At the dawn of the 20th century, America west of the Mississippi was wild and untamed, featuring formidable landscapes and treacherous rivers. But in the following decades, industry and opportunity transformed the region into an economic and political powerhouse that drove change across the country and the world. Presented for the first time in color, revisit lands made famous by Buffalo Bill, championed by Teddy Roosevelt, and developed by opportunists seeking adventure and fortune.
America is still a rural nation in 1910. Most homes don't have electricity, and less than one percent of the population owns a car. But that changes with the rise of Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, and Thomas Edison, who help foster the economic and technological booms of the early 20th century. Through colorized archival footage and personal home movies, explore the business relationships that transformed America and glimpse into powerful friendships that lasted a lifetime.
It's the 1920s. America is on the rise, and so is a dark underworld run by a new kind of criminal, one that is organized, sophisticated, and ruthless. For the next 40 years, legendary gangsters like Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, and Frank Costello build vast empires thanks to bootlegging, illegal gambling, and shady alliances with politicians. Follow the violent rise and fall of organized crime, presented in color for the first time through remastered archival footage and never-before-broadcast home movies.
At the start of the 20th century, Americans find themselves with more time and money on their hands. Coney Island launches the country's first amusement parks and proves that big profits can be earned from fun and entertainment. By 1953, Americans are spending $18 billion a year on leisure activities like camping, bowling, and attending sports events. This is the story of America at play, presented through digitally remastered and colorized archival footage and rarely seen home movies.
American royalty: a potent combination of popularity, glamour, money, and power. In the early 20th century, the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts build empires and spend fortunes. The Roosevelts and Kennedys spawn political dynasties. And news magnate William Randolph Hearst records it all, using film to cash in on the glitzy lives of the rich and famous. Now, through rare archival footage and home movies, get a colorful inside look at these storied families working hard and playing hard.
The movie industry was born in West Orange, NJ in 1893 by Thomas Edison. Within thirty years, Hollywood grew into America's fourth largest, and by far most glamorous, industry. Revisit the Golden Age of Hollywood, when actors became global celebrities, moguls became millionaires, and the entire nation became movie crazy. Using digitally remastered news footage, rare studio archives, and home movie footage, look back on the dawn and meteoric rise of Tinseltown in color.