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.
President Theodore Roosevelt was caught in the middle of the first major battle for wilderness preservation in Yosemite National Park.
The inspiring story of the modern environmental movement.
The remarkable story of how a railroad was built connecting California to the East.
The Last Stand, the final act of General George Custer's larger-than-life career, played out on a grand stage with a spellbound public engrossed in the drama. Part of the Wild West collection.
The ultimate frontiersman, Carson inspired popular novels before being associated with the "Long Walk" of the Navajo people.
It was the largest fire in American history: by the time it was all over, more than three million acres had burned and at least 78 firefighters were dead.
The last surviving member of a California Indian tribe became a sensation in 1911.
Begun during the Civil War, the transcontinental railroad employed 20,000 men, mostly immigrants, who built the iron road with their bare hands.