American Experience

  • 1988
  • 31 Seasons
  • 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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Season 15, Episode 9 The Pill

First Aired: February 24, 2003

Charting the development of an oral contraceptive during the 1950s and its effect on “the sexual revolution” of the '60s. It was enormous. Says Sylvia Clark, who grew up before the pill was available: “Women began to see themselves for the first time in all of history as economically self-sustaining.” The hour examines reasons why, as it profiles the pill's key figures, including biologist Gregory Pincus and gynecologist John Rock; heiress Katharine Dexter McCormick, who financed the research; and Margaret Sanger, the activist who spearheaded it. Among Sanger's motivations: her own mother, who had 18 pregnancies (seven of them miscarriages) and died at 49. Narrated by Blair Brown.

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