Premiering on PBS May 1, 2012. The most famous athlete of his time, his stunning triumph at the 1936 Olympic Games captivated the world even as it infuriated the Nazis. Despite the racial slurs he endured, Jesse Owens' grace and athleticism rallied crowds across the globe. But when the four-time Olympic gold medalist returned home, he could not even ride in the front of a bus. The story of the 22-year-old son of a sharecropper who triumphed over adversity to become a hero and world champion, Jesse Owens is also about the elusive, fleeting quality of fame and the way Americans idolize athletes when they suit our purpose, and forget them once they don't.
in 1931, Grace Hubbard Fortescue received a one-hour sentence for murdering a local Hawaiian accused of raping her daughter.
The women's suffrage movement won the right to vote when the 19th Amendment passed in 1920.
Creating Miami Beach from a narrow spit of Florida swampland, Carl Fisher made a fortune until a devastating hurricane and the stock market crash of 1929 wiped him out.
The unusual life of David Vetter, who lived permanently inside a germ-free environment due to severe combined immunodeficiency.
"The Wizard of Menlo Park," Inventor Thomas Edison, built the first practical light bulb and revolutionized the world.
In the summer of 1940, 10,000 children were sent from wartime Britain to the United States.
The story of Native peoples’ valiant resistance to expulsion from their lands and the extinction of their culture.
A courageous band of civil rights activists called Freedom Riders who in 1961 challenged segregation in the American South.