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 14, Episode 7 Miss America

First Aired: January 27, 2002

Recalling the 80-year history of the Miss America Pageant and what narrator Cherry Jones calls “a barometer of America's shifting ideas of American womanhood.” Included: eight former Miss Americas recall their runway strolls---and the world beyond Atlantic City during their reigns. Also: comments from historians and social observers, including Gloria Steinem, a beauty-pageant contestant herself as a teen. “It was glamorous,” she says, perhaps surprisingly. Also surprising is Miss America 1998 Kate Shindle's view of the swimsuit competition. “It's empowering,” she says. “If you can do that, you can do anything.”

Guest Cast