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THEMATIC: Popular Culture:

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A Family Gathering (no website available)
The personal journey of three generations of a Japanese American family.
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The personal journey of three generations of a Japanese American family. Settling in the 1900s in Hood River, Oregon, the Yasui family became respectable figures in the valley community. Yet in December, 1941, they were considered "potentially dangerous" enemy aliens and sent to internment camps. After the war, they would struggle to reclaim their place as patriotic Americans.
Chicago: City of the Century

Chicago: City of the Century
Chicago rose from a swampy frontier town to become the quintessential American city of the nineteenth century.
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City of the Century chronicles Chicago's dramatic transformation from a swampy frontier town of fur traders and Native Americans to a massive metropolis that was the quintessential American city of the nineteenth century.The film tells how innovation, ingenuity, determination and ruthlessness created empires in what was a marshy wasteland and describes the hardships endured by millions of working men and women whose labor helped a capitalist class reinvent the way America did business. Along the way, this program revels in Chicago's triumphs -- among them the architectural experimentation that gave the city one of the world's most distinctive skylines -- and delves into the heart of Chicago's painful struggles. Bringing to life the Windy City's rich mixture of cultures, its writers and journalists, its political corruption and labor upheavals, this film bears witness to the creation of one of the most dynamic and vibrant cities in the world.
Daughter from Danang

Daughter from Danang
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.
Emma Goldman

Emma Goldman
The story of a brilliant Russian immigrant, a radical who became "the most dangerous woman in America."
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On a cold December morning in 1919, just after midnight, Emma Goldman, her comrade Alexander Berkman, and more than 200 other foreign-born radicals were roused from their Ellis Island dormitory beds to begin their journey out of the United States for good. Convicted of obstructing the draft during World War I, Goldman was deported 34 years after she had first set foot in America, a young, brilliant Russian immigrant. For more than three decades, she taunted mainstream America with her outspoken attacks on government, big business and war. Goldman's passionate espousal of radical causes made her the target of persecution. Her sympathy for Leon Czolgosz, the assassin of President McKinley, brought down upon her the hatred of the authorities and the public at large. Feared as a sponsor of anarchy and revolution, she was vilified in the press as "Red Emma," "Queen of the Anarchists," and "the most dangerous woman in America."

French Dance Tonight (no website available)
Cajun and Zydeco music innovators and performers talk about the emergence of two musical traditions.
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When French settlers, exiled from Nova Scotia, migrated to Louisiana in the 1750s, they mixed with African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, and others to create one of America's richest, most varied cultures. The film captures many of Cajun and Zydeco music's most important innovators and performers as they talk about the emergence of two musical traditions.

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.
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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.

Journey to America (no website available)
A tribute to the twelve million people who emigrated to the U.S. between 1890 and 1920.
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A tribute to the twelve million people who emigrated to the U.S. between 1890 and 1920. A recapturing of the journey through Europe to seaport towns, to the arrival in New York Harbor, and into the early months of settlement from urban ghettos out into the prairies. Letters, diaries and oral interviews are used to depict one of the largest single human migrations in history.
Minik, the Lost Eskimo

Minik, the Lost Eskimo
In 1897, Arctic explorer Robert Peary caused a sensation when he returned from Greenland with five Eskimos. Within months, four of the Eskimos had died, leaving a seven-year-old boy named Minik alone in a foreign land.
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In April 1897, six polar Eskimos arrived in New York City. Far removed from the home they had known in Greenland, where their Inuit community numbered just 234 people, they found themselves in the heart of a teeming metropolis. The youngest of the band was seven-year-old Minik, who remembered his first impression of the city as "a land we thought must be heaven."
New York: A Documentary Film

New York: A Documentary Film
The history of a great city, and the forces that have shaped it.
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Known round the world as "The Big Apple," the thriving metropolis of New York offers everything one could want in a big city -- action, arts, nightlife, culture and more. So how did this city grow from a Dutch trading post into a global and cultural center? The program begins in the early 1600s when the Dutch arrived, and documents the city's development up to the dawn of the 21st century.New York explores the city's role in the American Revolution, and shows how a massive wave of immigrants began the metropolitan melting pot and created new social problems, culminating in Civil War riots. As the city grew, it experienced a new political corruption and a new-found wealth. As the 20th century approached, more immigrants arrived, skyscrapers rose from the ground, and the subway roared into action. New York became a nucleus of cultural activity blazing with glamour and excitement. The program provides an extraordinary view of the 20th century's major events, from the Depression to the New Deal, economic and population booms to social revolution, rebuilding and resurgence.Through unparalleled archival paintings, portraits, photographs and newsreels, and through interviews with celebrated and ordinary citizens, the film paints a brilliant picture of America's biggest city.
Roberto Clemente

Roberto Clemente
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.
The Gold Rush

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
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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.
The Iron Road

The Iron Road
The story of the transcontinental railroad.
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A tale of high adventure, enormous human effort and engineering brilliance. On May 2, 1869, when the last railroad spike was driven, bells in the churches of New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Omaha and St. Louis rang in celebration. Six years in the making, the transcontinental railroad captured the imagination of the nation, symbolizing unification of the country after five years of Civil War.
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.
Zoot Suit Riots

Zoot Suit Riots
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.
THEMATIC: Popular Culture:

Arts and Entertainment  |   Crime and Punishment  |  
The Great Depression  |   Immigrant Experience  |   Spiritualism  |   Sports

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