle the planet twice. Watch as this two-hour special tells the fascinating story of one of the greatest environmental disasters in U.S. history, a storm that would have epic consequences for the land, the people and the country as a whole and just one of countless storms that ravaged the American heartland between 1930 and 1940. For the first time on television, scientists and special effects experts re-create these black blizzards,showing in fascinating detail how the storms formed, and how they impacted people's health and homes and the nation's economy and environment. Woven throughout the documentary are evocative stills and archival footage, remarkable first-person accounts from Dust Bowl survivors, CGI depictions of the storms, and commentary from historians, climatologists, doctors, physicists and other experts, some who say a black blizzard could happen again today.moreless
  • 1/20/09
    Is it the greatest story ever told--or the greatest story ever sold? A best-selling novel sparks a debate that could change Christianity forever. Were Jesus and Mary Magdalene married and co-leaders of their movement? Was Mary Magdalene, herself, the Holy Grail--the vessel said to hold Jesus's blood--and mother of his descendants? Did the early Church know this "truth" and deliberately mislead followers? Is there a secret, ancient society, the Priory of Sion, which still protects this bloodline? Have some of the most illustrious names in art and science been members? We examine both sides of the story--the conventional view of Christianity and the "alternate history" proposed by Brown--so that viewers can decide.moreless
  • Beltway Unbuckled
    Episode 17
    Did you know that an extramarital affair launched the Civil War? Or that one of the things that made George Washington so appealing as a presidential choice was his sterility? Beltway Unbuckled explores the fascinating ways sexual politics have impacted and created American history. Many people think that the 2008 presidential election is the first time that sex and gender have played a role in American history, but that is far from the truth. In Beltway Unbuckled, we learn surprising and intriguing information about the lesser known facts that have shaped our country's history.moreless
  • Art of War
    Episode 16
    "All warfare is based on deception. Therefore, when capable of attacking, feign incapacity; when active in moving troops, feign inactivity. When near the enemy, make it seem that you are far away; when far away, make it seem that you are near." - Sun Tzu Sun Tzu was the Nostradamus of warfare and his book Art of War, written 2,400 years ago, is still the ultimate how-to guide for winning at war. This feature-length HISTORY special weaves together the epic story of Sun Tzu himself, and a war that occurred soon after his death in which a city was saved using his tactics, paving the way toward the unification of China. Art of War is an emotional, epic and ultimately visual understanding of Sun Tzu's lessons, telling the story of other great battles in history, from Rome to the Civil War, WWII and the present day, that help to illustrate that on the battlefields of war, people who understand strategy are the most dangerous weapons of all.moreless
  • Apocalypse Island
    Episode 15
    Archaeologist Jim Turner was island-hopping somewhere near the Marshall or Solomon Islands when he discovered a giant monolith he claims the Mayans believed their Gods would descend to observe the end of the world. Hidden for centuries to all but a handful of people, Mayan symbols on the statue predict the site to be the best vantage point for observing the total solar eclipse they believe will signal the dreaded 2012 apocalypse. The shock is that the island is located in the South Pacific, a long way from home for the Mayans, who are thought to have been a non-seafaring people. How could the Mayans have navigated so far across the sea to this location, and how could they have known their destination? Travel with HISTORY to this hidden place, where Turner, who spent ten years preparing for this expedition, will attempt to prove the significance of the ancient statue through extensive analysis, including carbon dating techniques to pinpoint the era when the rock was carved and where it came from, and interviews with elders of the ancient tribe that has called this the island home for centuries.moreless
  • Angels & Demons Decoded
    Investigate the fascinating truths behind Dan Brown's (The Da Vinci Code) first novel. From centuries-old secret societies to real-world cryptography, from the high-stakes intrigue surrounding the installation of a new Pope to the sometimes uneasy relationship between the Vatican and leading scientists, this special will thrill and inform viewers about this monumental time in world history. The clues Brown's hero Robert Langdon follows in frantic pursuit of the Illuminati will inspire further investigation--into religious conspiracies and the Freemasons, secret "codes" hidden in Roman architecture and artwork--as well as controversial theories about religious iconography. Features scenes from the new movie as well as interviews with renowned symbologists, art historians, religious scholars, scientists and other experts will help unravel the mysteries and expose the diabolical plot to destroy the Church.moreless
  • Andrew Jackson
    Episode 13
    Andrew Jackson is The History Channel's documentary on the seventh President of the United States. Nicknamed "Old Hickory" because of his toughness, he fought to protect popular democracy and individual liberty for American Citizens. Losing both of his parents early in his life, Jackson was an orphan at age 14. Without a formal education, Jackson went on to become a country lawyer, relying on his own merits to prosper and make a career since he wasn't from a distinguished family. He went on to serve in the military, fighting in the War of 1812, and being appointed Major General after the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. Jackson went on to become a delegate to the Tennessee constitutional convention, and when Tennessee became a state, he was elected as their U.S. Representative. Later becoming a Senator and judge of the Tennessee Supreme court, the self-made man from humble beginnings carved himself out a successful political career. His career brought him all the way to the White House, and his opponents during the election called him a jackass, leading Jackson to use the jackass as his symbol, which later became the symbol of the Democratic party. See the story of the first common-man President, and how he became the leader of the country without coming from a rich family.moreless
  • Ancient Ink
    Episode 12
    Tattoos are more desirable than ever but do you know who created the first tattoo or why monks in Thailand "sling ink" so their clients can have great sex? Travel the world to discover how tattooing has changed over the centuries and the many methods of tattooing that exist in the world today. Visit with Maori aborigines, who practice "carving" skin the old way, find out about getting "cut & scarred" in the underground vampire cult clubs of New York and learn about the latest and very profitable trend--people selling their flesh for advertising to the highest bidder on EBay.moreless
  • Ancient Aliens
    Episode 11
    Is it possible that intelligent life forms visited Earth thousands of years ago, bringing with them technology that drastically affected the course of history and man's own development? Presented in the 1968 bestselling book Chariots of the Gods, by Erich von Daniken, this theory of ancient aliens rocked people's beliefs in mankind's progress. Ancient cave drawings of strange creatures, remains of landing strips in Peru, the shocking similarity of Egyptian and Mayan pyramids, and Indian texts that describe the flying machines of the gods were just a few of the strange, archaeological artifacts cited by von Daniken as proof that ancient astronauts were well known to our ancestors. Produced with the exclusive cooperation of von Daniken himself, Ancient Aliens launches all-new expeditions to seek out and evaluate this evidence, with a concentration on the latest discoveries of the last 30 years, including strange DNA findings on man's evolution and newly decoded artifacts from Egypt to Syria to South America. It is a balanced investigation into a theory some believe cannot be true, but many agree cannot be ignored.moreless
  • All About Dung
    All About Dung
    Episode 10
    Join host Monty Halls as he takes viewers on an excremental safari to investigate the historical, medical, scientific and evolutionary importance of dung. Discover that through a 14,000-year-old human dung deposit it has been determined that humans inhabited North America 1300 years earlier than previously thought. Climb a 100-foot mountain of bat guano in Borneo that is teeming with insect life. Travel to India and view housewarming rituals using sacred cow dung as good luck. Finally Halls drinks coffee made from poop and investigates, through their large droppings, why mammoths might have disappeared.moreless
  • Albert Einstein
    Albert Einstein
    Episode 9
    Although Einstein's greatest work was accomplished in 1905 when he thought up his theories of relativity and special relativity, it was 14 years before his "outside the box" principles were proven. Until then, he was ridiculed, challenged and had difficulty getting a prestigious job. Then, in 1911, Einstein figured out a way to test his theories. If he were correct, then a startling thing should happen during a solar eclipse -- the sun's rays should bend around the moon and the stars should appear to jump to a different location. Thus began a race to photograph a solar eclipse and verify the accuracy of his calculations. This didn't happen until two months after the second eclipse in 1919. The twists and turns of what happened in between these two eclipses is a great story that ends with Einstein becoming an "instant" celebrity -- at long last. We will also bring the history into "now" by talking to one or two scientists who are trying to "bend it like Einstein," people who are challenging his theories today.moreless
  • Gates of Hell
    Episode 8
    There are six places on Earth believed to be actual entrances into Hell. They include a volcano in Iceland, a cave in the jungles of Central America, and a lake of fire in Africa. According to ancient myth and Christian legend, each is a passage to a terrifying underworld for the damned. Even today, some believe they are still portals. Eerily, they share striking similarities. We'll visit these six locations, and along the way, reveal how the concept of Hell emerged in history and why it still evokes fear today.moreless
  • After Armageddon
    Episode 8
    It is inevitable that disaster will someday strike America on an unprecedented level. What have past acts of destruction taught us about what will happen to mankind after the apocalypse? History's most dramatic events Hiroshima, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and others are examined and analyzed with hard data gathered from their massive aftereffects in the new HISTORY special After Armageddon. The disappearance of water and food supplies, the effects of deteriorated sanitation and health care on the remaining population, and the increased use of violence as a means of survival all illustrate how societies have responded and survived. Can history prepare us for the next Armageddon?moreless
  • 7/20/10
    A strip of land fought over for centuries by England and Spain creates a nightmare of historic proportion for airline pilots. Gibraltar Airport's powerful winds and short runway --complete with ground traffic -- make it one of the world's most treacherous. This special unpacks the problems of the world's most extreme airports and examines the engineering behind them, from territorial battles that have led to unsafe layouts, to geographical challenges and natural obstacles that make these places unfit for travel.moreless
  • Afraid of the Dark
    Episode 7
    Go back to a time before the invention of artificial light and experience a world petrified in the pitch of darkness...when fear ruled the night. Throughout the ages, real and imagined terror existed in the absence of light, and nighttime was anything but relaxing. Our predecessors cowered in caves to keep from being eaten alive. During the Middle Ages, brutal bandits went on the prowl and roadside ditches became death traps. Also in years past, the devil, werewolves and vampires were staunchly believed to stalk the night. With no artificial light, the black night sky of Galileo's gaze could illuminate every star without a telescope. This chilling HISTORY special AFRAID OF THE DARK explores all the reasons why the dark was so feared through the eras; takes you around the globe to places where real night still exits; and examines our modern-day fear factor when the lights go out during blackouts.moreless
  • Absolute Evel - The Evel Knievel Story
    His life story reads like a soap opera script. Born Robert Craig Knievel, this wild, young man from the rough mining town of Butte, Montana dreamed of becoming rich and famous. After years of struggle, Bobbie's alter ego Evel Knievel became the world's most famous daredevil. His exploits are legendary and it's unlikely his accomplishments--or notoriety--will ever be duplicated. Now, he's paying a high price for the life he led. He lives in constant pain from the incredible abuse his body suffered during his daredevil days. As he enters the twilight of life, this 2-hour special may be his last chance at a public forum. He's a man who is outspoken, outrageous, at times hilarious, but always fascinating. From humble beginnings in Butte to iconic status and everything in between, Evel candidly shares every aspect of his life. The aging daredevil reflects on his incredible experiences and how he would like to be remembered.moreless
  • A Global Warning?
    A Global Warning?
    Episode 5
    Increased temperatures, sea level rise and human suffering...what's causing the Earth to warm and what might happen if we can't reverse or slow the trend? Follow climate experts from around the world as they investigate the most dramatic climatic events in history in this no-holds-barred look at global warming and its consequences. It's a story of unimaginable extremes, mass extinctions and remarkable survival. Is it possible that the Arctic was once a tropical haven with crocodiles and waters warm enough to swim in? And will Antarctic ice shelves keep collapsing? Watch as scientists race to understand the weather of our past in the hopes of preventing climate catastrophe in the future. Shot from breathtaking locations and packed with dynamic special effects and thrilling expert accounts, A Global Warning? is a can't-miss for anyone with a vested interest in the future health of planet Earth.moreless
  • 9/9/10
    On September 11, 2001 thousands of people faced the ultimate test of judgment, courage and skill. From senior political leaders to air traffic controllers and ordinary men and women, 9/11 State of Emergency recounts the difficult split-second decisions made that fateful day. In a minute-by-minute investigation of the day's events, this HISTORY special features frank and in depth insider interviews with former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Acting Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers and White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, detailing the challenges these high-level officials faced as they sought to remain calm and gain control of events in the middle of an unprecedented crisis. 9/11 State of Emergency also features interviews with the air traffic controllers and F-16 pilots whose actions and decisions helped shape the day, as well as a conversation with family members of passengers onboard Flight 93 who were able to speak to their loved ones and pass along information that helped passengers and crew decide to launch their fight back, sparing Washington D.C. from further attack.moreless
  • 5/11/10
    Robin Hood is the inspiration for more movies, radio and TV programs than any other folk hero, but the man in tights and a feathered cap is a recent addition to the myth. The Real Robin Hood probes the fascinating story behind the marauding vigilante of English folklore. In reality, the character is a composite of actual historical figures whose exploits date back to the Crusades, a dark time of tremendous brutality. Coinciding with the 5/14/10 Universal release of the film Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, director Ridley Scott will also produce this dynamic two-hour television special. The Real Robin Hood features highlights from the film, as well as interviews with Ridley Scott, Russell Crowe and renowned historians.moreless
  • 1968 with Tom Brokaw
    In 1968, the fury and violence of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago propelled us toward a tipping point in politics. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated, America suffered its bloodiest year in Vietnam and drugs seduced us. Yet idealism--and hope--flourished. Explore the significance of that turbulent year and the way it continues to affect the American landscape. Tom Brokaw offers his perspective on the era and shares the rich personal odysseys of some of the people who lived through that chaotic time, along with the stories of younger people now experiencing its aftershocks. Includes archival footage and interviews with former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, who was talking to King when he was assassinated and rushed to his side to try to staunch the wound; Olympic gold medalist Rafer Johnson, who wrestled RFKs' assassin to the ground; and Arlo Guthrie, best known for his song "Alice's Restaurant.moreless
  • 9/11/08
    A new historical record is emerging of the sights and sounds of the attack on the World Trade Center. This two-hour special will distinguish itself from other 9/11 documentaries by using only unique and rarely seen and heard archive to document the 102 minutes between the first attack on the World Trade Center to the collapse of the second tower. This will be a lasting document whose unique material comes from a range of non-traditional sources, including amateur photography, video, and film; FDNY, NYPD, Port Authority and emergency dispatch radio recordings, photography and video; recorded voicemails; audio/video diaries; footage and stills broadcast or published outside the United States; electronic messages; surveillance camera footage; and "outtakes" culled from raw network footage.moreless
  • 6/29/10
    This is the inside story of the 10 ways the US government has tried to capture or kill the most wanted man in history--Osama bin Laden. Some of the planners and military personnel involved in the hunt tell their stories, many for the first time.
  • 3/30/10
    Many people believe Jesus Christ was buried in the Shroud of Turin, an ancient linen cloth that bears traces of blood and the faint, ghostly image of a man. In May 2010, this holy relic will be put on public display for the first time in ten years. As new data reveals an astonishing, three-dimensional, sculpture-like figure embedded in the shroud, a team of graphic artists works diligently to bring that image to life. Using the principles of physics, today's digital technology, and the revolutionary CGI process that reconstructed Abraham Lincoln in the HISTORY special, Stealing Lincoln's Body, The Real Face of Jesus? takes a fascinating journey from the realm of creativity and imagination into that of science and technology. Can HISTORY unlock the secrets of one of the world's most scrutinized and controversial artifacts to unveil a startling, life-like composite, from head to toe, of who many believe to be Jesus Christ?moreless