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American Experience Season 1

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Season 01, Episode 01 The Great San Francisco Earthquake

S01 E01

Oct 5, 1988
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The Great San Francisco Earthquake Oct 5, 1988 From Enrico Caruso to the ordinary San Franciscan, this film presents vivid memories of those trapped in the terrifying event of 1906. Four hundred eighty square blocks were reduced to rubble; thousands were killed, tens of thousands left homeless. Then the heroic struggle to rebuild a city from the ashes began.

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Season 01, Episode 01 Episode 1

S01 E01

Sep 27, 2021
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Episode 1 Sep 27, 2021 After taking control of the San Francisco Examiner in 1887, William Randolph Hearst was eager to try his luck in New York. Hearst bought the failing Journal in 1895 and turned it into a sensation. He earned the loyalty of the city's population of newly arrived immigrants by railing against monopolistic businesses and championing the working class, using the medium to increase his influence.

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Season 01, Episode 02 Earthrise

S01 E02

Jul 8, 2019
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Earthrise Jul 8, 2019 Earthrise covers 1964-1968, four heady, dangerous years in the history of the space race, focusing on the events surrounding the Apollo 1 and Apollo 8 missions.

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Season 01, Episode 02 Episode 2

S01 E02

Sep 28, 2021
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Episode 2 Sep 28, 2021 Hearst began producing newsreels and serialized dramas, and he reigned over Hollywood society. One of his films starred a young actress named Marion Davies, and Hearst was instantly smitten. In the 1930s as the Depression devastated the country, Hearst's politics evolved, and he became out of touch with readers. Circulation numbers dropped and Hearst found himself $78 million in debt.

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Season 01, Episode 02 Radio Bikini

S01 E02

Oct 12, 1988
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Radio Bikini Oct 12, 1988 While the U.N. debated strategies for control of atomic energy, the U.S. Navy was preparing two highly-publicized nuclear tests. Seven hundred fifty cameras were shipped to Bikini to be used for a major propaganda film. Bikinians had no say about turning their idyllic island into an atomic test site. Forty years later, their home would still be too contaminated to support human life.

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Season 01, Episode 03 Indians, Outlaws and Angie Debo

S01 E03

Oct 19, 1988
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Indians, Outlaws and Angie Debo Oct 19, 1988 As a child in 1899, Angie Debo was taken to Oklahoma in a covered wagon. She would become her state's most controversial historian -- her career threatened when she uncovered a cache of documents which proved a widespread conspiracy to cheat Native Americans out of oil-rich lands.

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Season 01, Episode 04 Eric Sevareid's Not So Wild A Dream

S01 E04

Oct 26, 1988
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Eric Sevareid's Not So Wild A Dream Oct 26, 1988 A touching memoir beginning with life in a small Minnesota town and taking us through a young man's early days as pacifist. Reporting on the rise of fascism in Europe, Sevareid, as a young CBS reporter, would change his belief. Based on Sevareid's best-selling book of the same title.

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Season 01, Episode 05 The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter

S01 E05

Nov 2, 1988
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The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter Nov 2, 1988 An original look through newsreels, war department films, posters and interviews with five, real-life "Rosies" about the reality of working in the defense plants during WWII, and their reactions to having to give up those jobs for returning GIs.

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Season 01, Episode 06 Do You Mean There Are Still Real Cowboys?

S01 E06

Nov 9, 1988
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Do You Mean There Are Still Real Cowboys? Nov 9, 1988 A year in the life of Wyoming cowboys and the ranching families who have lived in Big Piney for six generations. Although very much the same as it was one hundred years ago -- tough, lonely, but still romantic -- ranching is now a threatened way of life.

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Season 01, Episode 07 Kennedy vs. Wallace: A Crisis Up Close

S01 E07

Nov 16, 1988
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Kennedy vs. Wallace: A Crisis Up Close Nov 16, 1988 An intimate portrait of the Kennedy brothers and their confrontation with Alabama Governor George Wallace when he defied the courts by refusing to integrate the University in 1963. The film offers unprecedented access to the Oval Office as well as to strategy meetings held by Attorney General Robert Kennedy.

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Season 01, Episode 08 Geronimo and the Apache Resistance

S01 E08

Nov 23, 1988
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Geronimo and the Apache Resistance Nov 23, 1988 The story of a tragic collision of two civilizations, each with startlingly different views of one another. In 1886, 5,000 U.S. troops mobilized to capture this one man and his band of followers, who by refusing to move onto a reservation, defied and eluded federal authorities.

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Season 01, Episode 09 Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: Revisited

S01 E09

Nov 30, 1988
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Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: Revisited Nov 30, 1988 An updated look at the Alabama tenant families that Walker Evans and James Agee documented in their 1936 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, an American classic.

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Season 01, Episode 10 That Rhythm... Those Blues

S01 E10

Dec 7, 1988
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That Rhythm... Those Blues Dec 7, 1988 The evolution of rhythm and blues through the careers of singers Ruth Brown and Charles Brown, from the 1940s into the 50s, with contemporary performances by both.

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Season 01, Episode 11 The Radio Priest

S01 E11

Dec 14, 1988
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The Radio Priest Dec 14, 1988 Father Charles Coughlin, a Roman Catholic priest from Michigan, uses the new power of radio to become one of the first media stars; every Sunday he would broadcast his message railing against the nation's economic and social system to millions of listeners caught in the grip of the Depression.

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Season 01, Episode 12 Hearts and Hands

S01 E12

Dec 21, 1988
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Hearts and Hands Dec 21, 1988 The design and art of quilting yields intimate clues about the lives of 19th century women, who stitched their personal and political stories into these artifacts of history.

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Season 01, Episode 13 Views of a Vanishing Frontier

S01 E13

Dec 28, 1988
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Views of a Vanishing Frontier Dec 28, 1988 The journey of Prince Maximilian, German naturalist, and artist Karl Bodmer, who explored the Mississippi River area from 1832-34, meticulously documenting in paintings and journals the landscape, plants and life of Native Americans.

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Season 01, Episode 14 Eudora Welty: One Writer's Beginnings

S01 E14

Jan 4, 1989
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Eudora Welty: One Writer's Beginnings Jan 4, 1989 Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Eudora Welty narrates the story of her own Southern childhood and early artistic development in Jackson, Mississippi. Based on her best-selling book of the same title.

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Season 01, Episode 15 The World That Moses Built

S01 E15

Jan 11, 1989
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The World That Moses Built Jan 11, 1989 From the late 1920s through the 1960s, Robert Moses held almost total power over the landscape of New York. He built bridges, highways, Jones Beach, Lincoln Center and the United Nations, some of the most ambitious public works ever conceived, and some of the most controversial.

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Season 01, Episode 16 Sins of Our Mothers

S01 E16

Jan 18, 1989
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Sins of Our Mothers Jan 18, 1989 A Gothic tale of sin and redemption in 19th century New England. A small town in Maine reacts to the unconventional behavior of one of its young residents, a woman named Emeline Gurney. A fascinating examination of small town mores.

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Season 01, Episode 17 Reagan (Part 4)

S01 E17

Feb 24, 1998
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Reagan (Part 4) Feb 24, 1998 Solidarity thrived in Poland; Soviets faced military pressure in Afghanistan, but Congress cut funding for Nicaragua. In 1986 Reagan met Mikhail Gorbachev, but missile reduction talks failed over SDI research. The Iran-Contra scandal broke. Gorbachev signed a missile reduction treaty. Reagan visited Moscow in 1988, but his dream of ending the Soviet Union came after retirement in 1989. Soon after, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. This is the fourth of four parts.

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