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Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided

Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided
He was a dirt farmer's son; she was the daughter of wealthy Southern aristocrats. He was the Great Emancipator; she was the daughter of slave-owners. Together they ascended to the pinnacle of power at the most difficult time in the nation's history.
(More about Abraham Lincoln on The Presidents Web site)More InformationLaunch Web SiteBuy the VideoTeachers GuideWatch the Promo

Elected president only to see the nation fracture in two, Lincoln led a confused and frightened people through the most terrible war in their history. At the same time, his own household mirrored the fissures that split the nation: the great emancipator was married to the daughter of a slave owner from Kentucky. Mary Todd Lincoln was an aristocratic southerner who met Lincoln when he was still a backwoods politician lacking in experience and sophistication. Although she remained fiercely loyal to her husband and the Union cause, two of her brothers fought for the South. Their marriage was long and turbulent, and knew many trials, including the loss of two children. This program weaves together the lives of the two Lincolns, drawing us into their long-vanished world.

Adam Clayton Powell (no website available)
One of the most charismatic black leaders of the 20th century.
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Affluent, handsome, light-skinned and blond, he could pass for white. But his message about "economics and jobs" would make him one of the most charismatic black leaders in the 20th century. A U.S. Representative for 25 years, he pushed through social legislation, but his relish for money and fast living eventually led him to political ruin.

After the Crash (no website available)
The most desperate year of the Great Depression -- 1932.
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1932 -- the most desperate year of the Great Depression. The unemployment rate was 23.6%. Twenty thousand WWI veterans and their families marched towards Washington to claim the cash bonuses promised by Congress. President Hoover loaned them tents, cots and rations, but when Douglas MacArthur's army troops attacked the protesters, the country became convinced their President had no compassion for the dispossessed.
The Alaska Pipeline

The Alaska Pipeline
An 800-mile pipeline transports crude from the largest oil field in North America. Native Alaskans, oil company representatives, environmentalists, geologists, politicians, and others tell the story of its construction.
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The pipeline built to bring North Slope oil to market was one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century. For more than three years, workers battled brutal Arctic weather to construct an eight hundred mile pipeline that traversed three mountain ranges, thirty-four rivers, and eight hundred streams, and that withstood earthquakes and sub-zero temperatures. The men, machines and money the pipeline brought to Alaska would forever transform what had long been regarded as America's last great wilderness. The pipeline's construction pitted America's need for energy against its desire to protect land and wildlife, sparking one of the most passionate conservation battles in American history.
Alone on the Ice

Alone on the Ice
Richard Byrd's solitary adventure in Antarctica.
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In June 1934, Richard Byrd lay alone in a small hut within the polar ice, hovering near death. No one before Byrd had ever experienced winter in the interior of the Antarctic. In an age of heroes, he was one of America's greatest. An explorer, aviation pioneer and scientist, Byrd was also an egotist, a risk-taker, and, his critics claim, a fraud who sometimes took credit for the accomplishments of others.

Amelia Earhart (no website available)
The first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.
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The first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, Amelia Earhart was America's "Lady Lindy." What the public didn't know was the cost of her courage. The record-breaking flights, races, interviews, speeches and promotional commitments pushed her to the point of exhaustion. This beautiful, accomplished woman would disappear without a trace on the eve of her 40th birthday.
America 1900

America 1900
America at the turn of the century.
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Over one hundred years ago, Americans looked forward to the uncertainty of a new century with a mixture of confidence, optimism and anxiety. Following a range of characters from famous public figures to ordinary citizens, this chronicle of a year in the life of America examines the forces of change that would come to shape the twentieth century.
America and the Holocaust

America and the Holocaust
Complex social and political factors shaped America's response to the Holocaust.
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Complex social and political factors shaped America's response to the Holocaust, from Kristallnacht in 1938 through the liberation of the death camps in 1945. For a short time, the U.S. had an opportunity to open its doors, but instead erected a "paper wall," a bureaucratic maze that prevented all but a few Jewish refugees from entering the country. It was not until 1944, that a small band of Treasury Department employees forced the government to respond.
Annie Oakley

Annie Oakley
The star attraction of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, Annie Oakley thrilled audiences around the world with her daring shooting feats. Her act helped fuel turn-of-the-century nostalgia for the vanished, mythical world of the American West.
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In 1926, just a few months before her death, Will Rogers described Annie Oakley as "the greatest woman rifle shot the world has ever produced." As the star attraction of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, she thrilled audiences around the world with her daring shooting feats. Her act helped fuel turn-of-the-century nostalgia for the vanished, mythical world of the American West. Over time she became an American legend -- the loud, brassy, cocksure shooter celebrated in the musical "Annie Get Your Gun." But that legend had little to do with the real Annie Oakley.
Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams
The legendary photographer who captured America's wild beauty.
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From the day that a 14-year-old Ansel Adams first saw the transcendent beauty of the Yosemite Valley, his life was, in his words, "colored and modulated by the great earth-gesture of the Sierra." Few American photographers have reached a wider audience than Adams, and none has had more impact on how Americans grasp the majesty of their continent. In this elegant, moving and lyrical portrait of the most eloquent and quintessentially American of photographers, producer Ric Burns seeks to explore the meaning and legacy of Adams' life and work. At the heart of the film are the great themes that absorbed Adams throughout his career: the beauty and fragility of "the American earth," the inseparable bond of man and nature, and the moral obligation the present owes to the future.
Around the World in 72 Days

Around the World in 72 Days
Follow intrepid journalist Nelly Bly on her record-breaking journey.
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At the age of nineteen, Nellie Bly talked her way into an improbable job on a newspaper, then went on to become "the best reporter in America." She was serious and spunky. To expose abuse of the mentally ill, she had herself committed. But when she travelled around the world in just 72 days, beating Jules Verne's fictional escapade, she turned herself into a world celebrity.
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