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American Experience Season 1 Episodes

16 Episodes 1988 - 1989

Episode 1

The Great San Francisco Earthquake

Tue, Oct 4, 1988 60 mins

Eyewitnesses, archival footage and stills recall the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, including the ensuing three-day inferno; and the recovery program, which culminated in 1915, when the city hosted a World's Fair.

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Episode 2

Radio Bikini

Fri, Jun 10, 1988 60 mins

"Radio Bikini," a 1987 documentary, recalls 1946 A-bomb tests conducted by the U.S. Navy in the Pacific. Included: declassified footage, newsreels and interviews with eyewitnesses. Directed by Robert Stone.

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Episode 3

Indians, Outlaws and Angie Debo

Tue, Oct 18, 1988 60 mins

Recounting the subjugation of Native Americans in Oklahoma through a profile of historian Angie Debo, who challenged "the accepted version of Indian history" in her 1940 book, "And Still the Waters Run."

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Episode 4

Eric Sevareid: Not So Wild a Dream

Tue, Oct 25, 1988 60 mins

Recalling journalist Eric Sevareid's life and career. Included: his high-school days in Minneapolis; and his war reports on Nazi Germany.

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Episode 5

The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter

Tue, Nov 1, 1988 60 mins

Women discuss their roles as World War II munitions workers, the liberation the work gave them, sexual and racial tensions they faced, and their disillusionment after the war. Included: archival footage, stills and music of the period. Host: David McCullough.

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Episode 6

Do You Mean There Are Still Real Cowboys?

Tue, Nov 8, 1988 60 mins

A visit to Big Piney, Wyo., where life on the range is observed. Included: a ranch where the entire herd was sold to avoid foreclosure; a successful ranch. Narrator: Glenn Close. Host: David McCullough.

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Episode 7

Kennedy vs. Wallace: A Crisis Up Close

Tue, Nov 15, 1988 60 mins

"Kennedy vs. Wallace: A Crisis Up Close," a 1963 documentary on the presidential decision-making process, filmed during the integration of the University of Alabama. Produced by Robert Drew.

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Episode 8

Geronimo and the Apache Resistance

Tue, Nov 22, 1988 57 mins

Descendants of Chiricahua Apache warriors attempt to dispel myths surrounding Geronimo and the Apache resistance, a 20-year struggle between Apaches and settlers in the 19th-century Southwest.

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Episode 9

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men Revisited

Tue, Nov 29, 1988 60 mins

The 1936 journey of writer James Agee and photographer Walker Evans through Alabama sharecropper country, which inspired their 1941 book, "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men." A 1979 BBC film.

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Episode 10

That Rhythm, Those Blues

Tue, Dec 6, 1988 60 mins

Reflecting on R&B, the music that gave rise to rock and roll. Included: recollections of singers, musicians, record producers and deejays. Host: David McCullough.

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Episode 11

The Radio Priest

Tue, Dec 13, 1988 60 mins

The life of Father Charles Coughlin, "The Radio Priest" of the '30s who captivated millions with his voice of dissent and bigotry. Included: Coughlin's positive view of Nazism. Host: David McCullough.

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Episode 12

Hearts and Hands

Tue, Dec 20, 1988 60 mins

The story of 19th-century women through the quilts they created. Included: slave quilts, crazy quilts, whaling motifs, Civil War designs and bold, geometric Native American patterns.

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Episode 13

Views of the Vanishing Frontier

Tue, Dec 27, 1988 60 mins

"Views of a Vanishing Frontier" portrays Native Americans living along the Missouri River during the 1830s, as seen through the works of a Swiss painter and the diary of a German aristocrat who sailed the waterway.

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Episode 14

Eudora Welty, One Writers Beginnings

Tue, Jan 3, 1989 60 mins

"Eudora Welty: One Writer's Beginnings" profiles the author, who recalls her childhood and life in Jackson, Miss. A 1987 BBC film based on her 1984 autobiographical work. Narrator: Charles Kuralt.

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Episode 15

The World That Moses Built

Tue, Jan 10, 1989 60 mins

A profile of master builder Robert Moses, who "transformed the look and character of New York" from the late 1920s through the 1960s. Included: the UN, Lincoln Center and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

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Episode 16

Sins of Our Mothers: The Story of Emeline

Tue, Jan 17, 1989 60 mins

Recalling the story of a 19th-century woman ostracized for having an illegitimate child. Amanda Plummer narrates. Host: David McCullough.

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