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American Experience Season 11 Episodes

11 Episodes 1998 - 1999

Episode 1

America 1900

Wed, Nov 18, 1998 180 mins

America in 1900 is explored. Examined are "emblematic events of the year," says producer David Grubin, including the mine disaster in Scofield, Utah; the rebellion in the Philippines against occupying American troops; and the murders of American missionaries in China during the Boxer Rebellion. David McCullough narrates.

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Episode 2

Race for the Superbomb

Mon, Jan 11, 1999 120 mins

The "Race of the Superbomb," in which the U.S. and the USSR competed in the 1950s to see which would be the first to create the hydrogen bomb, "a weapon of virtually unlimited power." Narrated by David Ogden Stiers.

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Episode 3

Hoover Dam

Mon, Jan 18, 1999 60 mins

The construction of the Hoover Dam, which "changed the history of the West" and took eight years to complete. Included: interviews with former workers; efforts by the Bureau of Reclamation to convince the Government to fund the project. Narrated by Peter Coyote.

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American Experience, Season 11 Episode 3 image

Episode 4

Alone on the Ice

Mon, Feb 8, 1999 60 mins

Chronicling the 1933-35 Antarctic expedition of Richard Byrd (1888-1957). Byrd had resolved to live on his own one winter in a remote weather station, but had to be rescued after suffering from carbon-monoxide poisoning. Narrated by Donald Sutherland.

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Episode 5

Rescue at Sea

Mon, Feb 15, 1999 60 mins

Remembering the 1909 collision between the Republic and the Florida. All of the Republic passengers were saved because of the persistence of a telegraph operator who sent messages over a 24-hour period until help came. Narrated by David McCullough.

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Episode 6

Meltdown at Three Mile Island

Mon, Feb 22, 1999 60 mins

Recalling the 1979 disaster at the Pennsylvania nuclear power plant Three Mile Island. It started with "a simple plumbing breakdown," notes narrator Liev Schreiber, and snowballed into a near core meltdown. Host: David McCullough.

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Episode 7

Lost in the Grand Canyon

Mon, Apr 5, 1999 60 mins

Chronicling explorer John Wesley Powell's 1869 expedition down the Colorado River. While Powell and his nine-member crew successfully navigated the river into the Grand Canyon, the trip was fraught with problems, including the loss of supplies and, ultimately, three men.

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Episode 8

Riding the Rails

Mon, Apr 12, 1999 60 mins

Seniors reflect on "Riding the Rails" as teenage hobos during the Depression. Archival footage and period folk music are blended with the oral histories. Produced by Michael Uys and Lexy Lovell. Richard Thomas narrates.

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Episode 9

Fly Girls

Mon, May 24, 1999 60 mins

Recalling the Women Airforce Service Pilots, a World War II unit whose members ferried military planes and served as test pilots and flight instructors. Six veterans of the service are interviewed; as is test pilot Chuck Yeager. Mary McDonnell narrates.

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Episode 10

MacArthur: Destiny

Mon, May 17, 1999 120 mins

Part 1 of a two-part biography of Douglas MacArthur takes "America's first soldier" from his brilliant WWI service into WWII, when his knack for alienating superiors hindered his "return" to the Philippines. Interviewed: biographer Geoffrey Perret; historian Stephen Ambrose; Gen. Vernon Walters (USA Ret.).

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Episode 11

MacArthur: The Politics of War

Mon, May 17, 1999 120 mins

The conclusion of "MacArthur" focuses on his "return" to the Philippines in 1944, his years as Supreme Allied Commander in Japan after the war and his controversial command in Korea. Interviewed: onetime MacArthur aide Alexander Haig; historian David McCullough. David Ogden Stiers narrates.

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