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American Experience Season 5 Episodes

15 Episodes 1992 - 1993

Episode 1

The Kennedys

Sun, Sep 20, 1992 120 mins

"The Kennedys," a chronicle, begins by examining how patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy amassed a fortune and fostered ambitions for his sons. Stacy Keach is the narrator.

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Episode 2

The Kennedys

Mon, Sep 21, 1992 120 mins

A look at the Kennedys concludes with segments on JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis; Robert's emergence as an advocate for the poor and disadvantaged; and Ted's political rise and personal misfortunes.

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Episode 3

The Donner Party

Wed, Oct 28, 1992 90 mins

Recalling the Donner Party, some of whose members turned to cannibalism when they were stranded in the Sierra Nevada in 1846. Included: letters from members of the trapped Reed family.

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Episode 4

The Johnstown Flood

Wed, Nov 4, 1992 60 mins

An expanded version of Charles Guggenheim's 1989 Oscar-winning documentary on "The Johnstown Flood" of May 31, 1889, which devastated the Pennsylvania town and claimed 2200 lives. Narrator: Len Cariou.

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Episode 5

Liberators Fighting on Two Fronts in WWII

Wed, Nov 11, 1992 90 mins

Graphic footage punctuates "Liberators---Fighting on Two Fronts in World War II," about black soldiers in a segregated military. They were among the first to reach survivors of Buchenwald and other Nazi death camps.

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Episode 6

George Washington: The Man Who Wouldn't Be King

Wed, Nov 18, 1992 60 mins

George Washington is studied in an hour blending re-creations, artwork and comments from historians. Included: his youth at Mount Vernon, Va.

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Episode 7

Last Stand at Little Big Horn

Wed, Nov 25, 1992 60 mins

"Last Stand at Little Bighorn" examines facts and myths surrounding the battle of June 25, 1876, in which a large force of Plains Indians killed Gen. George Armstrong Custer and 262 members of the 7th Cavalry.

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Episode 8

Ishi: The Last Yahi Indian

Wed, Dec 2, 1992 60 mins

"Ishi, the Last Yahi" profiles a Native American who, in 1911, "walked out into the white man's world" after spending nearly 40 years in hiding. Included: archival footage; comments from scholars. Narrated by Linda Hunt.

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Episode 9

If You Knew Sousa

Mon, Jan 11, 1993 90 mins

Recalling the life and music of composer John Philip Sousa with archival materials and interviews. Included: renditions of his marches; comments from former Sousa bandsmen.

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Episode 10

Simple Justice

Mon, Jan 18, 1993 150 mins

"Simple Justice," a docudrama about the efforts of Thurgood Marshall (Peter Francis James) to desegregate public schools. Felix Frankfurter: Sam Gray. Charles Hamilton Houston: James Avery.

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Episode 11

Sit Down and Fight: Walter Reuther and the Rise of the Auto Workers' Union

Mon, Feb 1, 1993 60 mins

"Sit Down and Fight: Walter Reuther and the Rise of the Auto Workers Union" chronicles the history of the UAW and its president. Included: the 1937 sit-down strike against GM, which led to a contract with that company, and later with Chrysler and Ford.

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Episode 12

Knute Rockne and His Fighting Irish

Mon, Feb 8, 1993 60 mins

Profiling Knute Rockne, the University of Notre Dame football coach. Included: interviews with former players, Lou Holtz. Narrator: Joe Mantegna.

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Episode 13

Rachel Carson's Silent Spring

Mon, Feb 15, 1993 60 mins

Profiling scientist Rachel Carson (1907-64), whose work fostered changes in environmental laws. Included: footage from a 1963 CBS documentary on Carson; comments from colleagues.

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Episode 14

French Dance Tonight

Mon, Feb 22, 1993 60 mins

A taste of Cajun and Zydeco music native to Louisiana. Performers include Michael Doucet, Clifton and Cleveland Chenier, Wayne Toups, Dewey Balfa, "Queen Ida" Guillory, Marc Savoy.

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Episode 15

Goin' Back to T'Town

Mon, Mar 1, 1993 60 mins

Former residents tell the story of Greenwood, a predominantly black community in Tulsa that recovered from a 1921 race riot, but could not survive integration.

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American Experience, Season 5 Episode 15 image