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American Experience Season 7 Episodes

11 Episodes 1994 - 1995

Episode 1

FDR: The Center of the World/Fear Itself

Wed, Oct 12, 1994 120 mins

"FDR," a two-part biography of the Nation's only four-term President. Part 1 examines his privileged upbringing; his marriage to his distant cousin Eleanor; and his early political career. Narrated by David McCullough.

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American Experience, Season 7 Episode 1 image

Episode 2

FDR: The Grandest Job in the World/The Juggler

Thu, Oct 13, 1994 150 mins

"FDR" concludes with a review of his Presidency, including his "New Deal" policies; and his wartime alliances with Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill. Narrated by David McCullough.

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American Experience, Season 7 Episode 2 image

Episode 3

Telegrams From the Dead

Wed, Oct 19, 1994 60 mins

Recalling the spiritualism movement, which became a "national passion" from 1848 to the 1880s. Included: readings from the period; comments from historians. Narrated by Ellen Burstyn.

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Episode 4

Midnight Ramble

Wed, Oct 26, 1994 60 mins

Recalling the "race movies" of 1910-50, which "provided [blacks] with images of themselves that they didn't see on the regular screen." Included: a profile of Oscar Micheaux; comments from Herb Jeffries and Toni Cade Bambara. James Avery narrates.

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Episode 5

The Battle of the Bulge

Wed, Nov 9, 1994 90 mins

Soldiers recall the "Battle of the Bulge," Hitler's December 1944 counterattack in the Ardennes forest. Included: how soldiers unfit for combat were sometimes sent back to the front. Narrated by David McCullough.

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American Experience, Season 7 Episode 5 image

Episode 6

Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern

Mon, Jan 16, 1995 90 mins

This documentary highlights the demise of the American family farm by focusing on the misfortunes of one family. Husband-and-wife filmmakers Jeanne Jordan and Steven Ascher returned from their home in Massachusetts to record a crisis involving the Jordan family's Iowa farm. The family has owned the farm since 1867. In recent generations, the Jordans have borrowed money from the local bank to work the farm. Now, Russell and Mary Jane Jordan owe $200,000, and the bank wants the money repaid. They are adamant that the farm must remain in the family, however, and they sell all of their belongings to pay off the bank so that they can give the land to their son Jim. After their home is stripped and their precious belongings are auctioned off, the Jordans move to a tiny house in a nearby town, but Jim keeps the farm -- at least for the time being.

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Episode 7

One Woman, One Vote

Wed, Feb 15, 1995 120 mins

Examining the struggle to legalize the vote for women, with a focus on the partnership of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, the movement's founders. Also: infighting within the organization; the leadership of Alice Paul. Narrated by Susan Sarandon.

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Episode 8

The Way West: Westward, the Course of Empire Takes Its Way

Mon, May 8, 1995 90 mins

Ric Burns' "The Way West," a chronicle of the American expansion west of the Mississippi and its tragic consequences for Native Americans. Part 1 examines how millions were inspired to strike out for new territories. Included: tensions between settlers and Native Americans; the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre. Russell Baker is the narrator.

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Episode 9

The Way West: Approach of Civilization

Mon, May 8, 1995 90 mins

Part 2 of "The Way West," examines how U.S. Army involvement and railroad construction contributed to loss of Native American land. Events covered include military campaigns against the Lakota Sioux; and Red Cloud's negotiation of the Fort Laramie treaty of 1868. Russell Baker is the narrator.

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Episode 10

The Way West: The War for the Black Hills

Tue, May 9, 1995 90 mins

Part 3 of "The Way West" examines the fight for the last remaining Native American territories. Included: the treaty-breaching plunder of the Black Hills of the Dakotas in 1873 in a search for gold; and the U.S. Army's defeat at the 1876 Battle of Little Big Horn.

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Episode 11

The Way West: Ghost Dance

Tue, May 9, 1995 90 mins

"The Way West" concludes with an examination of the crackdown on Native Americans following Custer's defeat, and their desperate fight to hold fast to their traditions and culture. Included: the tragic fates of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull; and the Government's banning of the "Ghost Dance," which led to the deaths of 250 Sioux in 1890 at the Battle of Wounded Knee.

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