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Some stories can't just be told. They must be experienced. Schedule

How to get the American Experience Podcast
Past Episodes
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How to get the American Experience Podcast

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2. Subscribe to the feed
Using the software you've selected, browse the directories of available podcasts for the American Experience Podcast, or search for it by name. Select 'Subscribe' to get the latest episode and future episodes.

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3. Listen
Listen to the downloaded American Experience Podcast on your computer, or transfer to a portable media player to listen on the go.


Podcast Highlight
Oswald's Ghost (9:10)
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963 left a psychic wound on America that is with us still today. Filmmaker Robert Stone discusses his deconstruction of the assassination and how this single event forever changed the face of American culture.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 4.2 MB)
Past Episodes
The Presidents: The Two-Party System and Political Participation (10:46)
Harvard historian Thomas Patterson looks at political participation and America's two-party system in presidential elections.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 9.9 MB)
Behind the Scenes: The Presidents (23:36)
American Experience executive producer Mark Samels and documentary filmmakers Elizabeth Deane and David Grubin discuss two of their presidential biographies, "John & Abigail Adams" and "LBJ."

Listen Now (mp3 file, 10.8 MB)
The Presidents: The Debates (10:38)
George Mason University professor Rick Shenkman looks at presidential debates and their impact upon elections.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 9.8 MB)
The Presidents: The Conventions (13:32)
NPR news analyst Daniel Schorr and American University historian Allan Lichtman discuss the role of the party conventions in 2008.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 12.5 MB)
The Presidents: The Democratic Party and Expanding Opportunity (13:15)
Harvard University sociologist Orlando Patterson places Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign in the context of Democratic Party history.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 12.2 MB)
The Presidents: American Conservativism (11:50)
Historian Dan Carter places John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign in the context of the American conservative movement.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 10.9 MB)
Riding the Rails (5:15)
At the height of the Great Depression, more than 250,000 teenagers were living on the road in America.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 4.9 MB)
Summer of Love (5:00)
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.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 4.6 MB)
Eleanor Roosevelt (4:42)
In July 1940 Eleanor Roosevelt makes a compelling speech and unites the party at the Democratic National Convention.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 2.2 MB)
The Presidents: First Ladies (8:57)
John Jay College historian Blanche Wiesen Cook looks back at Eleanor Roosevelt and discusses the role of the First Lady.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 8.2 MB)
The Presidents: The Economy (10:12)
MIT historian Meg Jacobs examines the impact of economic issues during election years.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 9.4 MB)
Las Vegas: An Unconventional History: The Color Line (3:56)
In the 1960s, Las Vegas was a segregated city. But the color line was about to turn green: the color of money.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 3.6 MB)
Las Vegas: An Unconventional History: Atomic City, U.S.A. (3:46)
During the cold war, Las Vegas used nearby nuclear testing grounds as a tourist attraction.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 3.5 MB)
Truman (7:34)
After eighty-two days as Vice-President, Harry Truman became the thirty-third President of the United States.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 6.9 MB)
FDR (5:40)
In March 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office and gave hope to a nation in crisis.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 4.7 MB)
George H.W. Bush: At Kennebunkport (6:40)
Filmmakers Austin Hoyt and Callie Taintor Wiser discuss the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 6.1 MB)
Roberto Clemente: Filmmaker Interview (7:32)
Filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz discusses his biography of baseball's first Latino superstar.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 6.9 MB)
Roberto Clemente: Legacy (5:44)
New York Yankees pitcher LaTroy Hawkins discusses the legacy of Roberto Clemente.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 5.3 MB)
Walt Whitman (6:20)
Walt Whitman was America's first great poet. Novelist Allan Gurganus and poets Martín Espada and Billy Collins read excerpts from his signature work, Leaves of Grass.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 5.8 MB)
The Presidents: Foreign Policy Leadership (14:57)
International relations professor Ernest May from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and history professor Kristin Hoganson from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign describe foreign policy, presidential leadership, and elections.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 13.7 MB)
Minik, The Lost Eskimo (3:13)
When Arctic explorer Robert Peary returned from Greenland in 1897, he brought with him a seven-year-old boy named Minik.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 3 MB)
Ansel Adams: A Documentary Film (4:32)
From the day that a 14-year-old Ansel Adams first saw the transcendent beauty of the Yosemite Valley, his life was, in his words, "colored and modulated by the great earth-gesture of the Sierra." Nature and wilderness photographer Michael Frye describes following in Adams' footsteps, working in Yosemite.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 4.2 MB)
The Presidents: Critical Elections (8:11)
Georgetown University historian Michael Kazin looks back at the 1968 presidential campaign and discusses the theory of "critical elections."

Listen Now (mp3 file, 7.5 MB)
The Fight (7:16)
In the 1930s, Joe Louis crossed boxing's color line to become the most famous and influential black person in America.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 3.3 MB)
Buffalo Bill (7:27)
As the American frontier was disappearing, William Cody transformed himself into a master showman named Buffalo Bill.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 6.9 MB)
Kit Carson (10:21)
The legendary trapper, scout and soldier was fluent in Spanish and five Indian languages. When the West was a mystery to most Americans, Kit Carson mastered it.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 9.5 MB)
The Presidents: Campaigning and the Primary System (20:11)
Boston University historian Bruce Schulman, author of The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society, and Politics, looks back at the 1976 presidential campaign and finds parallels to the 2008 campaign.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 18.5 MB)
The Lobotomist (7:59)
Walter J. Freeman was an ambitious neurologist that invented a radical surgery to combat mental illness: the transorbital lobotomy. A patient of Doctor Freeman and families of lobotomy recipients describe how the procedure changed their lives.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 3.7 MB)
Grand Central Preview (24:52)
Executive producer Mark Samels and filmmaker Michael Epstein discuss an upcoming American Experience film on Grand Central Station. Epstein describes his approach in telling the history of the Manhattan landmark.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 11.4 MB)
Daughter from Danang (5:47)
In 1975, the U.S. sponsored Operation Babylift, evacuating war orphans from Vietnam. Author Aimee Phan talks about the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE program DAUGHTER FROM DANANG, which tells the story of a Babylift evacuee's troubled reunion with her Vietnamese birth mother.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 5.3 MB)
The Black Lions Remember Vietnam (8:19)
Meet the men of the Black Lions battalion. Forty years ago, they walked into a Viet Cong ambush.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 7.7 MB)
The Space Race (7:51)
On October 4, 1957 the Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik. Roger Launius, curator at the National Air and Space Museum, describes Sputnik's impact on the Space Race.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 7.2 MB)
World War II Memories (5:33)
World War II veterans describe the brutal conditions and deadly combat faced on the battlefronts of Europe and the Pacific.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 5.1 MB)
Chicago: City of the Century (7:43)
In the mid nineteenth century Chicago emerged as an industrial metropolis, fueled by a diverse work force. Historian Dominic Pacyga describes Chicago's prominence in the national labor movement and its reaction to the Labor Day holiday.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 7.1 MB)
Joe DiMaggio: The Hero's Life (6:54)
Former Commissioner of Major League Baseball Fay Vincent talks about one of the greatest sports heroes ever. Joe DiMaggio joined the New York Yankees in 1936 and quickly rose to become the star of baseball's golden age.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 6.4 MB)
Jonestown (5:49)
In tape recordings from the 1970s, Jim Jones describes his church, the Peoples Temple

Listen Now (mp3 file, 5.4 MB)
New Orleans (7:22)
Filmmaker Stephen Ives details the challenges of making a documentary about New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 3.2 MB)
The Living Weapon (11:33)
In early 1942, 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.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 10.6 MB)
The Berlin Airlift (6:54)
A veteran pilot describes his experiences during the first battle of the Cold War and the largest humanitarian campaign the world had ever seen.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 6.4 MB)
The Gold Rush (8:52)
Filmmaker Randall MacLowry brings to life the story of The Gold Rush in this American Experience film.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 8.2 MB)
The Great Fever (17:18)
Three physicians discuss the past and future of yellow fever, a disease that terrorized the United States for more than two hundred years, killing an estimated 100,000 in the nineteenth century alone.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 8.1 MB)
Eyes on the Prize (16:50)
Produced by Blackside, Eyes on the Prize tells the definitive story of the civil rights era from the point of view of the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions launched a movement that changed the fabric of American life.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 7.9 MB)
The Center Of The World: New York: A Documentary Film (5:22)
Carol Willis, the director of New York's Skyscraper Museum, reflects on the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, and plans for Ground Zero.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 2.5 MB)
A preview of New Orleans (6:52)
Filmmaker Stephen Ives spent a year making a PBS documentary on the history of a unique American city New Orleans.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 3.2 MB)
Hoover Dam (4:21)
Rising more than 700 feet above the raging waters of the Colorado River, it was called one of the greatest engineering works in history.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 4 MB)
Mount Rushmore (6:56)
Meet the daring workers and the temperamental artist who created the world's largest piece of sculpture, Mount Rushmore.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 3.3 MB)
Coney Island (5:42)
At the turn of the 20th century, a tiny spit of land at the foot of Brooklyn had become the most extravagant playground in America.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 2.6 MB)
Fourth of July 1826 (3:47)
Historians David McCullough and Joseph Ellis discuss the amazing circumstances surrounding the deaths of former presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams on July 4th, 1826.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 3.5 MB)
Behind the Scenes: Season 18 viewer mail (19:49)
American Experience executive producer Mark Samels discusses viewer emails about two of the past season's most popular programs.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 9.1 MB)
Behind the Scenes: The Man Behind Hitler (26:22)
American Experience executive producer Mark Samels and German filmmaker Michael Kloft discuss "The Man Behind Hitler," a new documentary based on the 7,000-page diary kept by Nazi Joseph Goebbels.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 12.1 MB)
Golden Gate Bridge (5:51)
Workers and historians describe the construction of the world's longest suspension bridge above the dangerously churning waters at the entrance to San Francisco Bay.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 2.7 MB)
Annie Oakley (5:03)
Annie Oakley thrilled audiences around the world with her daring shooting, a sport that was traditionally a male domain.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 4.6 MB)
Remember the Alamo (5:03)
A conflict in Texas pitted brother against brother and devastated the community.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 5.8 MB)
The Alaska Pipeline (6:39)
In the late 1960s, Native Alaskans sought a land claims settlement from Congress before work began on the Alaska Pipeline.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 6.1 MB)
The San Francisco Earthquake (9:29)
The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 remains a point of reference for earthquake science and building safety even today.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 4.4 MB)
The Boy in the Bubble (7:18)
Carol Anne Vetter Demaret, the mother of a boy born with severe immunodeficiency who was placed in a protective bubble, talks about the events leading up to her son David's birth.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 3.4 MB)
Eugene O'Neill (6:44)
Actor Christopher Plummer brings Eugene O'Neill's words to life in a new documentary on O'Neill, America's greatest playwright.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 3.1 MB)
Murder of the Century (4:13)
In 1906 Harry Thaw murdered Stanford White over the beautiful showgirl Evelyn Nesbit. The gripping New York society scandal was reported "to the ends of the civilized globe."

Listen Now (mp3 file, 2 MB)
A preview of American Experience's spring programs on PBS (6:08)
Executive producer Mark Samels previews two new programs coming to American Experience this spring, Monday nights at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).

Listen Now (mp3 file, 2.8 MB)
Hijacked (2:45)
September 6, 1970 gave birth to a new era of terrorism.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 1.3 MB)
Reconstruction: The Second Civil War: Plantations in Ruins (5:28)
After the Civil War, North and South had to reconcile. And four million former slaves had to be brought into the life of the nation. Kate Stone of Louisiana and Fan Butler of Georgia were two young women who found their family plantations in ruins.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 5 MB)
Reconstruction: The Second Civil War: Civil Rights (3:51)
After the Civil War, North and South had to reconcile. And four million former slaves had to be brought into the life of the nation. John Roy Lynch, a former slave from Mississippi, was elected to Congress, where he challenged whites' deepest beliefs about race and class.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 3.5 MB)
Jesse James (3:19)
A Confederate partisan of expansive ambition, unbending politics and surprising cunning, Jesse James helped invent his own legend.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 1.5 MB)
The Nuremberg Trials (5:53)
At the end of World War II, the Allied victors tried Nazi war criminals for crimes against humanity. The trials set historic precedents for international law.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 5.4 MB)
John and Abigail Adams (3:22)
The letters of John and Abigail Adams provide us with an intimate account of the early days of the Republic. They also tell the story of a great American political and romantic partnership.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 1.6 MB)
Reagan: Summit at Reykjavik (5:05)
In October 1986 President Ronald Reagan met Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev for a summit at Reykjavik. While no agreement was made, the summit was a historical breakthrough.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 2.4 MB)
Reagan: From Acting to Politics (4:12)
In 1966, when Ronald Reagan ran for governor of California, his opponent derided his lack of experience and Hollywood background.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 2 MB)
Patriots Day (3:42)
Every year the historic events of April 19, 1775 are reenacted by a committed band of historical actors.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 1.7 MB)
The Fight: Behind the Scenes: Authors and Filmmakers (7:35)
Book author David Margolick and documentary producer Barak Goodman discuss the process of working together on the same story.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 7 MB)
Tupperware! (2:56)
Bite-sized nuggets of positive thinking from two post-war success stories: Earl Tupper, inventor of Tupperware, and Brownie Wise, home party sales genius.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 2.7 MB)
Influenza 1918 (7:59)
A deadly flu invades North America -- killing over 600,000 people in the worst epidemic in American history.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 3.7 MB)
Behind the Scenes: City Biographies (23:52)
American Experience executive producer Mark Samels and documentary filmmakers Stephen Ives and Austin Hoyt discuss their work on city biographies of Las Vegas and Chicago.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 11 MB)
Victory in the Pacific (4:20)
In early 1945 Japan knows it cannot win World War II, but it will not surrender. The U.S. launches a major bombing campaign.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 4 MB)
Race to the Moon (4:12)
Apollo 8 was the first manned flight to the moon. The crew made many important visual observations, including mankind's first glance at the moon.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 3.9 MB)
Kinsey (4:16)
An Indiana University biology professor was an unlikely "revolutionary" in the field of human sexuality.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 3.9 MB)
Viewer response to Two Days in October (13:53)
Executive producer Mark Samels and filmmaker Robert Kenner discuss viewer emails regarding Two Days in October.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 6.4 MB)
Two Days in October: Vietnam (3:59)
The famed Black Lions of the Army's First Infantry Division are ambushed in the jungles of Vietnam.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 3.7 MB)
Two Days in October: America (4:21)
A peaceful student protest on the campus of the University of Wisconsin at Madison descends into violence and brutality when town police are brought to intervene.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 4 MB)
A preview of American Experience's fall TV season on PBS (7:29)
Executive producer Mark Samels previews the upcoming season of American Experience on PBS.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 6.9 MB)
The Carter Family: Will The Circle Be Unbroken (4:06)
The story and music of the Carter Family: Sara, her husband A.P., and sister-in-law Maybelle.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 3.8 MB)
Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst (4:06)
The bizarre saga of heiress, kidnap victim, and sometime urban guerrilla Patricia Hearst.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 3.8 MB)
Fatal Flood (3:58)
A story of greed, power, and race during a terrible natural disaster.

Listen Now (mp3 file, 3.7 MB)


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