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CHRONOLOGICAL: 1946 - TODAY:

1946  |   1954  |   1964  |   1979

Freedom on My Mind (1964)
(no website available)
Recruits in a nonviolent army fight the white Mississippi political establishment to register black voters, create schools and bring national attention to the struggle.
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In the summer of 1964, two groups converged in Mississippi: one mostly young, white and well educated from out of state; the other, African Americans who lived in the most violently segregated state. Recruits in a nonviolent army, together they fought the white political establishment to register black voters, create schools and bring national attention to the struggle. It was a summer of rage, pain and enormous danger.
Return With Honor

Return With Honor (1964-1973)
The moving story of American prisoners of war in North Vietnam.
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"Return with Honor" is the story of American fighter pilots held as prisoners of war in North Vietnam. Told by the men themselves, the film is "a major shift in the screen image of the Vietnam veteran," according to the New York Times. More than 20 veterans describe their captivity and their struggle to survive mentally and physically, and return with honor. Their moving accounts are combined with archival footage from Vietnam and the United States to create an inspiring tale of personal heroism.
Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst

Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst (1964-2003)
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.
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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.

Summer of Love

Summer of Love (1966-1968)

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In the summer of 1967, thousands of young people from across the country flocked to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district to join in the hippie experience, only to discover that what they had come for was already disappearing. By 1968 the celebration of free love, music, and an alternative lifestyle had descended into a maelstrom of drug abuse, broken dreams, and occasional violence. Through interviews with a broad range of individuals who lived through the summer of love-police officers walking the beat, teenage runaways who left home without looking back, non-hippie residents who resented the invasion of their community, and scholars who stil have difficulty interpreting the phenomenon-this American Experience offers a complex portrait of the notorious event that many consider the peak of the 1960s counter-culture movement.
Two Days in October

Two Days in October (1967-1967)
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.
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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.

Reagan

Reagan (1967-1989)
The life of the president who saw America as a "shining city on a hill" and himself as its heroic defender.
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When he left the White House in 1988, Ronald Reagan was one of the most popular presidents of the century. A former Hollywood actor and seemingly simple man, Reagan had been consistently underestimated by his opponents. He overcame them all with a combination of charm and unfailing optimism, rising to become a president who always preferred to see America as a "shining city on a hill" and himself as its heroic defender.

Chicago 1968 (1968)
(no website available)
A clash of political visions in the back rooms, on the convention floor and on the streets of Chicago.
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While America was reeling from the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King and public outcry against the Vietnam War, the Democrats held their convention in Chicago. Yippie and anti-war protesters were determined to be heard; Mayor Daley was just as determined to stop them. A clash of political visions would be fought in the back rooms, on the convention floor and in the streets of Chicago.
Race to the Moon

Race to the Moon (1968-1968)
The historic journey of Apollo 8 captivated the world during a year marked by assassinations, riots, and war.
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On Christmas Eve 1968, one of the largest audiences in television history tuned in to an extraordinary sight: a live telecast of the moon's surface as seen from Apollo 8, the first manned space flight to leave Earth's gravitational pull and orbit the moon. The historic journey captivated people around the world; many welcomed a technological triumph in space after a year marked by assassinations, riots and war.

As this American Experience production reveals, however, the mission's success was far from assured. The Apollo 8 astronauts had just four months to prepare for the risky lunar orbit, and catastrophic failure would have brought a halt to America's goal of putting a man on the moon before the end of the decade.

With images and audio never before broadcast, this film recounts the flight many consider to be NASA's most daring and important. Interviews with Apollo 8 astronauts, their wives, mission control staff, and journalists take viewers inside the high-stakes space race of the late 1960s to reveal how a bold decision by NASA administrators put a struggling Apollo program back on track and allowed America to reach the moon before the Soviets.

The Boy in the Bubble

The Boy in the Bubble (1968-1993)
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."
Daughter from Danang

Daughter from Danang (1968-2002)
The dramatic story of a Vietnamese mother, her Amerasian daughter, and their reunion 22 years after the Vietnam War.
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In 1975, with the end of the war in Vietnam imminent, Mai Thi Kim, a poor, young Vietnamese woman, sent her seven-year-old daughter to America as part of a controversial evacuation program known as Operation Babylift. The parting was devastating to both mother and child, but Kim believed her Amerasian daughter -- the product of a brief love affair with an American Navy officer -- would be in danger in Vietnam. The little girl was adopted by a single woman, renamed Heidi and brought up in Tennessee, where she concealed her Asian past and became "101%" American.Twenty-two years later, Heidi tracks down her birth mother and visits Danang. The reunion that had raised so many hopes and expectations for Heidi and Kim quickly becomes rife with tension and misunderstanding as the cultural gulf between Heidi and her Vietnamese family grows larger and larger.
Hijacked

Hijacked (1970-1970)
In September 1970, Palestinian militants seized five commercial aircraft, giving birth to a new era of terrorism.
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For more than 30 years it would be known as "the blackest day in aviation history." On September 6, 1970, members of the militant Palestinian group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (P.F.L.P.), hijacked four commercial airplanes. They commandeered a fifth aircraft three days later. Wanting to attract attention to the Palestinian cause and secure the release of several of their comrades, the P.F.L.P. spectacularly blew up four of the planes.

Today the commanders who planned and carried out the attack resist comparison to the terrorists who masterminded the events of September 11, 2001: members of the P.F.L.P. were not religious extremists, but secular Marxist Leninists. And of the almost 600 passengers taken hostage, none were killed. And yet more than three decades later, it is clear that a connection exists between the two seminal events, that September 6, 1970 gave birth to a new era of terrorism. In telling this dramatic and complicated story, award-winning producer Ilan Ziv interviews leaders of the P.F.L.P., militants who carried out the attack, journalists who covered the hijackings, crew members and passengers. More than just recounting the events of those tense September days, this American Experience production examines how and when Middle East militants began to see civilians as legitimate pawns in their struggles for self-determination.

Nixon's China Game

Nixon's China Game (1972)
A secret diplomatic breakthrough that shocked and changed the world.
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In February 1972, after a quarter-century of mutual antagonism between the United States and China, President Richard Nixon traveled to Beijing for a historic encounter with Chairman Mao Tse-tung. The climax of a secret White House initiative headed by Henry Kissinger, the diplomatic breakthrough shocked both America's allies and its enemies. Drawing on recently declassified records and key eyewitnesses, the program re-creates, step by dangerous step, the events leading up to what Nixon called "the week that changed the world."

The Fall of Saigon (1973-1975)
(no website available)
Ten years after American ground troops arrived in South Vietnam, communists seized Saigon in a lightning attack that brought the war to a startling conclusion.
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South Vietnamese leaders believed that America would never let them go down to defeat -- a belief that died as North Vietnamese tanks smashed into Saigon on April 30, 1975, and the long war ended with South Vietnam's surrender.
CHRONOLOGICAL: 1946 - TODAY:

1946  |   1954  |   1964  |   1979

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