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ALPHABETICAL: A - E

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Ballad of a Mountain Man (no website available)
Bascom Lamar Lunsford and his campaign to preserve mountain music and dance.
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Bascom Lamar Lunsford was a pioneer folklorist who in the 1920s began a campaign to preserve mountain music and dance. He dignified what was known as "hillbilly music." Knocking on doors of local banjo pickers and fiddlers, listening to their songs, he amassed an extraordinary repertoire, recorded for the Library of Congress and started the first folk music festival.

Barnum's Big Top (no website available)
P.T. Barnum -- huckster, con man, promoter and entertainer.
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P.T. Barnum was huckster, con man, promoter and entertainer. His American Museum featured ancient relics side by side with such "living curiosities" as lions, snakes, bearded ladies and Siamese twins. In 1871 he took the whole show on the road; it traveled by rail. Barnum introduced the idea of three rings, and his "Jumbo the Elephant" added a new word to the English language. By the time he teamed up with James Bailey, his circus had become "The Greatest Show on Earth."
Bataan Rescue

Bataan Rescue
The most daring rescue mission of World War II.
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In late 1941, tens of thousands of American and Filipino soldiers fought a desperate battle to defend the Bataan peninsula in the Philippines from the Japanese. When they lost, they were marched to prison camps in sweltering heat through a mosquito-infested jungle with little or no food or water. Many thousands died along the way.Three years later, with the war in the Pacific coming to an end, only 500 men in the Cabanatuan camp had survived the brutality of their captors and epidemics of tropical diseases. Fearing the Japanese would murder their captives before the U.S. Army could liberate the camp, the Americans sent an elite Ranger battalion to rescue the prisoners. The rangers sneaked 30 miles behind enemy lines and with the help of courageous Filipino resistance fighters, they mounted an astonishing rescue that was fraught with danger yet ultimately triumphant.

Battle for Wilderness (no website available)
The first major battle for wilderness preservation.
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The first major battle for wilderness preservation erupted over the building of Hetch Hetchy Dam in Yosemite National Park in 1906. On the one side were the purists who argued that wildlands were to be left as God made them; on the other, those who believed in the wise management of natural resources. President Roosevelt, an ardent conservationist, was caught between the two.
Battle of the Bulge

Battle of the Bulge
The single biggest and bloodiest battle American soldiers ever fought.
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The single biggest and bloodiest battle American soldiers ever fought. It came as a total surprise, on December 16th, 1944, when 30 German divisions roared across the Allied front in Belgium and Luxembourg. The war, after all, was coming to an end. Allied commanders were eating oysters, celebrating promotions, and reflecting on the death of Glenn Miller. This was Hitler's final gamble and for the more than half a million men thrown into the cause, an infernal test of courage and endurance.
The Battle Over Citizen Kane

The Battle Over Citizen Kane
The fight between boy-genius Orson Welles and newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst.
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A thinly-veiled portrait of the immensely powerful newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, the movie created a buzz long before it was released. Most people thought it the work of a genius, but Hearst set out to destroy the director, Orson Welles, and suppress the movie. Just a year earlier Welles had terrorized the east coast with a radio broadcast simulating an alien invasion. But now the 24-year-old boy-genius had taken on one of the most powerful men in America.
The Berlin Airlift

The Berlin Airlift
After the Soviet blockade of West Berlin, British and American pilots delivered food and fuel to the city's two million civilians and twenty thousand allied soldiers for nearly a year. Using re-enactments and personal stories of those who lived through t
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It could have been the start of World War III. Instead, it became the largest humanitarian campaign the world had ever seen. On June 24, 1948, one of the first major crises of the Cold War occurred when the Soviet Union blocked railroad and street access to West Berlin. For nearly a year two million civilians and twenty thousand allied soldiers in the city's western sector were fed and fueled entirely from the air. Former German soldiers built airfields and repaired engines for the enemies they had been shooting out of the sky just three years before. British and American pilots, so recently delivering death, were now angels of mercy, supplying coal and flour, coffee and chocolate to the beleaguered city. Through lavish re-enactments and the personal stories of those who lived through the airlift, this AMERICAN EXPERIENCE production provides a dramatic and striking portrait of the first battle of the Cold War.
Big Dream, Small Screen

Big Dream, Small Screen
A Utah farm boy sketches out the idea for electronic television.
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The little known story of Philo T. Farnsworth, a Utah farm boy who first sketched out his idea for electronic television at the age of fourteen. An eccentric genius, Farnsworth spent years battling corporate giants to receive acknowledgment for his invention.
The Boy in the Bubble

The Boy in the Bubble
When David Vetter died at the age of 12, he was already world famous: the boy in the plastic bubble. Mythologized as the plucky, handsome child who defied the odds, his life story is in fact even more dramatic.
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On February 22, 1984, Carol Ann Vetter touched her 12-year-old son's hand for the first time. David Vetter had spent his entire life inside a sterile isolator, with a protective layer of plastic shielding him from the world around him. Afflicted with a rare hereditary disease, severe combined immunodeficiency, David was defenseless against any germs. Now, his doctors were gambling on an experimental procedure to free him from his isolation -- but David would live only two weeks in the outside world before succumbing to infection.In his own time, many regarded David's twelve-year odyssey inside his bubble as a triumph of technology. To others, it was a bizarre experiment that exemplified medical hubris. Since his death, David's name has receded; millions have come to know him simply as "the boy in the bubble," popularized by Paul Simon's hit song, a feature film, and television's "Seinfeld."
A Brilliant Madness

A Brilliant Madness
The story of Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Nash.
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A Brilliant Madness is the story of a mathematical genius whose career was cut short by a descent into madness. At the age of 30, John Nash, a stunningly original and famously eccentric MIT mathematician, suddenly began claiming that aliens were communicating with him and that he was a special messenger. Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, Nash spent the next three decades in and out of mental hospitals, all but forgotten. During that time, a proof he had written at the age of 20 became a foundation of modern economic theory. In 1994, as Nash began to show signs of emerging from his delusions, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Economics. The program features interviews with John Nash, his wife Alicia, his friends and colleagues, and experts in game theory and mental illness.
Building the Alaska Highway

Building the Alaska Highway
One of the biggest and most difficult homeland defense projects ever undertaken.
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In May of 1942, across the rugged sub-Arctic wilderness of Alaska, British Columbia, and Yukon Territory, thousands of American soldiers began one of the biggest and most difficult construction projects ever undertaken -- the building of the Alaska Highway.

The United States had toyed for 80 years with the idea of building a road link from the lower 48 states to Alaska; but it was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that spurred Washington into action. Worried that the Japanese might invade Alaska, President Roosevelt directed that a supply line be built to U.S military bases in the region.

Interweaving interviews with the men who were there, archival footage and beautiful cinematography of the sub-Arctic route the road took, this American Experience production tells how for eight months, young soldiers, some of whom had never left the southern United States before, battled mud, muskeg, and mosquitoes; endured ice, snow, and bitter cold; bridged raging rivers, graded lofty peaks, and cut pathways through primeval forests to push a 1,520-mile road across one of the world's harshest landscapes.

ALPHABETICAL: A - E

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