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.
The story of the polio crusade pays tribute to a time when Americans banded together to conquer a terrible disease.
Richard Sears and Alva Curtis Roebuck brought consumer goods to the hands of every American with their Sears and Roebuck catalogue.
The life of the legendary photographer, known best for his black and white images of the wilderness of the American West.
The story of Native peoples’ valiant resistance to expulsion from their lands and the extinction of their culture.
John Scopes' free speech trial pitted science against religion after the teacher presented Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in a Tennessee school.
The little-known story of a black independent film industry that produced nearly 500 feature films for African American audiences.
The personal journey of three generations of a Japanese American family, including their stint in internment camps during World War II.
A revealing portrait of one of America's most paradoxical leaders.