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Telegrams from the Dead (no website available)
A new religion called spiritualism affects the nation as no other ever had.
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For 40 years, a new religion called spiritualism affected the nation as no other ever had. Abraham Lincoln, P.T. Barnum, Frederick Douglass, senators, and scientists argued over the discoveries of the spirit world as revealed through mediums. Congress debated whether to provide $40,000 to research the feasibility of using the new wireless technology to reach the other world. But by 1880, as one spectacular fraud after another was revealed, the movement began to fade.
The Telephone

The Telephone
The birth of the device that transformed American life.
More InformationLaunch Web SiteTeachers Guide

At first rented only "to persons of good breeding, " seen as an expensive luxury for doctors and businessmen, within a decade the telephone had begun to transform American life. Trees gave way to telephone poles as operators known as "hello girls" began to connect a sprawling continent.

That Rhythm, Those Blues (no website available)
The evolution of rhythm and blues from the 1940s into the 50s.
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The evolution of rhythm and blues through the careers of singers Ruth Brown and Charles Brown, from the 1940s into the 50s, with contemporary performances by both.
TR, The Story of Theodore Roosevelt

TR, The Story of Theodore Roosevelt
Author, soldier, scientist, outdoorsman and caring father, he was the youngest man to become president.
(More about Theodore Roosevelt on The Presidents Web site)More InformationLaunch Web SiteBuy the VideoTeachers Guide

He was an unpredictable dynamo, a "steamroller in trousers." At the turn of the century, Theodore Roosevelt embodied America. Author, soldier, scientist, outdoorsman and caring father, he was the youngest man to become president. Expanding the power of the Oval Office, Roosevelt helped create the modern presidency and redefined the course of the nation. But behind all the unbridled confidence and achievement was a man haunted by grief.
Transcontinental Railroad

Transcontinental Railroad
Ingenious entrepreneurs, brilliant engineers, armies of workers, and Native Americans figure in the remarkable story of how a railroad was built connecting California to the East.
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On May 10, 1869, at Promontory Summit, Utah, a boisterous crowd gathered to witness the completion of one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century: the building of the transcontinental railroad. The electrifying moment -- the realization of a dream first pursued by a farsighted and determined engineer decades earlier -- marked the culmination of six years of grueling work. Peopled by the ingenious entrepreneurs whose unscrupulous financing got the line laid, the brilliant engineers who charted the railroad's course and hurdled the geological obstacles in its way, the armies of workers who labored relentlessly on the enterprise, and the Native Americans whose lives were destroyed in its wake, Transcontinental Railroad is a remarkable story of greed, innovation and gritty determination. It reveals both why the railroad was built and how it would shape the nation, while shedding light on the politics and culture of mid-nineteenth century America.
Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern

Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern
A personal story of one family's dramatic effort to hold onto their family farm as massive foreclosures sweep the nation.
More InformationLaunch Web SiteBuy the VideoTeachers Guide

In the late 1980s, Iowa farmers Russ and Mary Jane Jordan faced a $200,000 debt and a bottom-line oriented bank. This is a personal story of one family's dramatic effort to hold onto their family farm as massive foreclosures sweep the nation.
Truman

Truman
The story of the unlikely rise of a gritty American original.
(More about Harry S. Truman on The Presidents Web site)More InformationLaunch Web SiteBuy the VideoTeachers Guide

He was a farmer, a businessman gone bankrupt, an unknown politician from Missouri who suddenly found himself president. Of all the men who had held the highest office, Harry Truman was the least prepared. But he would prove to be a surprise. Facing some of the biggest crises of the century, Truman would end the war with Germany, use the atomic bomb against Japan, confront an expanding Soviet Union and wage war in Korea -- all while the woman he adored, his wife Bess, refused to stay in the White House and play the role of First Lady. The story of the unlikely rise of a gritty American original.
Tupperware!

Tupperware!
The plastic food container that became a phenomenally successful business -- and an American cultural icon.
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Tupperware is a household word not just in America, but around the world. This one-hour film looks at why a plastic food container has become not only one of the world's most ubiquitous products but a cultural icon. At the center of the narrative are two dynamic, quirky characters: the ambitious but reclusive Earl Tupper, who invented Tupperware, and his flamboyant female business associate, Brownie Wise, who figured out how to sell it. Working side by side, Tupper and Wise built an empire, creating a business model that has since been copied by all well-known direct sales companies.Using interviews with Tupperware executives and dealers from the early days and wonderful, little-seen company footage of Tupperware Jubilees, this funny, probing program re-examines assumptions about American culture in the 1950s.
Two Days in October

Two Days in October
In Vietnam, a U.S. battalion marched into an ambush. Half a world away, a student demonstration turned violent for the first time. Two days in 1967 revealed a nation divided over a war that continues to haunt us.
More InformationLaunch Web SiteBuy the VideoTeachers GuideWatch the Promo

Based on the book They Marched Into Sunlight by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Maraniss, this American Experience production tells the story of two turbulent days in October 1967 when history turned a corner.

In Vietnam, a U.S. battalion unwittingly marched into a Viet Cong trap. Sixty-one young men were killed and as many wounded. The ambush prompted some in power to wonder whether the war might be unwinnable.

Half a world away, angry students at the University of Wisconsin protested the presence of Dow Chemical recruiters on campus. The demonstration spiraled out of control, marking the first time that a student protest had turned violent.

Told almost entirely by the people who took part in the harrowing events of those two days -- American soldiers, police officers, relatives of men killed in battle, protesting students, university administrators and Viet Cong fighters -- the film offers a window onto a moment that divided a nation and a war that continues to haunt us.

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