Shortly after 8 p.m. on the Halloween Eve, 1938, the voice of a panicked radio announcer broke in with a news bulletin reporting strange explosions taking place on the planet Mars, followed minutes later by a report that Martians had landed in the tiny town of Grovers Mill, New Jersey.
"War of the Worlds" premieres October 29, 2013 at 9pm ET on PBS.
In 1978 over 900 people led by Rev. Jim Jones died in the largest mass murder-suicide in history, at Jonestown, Guyana.
Between 1890 and 1920, 12 million people emigrated from Europe arriving in New York Harbor and Ellis Island.
In the decade after the Civil War, former slaves sing their way into a nation's heart with spirituals, the religious anthems of slavery.
The bizarre saga of the Symbionese Liberation Army and Patty Hearst's kidnapping and conversion to her captors' cause.
From a small-town Texas murder emerged a landmark civil rights case that successfully challenged Jim Crow-style discrimination against Mexican Americans.
French settlers in Louisiana merged with African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans and others to create Cajun and Zydeco musical traditions.
Television game shows became an instant national phenomenon in 1955, but four years later contestant Charles van Doren admitted they were a scam.
The 1968 Democratic National Convention saw a clash of political visions on the convention floor and violence outside on the streets of Chicago.