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.
At the height of segregation, an unlikely alliance between a black medical genius and a white surgeon led to a pioneering medical breakthrough.
The last surviving member of a California Indian tribe became a sensation in 1911.
The Chiricahua Apache medicine man and warrior who refused to accept white man's 'civilization.' Part of The Wild West collection.
A brilliant scientist, Oppenheimer was tasked with the development of the atomic bomb during World War II.
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 Klondike Gold Rush in Canada's Yukon Territory saw 100,000 people make the treacherous journey in search of riches.
Schools taught Native Americans to imitate white men in a liberal "civilizing" mission in 1875.
In 1936 Angie Debo uncovered the U.S. government's theft of Native Americans' oil rich lands in Indian Territories of Oklahoma.