American Experience

  • 1988
  • TV Show
  • TV-PG

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 Kane' when it was released, and the Battle of the Bulge. In addition, its Scottsboro Boys film won an...

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Nikita Khrushchev

Video: Nikita Khrushchev is Back in PBS's Cold War Roadshow

He scared the bejeesus out of Americans with his nuclear-war cry, "We will bury you!" But when Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev visited the United States in 1959 he was much more of a pussycat than an evil Commie dictator. During his cross-country to… Read more

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Part One: 1820s-1838 Season 25, Episode 1 Jan 8, 2013 Paid

Shared beliefs about slavery bring together Angelina Grimké, the daughter of a Charleston plantation family, who moves north and becomes a public speaker against slavery; Frederick Douglass, a young slave who becomes hopeful when he hears about the abolitionists; William Lloyd Garrison, who founds the newspaper The Liberator, a powerful voice for the movement; Harriet Beecher Stowe, whose first trip to the South changes her life and her writing; and John Brown, who devotes his life to the cause. The abolitionist movement, however, is in disarray and increasing violence raises doubts about the efficacy of its pacifist tactics.

Jesse Owens Season 24, Episode 7 May 1, 2012 Paid

On April 2, 1936, when the 22-year-old son of a sharecropper entered the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, he was barely able to control his anger in the face of Nazi racism. But instead of letting himself be distracted, the young athlete channeled his raw emotions into one of the most remarkable achievements in athletic history: four gold medals in two days. Beginning in the poor Cleveland neighborhood where Owens grew up, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE details his early career; describes Adolf Hitler’s outsized ambitions for the 1936 Olympics; explores the movement in Western democracies to boycott the event; and explains the pressures on Owens to attend. The film also reveals the unlikely relationship Owens struck up at the games with his German rival, and explores why, despite his success in Germany, Owens struggled to find a place for himself in a United States that was still wrestling with its own deeply entrenched racism.

The Amish Season 24, Episode 5 Feb 28, 2012 Paid

On October 2, 2006, a 32-year-old milk truck driver named Charles Roberts entered a one-room schoolhouse in the Amish community of Nickel Mines in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and shot 10 young girls, killing five, before committing suicide as police officers stormed the school. Just hours after the shooting, Amish community members visited the gunman’s family to offer forgiveness. The tragedy at Nickel Mines horrified the nation for its senseless brutality and left many questioning and haunted by the victims’ startling response. Lyrical and meditative, The Amish answers many questions Americans have about this insistently insular religious community, whose intense faith and adherence to 500-year-old traditions have by turns captivated and repelled, awed and irritated, inspired and confused for more than a century. With unprecedented access to the Amish built on patience and hard-won trust, this AMERICAN EXPERIENCE film is the first to deeply penetrate and explore this profoundly attention-averse group, painting an extraordinarily intimate portrait of contemporary Amish faith and life. What does America’s attraction to the Amish say about deep American values? What does the future hold for a community whose existence is so rooted in the past?

Custer's Last Stand Season 24, Episode 2 Jan 17, 2012 Paid

Follow General George Armstrong Custer from his memorable, wild charge at Gettysburg to his lonely, untimely death on the windswept Plains of the West. On June 26, 1876, Custer, a reputation for fearless and often reckless courage ordered his soldiers to drive back a large army of Lakota and Cheyenne warriors. By day’s end, Custer and nearly a third of his army were dead.

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Walt Disney Trailer
02:00 — Part 1 of 2. The life and legacy of Walt Disney (1901-66), featuring archival footage from the Disney vaults scenes from his greatest films remarks fr (more…)
The American Experience: The Amish: Shunned Trailer
02:00 — Filmed over the course of twelve months*The Amish: Shunned follows seven former members of the Amish community as they reflect on their decisions to l (more…)
The American Experience: We Shall Remain: Part I-After The Mayflower Trailer
01:42 — Episode One begins in New England in the 1620s, at the time of the so-called "first Thanksgiving." In March of 1621, Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoag (more…)

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Peter Bogdanovich on the Night Orson Welles Punk'd America

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  • Premiered: October 4, 1988
  • Rating: TV-PG
  • Premise: 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)

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