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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JFK, Pt. 3 Season 25, Episode 9 Nov 12, 2013 Paid

From PBS and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Part Three - This episode follows Kennedy into the White House, offering fresh assessments of the successes and failures of his tenure. In 1961, the most challenging issue facing the new administration is the spread of communism and continuing Cold War fears. Only a few months into his first term, Kennedy launches the Bay of Pigs invasion, an unmitigated disaster that teaches him a powerful lesson. Nikita Khrushchev proves a stubborn foe, and Kennedy takes a stand against the spread of communism in a country few Americans had ever heard of—Vietnam. On the domestic front, civil rights prove tricky for the administration, as they rely heavily on the support of Southern Democrats. Forced to intervene when Freedom Riders take direct action in Southern states, the administration sends in federal marshals to ensure their safety. Health issues continue to plague the president and pain is a constant companion. Glamorous first lady Jackie captivates the world on her travels, while rumors of the president’s womanizing continue in Washington.

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.

Grand Coulee Dam Season 24, Episode 6 Apr 3, 2012 Paid

Grand Coulee was more than a dam — it was a proclamation. In the wake of the Great Depression, America turned from private enterprise to public works — not simply to provide jobs, but to restore faith. The ultimate expression of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, Grand Coulee played a central role in transforming the Northwest; it was the largest hydroelectric power producing facility in the world when it was completed in March 1941. After WWII, a vast irrigation project made possible by the dam helped turn the barren deserts of central Washington into rich farmland. But the dam prevented access to one of the greatest salmon rivers in the world. Deprived of the salmon — their most important resource — the native people who lived along the Columbia witnessed a profound cultural decline.

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?

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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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Tue May 2 9:00pm
Ripley: Believe It or Not(Season 27, Episode 1) PBS

A profile of Leroy Robert Ripley (1890-1949), aka Robert L. Ripley, the man behind the famed "Believe It or Not!" franchise, which began as a comic strip before expanding into radio, film and TV.

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Wed May 3 2:00am
Ripley: Believe It or Not(Season 27, Episode 1) PBS

A profile of Leroy Robert Ripley (1890-1949), aka Robert L. Ripley, the man behind the famed "Believe It or Not!" franchise, which began as a comic strip before expanding into radio, film and TV.

I’ll Watch99 Watching
Thu May 4 4:00am
Ripley: Believe It or Not(Season 27, Episode 1) PBS

A profile of Leroy Robert Ripley (1890-1949), aka Robert L. Ripley, the man behind the famed "Believe It or Not!" franchise, which began as a comic strip before expanding into radio, film and TV.

I’ll Watch99 Watching

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

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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…

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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.…

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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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