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  • History
  • 60 mins
  • United States
  • Documentary

The History Channel is a satellite and cable TV channel, devoted mainly to historical events and persons. Programming covers a wide array of periods and topics, while similar topics are often organized into themed weeks or daily marathons. Subjects include military history, medieval history, the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, modern engineering, and historical biographies.

10 episodes

1997x01 Titanic: Anatomy of a Disaster

  • Season Premiere

    no air date — 60 mins

"Titanic - Anatomy of a Disaster" is an original Discovery Channel production that looks into not only the history but the mystery surrounding the sinking of Britain's most luxurious passenger liner. Having assembled a unique investigative team of oceanologists, marine engineers, archaeologists, microbiologists, metallurgists, engineers, writers, historians and movie makers, Discovery Channel spent many months unraveling this mystery. Discover the truth about one of history's greatest disasters. Touted as unsinkable prior to its maiden voyage, the manner in which the Titanic sank has long been a source of debate. Watch as scientists and researchers combine underwater archaeology, forensic science, metallurgy and other disciplines to get to the bottom of this 90-year-old mystery. In the frigid North Atlantic night, on the fourth night of its maiden voyage the "unsinkable" R.M.S. Titanic struck an iceberg on its starboard side and went down. But exactly how did the vessel sink? This investigation narrated by Martin Sheen, takes you on an extraordinary research and recovery expedition to uncover the truth. In Titanic: Anatomy of a Disaster, you'll take part in the first expedition to use science to piece together the the Titanic's final hours. First, follow a group of investigators as they dive to the site and analyze the clues to separate fact from fiction. Then, through dramatic re-enactments, computer animation and other state of the art techniques, see how these scientists faithfully recreate the iceberg damage and the sinking process to discover what might have been done to prevent it.

It is the world's most widely read and revered book, regarded as the Word of God by the faithful and a fascinating historical document by scholars. But what are the facts behind the creation of this immortal text?This two-volume set chronicles new scientific research and theological insight into the origin of the Holy Scriptures. Leading Biblical experts journey back to the land and the times of the Bible's very creation to probe its most profound mysteries: Did Moses really write the Torah? What secrets does the oldest existing piece of the Bible reveal? And what hints of its genesis can the Dead Sea scrolls tell us? From ancient Qumran to Jerusalem and from Galilee to Egypt, the clues this unique inquiry uncovers will intrigue and inspire the faithful and scholarly alike!

The origins of Halloween are explored in this engrossing program on the subject. A ghoulish array of costumes, make up, and decoration descend on communities every year on October 31st, but few people are aware of how the celebration came to exist. Harry Smith attempts to get to the bottom of the mystery in THE HAUNTED HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN, which delves into the 3,000 years of hoopla that traditionally unfolds when October comes around. As the history is explained, so are various failed attempts to co-opt the festival by various religious groups; but the most compelling revelation is how little the festival has changed over the centuries. A marvelous way to gain a historical perspective on this entertaining holiday, Smith's program is almost as fun as carving a pumpkin, donning a spooky costume, and undertaking a little trick or treating!

An examination of the history, culture and legacy of Japan's storied warriors. See how the nation was continually wracked by civil wars, with the only peace coming when the most powerful samurais were able to claim the title of shogun and rule with an iron hand over their cowed adversaries. Explore the strict code of bushido these ancient warriors lived by, and hear period accounts of the greatest battles and most storied fighters.

The documentary traces the evolution of the celebration of Christmas from ancient times until the present day. It is sprinkled with comments from such luminaries as Jean Shepherd, Alan Dundes and Forrest Church, among others, and makes liberal use of film and television clips from It's a Wonderful Life, Mickey's Christmas Carol, rare silent film versions of A Visit from St. Nicholas, the film A Christmas Story, and a seldom seen, extremely low-budget, 1949 television version of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol (which is, however, mistakenly identified as having been made in 1958). Several aspects of Christmas are touched on - the bringing of Christmas trees to England and to the U.S., the writing of A Visit from St. Nicholas (aka. 'Twas the Night Before Christmas), the evolution of Santa Claus, and the writing of the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol.

They are the last refuge for the desperate, a place where a man's past is forgiven and forgotten and one of the most difficult and demanding fighting forces on earth. No other force has captured the imagination of so many men as the French Foreign Legion.From the desert sands of Algeria to the beleaguered airstrip at Dien Bien Phu, the Legion has held together through good times and bad because of a strong sense of brotherhood and loyalty to the cause. And they have fought in some of history's most storied battles. THE FRENCH FOREIGN LEGION is a thrilling trip through the bloody history of this fabled fighting force. Journey back to Napoleonic France to uncover its origins, and follow its growing legend through the decades. See how men were drawn to theLegion by its promise that when a recruit signs up, his past is forgotten, but his future is France's. Die and you die a hero, live and all past sins are forgiven. From Beau Geste to its surprising survival in the modern world, this is the gripping story.

The amazing works of art and architecture known as the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World serve as a testament to the ingenuity, imagination and sheer hard work of which human beings are capable. They are also, however, reminders of the human capacity for disagreement, destruction and, possibly, embellishment. As soon as ancient writers compiled a list of “seven wonders,” it became fodder for debate over which achievements deserved inclusion. Ultimately, human hands joined with natural forces to destroy all but one of the wonders. Furthermore, it is possible that at least one of the wonders might not have existed at all. Still, all seven continue to inspire and be celebrated as the remarkable products of the creativity and skill of Earth’s early civilizations.

1997x08 Tombs of Sipan

  • no air date — 60 mins

It is the richest burial site ever discovered in the Western Hemisphere: a massive royal tomb on the outskirts of Sipan, Peru, where the ancient treasures of the Moche civilization rested undisturbed for centuries. But in 1987, a sudden flood of priceless gold and silver artifacts was the first clue that a major new find had been made not by archaeologists, but by grave robbers who were selling the spoils of an ancient, little-known people. TOMBS OF SIPAN tells the incredible tale of archaeologists and art-dealers, investigators and looters that led to one of the most important archaeological finds in history. The case was broken when one looter, upset with his take, confessed and turned in the others. The thieves and many stunning artifacts were captured, but most importantly, they revealed the location of their trove. From the saga of their discovery to the ongoing investigations, this is the remarkable saga of the TOMBS OF SIPAN.

A detailed history of the war between Chicago's North Side and South Side organized-crime gangs during the Prohibition era, leading up to the infamous "Saint Valentine's Day Massacre".

This epic struggle had a more profound effect on civilization than any other war in history. New countries had to be built on the ruins of a continent. It was the end of kings, empires and innocence, and the beginning of weapons like the U-boat, the machine gun, the tank and poison gas. Graphic footage captures the horrors of trench warfare in battles like Verdun, where over one million men died. Riveting commentary from leading experts details the awesome effects of new technology on the battlefield, and the revolutionary changes that the end of the war brought including the near-inevitable rebirth of Germany as a military force to be reckoned with in World War II.

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