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American Experience

Season 26 2014 - 2015

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  • 2014-01-08T02:00:00Z on PBS
  • 55 mins
  • 14 hours, 12 mins (12 episodes)
  • United States
  • English
  • Documentary, History
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12 episodes

26x01 The Poisoner's Handbook

  • Season Premiere

    2014-01-08T02:00:00Z — 55 mins

The story of New York City's first medical examiner, Charles Norris (1867-1935), and his chief toxicologist, Alexander Gettler (1883-1968), who pioneered the use of forensic science to explain violent and suspicious deaths. Included: remarks from renowned medical examiners Marcella Fierro and Michael Baden; and author Deborah Blum ("The Poisoner's Handbook"). Oliver Platt narrates.

26x02 1964

  • 2014-01-15T02:00:00Z — 51 mins

Recalling 1964, a pivotal year in U.S. history. While the Beatles captured the imaginations of the nation's youth, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, unveiled his vision of a "Great Society" and squared off against Barry Goldwater in the presidential election. Also covered: the murders of three Freedom Summer volunteers; and the influence of Betty Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique." Based in part on Jon Margolis' "The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964."

26x03 The Amish: Shunned

  • 2014-02-05T02:00:00Z — 51 mins

Filmed over the course of twelve months, The Amish: Shunned follows seven former members of the Amish community as they reflect on their decisions to leave one of the most closed and tightly-knit communities in the United States. Estranged from family, the ex-Amish find themselves struggling to understand and make their way in modern America. Interwoven through the stories are the voices of Amish men and women who remain staunchly loyal to their traditions and faith. They explain the importance of obedience, the strong ties that bind their communities together, and the pain they endure when a loved one falls away.

Robert Leroy Parker and Harry Alonzo Longabaugh, better known as Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, form the Wild Bunch gang and pull off the longest string of holdups in history.

In 1910, the Pennsylvania Railroad successfully accomplished the enormous engineering feat of building tunnels under New York City's Hudson and East Rivers, connecting the railroad to New York and New England, knitting together the entire eastern half of the United States. The tunnels terminated in what was one of the greatest architectural achievements of its time, Pennsylvania Station. Penn Station covered nearly eight acres, extended two city blocks, and housed one of the largest public spaces in the world. But just 53 years after the station’s opening, the monumental building that was supposed to last forever, to herald and represent the American Empire, was slated to be destroyed.

26x06 Freedom Summer

  • 2014-06-25T01:00:00Z — 52 mins

In the summer of 1964, more than 700 students join with organizers and local blacks to canvas for voter registration, create Freedom Schools and establish the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.

26x07 Cold War Roadshow

  • 2014-11-19T02:00:00Z — 98 mins

In the fall of 1959, at the height of the Cold War, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev toured the United States for 12 days at the invitation of President Dwight Eisenhower. For both men, the visit was an opportunity to halt the escalating threats of the Cold War and potentially chart a new course toward peaceful coexistence. For the American press, it was the media blockbuster story of the year.

26x08 Blackout

  • 2015-07-14T04:00:00Z — 51 mins

First responders, journalists, shop owners, those inside the pressure-packed control center of Con Edison on West End Avenue, and other New Yorkers tell about what happened when the lights went out on July 13, 1977

26x09 Walt Disney (1)

  • 2015-09-14T04:00:00Z — 111 mins

In 1966, the year Walt Disney died, 240 million people saw a Disney movie, 100 million tuned in to a Disney television program, 80 million bought Disney merchandise, and close to seven million visited Disneyland. Few creative figures before or since have held such a long-lasting place in American life and popular culture.

26x10 Walt Disney (2)

  • 2015-09-15T04:00:00Z — 111 mins

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE offers an unprecedented look at the life and legacy of one of America’s most enduring and influential storytellers in Walt Disney, a new two-part, four-hour film premiering Monday and Tuesday, September 14-15, 2015, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET on PBS

26x11 American Comandante

  • 2015-11-17T05:00:00Z — 55 mins

When William Morgan was executed outside a Havana prison on March 11, 1961, his strange story seemed to vanish from the popular imagination as quickly as it had appeared; it was lost in the classified archives of the Cold War and edited out of Cuban history by Fidel Castro’s retelling of the revolution.

26x12 The Pilgrims

  • 2015-11-24T05:00:00Z — 55 mins

The challenges the Pilgrims faced in making new lives for themselves still resonate almost 400 years later: the tensions of faith and freedom in American society, the separation of Church and State, and cultural encounters resulting from immigration.

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