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CHRONOLOGICAL: 1926 - 1945:

1926  |   1930  |   1938  |   1941

The Battle Over Citizen Kane

The Battle Over Citizen Kane (1941)
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.

Pearl Harbor -- Surprise And Remembrance (1941)
(no website available)
A minute-by-minute account, on both sides of the Pacific, leading up to the surprise attack that Sunday morning.
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The shock of what happened on December 7, 1941 has made Pearl Harbor a synonym for deceit and unpreparedness. Produced for the 50th anniversary, this examination of events shows the attack could have been foreseen -- the US and Japan had been on a collision course for years. A minute-by-minute account, on both sides of the Pacific, leading up to the surprise attack that Sunday morning.
Building the Alaska Highway

Building the Alaska Highway (1941-1945)
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.

Bataan Rescue

Bataan Rescue (1941-1946)
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.

Ike (1941-1960)
(no website available)
A skillful politician, a tough Cold Warrior and one of America's least understood presidents.
(Dwight D. Eisenhower on The Presidents Web site)More InformationTeachers Guide

He went off to war an unknown soldier and returned a beloved hero. Often dismissed as a good-natured bumbler, Dwight D. Eisenhower was actually a skillful politician, a tough Cold Warrior and one of America's least understood presidents. When he left office in 1960, historians ranked Eisenhower in the bottom third of American presidents, below Chester Arthur. By the 1990s, he ranked near the top.
Race for the Superbomb

Race for the Superbomb (1941-1963)
The U.S. and the Soviet Union race to build the world's most powerful bomb.
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At the dawn of the Cold War, the United States initiated a top secret program in New Mexico to build a weapon even more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Japan. A world away, on the frozen steppes of Siberia, the Soviet Union began a similar effort. A web of spies and scientists, intrigue and deception marked the race to develop the hydrogen bomb, a weapon that would change the world.
LBJ

LBJ (1941-1968)
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.
Zoot Suit Riots

Zoot Suit Riots (1942-1945)
In August 1942 the murder of a young Mexican American man ignited a firestorm in Los Angeles, ultimately sparking brutal race riots.
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In August 1942, the murder of a young Mexican-American ignited a firestorm in Los Angeles. The tensions that had been building up for years between Mexican and white Los Angelenos boiled over. The press claimed Mexican youth -- known as "zoot-suiters" for the clothes they wore -- were terrorizing the city with a wave of crime. Police fanned out across the city arresting 600 Mexican Americans. Seventeen "zoot-suiters" headed to a trial in which prosecutors had little evidence to present. Nonetheless, guilty verdicts were handed down to all. The tensions the trial inflamed sparked riots between servicemen and the Mexican American community that led to "zoot-suiters" being beaten and stripped of their clothes. Despite vigorous denials from city officials, a citizen's committee concluded the riots had been fired by racial prejudice and encouraged both by sensational news reporting and a discriminatory police department.
Roberto Clemente

Roberto Clemente (1942-1973)
The exceptional baseball player and humanitarian whose career sheds light on larger issues of immigration, civil rights and cultural change.
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On New Year's Eve 1972, Roberto Clemente, a thirty-seven-year-old baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates, boarded a DC-7 loaded with relief supplies for earthquake victims in Managua, Nicaragua. A native of Puerto Rico, Clemente had established a special relief fund for his devastated neighbors. Shortly after takeoff the plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, a mile off the Puerto Rican coast. Clemente's body was never found. Roberto Clemente's untimely death brought an end to a spectacular career. In his eighteen seasons with the Pirates, he led the team to two World Series championships, won four National League batting titles, received the Most Valuable Player award, and earned twelve Gold Gloves.
D-Day

D-Day (1944)
The most dramatic single event in WWII.
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It was truly a "battle of the world," a pivotal turning point in history, and the most dramatic single event in WWII. A military operation fraught with incalculable risk; the secret campaign was a triumph of intelligence and teamwork moving 5,000 ships carrying 150,000 men and 30,000 vehicles across one of the most unpredictable and dangerous bodies of water in the world. For all the split-second planning and careful rehearsal, it came down to the young men whose remembrances and recollections are the heart of this story.
Battle of the Bulge

Battle of the Bulge (1944-1945)
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.
Victory in the Pacific

Victory in the Pacific (1944-1945)
The story of the end of World War II, told through American and Japanese first-hand accounts.
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In this provocative, thorough examination of the final months of the war, American Experience looks at the escalation of bloodletting from the vantage point of both the Japanese and the Americans. As the film shows, most of the Emperor's inner circle was determined to continue the war even after losses in the Philippines in February 1945 cut off Japan's supply lines. And though he was warned that the country, brought to its knees by the conflict, might erupt in a Communist revolution, Emperor Hirohito believed that one last decisive battle could reverse Japan's fortunes.

The Americans, for their part, were startled by the intensity and determination of the Japanese defenders in the South Pacific. "Do the suicides of Saipan mean the whole Japanese race will choose death before surrender?" wrote a reporter in Time . From the U.S. capture of the Mariana Islands through the firebombing of Tokyo and the dropping of the atomic bomb, Victory in the Pacific chronicles the dreadful and unprecedented loss of life and the decisions made by leaders on both sides that finally ended the war.

Adam Clayton Powell (1944-1967)
(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.
CHRONOLOGICAL: 1926 - 1945:

1926  |   1930  |   1938  |   1941

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