Truman stepped on the world stage with two of the century's greatest figures: Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin.
Narrator: He had been to Europe only once before - as a soldier on the western front. Now he was President of the United States, preparing to meet two of the legends of the twentieth century, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin -- "Mr. Great Britain" and "Mr. Russia," Truman called them.
David McCullough: Truman had to step onto the world stage with two of the most colossal figures of the century, two consummate performers, consummate actors who are very accustomed to commanding the stage. And who is he?
Narrator: "Dear Bess, The Prime Minister came to see me this morning."
David McCullough: Truman is suffering from a considerable amount of stage fright. He knows that Churchill had been 1st Lord of the Admiralty when Harry Truman was still plowing fields back in Missouri. He knows also the affection, the bond between Roosevelt and Churchill. And wonders if ever he can attain that kind of respect.
Narrator: Churchill liked Truman, but the man from Missouri was not impressed by the Prime Minister's flattery:
"Churchill gave me a lot of hooey," Truman wrote in his diary. "Well, I'm sure we can get along if he doesn't try to give me too much soft soap."
The trial of Charles Julius Guiteau, who assassinated President James A. Garfield, turned into a public battle over the meaning of insanity.
The influential musical pioneers from Appalachia whose recordings lifted spirits during the Great Depression.
Thoroughbred racehorse Seabiscuit was the long shot that captured America's heart during the Depression.
During the defining months of the offensive against Germany, American forces faced a moral and strategic dilemma.
The life of the president who saw himself as the heroic defender of the "shining city on a hill." Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
Lyndon Johnson pushed progressive programs before the Vietnam War eroded his support. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
America came apart in 1964 and has since been reborn.
President Woodrow Wilson lead America during World War I, created the Federal Reserve, and helped create the League of Nations. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.