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American Experience

Season 14 2001 - 2002
TV-PG

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  • 2001-09-11T01:00:00Z on PBS
  • 55 mins
  • 12 hours, 50 mins (14 episodes)
  • United States
  • English
  • Documentary, History
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14 episodes

14x01 New York (6): The City of Tomorrow 1929-1941

  • Season Premiere

    2001-09-11T01:00:00Z — 55 mins

In little more than ten years, immense new forces were unleashed in New York, from the Depression itself to the New Deal, which permanently altered the city and the country. Along the way, two of the most remarkable New Yorkers of all time came to the fore: Mayor Fiorello La Guardia and master builder Robert Moses, both of whom attempted to create, in the darkest of times, a bold new city of the future. The episode examines their careers in detail, as well as the immense public works that transformed the city in the '30s. Also explored are the demise of Mayor Jimmy Walker, the coming of the New Deal, the fate of Harlem during the Depression, and the increasingly complex impact of the automobile on the city.

In exploring the social, economic and physical forces that swept through the city in the post-war period, Episode Seven examines the great African-American migration and Puerto Rican immigration of the '40s, '50s, and '60s; the beginnings of white flight and suburbanization; and the massive physical changes wrought by highways and urban renewal -- all of which were directed, to a surprising degree, by one man: Robert Moses. The film comes to a climax with the destruction of Penn Station, the battle over the Lower Manhattan Expressway, the social and fiscal crises of the '60s and '70s, and New York's miraculous revival in the last quarter-century.

14x03 War Letters

  • 2001-11-12T02:00:00Z — 55 mins

An episode that focuses on the letters that passed between soldiers and those at home during American history.

The contributions of a history professor and college administrator to the American presidency in the first part of the 20th century.

The contributions of a history professor and college administrator to the American presidency in the first part of the 20th century.

14x06 Mount Rushmore

  • 2002-01-21T02:00:00Z — 55 mins

The grand vision of sculptor Gutzon Borgum and the logistics behind the massive monument located in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

14x07 Miss America

  • 2002-01-28T02:00:00Z — 55 mins

The growth of the famed beauty contest from a small promotional event for late-season tourism to a national phenomenon.

14x08 Zoot Suit Riots

  • 2002-03-02T02:00:00Z — 55 mins

Racial tensions in 1942 Los Angeles resulting from conflicts between young Mexican-American men and off-duty sailors.

14x09 Monkey Trial

  • 2002-02-24T02:00:00Z — 55 mins

Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan square-off in a battle of rhetoric and legal manuevers over the teaching of evolution in Tennessee.

14x10 Public Enemy #1

  • 2002-02-18T02:00:00Z — 55 mins

The career and violent death of bank robber John Dillinger and the role of the FBI in finally stopping him.

14x11 Ansel Adams

  • 2002-04-22T01:00:00Z — 55 mins

From the day that a 14-year-old Ansel Adams first saw the transcendent beauty of the Yosemite Valley, his life was, in his words, "colored and modulated by the great earth-gesture of the Sierra." Few American photographers have reached a wider audience than Adams, and none has had more impact on how Americans grasp the majesty of their continent. In this elegant, moving and lyrical portrait of the most eloquent and quintessentially American of photographers, producer Ric Burns seeks to explore the meaning and legacy of Adams' life and work. At the heart of the film are the great themes that absorbed Adams throughout his career: the beauty and fragility of "the American earth," the inseparable bond of man and nature, and the moral obligation the present owes to the future.

14x12 A Brilliant Madness

  • 2002-04-29T01:00:00Z — 55 mins

Story of the life of MIT mathematician John Nash - from exceptional theory to struggles with mental illness.

The military career and troubled administration of the 15th President of the United States.

The military career and troubled administration of the 15th President of the United States.

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