American Experience 1988 | TV Show Watchlist

American Experience

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

TV Guide Rating:(37 ratings)

Your Rating:Rate this TV Show:

Latest NewsSee all »

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

Latest Full EpisodesSee all »

JFK, Pt. 4 Season 25, Episode 9 Nov 12, 2013 Paid

From PBS and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Part Four - The final installment follows Kennedy through his assassination and the unfulfilled promise of his presidency. Kennedy faces Khrushchev again in the Cuban Missile Crisis, ignited when Soviet warheads are spotted in Cuba. Negotiating his way out of the crisis proves to be one of Kennedy’s finest hours, and he spends the rest of his term working for nuclear disarmament. Domestically, the issue of civil rights continues and when Governor George Wallace of Alabama refuses to allow African-American students in the state university, Kennedy brings the issue to the nation, calling for the passage of a civil rights act. Looking ahead to the next election, Kennedy knows he must win Texas to have a second term. So he takes a fateful trip to Dallas, with Jackie accompanying him on her first domestic trip. It is there that an assassin’s bullet ends his life, forever enshrining him in myth.

JFK, Pt. 2 Season 25, Episode 8 Nov 11, 2013 Paid

From PBS and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Part Two - JFK’s campaign for president is the first to be waged on television, a distinct advantage for the telegenic candidate. Despite his lack of legislative achievements and his Catholicism — which many Americans see as a negative — Kennedy wins the election on the promise that he will stand up to the Soviets and protect American preeminence in the world.

Part Three: 1854 - Emancipation and Victory Season 25, Episode 3 Jan 22, 2013 Paid

The battle between pro-slavery and free-soil contingents rises to fever pitch. During his raid on Harpers Ferry, John Brown is captured, then executed, becoming a martyr for the cause. Abraham Lincoln is elected president in 1860. Southern states secede, war breaks out and the conflict unexpectedly drags on. On New Year’s Day 1863, it is announced that Lincoln has emancipated the slaves in rebel territory. African-American men may now enlist in the Union forces; two of Douglass’ sons go to war. In December 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment is ratified, banning slavery in all states — forever.

Part Two: 1838-1854 Season 25, Episode 2 Jan 15, 2013 Paid

Douglass escapes slavery, eventually joining Garrison in the anti-slavery movement. Threatened with capture by his former owner, Douglass flees to England, returning to the U.S. in 1847. He launches his own anti-slavery paper. John Brown meets with Douglass, revealing his radical plan to raise an army, attack plantations and free the slaves. Harriet Beecher Stowe publishes Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1852. A best-seller, and then wildly successful stage play, this influential novel changes the hearts and minds of millions of Americans. The divide between North and South deepens, touching off a crisis that is about to careen out of control.

Watch See all »

Tue Feb 9 9:00pm
The Perfect Crime: American ExperienceNew(Season 28, Episode 6) PBS

The Leopold and Loeb case is recalled. In 1924, wealthy college students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb murdered a 14-year-old boy in an attempt to prove that they could get away with it. They didn't; and the trial that followed set off a national debate (more…)

I’ll Watch6 Watching
Wed Feb 10 2:00am
The Perfect Crime: American Experience(Season 28, Episode 6) PBS

The Leopold and Loeb case is recalled. In 1924, wealthy college students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb murdered a 14-year-old boy in an attempt to prove that they could get away with it. They didn't; and the trial that followed set off a national debate (more…)

I’ll Watch6 Watching

More NewsSee all »

Frontline: Syria’s Second Front
Tuesday TV: Not Just the Olympics

I'm beginning to hear in my mailbag from those whose reaction to slaloms, snowboarding and skating i…

The Beatles and Cassius Clay
Video: PBS's American Experience Looks at 1964: The Beatles, Cassius Clay, LBJ and More

Their timing was as perfect as their music. The Beatles' first trip to America in February 1964, jus…

Orson Welles
Peter Bogdanovich on the Night Orson Welles Punk'd America

Were we really that naive? The PBS American Experience documentary War of the Worlds (Tuesday, Oct.…

The Bachelor
Tonight's TV Hot List: Monday, Jan. 24, 2011

The Bachelor8/7c ABC Madison and her fangs might be gone, but Michelle, who keeps threatening to use…

The Bachelor
Tonight's TV Hot List: Monday, Jan. 3, 2011

The Bachelor8/7c ABC In the annals of Bachelor history, no villain has been more hissable than Brad…

Dancing With The Stars
Tonight's TV Hot List: Monday, Nov. 2, 2009

Dancing with the Stars8/7c ABC It's time once again for the celebrities to help design the costumes!…

Cast & Details See all »

  • 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)

Show More »

Trending TonightSee all »