More than a mile long, the Grand Coulee Dam is the largest concrete structure in the U.S. In the fall of 2011, dam operators agreed to open the spillway just for American Experience. "It was very exciting that they agreed to spill for us for a short period specifically for the film," said Associate Producer Lauren DeFilippo. "We ran to the top and bottom [of the dam] in about 30 minutes to capture all that we could" on film.
This 15-second time-lapse video shows the spillway closing. The water flowing through the spillway makes the Grand Coulee appear white, though when the water stops, the concrete appears black.
High on a granite cliff in South Dakota's Black Hills tower the huge carved faces of four American presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.
John Wesley Powell's epic journey into the unknown Grand Canyon was filled with adventure as his team mapped the Colorado River for the first time.
Robert Moses fueled some of the most ambitious -- and controversial -- public works projects ever conceived.
Native Alaskans, oil company representatives, environmentalists, politicians, and others tell the story of the 800-mile pipeline.
The story behind the development of the oral contraceptive that put women in control of birth control.
Though first seen only as an expensive luxury, Alexander Graham Bell's telephone soon transformed American life and became a necessity.
Accounting for America's most famous inventor and his role in America's future.
The story of the polio crusade pays tribute to a time when Americans banded together to conquer a terrible disease.