Films: 1931 - 1940
Browse the entire American Experience series featuring over 250 films. Watch full films online, download teacher’s guides, go behind the scenes, and learn more about your favorite films.
After the Crash : 1 hr
After the stock market crashed in 1929, thousands suffered unemployment and poverty in the Great Depression.
In 1934, American polar explorer Richard Byrd became the first to experience winter in Antarctica's interior.
Amelia Earhart : 1 hr
The first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, Earhart disappeared in 1937 during an attempt to circumnavigate the world by airplane.
The U.S. government's response to the Holocaust was slow and fueled by complex social and political factors.
The Amish : 2 hrs
Their intense faith and strict adherence to 300-year-old traditions have by turn captivated and repelled, awed and irritated, inspired and confused America.
The life of the legendary photographer, known best for his black and white images of the wilderness of the American West.
Newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst fought to suppress a film by Orson Welles, a film that would become one of cinema's masterpieces.
The influential musical pioneers from Appalachia whose recordings lifted spirits during the Great Depression.
The New Deal program CCC put three million young men to work in camps across America.
The Crash of 1929 : 1 hr
The unbounded optimism of the Jazz Age and the shocking consequences when reality finally hit on October 29th, 1929.
The African American jazz composer and bandleader performed regularly at Harlem's Cotton Club, leaving a legacy in music.
Eleanor Roosevelt supported the President's New Deal and advocated for civil rights, becoming one of the 20th century's most influential women.
A great playwright's turbulent story, from childhood through the years of his Nobel Prize-winning career to his lonely, painful death.
FDR : 4 hrs
Franklin Roosevelt restored hope after the Great Depression and led the nation during World War II. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
A man who symbolized African American equality fought a proponent of Hitler's Aryan racial theories on the eve of World War II.
Forbidden City, USA : 1 hr
Before World War II, young Chinese Americans defied cultural tradition in San Francisco's Chinatown, previously closed to outsiders.
Of all the alphabet agencies of the New Deal, none captured the public's imagination like J. Edgar Hoover's FBI.
A nostalgic and humorous look at how old world Chicago lives side by side with the new.
Golden Gate Bridge : 1 hr
After 18 years of struggles, the Golden Gate Bridge opened on May 27, 1937.
Grand Coulee Dam : 90 mins
The contradictory history of a dam that became a statement of American power and prestige.
Hoover Dam : 1 hr
During the Great Depression, Americans built the Hoover Dam, one of the greatest engineering works in history.
The Hurricane of '38 : 1 hr
Before radar had been invented a devastating hurricane hit America, surprising residents of the East Coast and killing more than 600 people.
In 1936 Angie Debo uncovered the U.S. government's theft of Native Americans' oil rich lands in Indian Territories of Oklahoma.
Jesse Owens : 1 hr
His stunning triumph at the 1936 Olympic Games captivated the world even as it infuriated the Nazis. Premiering May 1.
A star in baseball's golden age, Joe DiMaggio's celebrity status and tumultuous marriage to Marilyn Monroe brought him pain.
The Kennedys : 3 hrs
A saga of ambition, wealth, family loyalty and personal tragedy.
Originally settled as a mail stop, Las Vegas changed from an Old West vacation town, to a mafia haven, to the "Atomic City" and "Sin City."
An updated look at the Alabama tenant farmer families that Walker Evans and James Agee documented in their 1936 Pulitzer Prize-winning book.
The Lobotomist : 1 hr
A gripping tale of medical intervention gone awry, and one of the most barbaric mistakes of modern medicine.
Love in the Cold War : 1 hr
An American Communist family that had fled to Moscow in the late 1920s, return to America in 1935 but can not bring their 5-year-old son.
- 2 of 2