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:(39 ratings)

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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.

A Real President Season 24, Episode 4 Feb 21, 2012 Paid

Shattered by the Republican victory, Clinton begins to sideline his most trusted advisors in favor of an aggressive political consultant named Dick Morris who uses extensive polling to diagnose the administration’s weaknesses and develop strategies to correct them. The Republican “Contract with America” is riding high and by spring 1995, Gingrich and his allies select the ground on which to wage their war: a plan to eliminate the federal budget deficit by drastically cutting Medicare and Medicaid. The plan leads to a government shutdown and slowly the tide begins to turn toward the President, who reclaims the political center with a stream of new initiatives that will curb big government and appeal to middle class families. Clinton wins the 1996 election in a landslide, pulling off one of the greatest turnarounds in political history. But events have been set in motion that will soon divide the country and nearly destroy Clinton's presidency.

Video ClipsSee all »

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…)
Freedom Summer Trailer
01:44 — In the hot and deadly summer of 1964, the nation could not turn away from Mississippi. Over 10 memorable weeks known as Freedom Summer, more than 700 (more…)

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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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