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American Experience Season 25 Episodes

8 Episodes 2013 - 2013

Episode 1

The Abolitionists: 1820s-1838

Tue, Jan 8, 2013 57 mins

Part 1 of 3. Dramatic scenes and documentary segments tell the stories of abolitionists Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Angelina Grimké, Harriet Beecher Stowe and John Brown. It begins with the enslaved Douglass becoming hopeful when he learns of the abolitionist movement; Garrison founding the Liberator, an antislavery newspaper; Stowe witnessing slavery during her first trip to the South; and Brown devoting himself to the cause after an antislavery activist is murdered.

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American Experience, Season 25 Episode 1 image

Episode 2

The Abolitionists: 1838-1854

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 57 mins

Part 2 of 3. Frederick Douglass escapes slavery, joins William Lloyd Garrison in the abolitionist movement, writes his autobiography and flees to England to avoid being captured by his former owner; and Harriet Beecher Stowe publishes "Uncle Tom's Cabin" in 1852, which changes how many Americans view slavery. Also: an incident in 1854 Boston in which President Franklin Pierce, a slavery sympathizer, orders the military to return a jailed fugitive slave to his owner in Virginia.

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American Experience, Season 25 Episode 2 image

Episode 3

The Abolitionists: 1854-Emancipation and Victory

Tue, Jan 22, 2013 57 mins

Conclusion. John Brown's 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry, an attempt to spark a slave revolt, is recounted, as is the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln and what followed: the Civil War, Emancipation Proclamation and adoption of the 13th Amendment in December 1865. The Emancipation Proclamation also enabled freed men to enlist in the Union Army. As a result, two of Frederick Douglass' sons go to war; and self-described "ultra peace man" William Lloyd Garrison allowed his first-born son to enlist.

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American Experience, Season 25 Episode 3 image

Episode 4

Henry Ford

Tue, Jan 29, 2013 117 mins

A profile of Henry Ford (1863-1947), the Ford Motor Company founder whose Model T in 1908 changed the auto industry. He also instituted the assembly line (an idea borrowed from the meatpacking industry), introduced the $5/8-hour workday—and investigated employees through his company's Sociological Department. (Anyone who failed to pass muster had wages withheld and/or were fired.) The documentary also details his anti-Semitism, including a newspaper he purchased in order to publicize his views.

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American Experience, Season 25 Episode 4 image

Episode 5

Silicon Valley

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 87 mins

Recalling Robert Noyce (1927-90), the leader of the "traitorous eight" who left Shockley Semiconductor Company in 1957 to form Fairchild Semiconductor, a company that became a pivotal player in the technology sphere. Noyce co-invented the integrated circuit, which is an essential component of every modern electronic device; and, as leader of Fairchild (and eventually Intel), helped create the Silicon Valley culture that prizes openness over hierarchy; risk over stability; and jeans over suits.

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American Experience, Season 25 Episode 5 image

Episode 6

War of the Worlds

Tue, Oct 29, 2013 57 mins

Recalling the 1938 radio broadcast of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds" by Orson Welles and his "Mercury Theater on the Air" crew, which occurred on Mischief Night. Some listeners believed the program's account of a Martian invasion to be true and panicked due to the format, which featured "reporters" breaking into "regular programming" with realistic accounts of an in-progress attack. Included: remarks from film historian Peter Bogdanovich; and Welles' daughter, Chris Welles Feder.

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American Experience, Season 25 Episode 6 image

Episode 7

JFK (Part 1)

Mon, Nov 11, 2013 117 mins

A two-part profile of John F. Kennedy begins with his early years, detailing the health challenges he faced; his heroism after his PT boat was hit by an enemy destroyer during World War II; and his first run for Congress. Also: the 1960 presidential race, which featured the first televised presidential debates. Among those sharing insights: his sister Jean Kennedy Smith and niece Kathleen Kennedy Townsend; presidential biographers Robert A. Caro and Robert Dallek; and historian David Nasaw.

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American Experience, Season 25 Episode 7 image

Episode 8

JFK (Part 2)

Tue, Nov 12, 2013 117 mins

Conclusion. John F. Kennedy's White House years are charted, including the Bay of Pigs fiasco; Cuban Missile Crisis; handling of civil rights; and decision to travel to Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, to shore up support for the 1964 election. The successes and failures of his tenure in office are also weighed by Kennedy administration officials John Seigenthaler, Thomas Hughes and Harris Wofford; civil-rights leaders Andrew Young and Julian Bond; and journalists Evan Thomas and Richard Reeves.

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American Experience, Season 25 Episode 8 image