Series Blog

Your Favorite American Experience Programs


Last week on our series Facebook page you told us

"My favorite American Experience program is ______."

Not only did we get an unbelievable number of responses, our fans named 77 different shows as their favorites! Here are the top 10:

1. The Donner Party

Three years before the Gold Rush, 87 pioneers took a shortcut westward to California, only to get caught in the snows of the Sierra Nevada. The emigrants' fateful journey culminated in death and cannibalism.

Watch online: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/donner/player

2. Freedom Riders

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 Americans risked their lives—and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment—for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders met with bitter racism and mob violence along the way, sorely testing their belief in nonviolent activism.

Watch online: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/freedomriders/watch

3. We Shall Remain

A five-part television series that shows how Native peoples valiantly resisted expulsion from their lands and fought the extinction of their culture -- from the Wampanoags of New England in the 1600s who used their alliance with the English to weaken rival tribes, to the bold new leaders of the 1970s who harnessed the momentum of the civil rights movement to forge a pan-Indian identity. We Shall Remain represents an unprecedented collaboration between Native and non-Native filmmakers and involves Native advisors and scholars at all levels of the project.

Watch the films: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/weshallremain/the_films/episode_1_trailer

4. Into the Deep: America, Whaling and the World

Into the Deep explores the history of the American whaling industry from its 17th-century origins in drift and shore whaling off the coast of New England and Cape Cod, through the golden age of deep ocean whaling, and on to its demise in the decades following the American Civil War. 

Watch online: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/whaling/player/

5. FDR

The policies and persona of Franklin Roosevelt set the cast of the "modern" presidency. He was unquestionably the most vital figure in the nation, and perhaps the world, during his 13 years in the White House. Engendering both admiration and scorn, FDR exerted unflinching leadership during the most tumultuous period in the nation's history since the Civil War.

Watch online: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/fdr/player/

6. Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided

Elected President only to see the nation fracture in two, Lincoln led a confused and frightened people through the most terrible war in their history. At the same time, his own household mirrored the fissures that split the nation: the great emancipator was married to the daughter of a slave owner from Kentucky. Mary Todd Lincoln was an aristocratic southerner who met Lincoln when he was still a backwoods politician lacking in experience and sophistication. Although she remained fiercely loyal to her husband and the Union cause, two of her brothers fought for the South. Their marriage was long and turbulent, and knew many trials, including the loss of two children. Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided weaves together the lives of the two Lincolns, drawing us into their long-vanished world.

Film page: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/lincolns/

7. LBJ

Lyndon Johnson was the first president to appoint an African American to the Supreme Court when, on June 13, 1967, Johnson named Thurgood Marshall, the great-grandson of a slave, to sit on the highest court in the land. Lyndon Johnson exploited his mastery of the legislative process to shepherd a collection of progressive programs, rivaling those of FDR's New Deal, through Congress with astounding success. However, visions of a Great Society were swallowed up in the quagmire of Vietnam: the unpopular and costly war eroded his political base and left him an exile within his own White House.

Watch online: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/lbj/player/

8. Triangle Fire

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 hundred innocent people trapped inside. The private industry of the American factory would never be the same.

Watch online: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/triangle/player/

9. The Presidents Collection

American presidents hold the most powerful office on earth and occupy a unique place at the center of national and world events. At once chief executive, head of state, commander-in-chief, and leader of a political party, the President of the United States is also a prominent cultural figure, and a bellwether of the society he governs. In this award-winning collection, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE offers 33 hours of streaming documentaries on eight 20th-Century American presidents. Also, read biographies of every U.S. President, and browse original interviews, articles, photo galleries, timelines and extensive teacher guides.

Explore the Collection: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/collections/presidents/

10. The Kennedys

A saga of ambition, wealth, family loyalty and personal tragedy. From Joseph Kennedy's rise on Wall Street, through John, Robert and Edward's successes and scandals, the family has left a storied political legacy.

Watch online: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/kennedys/player/

 

Tory Starr is a Production Assistant for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. 


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