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.
William "Buffalo Bill" Cody's legendary exploits helped create the myth of the American West that still endures today.
A look at five real-life "Rosies," the reality of working in defense plants during World War II and then having to give up those jobs for returning GIs.
At the height of segregation, an unlikely alliance between a black medical genius and a white surgeon led to a pioneering medical breakthrough.
How five abolitionist allies turned a despised fringe movement against chattel slavery into a force that literally changed the nation.
Marcus Garvey, a black nationalist leader from Jamaica, had great successes and failures before being jailed and deported from the US in 1927.
Joseph Goebbels, the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany, was the mastermind behind Adolf Hitler's success.
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.
Eleanor Roosevelt supported the President's New Deal and advocated for civil rights, becoming one of the 20th century's most influential women.