Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Freedom: A History of US Season 1 Episodes

Season 1 Episode Guide

Season 1

16 Episodes 2003 - 2003

Episode 1

Independence (1765-1776)

Sun, Jan 12, 2003 30 mins

"Independence" (Part 1 of 16) begins with the Boston Tea Party and ends in the summer of 1776, when "something happened that would change the world forever," says narrator Katie Couric. Voices include Michael Caine (William Pitt ), John Goodman (Benjamin Harrison), Tom Hanks (Paul Revere), Anthony Hopkins (George Washington ), Kevin Kline (Thomas Jefferson), John Lithgow (Benjamin Rush), Brad Pitt (George Hewes), Martin Sheen (John Adams) and Meryl Streep (Abigail Adams).

Where to Watch

Episode 2

Revolution (1776-1809)

Sun, Jan 12, 2003 30 mins

"Revolution (1776-1809)" (Part 2) covers what narrator Katie Couric calls "the people's war" for independence and the first struggles of this "new kind of nation." The Constitution begins with the words "We the people." But, asks historian Eric Foner: "Who are the people?" Still, it was a "foundation," as antislavery delegate James Wilson (voice of Ralph Fiennes) put it. Next: the selection of George Washington (Anthony Hopkins) as president and the quick evolution of party politics. Other voices include Michael Douglas (Benjamin Franklin), Kevin Spacey (Gouvenor Morris), Brad Pitt (Albigence Waldo), Kevin Kline (Thomas Jefferson) and Susan Sarandon (Mary Hagedorn).

Where to Watch

Episode 3

Liberty for All? (1620-1849)

Sun, Jan 19, 2003 30 mins

"Liberty for All?" (Part 3 of 16) examines the evolution of religious freedom and westward expansion. Voices include Michael Caine (John Cotton), Ralph Fiennes (John Bradford), Graham Greene (Red Jacket), Tom Hanks (Daniel Boone), Anthony Hopkins (John Winthrop), Jeremy Irons (King James I), Samuel L. Jackson (Tecumseh), Kevin Kline (Thomas Jefferson), John Lithgow (Roger Williams), Brad Pitt (James K. Polk), Dennis Quaid (Andrew Jackson), Kevin Spacey (Cotton Mather), Meryl Streep (Mary Easty), Robin Williams (Missouri farmer) and Reese Witherspoon (Susan Magoffin). Katie Couric narrates.

Where to Watch

Episode 4

Wake Up America (1788-1848)

Sun, Jan 19, 2003 30 mins

"Wake Up America" (Part 4 of 16) recalls technological progress and social reforms of the 19th century. Voices include Jennifer Aniston (Jesse Benton), Philip Bosco (Peter Cooper), Michael Caine (Edward Everett), Harry Connick Jr. (M. Jeff Thompson), Blythe Danner (Elizabeth Cady Stanton), Ralph Fiennes (DeWitt Clinton), Whoopi Goldberg (Sojourner Truth), Tom Hanks (Reporter), Anthony Hopkins (William Radcliffe), Kevin Kline (Robert Fulton), Matthew McConaughey (Charles Fenno Hoffman), Tim Robbins (Moses Brown), Kevin Spacey (Herman Melville), Stanley Tucci (Sam Slater) and Robin Williams (Josiah Quincy). Katie Couric narrates.

Where to Watch

Episode 5

A Fatal Contradiction (1700-1861)

Fri, Jan 17, 2003 30 mins

"A Fatal Contradiction (1700-1861)" explores slavery in the U.S. Voices include Morgan Freeman (Frederick Douglass); Tom Hanks (Abraham Lincoln); Dabney Coleman (Stephen A. Douglas); Brad Pitt (William Lloyd Garrison); Whoopi Goldberg (Harriet Tubman); Anthony Hopkins (Robert Walsh); Samuel L. Jackson (Henry Highland Garnet); Matthew McConaughey (Alexander Stephens); Philip Bosco (Frederick Law Olmstead); Chevy Chase (Levi Coffin); Ralph Fiennes (Charleston eyewitness); and Ving Rhames (Josiah Henson).

Where to Watch

Episode 6

A War to End Slavery (1861-1865)

Fri, Jan 17, 2003 30 mins

"A War to End Slavery" examines the Civil War. Voices include Tom Hanks (Abraham Lincoln), Robin Williams (U.S. Grant), Robert Redford (M.M. Miller), Glenn Close (Eliza Andrews), Billy Crystal (Union soldier), Al Roker ("Christian Recorder" editor), Morgan Freeman (Frederick Douglass), Michael Douglas (Benjamin French), Matthew Broderick (William T. Sherman), Samuel L. Jackson (Benjamin French), Stacy Keach (George McClellan), Matthew McConaughey (W.W. Wood) and Tim Robbins (Winfield Scott Hancock). Katie Couric narrates.

Where to Watch

Episode 7

What Is Freedom?

Fri, Jan 24, 2003 30 mins

"What Is Freedom?" explores post-Civil War Reconstruction and the rise of segregation. Voices include Julia Roberts (Virginia Eyewitness), Kevin Spacey (Sidney Andrews), Martin Sheen (Thaddeus Stevens), Freeman (Frederick Douglass), Whoopi Goldberg (Millie Freeman), Matthew Broderick (John Marshall Harlan), Charles Dutton (Benjamin Arnett), Aidan Quinn (Philadelphia Press Journal), Samuel L. Jakcson (Isaiah Wears), Ving Rhames (W.E.B. DuBois), Al Roker (Henry McNeal Turner), Robert Redford (Carl Schurz), Matthew McConaughey (Andrew Johnson) and Stanley Tucci (Rutherford B. Hayes). Katie Couric narrates.

Where to Watch

Episode 8

Whose Land Is This?

Fri, Jan 24, 2003 30 mins

"Whose Land Is This?" charts immigration and westward expansion during the late 19th century. Voices include Reese Witherspoon (Sarah Raymond), Tom Hanks (Charles E. Wood), Graham Greene (Crazy Horse), Glenn Close (Mary Antin), Tim Robbins (Working Man's Party voice), Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (Chief Joseph) and Matthew Broderick (William Tecumseh Sherman). Katie Couric narrates.

Where to Watch

Episode 9

Working for Freedom

Fri, Jan 31, 2003 30 mins

"Working for Freedom" follows the labor and women's suffrage movements. Voices include Susan Sarandon (Susan B. Anthony), Philip Bosco (Samuel Gompers), Michael Caine (William Wood), Tom Hanks (Jacob Coxey), Samuel L. Jackson (Marshal), Kevin Spacey (Ira Seward), Chevy Chase (Stockholder), Blythe Danner (Appleton's Journal), Ralph Fiennes (Barton Simonson), Whoopi Goldberg (Lucy Parsons), John Goodman (William "Big Bill" Haywood), Kevin Kline (August Spies), John Lithgow (Judge Ward Hunt) and Matthew McConaughey (John Swinton). Katie Couric narrates.

Where to Watch

Episode 10

Yearning to Breathe Free

Fri, Jan 31, 2003 30 mins

"Yearning to Breathe Free" examines social and environmental-reform efforts in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Voices include Meryl Streep (Mother Jones), Sean Connery (John Muir), Ralph Fiennes (John D. Rockefeller), Blythe Danner (Emma Lazarus), Jane Alexander (Jane Adams), Michael Caine (Newspaper Editor), Matthew McConaughey (Mark Twain), Harry Connick Jr. (Joseph Pulitzer), Julia Roberts (Appleton's Journal), Reese Witherspoon (Factory Girl), Chevy Chase (Theodore Roosevelt), Dana Reeve (Ida Tarbell) and Stanley Tucci (Frederic Bartholdi). Katie Couric narrates.

Where to Watch

Episode 11

Safe for Democracy

Fri, Feb 7, 2003 30 mins

"Safe for Democracy" (1903-27) begins with the Wright brothers and ends with Lucky Lindy. In between: World War I, the women's suffrage movement and the Roaring '20s. Voices include Robin Williams (Wilber and Orville Wright); Paul Newman (Woodrow Wilson); Martin Sheen (Charles Lindbergh); Joanne Woodward (Anne Martin); Richard Gere (Lord Staley); Ving Rhames (W.E.B. DuBois); Jeremy Irons (Lord Grey); Dennis Quaid (New York Times); Aidan Quinn (Mob member); Stanley Tucci (Lt. Harry Rennagel); and Dana Reeve (Agnes Loebeck). Katie Couric narrates.

Where to Watch

Episode 12

Depression and War

Fri, Feb 7, 2003 30 mins

"Depression and War" (1929-45). Voices include Kevin Spacey (Herbert Hoover), Martin Sheen (John Dos Passos), Kristi Yamaguchi (Haruko Obata), Billy Bush (Earle Curtis), Dennis Quaid (George Mehales) and Campbell Scott (Harold Ickes). Katie Couric narrates.

Where to Watch

Episode 13

Democracy and Struggles

Fri, Feb 14, 2003 30 mins

"Democracy and Struggles" covers the beginnings of the Cold War and the civil-rights movement. Voices include Morgan Freeman (Thurgood Marshall), Paul Newman (Chief Justice Earl Warren), Charles Dutton (black student) and Meryl Streep (Sen. Margaret Chase Smith). Katie Couric narrates.

Where to Watch

Episode 14

Let Freedom Ring

Fri, Feb 14, 2003 30 mins

"Let Freedom Ring" covers the civil-rights movement and the Kennedy administration. Voices include Ving Rhames (James Bevel), Angela Bassett (Melba Pattillo), Morgan Freeman (Earle Green), Whoopi Goldberg (Patricia King) and John Seigenthaler (Eugene "Bull" Connor). Katie Couric narrates.

Where to Watch

Episode 15

Marching to Freedom Land

Fri, Feb 21, 2003 30 mins

"Marching to Freedom Land" recalls the Great Society, the war in Vietnam (and the opposition to it) and the death of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Voices include Angela Bassett (Sheyann Web) and Kevin Kline (Paul Potter). Katie Couric narrates.

Where to Watch

Episode 16

Becoming Free

Fri, Feb 21, 2003 30 mins

Conclusion. "Becoming Free" carries the story of American democracy from 1969 into the 21st century. Voices include Morgan Freeman (Langston Hughes) and Dennis Quaid (Robert Ode). Katie Couric narrates.

Where to Watch