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ALPHABETICAL: J - N

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Las Vegas: An Unconventional History

Las Vegas: An Unconventional History
A distinctly American saga of optimism and opportunity.
More InformationLaunch Web SiteBuy the VideoTeachers GuideWatch the Promo

The story of Las Vegas' last hundred years is a distinctly American saga of optimism and opportunity. By 1999, it had become one of the fastest growing cities in the United States and could lay claim, in the words of one historian, to be "the first city of the twenty-first century."

American Experience tells a rollercoaster story, peopled with unlikely heroes and villains, to trace the city's development from a remote frontier way-station to its Depression-era incarnation as the "Gateway to the Hoover Dam"; from its mid-century florescence as the gangster metropolis known as "Sin City" to its recent renaissance as a corporately-financed, postmodern, desert fantasyland.

The Last Stand At Little Big Horn (no website available)
One of the most frequently depicted and least understood moments in American history.
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In 1876, when the U.S. Army planned its biggest Indian campaign yet against Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, General George Custer led the chase. Custer and his 210 men were surprised and surrounded, the result of arrogance, bad planning and bad intelligence. The battle took "about as much time as it takes a hungry man to eat dinner," leaving no white survivors. One of the most frequently depicted and least understood moments in American history, the story is told from both sides.
LBJ

LBJ
One of the most astute, perplexing and larger-than-life figures in modern American history.
(Watch the program online on The Presidents Web site.)More InformationLaunch Web SiteBuy the VideoTeachers Guide

He was one of the most astute, perplexing and larger-than-life figures in modern American history. An accidental president, Lyndon Baines Johnson set out to make his mark by pushing through historic social legislation of a scale that rivaled FDR's New Deal. Bombastic and deeply emotional, Johnson's vision was shattered by the increasing debacle of Vietnam, and his presidency began to unravel.

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men -- Revisited (no website available)
An updated look at Alabama tenant families of 1936.
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An updated look at the Alabama tenant families that Walker Evans and James Agee documented in their 1936 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, an American classic.

The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter (no website available)
A look at five real-life "Rosies" and the reality of working in the defense plants during WWII.
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An original look through newsreels, war department films, posters and interviews with five, real-life "Rosies" about the reality of working in the defense plants during WWII, and their reactions to having to give up those jobs for returning GIs.
Lindbergh

Lindbergh
The first man to fly across the Atlantic.
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At 25 , Charles A. Lindbergh arrived in Paris, the first man to fly across the Atlantic -- handsome, talented, and brave -- a hero. But the struggle to wear the mantle of legend would be a consuming one. Crowds pursued him, reporters invaded his private life. His marriage,travels with his wife and the kidnapping and murder of their first child were all fodder for the front page.
The Living Weapon

The Living Weapon
This film examines the international race to develop biological weapons in the 1940s and 1950s, revealing the scientific and technical challenges scientists faced and the moral dilemmas posed by their eventual success.
More InformationLaunch Web SiteBuy the VideoTeachers GuideWatch the Promo

In early 1942, shortly after the United States entered World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt received an alarming intelligence report: Germany and Japan were developing biological weapons for potential offensive use. In response, the U.S. and its allies rushed to develop their own germ warfare program, enlisting some of America's most promising scientists in the effort. This AMERICAN EXPERIENCE production examines the international race to develop biological weapons in the 1940s and 1950s, revealing the scientific and technical challenges scientists faced and the moral dilemmas posed by their eventual success. As America's germ warfare program expanded during the Cold War, scientists began to conduct their own covert tests on human volunteers. The United States continued the development and stockpiling of biological weapons until President Nixon terminated the program in 1969. "Biological weapons have massive, unpredictable, and potentially uncontrollable consequences," he told the nation. "Mankind already carries in its hands too many of the seeds of its own destruction."
The Lobotomist

The Lobotomist
Little more than a decade after his rise to fame, Walter Freeman was decried as a monster, and his procedure was labeled one of the most barbaric mistakes of modern medicine.
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In the early decades of the 20th century, before the development of psychiatric medications, there were few effective treatments for mental illness. For most patients, the last stop in their anguished journey was an overcrowded state asylum. An ambitious young neurologist named Walter Freeman advocated a more radical approach -- brain surgery to reduce the severity of psychotic symptoms.Despite mixed results, by the early 1940s, some fifty state asylums were performing lobotomies on their patients. The procedure was hailed as a miracle cure, Freeman himself a visionary who brought hope to the most desolate human beings.Yet only a decade later, the story would come full-circle again. Freeman would be decried as a moral monster, the lobotomy as one of the most barbaric mistakes ever perpetrated by mainstream medicine.
Lost in the Grand Canyon

Lost in the Grand Canyon
John Wesley Powell's epic journey into the unknown Grand Canyon.
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In the summer of 1869, a one-armed Civil War veteran led the first expedition down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. John Wesley Powell's epic journey into the unknown established the Grand Canyon as a national landmark, and made him a hero. But when he used his fame to argue against the overdevelopment of the West, Powell was attacked.

Love in the Cold War (no website available)
A family torn apart by political beliefs.
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Eugene Dennis fled to Moscow to avoid indictment and prison for his work for the American Communist Party in the late 1920s; his wife Peggy and 18-month-old son soon followed. In 1935, they were reassigned to America but ordered to leave behind their five-year-old who spoke only Russian. A second son, born in America, offers an honest and touching examination of the lives of his parents, whose political beliefs tore the family apart.
ALPHABETICAL: J - N

J  |   K  |   L  |   M  |   N

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