G-Men -- The Rise of J. Edgar Hoover (no website available)
Of all the alphabet agencies of the New Deal, none captured the public's imagination like J. Edgar Hoover's FBI.
Of all the alphabet agencies of the New Deal, none captured the public's imagination like J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. During the years 1930-39, the crime problem was frightening and real, however exaggerated by the FBI. Dillinger, Machine Gun Kelly, Pretty Boy Floyd and Bonnie and Clyde were public enemies; G-men the public heroes.
George Washington -- The Man Who Wouldn't Be King (no website available)
The little known story of our first president.
He was bumbling, yet ambitious. He volunteered to serve his country, but insisted on being reimbursed for expenses. He was the most famous general of the Revolution but a dismal tactician on the battlefield. Greedy and selfish, service to the colonies would profoundly change him. The man who came to symbolize the American Revolution could also be incredibly brave, generous and an inspirational leader who scorned attempts to participate in any system but a democratic one.
Geronimo and the Apache Resistance (no website available)
The story of a tragic collision of two civilizations.
The story of a tragic collision of two civilizations, each with startlingly different views of one another. In 1886, 5,000 U.S. troops mobilized to capture this one man and his band of followers, who by refusing to move onto a reservation, defied and eluded federal authorities.
God Bless America and Poland Too (no website available)
A nostalgic and humorous look at how old world Chicago lives side by side with the new.
Frank Popiolek was 14 when he came to America in 1911, one of 2 million Polish immigrants who made the journey. He settled in Chicago and became a barber, instilling in his family a love of the "old world" traditions and pride in their Polish heritage. A nostalgic and humorous look at how old world Chicago lives side by side with the new.
Goin' Back To T-Town (no website available)
In a nostalgic celebration of old fashioned neighborhood life, the black residents of Tulsa relive their community's remarkable rise and tragic decline.
In Tulsa,the community of Greenwood was a place where blacks had some measure of financial, social and political independence. Burned to the ground in 1921 by angry whites, Greenwood was rebuilt and boasted the largest concentration of black businesses in the country. In a nostalgic celebration of old fashioned neighborhood life, the black residents of "T-Town" relive their community's remarkable rise and ultimate decline.
The Gold Rush
Told though the stories of a small group of diverse characters-Chinese and Chilean, Northerner and Southerner, black and white-this two-hour AMERICAN EXPERIENCE tracks the evolution of the Gold Rush from the easy riches of the first few months to the fier
On January 28, 1848, James Marshall found gold near the fork of the American and Sacramento Rivers, and unleashed a massive migration from around the world to what had been a forgotten backwater. With head-spinning speed, these gold-seekers created one of the most extraordinary societies in history-hard-driving, overwhelmingly male, often brutal. The Gold Rush was a remarkably international event; in short order, gold-seekers from Oregon and the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), Mexico, Chile, England, France, Australia, Ireland, and China were soon knee-deep in water in the diggings. Each found themselves playing the Great California Lottery, in which luck not hard work or honesty, seemed the key to success. Told though the stories of a small group of diverse characters-Chinese and Chilean, Northerner and Southerner, black and white-this two-hour AMERICAN EXPERIENCE tracks the evolution of the Gold Rush from the easy riches of the first few months to the fierce competition for a few good claims. It shows that as the diggings became oppressively crowded, Americans drove foreigners from the mines. And it explores how in the end, the big money was made, not by men with shovels, but by large investments in expensive hydraulic equipment. Nonetheless, in the hurly burly of the intervening years, the Gold Rush turned California into a place synonymous with risk, riches, and reinvention, a place where the impossible seemed likely.
Golden Gate Bridge
The story of how San Francisco built one of the "Seven Wonders of the Modern World."
On May 27, 1937, 200,000 people thronged to the newly-completed Golden Gate bridge and walked, climbed, skated or cycled across. After 18 years of struggles to complete the bridge, San Francisco's jubilance was unrestrained. There was a tap dancer, a tuba player and a woman determined to be the first to walk its length with her tongue out.Twenty years earlier, choked off at the tip of a peninsula, San Francisco had faced a future of increased congestion and economic strangulation. Though many in the city longed for a bridge connecting San Francisco to the counties to the north, the obstacles to construction were daunting. It took a hustler and self-promoter, a man who had never designed or overseen the building of a suspension bridge, to take up the challenge. Joseph Strauss spent thirteen years wrangling with local politicians, arguing with the War Department over designs and fighting lawsuits from bridge opponents before he was able to break ground. By the time the bridge was complete, Strauss, his team of designers and his construction crews had built what has since been called one of the "Seven Wonders of the Modern World."
The Great Air Race of 1924 (no website available)
The first around-the-world air race tested the abilities of man and machine.
The first around-the-world air race, sponsored by the Army Air Service to prove that the airplane had a commercial future, was the ultimate test of man and machine. Four pilots took off in single-engine, open-cockpit planes; 175 days later, two remaining pilots would land where they'd begun, in Seattle.
The Great Fever
In 1900 Major Walter Reed and his medical team prove that yellow fever was spread by mosquitoes. The eradication of the disease that had terrorized the U.S. for centuries began with an aggressive public health campaign to rid the city of New Orleans of m
In June 1900, Major Walter Reed, Chief Surgeon of the U.S. Army, led a medical team to Cuba on a mission to investigate yellow fever. For more than two hundred years the disease had terrorized the United States, killing an estimated 100,000 people in the nineteenth century alone. Shortly after Reed and his team arrived in Havana they began testing the radical theories of Carlos Finlay, a Cuban doctor who believed that mosquitoes spread yellow fever. This AMERICAN EXPERIENCE production documents the heroic efforts of Reed's medical team, some of whom put their own lives on the line to verify Finlay's theory. Eventually, their discovery enabled the United States to successfully eradicate the disease among workers constructing the Panama Canal, making possible the completion of one of the most strategic waterways in the world. When yellow fever struck New Orleans in 1905, an aggressive mosquito eradication campaign successfully ended the epidemic. It was the last yellow fever outbreak in the United States, and the first major public health triumph of the 20th century.
The Great Transatlantic Cable
The laying of the transatlantic telegraph cable -- an underwater communications link between North America and Europe -- is a remarkable story of mid-19th century ingenuity and perseverance.
This American Experience production tells the remarkable story behind the laying of the transatlantic cable. By the middle of the 19th century, a network of telegraph poles strung across America had changed the way the country did business. Samuel Morse's invention made possible almost instantaneous communication between cities across the continent. Communicating with Europe was another matter. Messages to London were sent the old-fashioned way, aboard sailing ships that could take weeks to reach their destination.
Though the need for a transatlantic cable was obvious, the physical challenges to laying one were enormous. The project would require the production of a 2,000 mile long cable that would have to be laid three miles beneath the Atlantic. Cyrus Field, an energetic, young New York paper manufacturer, wasn't deterred. And once he started the endeavor, he wouldn't give up. It took twelve years of cajoling and massaging investors, several abortive attempts to lay the cable, and millions of wasted dollars before Field and his team of engineers finally succeeded. On July 27, 1866, when the wire was finally in place, Field sent back the first message to Europe: "Thank God," he wrote, "the Cable is Laid." Since that day, almost 140 years ago, nothing has broken his communications link with Europe -- not storms, earthquakes or world wars.
The Great War -- 1918 (no website available)
The bloodiest war of the century.
All lingering 19th-century notions of the romance of battle were replaced by the terrible reality of 20th-century mechanized warfare. At Verdun, the French lost 300,000 men; at the Somme, the English lost one million. Against this setting, America reluctantly sent its boys to fight. The wrenching and heroic accounts of U.S. soldiers and nurses who served in the closing battles of the bloodiest war of the century.
Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst
The bizarre saga of the Symbionese Liberation Army, Patty Hearst's kidnapping, Hearst's conversion to her captors' cause, and the bank robberies and shootouts that followed.
In 1974, a militant, fringe, political group kidnapped teenage newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst from her Berkeley apartment. In the months that followed. Hearst, the Symbionese Liberation Army (S.L.A.) and their constant, paramilitary audio messages dominated the headlines globally, creating a media frenzy.
Using a treasure trove of archival footage and audio material, this American Experience film follows the bizarre saga from the establishment of the S.L.A. through the kidnapping, Hearst's conversion to her captors' cause, and the bank robberies and shootouts that followed. First-ever interviews with two surviving members of the S.L.A. provide insight into the politically-charged times and the reasons why the group embraced revolutionary rhetoric and a terrorist agenda. As the spectacle unfolds, and journalists camped outside the Hearst home become consumed by the story, the film introduces questions about the role of the media and the ethics of broadcast journalism.