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Archive for Behind the Headlines

Freedom Riders Sweeps Emmys

It was a total surprise and complete pleasure to be at this year's Primetime Emmy Creative Arts Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, where Freedom Riders swept every category it was entered in and took home three Emmys.

Stories from the World Trade Center


For the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE has been working hard to bring you content from our 2004 film "New York: The Center of the World" by updating our website. We have dozens of unique assets, including a photo gallery of the Twin Towers, a timeline of the World Trade Center, an interactive map of lower Manhattan since its first European settlers, and original construction footage of the towers.


Drought Evokes Memories of 1930s Dust Bowl

It's not often that weather forecasters say that a hurricane would offer welcome relief to a region. But as Texas, Oklahoma and much of the South endure record-breaking drought, some weather forecasters have speculated that a hurricane is the best hope that region has for breaking the dry heat, and avoiding devastation on the level of the 1930s Dust Bowl


History, Hollywood and the Help

How many times have you seen "based on a true story" before a feature film? The truth is often the basis for some very successful Hollywood films. Films like Milk, The Social Network, and The Queen are just a few from recent memory. Inevitably, the truth in the true story becomes something that critics and audiences debate. 

This summer comes a film based on a popular novel, The Help. This film doesn't carry the "true story" mantle but the book was inspired by the white author's own upbringing in a racially divided Mississippi. The press and online debate about this film starts there. Entertainment Weekly, in a cover story, talks about the "crooked culture of storytelling when it comes to the black experience." In its review, the Boston Globe says, "The Help joins everything from To Kill a Mockingbird to The Blind Side as another Hollywood movie that sees racial progress as the province of white do-gooderism."  Variety calls the film "A stirring black-empowerment tale aimed squarely at white audiences."



LGBT's New Media Strategy

Pioneers of the Gay Rights Movement used the riots at the Stonewall Inn to propel their own civil rights movement in 1969. Today, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender movement is utilizing social media to fuel that same agenda. At the time of the uprising the American Psychiatric Association still classified homosexuality as a mental disorder, and the act of homosexual sex -- even in private homes -- was considered a crime. Since those riots in front of the Stonewall Inn and the subsequent establishment of the annual Gay Pride Parade, the LGBT community (like the racial and religious groups before it) has sought the right to receive equal treatment under the law.


A Look Back at Apollo 8 and the Race to the Moon

Early this morning the American Space Shuttle program ended. When the Atlantis shuttle landed at Florida's Kennedy Space Center, it brought to a close 30 years of American innovation and leadership in space exploration. When I look back on the Space program, one particular initiative comes to mind -- the Apollo program. Apollo is known for its many success and failures, particularly Apollo 1 and Apollo 13 but it was Apollo 8 that instilled faith that the United States might actually reach the moon.