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American Experience Season 14

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Season 14, Episode 01 New York: Part 6 - The City of Tomorrow

S14 E01

Sep 11, 2001
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New York: Part 6 - The City of Tomorrow Sep 11, 2001 Reveals the immense new forces that were unleashed in New York.

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Season 14, Episode 02 New York: Part 7 - The City and the World

S14 E02

Sep 18, 2001
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New York: Part 7 - The City and the World Sep 18, 2001 Episode seven chronicles the history of New York from the end of the Second World War to the present.

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Season 14, Episode 03 War Letters

S14 E03

Nov 11, 2001
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War Letters Nov 11, 2001 A documentary based on the book "War Letters; Extraordinary Correspondence From American Wars" by Andrew Carroll.

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Season 14, Episode 04 Woodrow Wilson: Episode One - A Passionate Man

S14 E04

Jan 6, 2002
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Woodrow Wilson: Episode One - A Passionate Man Jan 6, 2002 A two-part profile of Woodrow Wilson in which news clips, atmospheric re-creations and readings (Rene Auberjonois and Blair Brown provide the voices of Wilson and his first wife, Ellen) supplement interviews with historians. Part 1 takes Wilson (1856-1924) from his Georgia childhood to the outbreak of World War I -- just as Ellen dies. "He's got to deal with the breakdown in the world," historian John Milton Cooper says. "And he's got to deal with the breakdown in his personal life."

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Season 14, Episode 05 Woodrow Wilson: Episode Two - The Redemption of the World

S14 E05

Jan 13, 2002
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Woodrow Wilson: Episode Two - The Redemption of the World Jan 13, 2002 Woodrow Wilson reluctantly enters World War I in an effort to "make the world safe for democracy" as this two-part profile concludes. He wins the war but loses the peace, as he's confounded first by the French and British at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919; then by the Republicans in the Senate, who thwart U.S. entry into the League of Nations. Meanwhile, Wilson marries Edith Bolling-Galt (voice of Marion Ross) less than a year after his first wife dies. Edith would emerge as the President's virtual "regent" when Wilson suffers a stroke in 1919. Voice of Wilson: Rene Auberjonois.

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Season 14, Episode 06 Mount Rushmore

S14 E06

Jan 20, 2002
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Mount Rushmore Jan 20, 2002 Chronicling the 16-year struggle (1925-41) to fashion Mount Rushmore in South Dakota's Black Hills, and profiling sculptor Gutzon Borglum, its creator. Borglum was 60 when plans for Rushmore were announced and he died not long after the final busts were completed. In between, money was often scarce and the granite from which the likenesses were hewn was crumbly. But Borglum wouldn't be denied, and he had foresight: He planned for 300,000 years' worth of weather erosion.

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Season 14, Episode 07 Miss America

S14 E07

Jan 27, 2002
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Miss America Jan 27, 2002 Recalling the 80-year history of the Miss America Pageant and what narrator Cherry Jones calls "a barometer of America's shifting ideas of American womanhood." Included: eight former Miss Americas recall their runway strolls -- and the world beyond Atlantic City during their reigns. Also: comments from historians and social observers, including Gloria Steinem, a beauty-pageant contestant herself as a teen. "It was glamorous," she says, perhaps surprisingly. Also surprising is Miss America 1998 Kate Shindle's view of the swimsuit competition. "It's empowering," she says. "If you can do that, you can do anything."

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Season 14, Episode 08 Public Enemy Number 1

S14 E08

Feb 17, 2002
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Public Enemy Number 1 Feb 17, 2002 John Dillinger may have been "Public Enemy No. 1" in 1933 and '34, but Americans didn't reflexively hate him, and this hour explores reasons why as it chronicles his 14-month bank-robbing spree. Dillinger "represents a rebellious impulse that many people in the Great Depression had good reason to feel," says Tom Doherty, one of the historians interviewed. Morever, "he was a charming guy," says another, Claire Potter. The hour also features a grandnephew of Dillinger and Alston Purvis, the son of Melvin Purvis, the G-Man who finally caught up with the Public Enemy.

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Season 14, Episode 09 Monkey Trial

S14 E09

Feb 23, 2002
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Monkey Trial Feb 23, 2002 In 1925 a Tennessee high school teacher is arrested for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution. A momentous trial ensues, pitting fundamentalist preaching against freedom of thought and speech.

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Season 14, Episode 10 Zoot Suit Riots

S14 E10

Mar 1, 2002
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Zoot Suit Riots Mar 1, 2002 On August 1, 1942, a 22-year-old Mexican American man was stabbed to death at a party. To white Los Angelenos, the murder was just more proof that Mexican American crime was spiraling out of control. The police fanned out across LA, netting 600 young Mexican American suspects. Almost all those taken into custody were wearing the distinctive uniform of their generation: zoot-suits. The tragic murder and the injustice of the trial that followed, coupled with sensational news coverage of both, fanned the flames of the racial hostility that was already running rife in the city. Within months of the verdict, Los Angeles was in the grip of some of the worst violence in its history.

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Season 14, Episode 11 Ulysses S. Grant (Part 1)

S14 E11

Apr 1, 2002
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Ulysses S. Grant (Part 1) Apr 1, 2002 A moody two-part biography of Ulysses S. Grant (1822-85). Part 1, "Warrior," quickly sketches his largely unsuccessful pre-Civil War life and ends on Good Friday 1865, when his wife told him to turn down a theater invitation because she didn't like the company of Mary Lincoln. During the war, Grant owed his success to his ability to treat his often unruly troops as he did his horses: calmly, firmly, quietly. But if he was a hero at Fort Donelson and Vicksburg, he's also described as being a "butcher" at Shiloh and Cold Harbor.

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Season 14, Episode 12 Ulysses S. Grant: Part 2

S14 E12

Apr 2, 2002
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Ulysses S. Grant: Part 2 Apr 2, 2002 The conclusion of this biography of Ulysses S. Grant (1822-85) covers the last 20 years of the life of "the most popular man of the 19th century," as historian Donald Miller calls him. Grant's presidency (1869-77) wasn't the reason. "Military uniforms kept the sides straight on the battlefield, but in Grant's new world it was not so easy to tell friends from enemies," says narrator Liev Schreiber, and some of Grant's political "friends" were crooks. Add to that the intense opposition of white southerners to his Reconstruction policies. Then the U.S. economy went south during the panic of 1873.

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Season 14, Episode 13 Ansel Adams: A Documentary Film

S14 E13

Apr 21, 2002
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Ansel Adams: A Documentary Film Apr 21, 2002 Few American artists have reached a wider audience, or enjoyed more widespread popularity in their own lifetime, than Ansel Adams. None has had more profound an impact on how Americans grasp the majesty of their continent, or done more to transform how people think and feel about the meaning of the natural world. A visionary photographer, a pioneer in photographic technique and a crusader for the environment, Adams would take part in an extraordinary revolution: in photography, and ways of seeing what he called "the continuous beauty of the things that are." His greatest photographs would seek to capture "the instant of revelation -- of timelessness" amidst the evanescence of the natural world. Ansel Adams is the intimate portrait of a great artist and ardent environmentalist -- for whom life and art, photography and wilderness, creativity and communication, love and expression, were inextricably connected. ANSEL ADAMS, a ninety-minute documentary film written and directed by Ric Burns, and broadcast on national public television in April 2002, provides an elegant, moving and lyrical portrait of this most eloquent and quintessentially American of photographers.

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Season 14, Episode 14 A Brilliant Madness

S14 E14

Apr 28, 2002
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A Brilliant Madness Apr 28, 2002 Mathematics genius John Nash recalls his bout with schizophrenia (the subject dramatized in the Oscar-winning film "A Beautiful Mind"). Nash is joined by his wife, Alicia; son John Stier; colleagues; and author Sylvia Nasar, who wrote the book from which the movie was adapted. They (and narrator Liev Schreiber) recall Nash's prodigious intellect, arrogant demeanor and odd behavior. He developed his "equilibrium point" theory as a student, but then lost his own equilibrium. It would take 30 years, but the theory would come to revolutionize economics and win him the Nobel Prize. And Nash would regain his mind.

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Season 14, Episode 101 Lady Bird

S14 E101

Dec 16, 2001
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Lady Bird Dec 16, 2001 Lady Bird Johnson spent 39 years serving, honoring, and protecting one of the biggest galoots Texas has ever produced. Now she's lived nearly 29 years without him, making her the dean of America's presidential widows.

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