It was the largest fire in American history: by the time it was all over, more than three million acres had burned and at least 78 firefighters were dead.
The coal miners' battle for dignity led to the largest armed insurrection since the American Civil War.
They were the first to brave the unknown.
In 1960, the U.S. Forest Service started keeping detailed records of damage caused by wildfires. During the first 40 years of record keeping, between 1960 and 1999, wildfires destroyed nearly 141 million acres of land in the United States. Between 2000 and 2013, nearly 161 million acres were consumed by wildfires -- more in 13 years than in the previous 40 years, combined. Changes in Forest Service policy and an increase in the number of American homes built in or near wild lands offer insight into this upward trend in wildfire occurrence and damage.
My American Experience
From George Washington (1789-1797) to William McKinley (1897-1901), who is your favorite? Was it one of the Adams', Jefferson, or any of the other founding fathers? Or was it Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, or James Garfield? Which of the new country's leaders most helped shape America's identity in its first century of existence? Who was the most influential, and who had the most impact on the country we live in today? Share your story.
Or click here to share your favorite 20th-century American president.
Recently dubbed the “patron saint of geeks,” Nikola Tesla has had electric cars, rock bands, a unit of measurement, a minor planet and a lunar crater named after him. His exhilarating sense of the future has inspired renewed interest in the man, as his once scoffed-at vision of a world connected by wireless technology has become a reality. Written and produced by David Grubin and executive produced by Mark Samels, Tesla premieres on American Experience Tuesday, October, 18, 2016, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS.