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In their own words, veterans both famous and unknown including Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, and Henry Kissinger bring their war experiences to life: how they fought for their nation and their people, struggled with anti-Semitism within their ranks, and emerged transformed.

This program chronicles the migration in two great waves between and of some 6 million African Americans from the rural South to cities in the North and West; the dynamic urban culture that resulted; and the personal toll of such a move. On January 28, , James Marshall found gold near the fork of the American and Sacramento Rivers, unleashing 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.


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They found themselves playing the Great California Lottery, in which luck not hard work or honesty, seemed the key to success. Told through the stories of a small group of diverse characters—Chinese and Chilean, Northerner and Southerner, black and white—this American Experience film 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. Program 1 The Journey looks at diaries and other accounts from immigrant women who survived the journey to America. Program 2 The Half-Open Door recalls how several generations of immigrants faced the realities of the quota system, exclusion laws, detainment, and deportation. Program 5 Three Tunes for an American Songbook explains how and why three women emigrated from Russia, Greece, and Italy in the early s.

Program 6 Daily Bread examines the working experience of immigrant women who served as domestic servants, farm wives, shopkeepers, and boardinghouse operators. Program 7 English Lessons records the difficulties that immigrant women have faced in trying to educate their children and themselves.

Program 8 My Mother Was a Member of the Rumanian Ladies Aide Society explores the history of societies and organizations, originally formed as support systems, that affected the socio-political fabric of America. Program 9 Tapestries expresses the way immigrant women artists responded to life in a new world. Emphasizing the stories of ordinary people, this seven-part American history series examines the period between the two world wars, a time dominated by the economic depression that followed the stock market crash of Program 4 We Have a Plan When world famous Socialist author Upton Sinclair runs for governor of California, his platform provides an alternative to capitalism and tests the limits of the New Deal.

But with Japanese and German troops on the march, they soon discover that while the New Deal changed America forever, it is war, not government programs, that ends the Great Depression. Watkins Little, Brown, An eight-part series that reveals the impact and importance of World War I, The Great War explores the poignant, powerful, and permanent ways the war changed the lives of everyone it touched.

Episode 1 Explosion Takes a sweeping look at the conditions and events that caused the cataclysm to unfold and sheds new light on how the fuse was lit that led to the first man-made catastrophe of the twentieth century. Episode 2 Stalemate The military believed that technical advances in weaponry would make for a quick outcome on the battlefield. How then did modern weaponry bring about a deadly stalemate? From the beginning the war was out of hand, and new styles of warfare were producing new kinds of horror and unprecedented levels of suffering and death.

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Episode 3 Total War By , the conflict had spread across boundaries between continents and peoples, becoming a global war—a fact grimly confirmed by the unlikely battles between Turks and Australians on the Turkish cliffs of Gallipoli. Episode 4 Slaughter World War I gave new meaning to death on the battlefield, a breadth and horror summed up in one word: slaughter.

A million men died there in only nine months. The British offered the same unspeakable sacrifice at The Somme, where another million died, and at Passchendaele, a graveyard for half a million more.

Episode 5 Mutiny By , men, armies, and nations were nearing a breaking point. For individual soldiers, it emerged as shell shock, a personal withdrawal from an intolerable reality. For armies, it was outright rebellion; half the French army mutinied in , refusing to undertake senseless attacks. Episode 6 Collapse At the start of , the odds looked bad for the Allies.

With Russia knocked out of the war by revolution and the French Army rocked by mutiny, Germany stepped up the offensive on the Western Front. Versailles provided no real peace, and the seeds were sown for an even more catastrophic war. Episode 8 War Without End The final episode explores the aftermath of the war and the failed peace.

For the lost generation it spawned, the war became a war without end, one that haunted everyone. Writers and other artists tried to create an answer, and millions searched for hope and messages from departed loved ones through Spiritualism. In Germany, the sense of betrayal and dishonor prompted some Germans to seek revenge. The man who rose up to lead them was Adolph Hitler.

This is a film about the life and work of Harry Hopkins, with special emphasis on his role as domestic and foreign policy adviser to President Franklin D. Heartland is based on the experiences of a widow homesteading near Burntfork, Wyoming, in the early twentieth century. This film chronicles how, through their quilting and sewing, nineteenth-century women responded to the major events and developments of their times, such as abolitionism, the Civil War, industrialization, westward expansion, and the temperance and suffrage movements. An absorbing life story of a farm boy who rose from obscurity to become the most influential American innovator of the twentieth century, Henry Ford offers an incisive look at the birth of the American auto industry with its long history of struggles between labor and management and a thought-provoking reminder of how Ford's automobile forever changed the way we work, where we live, and our ideas about individuality, freedom, and possibility.

His words and images—in Time , Life , Fortune and The March of Time newsreels—became the lens through which the world defined Americans and Americans defined themselves. The Homefront explores the impact of World War II on American civilians, with an emphasis on changes in agriculture, industry, labor, and the status of minorities. Each drama in this three-part series considers the actions and experiences of an important but little-known African-American who addressed the problems of slavery and inequality during the nineteenth century.

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Quinn, Michael Tolan. This film follows the process by which a bill becomes a law by tracing the activities of Representatives Paul G. Rogers D-Fla and John D. This program portrays the cultural revival experienced by the Makah Community of Washington state following the discovery and excavation of a 15th-century village on their land. It is the first program in a series on the histories and cultures of North American Indians. Inheritance examines the meaning of work and the role it plays in human happiness through consideration of three contemporary traditional craftsmen—a tinsmith, a blacksmith, and a lacrosse-stick maker—whose work and lives are reminiscent of the independent worker of a century ago.

Two of the most celebrated men from their respective nations, Roosevelt and Rondon set out with twenty other adventurers in Over eight eventful weeks in one of the most remote places on earth, the ill-equipped expedition navigated deadly rapids in crude dugout canoes. What was anticipated to be a relatively tranquil journey turned out to be a brutal test of courage and character. Before it was all over, one member of the expedition had drowned and another had committed murder. Roosevelt would badly injure his leg and beg to be left behind to die.

From the dawn of the seventeenth-century, when the first sea-weary pilgrims looked on in wonder as teeming pods of rights whales breached the waters off Cape Cod to the eve of the Civil War, when more than of the ships in the worldwide whaling fleet hailed from American ports and American whalemen dominated the globe, the epic story of the commercial pursuit of the largest creature on earth would be intimately bound up with the story of America: as a parable of American capitalism on the rise, as a case study in maritime culture at its most extreme, and as an allegory for the American, and the human experience—long before a restless sometime whaleman and would-be writer named Herman Melville ever went to sea.

At once a sea adventure, a cautionary economic and environmental tale, and a mythic saga of man and nature, the film tells the saga of three centuries of American whaling—interweaving the riveting tale of the doomed whaleship Essex, which set sail from Nantucket in the summer of and the deeply moving story of a young whaleman named Herman Melville—whose own life and imaginative voyage into the deep would give rise to one of the greatest works of literature ever created by an American.

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This film tells the story of Ishi, the last Yahi Indian in North America, who became a source of aluable information and a friend of anthropologist Alfred Kroeber, who brought him to San Francisco for study. University of California, Extension Media Center educational. Jed Riffe home video. CS Associates international. And most Italian Americans never spoke of it. The Italian Americans reminds audiences of the foundations of the American experience while also making clear that we remain a nation constantly transformed by those newest to our shores. This six-hour series follows the struggle of a tiny minority making its way into the American mainstream.

While the story of Jewish life in America is emblematic of the American immigrant story, it is also a unique story of ongoing discrimination and stereotyping coupled with some of the most remarkable accomplishments in American history, the arts, commerce, science, and academia. Beginning with the first Jews to arrive in New Amsterdam in the seventeenth century, the film offers a revealing portrait of a people who epitomize the immigrant experience.


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  • Even as they have faced bigotry and rejection, Jews have embraced American culture while keeping alive their traditions and heritage. Drawing on the extraordinary correspondence between the second president and his wife, this joint biography sheds light not only on the characters of two remarkable people, but also on the tumultuous times through which they lived. John and Abigail Adams played a critical role in many of the pivotal events of their era: he was a vociferous participant at the Continental Congress; she was an important eye-witness reporter during the Siege of Boston; he was an important war-time emissary to France.

    In the post-war era, first as vice president, then as president, Adams was caught up in the increasing political divisiveness that characterized the s when rifts in the country almost pulled the fledgling nation apart. This American Experience program reminds us that the Founding Fathers—and Mothers—were not men and women of marble following a script that made independence and American national success a pre-ordained conclusion but rather real, flawed, multi-dimensional people, who had no idea how things would turn out.

    John James Audubon is best known for The Birds of America , a book of images, portraits of every bird then known in the United States—painted and reproduced life sized. Its creation cost Audubon eighteen years of monumental effort in finding the birds, making the book, and selling it to subscribers.

    Audubon was not born in America but saw more of the North American continent than virtually anyone alive, and even in his own time he came to exemplify America—the place of wilderness and wild things. The history of his life reveals his era and his nation: he lived in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina and New York—traveled everywhere from Labrador to the Dry Tortugas, from the Republic of Texas to the mouth of the Yellowstone—was a merchant, salesman, teacher, hunter, itinerant portraitist and woodsman, an artist and a scientist.

    He was, in a sense, a one-man compendium of American culture of his time.

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    The life and the career of John Muir come to life through this documentary set against the magnificent landscapes of the American West. The Scottish-born naturalist was one of the first nature preservationists in American history, inspiring others through his writing and his advocacy to keep the wilderness wild. During his lifetime, the impact of his powerful voice could be seen in the preservation of Valley Yosemite and the sequoia groves of California, and the glacial landscapes of Alaska.

    His vision survived long after his death through the work of the Sierra Club, an organization he founded. The film was shot in high definition in the spectacular landscapes that shaped Muir—and which were, in turn, shaped by his devotion. A diversity of images run through the program: the Wisconsin woods of his childhood, his incredible journey on foot through the American South, the Yosemite Valley, the California fruit ranch where he lived with his wife and daughters, the Alaskan wilderness that so attracted him, and the National Parks that he was so instrumental in creating.

    Keeping On portrays the changes in community structures and social relationships in a Southern textile community during a campaign to unionize the local mill.

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    The Killing Floor tells the story of a Southern black sharecropper who moves to Chicago and becomes involved in the organization of workers in the stockyards between and King of America tells of the struggles of a Greek immigrant seeking success in America in the early twentieth century. While Koreans identify the war as the most important event in their recent history, for many Americans the fiftieth anniversary of the Korean War evoked only the vaguest notions of who fought and why U.

    By the time it ended, inconclusively, on July 27, , 54, Americans were dead and Korea was already on its way to becoming America's "Forgotten War. This American RadioWorks special report uses personal stories to illuminate the end of segregation in the armed forces; the policy of "limited war" and containment; and the American military build-up that lasted through the Cold War to the present day. LaGuardia — Scott Momaday.

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    Little Big Horn National Battlefield home video. Latino Americans is a three-part, six-hour documentary series that chronicles the lives and experiences of Latinos in the United States from to the twenty-first century. Through its people, politics and culture, Latino Americans tells the story of early settlement, conquest, and immigration; of tradition and reinvention; of anguish and celebration; and of the gradual construction of a new American identity from diverse sources that connects and empowers millions of people today.

    It concludes with his assumption of the Presidency upon the assassination of John F. Kennedy in PBS Video. Pacific Arts Video home video. The series spans 26 years, from to , and traces the transformation of Americans from loyal subjects of the British king to revolutionaries, and finally, to citizens of an entirely new kind of country. With the end of the French and Indian War, America has become a land of opportunity, but the British impose a seemingly routine tax—the Stamp Act. It creates a firestorm throughout the colonies as Americans see their liberties and their power threatened.

    Thirteen colonies, who until now have had little in common with one another, take faltering steps to unite in reaction to this aggression.