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American Experience Season 24 Episodes

8 Episodes 2012 - 2012

Episode 1

Billy the Kid

Tue, Jan 10, 2012 57 mins

The true story of the infamous outlaw Billy the Kid, aka Henry McCarty, who was born in New York City's slums to impoverished, Irish immigrant parents; and was killed in 1881 New Mexico by Lincoln County sheriff Pat Garrett after escaping custody while awaiting his execution for the murder of the previous Lincoln County sheriff. The profile includes remarks from Western historians and writers, plus former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson.

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American Experience, Season 24 Episode 1 image

Episode 2

Custer's Last Stand

Tue, Jan 17, 2012 117 mins

A profile of Gen. George Armstrong Custer (1839-76), nicknamed "the boy general" for his Civil War exploits, who died with many other members of the 7th Cavalry while battling the Cheyenne and Lakota along the Little Bighorn River in Montana Territory. The documentary details his time at West Point, where he became infamous for his rebellious nature; his relationship with his wife Libbie; his year-long suspension from the service; and the campaign against the Cheyenne that led to his death.

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American Experience, Season 24 Episode 2 image

Episode 3

The Comeback Kid

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 117 mins

Part 1 of a two-part profile of former president Bill Clinton charts his path from Hope, Arkansas to Washington, DC, ending midway through his first term when the GOP, led by Newt Gingrich, took control of the House of Representatives and Senate. The documentary details the scandals and setbacks that Clinton weathered to that point; and features remarks from such Clinton associates as Harold Ickes, Dick Morris, Mike McCurry, Dee Dee Myers, Robert Reich and Betsey Wright.

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American Experience, Season 24 Episode 3 image

Episode 4

The Survivor

Tue, Feb 21, 2012 117 mins

The conclusion of the Bill Clinton biography recalls the Monica Lewinsky scandal, which led to Clinton becoming the second US president to be impeached. It also details his face-off over the federal budget with Newt Gingrich, whose refusal to compromise led to a government shutdown, and successful 1996 re-election campaign.

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American Experience, Season 24 Episode 4 image

Episode 5

Episode 5

Tue, Feb 28, 2012 117 mins

The insular Amish religious community is examined. The documentary features audio of Amish members discussing their lives (their faith precludes having their pictures taken) as well as remarks from experts and former Amish members. Amish history, which dates to the late 1600s, is also detailed, including the persecution that led adherents to leave Europe for Pennsylvania in the early 1700s. Education, rumspringa and the 2006 Lancaster County, Pa., school shooting are also covered.

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American Experience, Season 24 Episode 5 image

Episode 6

Grand Coulee Dam

Tue, Apr 3, 2012 57 mins

The history of the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River in Washington, which was one of the centerpiece projects of FDR's New Deal during the Great Depression. A controversial undertaking, it transformed the Pacific Northwest for good and bad, providing needed energy to the growing cities of Portland and Seattle even as it wiped away entire towns, dislocated Colville Indian Reservation tribes, and blocked the ability of salmon to reach their spawning grounds.

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American Experience, Season 24 Episode 6 image

Episode 7

Episode 7

Tue, May 1, 2012 57 mins

Andre Braugher narrates a profile of Jesse Owens (1913-80), the legendary track athlete who upended Adolf Hitler's goal of using the 1936 Berlin Olympics as a showcase for the superiority of Aryan athletes by winning four gold medals. Following the games, Owens was stripped of his amateur standing for skipping an Amateur Athletic Union tour of Europe and returning home.

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American Experience, Season 24 Episode 7 image

Episode 8

Episode 8

Tue, Sep 18, 2012 117 mins

Examining how the Civil War death toll, which is estimated to have been 750,000 people (2.5 percent of the nation's population at the time), affected the nation's psyche. Based on Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust's book "This Republic of Suffering," the documentary includes remarks from her and fellow historians David W. Blight, Vincent Brown, J. David Hacker and Mark S. Schantz; poet Thomas Lynch; Adm. Mike Mullen (USN Ret.), a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and George Will.

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American Experience, Season 24 Episode 8 image