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American Experience Season 8 Episodes

8 Episodes 1995 - 1996

Episode 1

Murder of the Century

Mon, Oct 16, 1995 60 mins

A study of the 1906 shooting of architect Stanford White by wealthy Harry Thaw "in a dispute over a showgirl," Evelyn Nesbit Thaw. The documentary recalls media coverage of the trial and the social climate of the times. Narrator: David Ogden Stiers.

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Episode 2

Edison's Miracle of Light

Mon, Oct 23, 1995 60 mins

Examining Thomas Edison's effort to produce a "practical electric lightbulb," and his subsequent efforts to "invent a new industry to provide electric power." Included: his rivalry with industrialist George Westinghouse. Narrated by Peter Coyote.

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Episode 3

Chicago 1968

Mon, Nov 13, 1995 60 mins

Recalling events in 1968 Chicago leading to the confrontation between the police and anti-Vietnam War protesters during the Democratic National Convention. Included: how Mayor Richard Daley's actions made the situation "almost a morality play." Narrator: W.S. Merwin.

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Episode 4

The Orphan Trains

Mon, Nov 27, 1995 60 mins

Examining the transportation of tens of thousands of orphaned children to the Midwest from 1854 to 1929. Included: comments from onetime passengers, who discuss how they were treated by their guardians. Narrated by Stacy Keach.

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Episode 5

Daley, the Last Boss

Mon, Jan 22, 1996 120 mins

Chronicling the reign of Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley (1902-76), who was among the last of the old-style "big city bosses." Supporters and opponents discuss Daley's ties to his working-class constituents; and his reluctance to help alleviate racial tensions in the 1960s. Narrated by Hal Holbrook.

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Episode 6

The Battle Over Citizen Kane

Mon, Jan 29, 1996 120 mins

"The Battle over 'Citizen Kane' " chronicles how the fates of director Orson Welles and William Randolph Hearst collided after Welles painted a thinly disguised portrait of the publishing magnate in the film "Citizen Kane." Included: Welles' rise in theater and radio; the far-reaching power of Hearst's empire. Richard Ben Cramer narrates.

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Episode 7

The Wright Stuff

Mon, Feb 12, 1996 60 mins

Chronicling the work of Orville and Wilbur Wright, bicycle-shop owners and self-taught aviation pioneers who unveiled their "flying machine" at Kitty Hawk, N.C., in 1903. It was an "astounding" invention, host David McCullough says. Garrison Keillor narrates.

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Episode 8

Spy in the Sky

Mon, Feb 26, 1996 60 mins

Chronicling the events leading up to the 1960 capture of Gary Powers, who had been flying a mission over the USSR in a U-2 spy plane. Included: the Cold War; and Powers' 17-month imprisonment. Narrated by Roy Scheider.

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