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American Experience Season 4 Episodes

12 Episodes 1991 - 1992

Episode 1


Mon, Sep 30, 1991 120 mins

A two-part political biography of LBJ begins with his rise as a New Dealer in the 1930s; the "stolen" Senate election in 1948; his influence as Majority Leader and loss of it as Vice President.

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American Experience, Season 4 Episode 1 image

Episode 2


Tue, Oct 1, 1991 120 mins

The political biography of LBJ concludes with "Great Society" achievements, diminished by urban riots and a widening Vietnam War that, President Johnson said, made him sometimes feel "that I was living in a continuous nightmare."

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American Experience, Season 4 Episode 2 image

Episode 3

Massachusetts 54th Colored Infantry

Mon, Oct 7, 1991 60 mins

A profile of "The Massachusetts Fifty-Fourth Colored Infantry," the Civil War's first regiment of black soldiers, whose story inspired the 1989 film "Glory." Included: comments from descendants of the soldiers. Morgan Freeman is the narrator.

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Episode 4

Barnum's Big Top

Mon, Oct 14, 1991 60 mins

Profiling the 19th-century impresario Phineas T. Barnum, who helped transform a "shady little show" into the Greatest Show on Earth. Robert Lansing is the narrator. Written and directed by Matthew Collins.

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Episode 5

Scandalous Mayor

Mon, Oct 28, 1991 60 mins

Profiling James Michael Curley (1874-1958), who served as mayor of his native Boston for four terms and as governor of Massachusetts (1935-37); and who spent time in prison for mail fraud in 1947. Included: comments from historians.

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Episode 6

Pearl Harbor

Mon, Nov 11, 1991 60 mins

Recalling the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, via archival footage. Also: comments from some of those who experienced the bombing. Narrated by Jason Robards, who was a young sailor stationed at Pearl Harbor at the time.

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Episode 7

G-Men: The Rise of J. Edgar Hoover

Mon, Nov 18, 1991 60 mins

Surveying the early career of controversial FBI director J. Edgar Hoover(1895-1972), who served 48 years under eight Presidents. Included: Hoover's influence in guiding the Justice Department's "Palmer Raids" against alleged subversives. Host: David McCullough.

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Episode 8

Duke Ellington: Reminiscing in Tempo

Mon, Dec 9, 1991 90 mins

Celebrating Duke Ellington's achievements as a composer, bandleader and pianist. Included: performances of Ellington standards, such as "Mood Indigo" and "Take the 'A' Train"; comments from his son Mercer, musicologists and others who knew him. Julian Bond narrates.

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Episode 9

The Quiz Show Scandal

Mon, Jan 6, 1992 60 mins

Recalling quiz-show scandals that rocked the TV industry in the late 1950s. Included: former contestants; producers Mark Goodson and Joseph Cates. Also: clips of "Twenty-One" and other shows.

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Episode 10

Love in the Cold War

Mon, Jan 13, 1992 60 mins

The story of American Communist Party activists Eugene and Peggy Dennis. Included: excerpts from Peggy's autobiography; son Gene Jr.'s recollections; and interviews with family friends.

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Episode 11

Wild by Law

Mon, Feb 10, 1992 60 mins

Profiling three founders of the modern preservation movement---Aldo Leopold, Bob Marshall and Howard Zahnhiser, whose separate efforts led to the Wilderness Act of 1964. Narrated by Linda Hunt.

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Episode 12

In the White Man's Image

Mon, Feb 17, 1992 60 mins

Archival photographs recall an 1875 educational experiment to assimilate Native Americans by using 72 Cheyenne prisoners "singled out for exile" to St. Augustine, Fla. Stacey Keach narrates.

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