Series Blog

When Did the Environment Become a Partisan Issue?


When it comes to the environment, it seems that political divisions in America only grow wider. According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, 90 percent of Democrats believe that the “country should do whatever it takes to protect the environment,” compared with 52 percent of Republicans.

But it wasn’t always that way. American Experience spoke with environmental historian Naomi Oreskes, author of the book Merchants of Doubt, about the early days of environmental activism, and how it gained — and then lost — broad bipartisan support.


Witnessing the Peaceful Transfer of Power


Historian Peter Onuf has described Inauguration Day as a rare opportunity for Americans “to look to the past in order to know what obligations we have to the future.” With that in mind, American Experience spoke with Steve Kerrigan, who acted as chief planner for President Obama’s 2009 and 2013 inaugurations. Kerrigan currently serves as president of the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, which provides support to the families of fallen soldiers.


January Films Look at the Impact of Technology


The 2017 season premieres on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, with the critically acclaimed film Command and Control, a chilling, minute-by-minute account of the long-hidden story behind one of America’s most dangerous nuclear accidents — the deadly 1980 incident at an Arkansas Titan II missile complex. Next is an intimate new portrait of Rachel Carson (January 24), which illuminates the life of the scientist whose writings revolutionized our relationship to the natural world, and The Race Underground (January 31), the story of America’s first subway.


Rhetoric Revisited: FDR's "Infamy" Speech


Really, he'd hoped to spend that afternoon up in the second floor study, magnifying glass in hand, working on the stamp collection that since boyhood had taught him about the world. But FDR was President, with work to do. He was talking policy with one of his aides when Navy Secretary Frank Knox called.


Oklahoma City will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival


American Experience’s upcoming documentary Oklahoma City, directed by Barak Goodman (Clinton, My Lai) and executive produced by Mark Samels, will have its world premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival! This new documentary explores the intertwined narratives of the worst domestic terrorist attack in the U.S. and the anti-government movement that inspired the actions of Timothy McVeigh, including two standoffs with law enforcement with tragic outcomes -- Ruby Ridge and the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.