American Experience

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American Experience
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27 videos in this collection

Coney Island
"It is blatant, it is cheap, it is the apotheosis of the ridiculous. But it is something more; it is like Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone Park;…
Silicon Valley
In 1957, decades before Steve Jobs dreamed up Apple or Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, a group of eight brilliant young men defected from the Shockley Semiconductor Company in order to…
The Poisoner's Handbook
In the early 20th century, the average American medicine cabinet was a would-be poisoner's treasure chest, with radioactive radium, thallium, and morphine in everyday products. The pace of industrial innovation…
The Amish: Shunned - Ex-Members of the Amish Community
What is it like to be cut off from your faith and your family? The Amish: Shunned follows seven people who have chosen to leave their closed and tightly-knit communities…
The Rise and Fall of Penn Station
In 1910, the Pennsylvania Railroad successfully accomplished the enormous engineering feat of building tunnels under New York City's Hudson and East Rivers, connecting the railroad to New York and New…
1964
1964 was the year the Beatles came to America, Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali, and three civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi. It was the year when Berkeley students…
The Lobotomist
The lobotomy was hailed by The New York Times as a "surgery of the soul", a landmark medical procedure promising hope to mentally ill patients. Championed by neurologist Walter J.…
A Midwife’s Tale
Based on her personal diary, this program presents a dramatic exploration of the life of Martha Ballard, a woman who lived through the economic boom and bust, and political and…
Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring
She was a biologist for the federal government when she first noted the effects of the unregulated use of pesticides and herbicides, especially DDT. Magazines, afraid of losing advertising, refused…
Earth Days
Director Robert Stone ("Oswald's Ghost," "Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst") traces the origins of the modern environmental movement through the eyes of nine Americans who propelled the movement from…
Stonewall Uprising
In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in the Greenwich Village section of New York City. Such raids were…
Scottsboro - An American Tragedy
In 1931, two white women stepped from a box car in Paint Rock, Alabama to make a shocking accusation: they had been raped by nine black teenagers on the train.…
Edison - The Father of Invention
By the time he died in 1931, Thomas Edison was one of the most famous men in the world. The holder of more patents than any other inventor in history,…
The Big Burn
In the summer of 1910, hundreds of wildfires raged across the Northern Rockies. By the time it was all over, more than three million acres had burned and at least…
Lost in the Grand Canyon
In the spring of 1869, a thirty-five-year-old, one-armed Civil War veteran and self-taught scientist led an expedition down the Colorado River into the last uncharted territory in the United States.…
Freedom Summer
In the hot and deadly summer of 1964, the nation could not turn away from Mississippi. Over 10 memorable weeks known as Freedom Summer, more than 700 student volunteers joined…
Remember the Alamo
In the early 1830s Texas was about to explode. Although ruled by Mexico, the region was home to more than 20,000 U.S. settlers agitated by what they saw as restrictive…
The Orphan Trains
In 1853, 10,000 homeless children roamed New York City streets. Young minister Charles Loring Brace founded the Children's Aid Society, sending orphans west to begin new lives with farm families.…
Last Days in Vietnam
April, 1975. During the chaotic final days of the American involvement in the Vietnam War, as the North Vietnamese Army closed in on Saigon, South Vietnamese resistance crumbled. City after…
Freedom Riders
FREEDOM RIDERS is the powerful harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white…
Panama Canal
On August 15th, 1914, the Panama Canal opened, connecting the world's two largest oceans and signaling America's emergence as a global superpower. This AMERICAN EXPERIENCE film using an extraordinary archive…
Dinosaur Wars
Dinosaur Wars, from producer Mark Davis, is the story of two talented scientists, O.C. Marsh and Edward Cope, whose once professional rivalry soured into a bitter personal feud. Together, Marsh…
Triangle Fire - A Deadly Factory Accident in New York
It was the deadliest workplace accident in New York City's history. A dropped match on the 8th floor of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory sparked a fire that killed over a…
Eleanor Roosevelt
She was the nation's conscience, a tireless advocate for the disadvantaged, a woman who influenced American social policies for decades and pushed through the first international charter on human rights.…
Henry Ford
An absorbing life story of a farm boy who rose from obscurity to become the most influential American innovator of the 20th century, Henry Ford offers an incisive look at…
Jesse Owens - An Olympic Athlete
The story of the 22-year-old Olympic champion sprinter, who infuriated the Nazis and captivated the world with his triumph at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Although Jesse Owen was a four…
Alexander Hamilton - Biography of a Founding Father
One of the most controversial men of his age, Alexander Hamilton was a gifted statesman brought down by the fatal flaws of stubbornness, extreme candor and arrogance. His life and…

Related videos

Lost in the Grand Canyon
Part of the Series: American Experience
In the spring of 1869, a thirty-five-year-old, one-armed Civil War veteran and self-taught scientist led an expedition down the Colorado River into the last uncharted territory in the United States. Ninety-nine days later, John Wesley Powell emerged from the Grand Canyon after one of the most daring journeys in American…
Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring
Part of the Series: American Experience
She was a biologist for the federal government when she first noted the effects of the unregulated use of pesticides and herbicides, especially DDT. Magazines, afraid of losing advertising, refused to publish her articles. When Rachel Carson published Silent Spring in 1963, she was viciously attacked, called "an ignorant and…
A Midwife’s Tale
Part of the Series: American Experience
Based on her personal diary, this program presents a dramatic exploration of the life of Martha Ballard, a woman who lived through the economic boom and bust, and political and social turmoil of the decades following the American Revolution.
Edison - The Father of Invention
Part of the Series: American Experience
By the time he died in 1931, Thomas Edison was one of the most famous men in the world. The holder of more patents than any other inventor in history, Edison had amassed a fortune and achieved glory as the genius behind such revolutionary inventions as sound recording, motion pictures,…
The Big Burn
Part of the Series: American Experience
In the summer of 1910, hundreds of wildfires raged across the Northern Rockies. By the time it was all over, more than three million acres had burned and at least 78 firefighters were dead. It was the largest fire in American history. "Big Burn" premieres February 3, 2015 on PBS…
The Amish: Shunned - Ex-Members of the Amish Community
Part of the Series: American Experience
What is it like to be cut off from your faith and your family? The Amish: Shunned follows seven people who have chosen to leave their closed and tightly-knit communities for the outside world, knowing they can never return. Each has paid deeply for their decision. Estranged from loved ones,…
Remember the Alamo
Part of the Series: American Experience
In the early 1830s Texas was about to explode. Although ruled by Mexico, the region was home to more than 20,000 U.S. settlers agitated by what they saw as restrictive Mexican policies. Mexican officials, concerned with illegal trading and immigration, were prepared to fight hard to keep the province under…
Earth Days
Part of the Series: American Experience
Director Robert Stone ("Oswald's Ghost," "Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst") traces the origins of the modern environmental movement through the eyes of nine Americans who propelled the movement from its beginnings in the 1950s to its moment of triumph in 1970 with the original Earth Day and to its…
Coney Island
Part of the Series: American Experience
"It is blatant, it is cheap, it is the apotheosis of the ridiculous. But it is something more; it is like Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone Park; it is a national playground, and not to have seen it is not to have seen your own country," said…
Dinosaur Wars
Part of the Series: American Experience
Dinosaur Wars, from producer Mark Davis, is the story of two talented scientists, O.C. Marsh and Edward Cope, whose once professional rivalry soured into a bitter personal feud. Together, Marsh and Cope were responsible for identifying more than 142 different species and for introducing dinosaurs into the American imagination, but…
Silicon Valley
Part of the Series: American Experience
In 1957, decades before Steve Jobs dreamed up Apple or Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, a group of eight brilliant young men defected from the Shockley Semiconductor Company in order to start their own transistor business. Their leader was 29-year-old Robert Noyce, a physicist with a brilliant mind and the affability…
The Poisoner's Handbook
Part of the Series: American Experience
In the early 20th century, the average American medicine cabinet was a would-be poisoner's treasure chest, with radioactive radium, thallium, and morphine in everyday products. The pace of industrial innovation increased, but the scientific knowledge to detect and prevent crimes committed with these materials lagged behind until 1918. New York…