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 influential musical pioneers from Appalachia whose recordings lifted spirits during the Great Depression.
What happened when the lights went out in New York City on July 13, 1977?
A president who rose from a broken childhood to become one of the most successful politicians in modern American history, and one of the most complex and conflicted characters to ever stride across the public stage.
In 1960, Francis Gary Powers' U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union.
America came apart in 1964 and has since been reborn.
The staggering death tolls of the Civil War permanently altered the character of the republic and the psyche of the American people.
Harry Truman was responsible for finding America's place at the start of the Cold War. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
In 1897, Arctic explorer Robert Peary caused a sensation when he returned from Greenland with five Eskimos.