Series Blog

A Huge, Long, Crazy, Sad, Happy, Glorious History

Stanley Nelson is a documentary filmmaker, whose work for American Experience includes The Murder of Emmett Till, Freedom Summer, and Freedom Riders. Today, Nelson is being honored with the News & Documentary Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Nelson and his colleagues at Firelight Media contributed 17 film pieces to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, opening September 24th in Washington D.C. American Experience spoke to him about his experience documenting African American history, and the significance of the newest institution on the Mall.

Tesla will premiere October 18 on PBS

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.


Farewell Summer 2016 Interns!

American Experience interns do much more than just make the coffee (in fact, they don't -- we just let the coffee maker do that). At the end of a semester spent transcribing, researching, writing and fact-checking they've essentially become amateur history sleuths. We were very proud of the work done by our summer interns this year, but alas, we must now say good bye as they head back to campus. We asked them for their takeaways from their semester as professional history nerds.


National Presidential Joke Day: 100 Years of Presidential Jokes

August 11 is a day to recognize and enjoy the wit of our nation’s commander-in-chiefs. Though presidents are usually the butt of jokes and mockery, they occasionally make some wisecracks of their own. National Presidential Joke Day began 32 years ago in 1984 during a sound check for Ronald Reagan’s Saturday evening radio broadcast. Unaware that he was live, Reagan jokingly said, “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” Though most Americans found the situation hilarious, Soviet officials temporarily put the military on high alert. To celebrate National Presidential Joke Day, we bring you 100 years of presidential jokes, quips and humor. Read more...

"The Great War" to premiere April 2017

The six-hour documentary, which premieres in April 2017 in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into the war on April 6, 1917, explores how World War I forever changed America and the world.