Fighting crime became part of FDR’s administration in the same spirit as fighting soil erosion and unemployment. And of all the alphabet agencies of the New Deal, none captured the public’s imagination and loyalty like J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI. (Teddy Roosevelt had established the Bureau of Investigation in 1908, but it didn’t become the modern crime fighting bureau until the 30’s.)
In the depression, the success or failure of the government in fighting crime took on mythical proportions. Every major crime and successful gangster seemed to test whether the nation would survive. The crime problem was frightening and real, however exaggerated by the FBI. “The criminal in America is on the march,” Hoover announced. Dillinger, Capone, Bonnie and Clyde and Baby Face Nelson were among the public enemies; Hoover and the Government Men were the public heroes. Hoover was a master of manipulating the myth and reality about himself and the Bureau. His celebrity and the public support became the basis for almost unprecedented power. G-Men is set in the years 1930-39.
The bizarre saga of the Symbionese Liberation Army and Patty Hearst's kidnapping and conversion to her captors' cause.
The evocative stories of teenage hoboes crisscrossing America on trains during the Great Depression.
Prohibition's effect on Detroit, Michigan, the first major American city to "go dry," and the growth of the liquor smuggling industry.
For the first time on television, God in America will explore the historical role of religion in the public life of the United States.
The unbounded optimism of the Jazz Age and the shocking consequences when reality finally hit on October 29th, 1929.
It was the deadliest workplace accident in New York City’s history.
From Reconstruction to the 1960s, this film offers a portrait of New Orleans that reflects the best and the worst in America.
The country's oldest beauty contest has become a battleground and a barometer for the position of women in society.