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. 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.

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 Great Famine Season 23, Episode 8 Apr 11, 2011 Paid

When a devastating famine descended on Soviet Russia in 1921, Americans responded with a massive two-year relief campaign. This documentary reveals the riveting story of America’s engagement with a distant and desperate people.

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Hoover Dam
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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…

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.…

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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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