Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring
Part of the Series: American Experience

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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.
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…
The Lobotomist
Part of the Series: American Experience
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. Freeman, this "last resort" caught on fast. A decade later, Freeman was decried as a moral monster and the lobotomy…
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…
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…
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…
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 Rise and Fall of Penn Station
Part of the Series: American Experience
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 England, knitting together the entire eastern half of the United States. The tunnels terminated in what was one of the…
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,…
Eleanor Roosevelt
Part of the Series: American Experience
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. Eleanor Roosevelt survived a painful childhood and a difficult marriage to become one of the most admired women in America.…