American Experience 1988 | TV Show Watchlist

American Experience

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This much-honored PBS documentary series explores American history, one topic or person at a time. Its Peabody Award winners include profiles of FDR and Malcolm X, and such diverse topics as Nixon's 1972 trip to China, the controversy surrounding `Citizen (more…)

Premiered: October 4, 1988

Rating: TV-PG

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Season 13, Episode 3 Secrets of a Master Builder

First Aired: October 30, 2000

Charting the life on the Mississippi of James B. Eads (1820-1887), “one of the greatest engineering geniuses of all time,” says narrator David McCullough. Eads designed, built and financed ironclad river gunships in the Civil War (helping the Union win it, some say), the first steel bridge over the Mississippi, and sandbar-busting jetties at the mouth of the Mississippi that helped ensure the economic viability of New Orleans and the river itself.