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Recap / The American Experience

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A recap of the American Experience as told by PBS.

Major funding for this recap has been provided by the financial support of Tropers Like You.

Season 1

  1. "The Great San Francisco Earthquake" (October 4, 1988) - A chronicle of the earthquake which devastated San Francisco in 1906.
  2. "Radio Bikini" (October 11, 1988) - The atomic bomb is tested in Bikini Atoll, with disastrous consequences for those unlucky enough to be within its radius, including the indigenous peoples of the atoll's vicinity. Nominated for an Academy Award.
  3. "Indians, Outlaws, and Angie Debo" (October 18, 1988)
  4. "Eric Sevareid's Not So Wild a Dream" (October 25, 1988)
  5. "The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter" (November 1, 1988) - A 1980 documentary about the women in the workforce during World War II.
  6. "Do You Mean There Are Still Cowboys?" (November 8, 1988)
  7. "Kennedy vs. Wallace: A Crisis Up Close" (November 15, 1988) - The roles of John F. Kennedy and George Wallace in the Civil Rights Movement are examined. The first American Experience documentary to center on Kennedy; a couple of larger-scale Presidential biographies starring him would be made later on.
  8. "Geronimo and the Apache Resistance" (November 22, 1988)
  9. "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: Revisited" (November 29, 1988)
  10. "That Rhythm, Those Blues" (December 6, 1988)
  11. "The Radio Priest" (December 13, 1988)
  12. "Hearts and Hands" (December 20, 1988)
  13. "Views of a Vanishing Frontier" (December 27, 1988)
  14. "Eudora Welty: One Writer's Beginnings" (January 3, 1989)
  15. "The World That Moses Built" (January 10, 1989)
  16. "Sins of Our Mothers" (January 17, 1989)
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Season 2

  1. "The Great Air Race of 1924" (October 3, 1989)
  2. "Demon Rum" (October 10, 1989)
  3. "A Family Gathering" (October 17, 1989) - Filmmaker Lise Yasui explores three generations of her family, right up to the era of Japanese internment during World War II.
  4. "The Great San Francisco Earthquake" (October 24, 1989) - A rebroadcast in response to a then-recent earthquake in San Francisco, its worst since the subject of this episode, featuring a new introduction by host David McCullough.
  5. "The Great War: 1918" (October 31, 1989)
  6. "Forever Baseball" (November 7, 1989)
  7. "Mr. Sears' Catalogue" (November 14, 1989)
  8. "Yosemite: The Fate of Heaven" (November 21, 1989)
  9. "Adam Clayton Powell" (November 28, 1989) - A look at the eponymous leader in the Civil Rights Movement.
  10. "Journey to America" (December 5, 1989)
  11. "Ballad of a Mountain Man" (December 12, 1989)
  12. "Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice" (December 19, 1989)
  13. "Orphans of the Storm" (December 26, 1989)
  14. "Forbidden City, USA" (January 2, 1990)
  15. "Battle for Wilderness" (January 9, 1990)
  16. "Roots of Resistance: The Story of the Underground Railroad" (January 16, 1990) - The Underground Railroad, the secret network of abolitionists actively guiding fugitive slaves to freedom, is explored in this episode.
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Season 3

  1. "Lindbergh" (October 1, 1990)
  2. "Nixon: The Quest" (October 15, 1990) - Part I of an unprecedented three-part biography of one of the most controversial Presidents of all time, Richard M. Nixon. In this episode, he rises through the ranks of the Republican party by crusading against Communism, culminating in his face-saving Checkers speech when he was accused of campaign improprieties in an unsuccessful effort by the Democrats to undermine Dwight Eisenhower's election campaign.
  3. "Nixon: The Triumph" (October 15, 1990) - Part II of an unprecedented three-part biography of one of the most controversial Presidents of all time, Richard M. Nixon. In this episode, he overcomes earlier failures to make it to the Oval Office and wins in 1968. His accomplishments during his first term as President, including an historic visit to Communist China, are chronicled.
  4. "Nixon: The Fall" (October 15, 1990) - Part III of an unprecedented three-part biography of one of the most controversial Presidents of all time, Richard M. Nixon. In this episode, his ever-increasing paranoia ultimately gets the better of him as he makes the costliest mistake of his political career—one that even his charm and past accomplishments can't bail him out of. His moment of hubris, the Watergate coverup, takes center stage and ultimately ruins him as he becomes the only American President to date to resign.
  5. "God Bless America and Poland, Too" (October 22, 1990)
  6. "Insanity on Trial" (October 29, 1990)
  7. "The Satellite Sky" (November 5, 1990)
  8. "The Crash of 1929" (November 19, 1990) - Wall Street suffers its most damaging collapse of all time, triggering a worldwide economic crisis known as the Great Depression.
  9. "The Iron Road" (November 26, 1990)
  10. "French Dance Tonight" (December 10, 1990)
  11. "Wildcatter: A Story of Texas Oil" (December 17, 1990)
  12. "After the Crash" (January 7, 1991)
  13. "Los Mineros" (January 28, 1991)
  14. "Coney Island" (February 4, 1991) - Ric Burns, brother of Ken, gets his first turn in the limelight with this history of Coney Island, from its discovery in the 17th century to its well-known stint as a popular tourist destination and host site for amusement parks.
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Season 4

  1. "LBJ: Beautiful Texas" (September 30, 1991)
  2. "LBJ: My Fellow Americans" (September 30, 1991)
  3. "LBJ: We Shall Overcome" (October 1, 1991)
  4. "LBJ: The Last Believer" (October 1, 1991)
  5. "The Massachusetts 54th Colored Infantry" (October 14, 1991)
  6. "Scandalous Mayor" (October 28, 1991)
  7. "The Johnstown Flood" (November 4, 1991) - An extended version of the Academy Award-winning 1989 documentary about what the locals called the Great Flood of 1889.
  8. "Pearl Harbor: Surprise and Remembrance" (November 11, 1991) - A tribute to Pearl Harbor on the 50th anniversary of the surprise attack that marked the beginning of direct American involvement in World War II.
  9. "G-Men: The Rise of J. Edgar Hoover" (November 18, 1991) - J. Edgar Hoover starts an army of G-men known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  10. "Duke Ellington: Reminiscing in Tempo" (December 9, 1991)
  11. "The Quiz Show Scandal" (January 6, 1992) - How the way Twenty One worked behind the scenes killed an entire genre of early television programs.
  12. "Love in the Cold War" (January 13, 1992)
  13. "Wild by Law" (January 27, 1992) - An in-depth exploration of the Wilderness Act. Nominated for an Academy Award.
  14. "Barnum's Big Top" (February 10, 1992)
  15. "In the White Man's Image" (February 17, 1992)

Season 5

  1. "The Kennedys: The Father" (September 20, 1992)
  2. "The Kennedys: The Sons" (September 21, 1992)
  3. "Nixon: The Quest" (September 24, 1992) - The first rebroadcast of a Presidential biography, in celebration of the 1992 race for the White House.
  4. "Nixon: The Triumph" (September 24, 1992) - The first rebroadcast of a Presidential biography, in celebration of the 1992 race for the White House.
  5. "Nixon: The Fall" (September 24, 1992) - The first rebroadcast of a Presidential biography, in celebration of the 1992 race for the White House.
  6. "The Donner Party" (October 28, 1992) - A group of pioneers take a shortcut on the way to California, with disastrous results. A film by Ric Burns. Nominated for an Emmy.
  7. "Liberators: Fighting on Two Fronts in World War II" (November 11, 1992) - A look at American involvement in the most famous war on two fronts. Nominated for an Academy Award.
  8. "George Washington: The Man Who Wouldn't Be King" (November 18, 1992) - A biography of the Founding Father and Continental Army General who refused to be crowned King George I of America in favor of a more democratic leadership post.
  9. "Last Stand at Little Big Horn" (November 25, 1992) - Custer's Last Stand is recounted.
  10. "If You Knew Sousa" (December 9, 1992) - A biography of the great American bandleader.
  11. "Simple Justice" (January 18, 1993) - Brown v. Board of Education and other Civil Rights Movement landmark events are chronicled through the eyes of Charles Hamilton Houston and future Supreme Court Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall.
  12. "Knute Rockne and His Fighting Irish" (January 25, 1993) - The ultimate All-American heroes of college football, including Knute Rockne and his ill-fated superstar George Gipp, are chronicled.
  13. "Sit Down and Fight" (February 1, 1993)
  14. "Rachel Carson's Silent Spring" (February 8, 1993) - A biography of environmentalist author Rachel Carson.
  15. "Goin' Back to T-Town" (March 1, 1993)

Season 6

  1. "Amelia Earhart: The Price of Courage" (October 27, 1993) - A biography of legendary pilot Amelia Earhart, who disappeared in the Pacific Ocean in what she planned to be her final, most epic flight.
  2. "The Hunt for Pancho Villa" (November 3, 1993)
  3. "Eisenhower: Soldier" (November 10, 1993)
  4. "Eisenhower: Statesman" (November 10, 1993)
  5. "The Hurricane of '38" (November 17, 1993)
  6. "Ishi: The Last Yahi Indian" (January 19, 1994)
  7. "Malcolm X: Make It Plain" (January 26, 1994)
  8. "America and the Holocaust" (April 6, 1994)
  9. "D-Day" (May 25, 1994)
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