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Archive for Behind the Headlines

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.

The History of American Fear

An interview with David J. Skal, a horror historian and the author of ''The Monster Show'' and ''Hollywood Gothic.'' His most recent book, ''Something in the Blood,'' explores ''Dracula'' creator Bram Stoker. American Experience spoke to him about the history of American horror films, the allure of gore, and what zombies symbolize in the modern mind.

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

An Interview with Filmmaker Stanley Nelson on the Opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Vietnam: 40 Years On

Forty years after the fall of Saigon, debate continues concerning the reality on the ground in Vietnam in 1975. Below are two varying accounts written by Jim Laurie and Stuart Herrington, both of whom were in Saigon in April 1975. At the time, Laurie was a reporter for NBC News, and Herrington was a captain in the U.S. Army. Both men were interviewed for and appear in the film Last Days in Vietnam, which played in theaters nationwide in 2014 before premiering on PBS April 28, 2015. Read both posts here

Gettysburg Address @ 150

Calling all history buffs: We need your help this week -- and your videos! This month marks the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's delivery of the Gettysburg Address. Help us honor the occasion by sending us a video of you, your students, or your child reciting the Address. We need your videos by NEXT WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13!! If your video is selected, it will be one of many featured on the American Experience website and social media sites.