Films: 1951 - 1960
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.
Adam Clayton Powell : 1 hr
A civil rights leader in Harlem before entering politics, Powell was one of the most charismatic black leaders of the 20th century.
American Comandante : 1 hr
American comandante William Morgan went to Cuba to help Fidel Castro return the country to a democracy. Instead, four years later, he was executed.
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.
Mathematician and paranoid schizophrenic John Nash's work became a foundation of modern economic theory.
A Class Apart : 1 hr
From a small-town Texas murder emerged a landmark civil rights case that successfully challenged Jim Crow-style discrimination against Mexican Americans.
Cold War Roadshow : 1 hr
In September 1959, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev made an unprecedented visit to America, creating a media circus as he traveled from coast to coast.
Daley, the Last Boss : 2 hrs
For 21 years, Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley ruled the city, building the Sears Tower and O'Hare Airport.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was one of America's least understood presidents. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
Eleanor Roosevelt supported the President's New Deal and advocated for civil rights, becoming one of the 20th century's most influential women.
This acclaimed 14-hour series covers all of the major events of the civil rights movement from 1954-1985, tracing African Americans' struggle for equality and justice.
Cuba's Communist leader defied the odds, surviving his Soviet benefactors, the wrath of U.S. presidents, two diplomatic crises and assassination attempts.
French Dance Tonight : 1 hr
French settlers in Louisiana merged with African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans and others to create Cajun and Zydeco musical traditions.
God in America : 6 hrs
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 Kennedys : 3 hrs
A saga of ambition, wealth, family loyalty and personal tragedy.
With data compiled from tens of thousands of sex questionnaires, Alfred Kinsey changed America's views about sex with the Kinsey Reports.
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."
The Living Weapon : 1 hr
The international race to develop biological weapons during the 20th century.
General Douglas MacArthur led American troops in World Wars I and II before being fired by President Harry Truman during the Korean War.
Malcolm X, a man who both terrified and inspired, expressed the anger and struggle of black people for freedom in the 1960s.
The country's oldest beauty contest has become a battleground and a barometer for the position of women in society.
The Mormons : 2 hrs
From Joseph Smith's discovery of gold tablets to persecution, migration, and settlement in Utah, the film explores the history of the most American of religions.
The acquittal of the murderers of Chicago teen Emmett Till mobilized the civil rights movement.
From Reconstruction to the 1960s, this film offers a portrait of New Orleans that reflects the best and the worst in America.
The history of New York City and the people and forces that have shaped it over the past 400 years is told in a seven-part 14.5-hour series.
The story of the dramatic post-World War II tribunal that brought Nazi leaders to justice and defines trial procedure for state criminals to this day.
The story behind the development of the oral contraceptive that put women in control of birth control.
The Polio Crusade : 1 hr
The story of the polio crusade pays tribute to a time when Americans banded together to conquer a terrible disease.
Television game shows became an instant national phenomenon in 1955, but four years later contestant Charles van Doren admitted they were a scam.
The U.S. and the Soviet Union race to build the hydrogen bomb during the Cold War, thus beginning the nuclear arms race.
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