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American Experience is TV's most-watched history series and brings to life incredible characters and compelling stories from our past that inform our understanding of the world today. Acclaimed by viewers and critics alike, American Experience documentaries have been honored with every major broadcast award, including 30 Emmy Awards, four duPont-Columbia Awards, and 18 George Foster Peabody Awards; the series received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature in 2015 for Last Days in Vietnam.

Genres: History
Station: PBS (US)
Rating: 0/10 from 0 users
Status: Running
Start: 1988-10-04

American Experience Air Dates


S34E01 - Riveted: The History of Jeans Air Date: 08 February 2022 02:00 -

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Riveted: The History of Jeans reveals the fascinating and surprising story of this iconic American garment. At any given moment, half the people on the planet are wearing them. They have become a staple of clothing the world over, worn by everyone from presidents and supermodels to farmers and artists. More than just an item of apparel, America's tangled past is woven into the indigo blue fabric. From its roots in slavery to its connection to the Wild West, youth culture, the civil rights movement, rock and roll, hippies, high fashion, and hip-hop, jeans are the canvas on which the history of American ideology and politics is writ large.


S34E02 - The American Diplomat Air Date: 16 February 2022 02:00 -

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The American Diplomat explores the lives and legacies of three African American ambassadors — Edward Dudley, Terence Todman, and Carl Rowan — who pushed past historical and institutional racial barriers to reach high-ranking appointments in the Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy administrations. At the height of the civil rights movement in the United States, the three men were asked to represent the best of American ideals abroad while facing discrimination at home. Oft reputed as "pale, male and Yale," the U.S. State Department fiercely maintained and cultivated the Foreign Service's elitist character and was one of the last federal agencies to desegregate. Through rare archival footage, in-depth oral histories, and interviews with family members, colleagues, and diplomats, the film paints a portrait of three men who left a lasting impact on the content and character of the Foreign Service and changed American diplomacy forever. Building lives of opportunity and influence, they advocated for a nation that did not always advocate for them. 


S34E03 - Flood in the Desert Air Date: 04 May 2022 01:00 -

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Flood in the Desert tells the dramatic story of the March 1928 collapse of the St. Francis Dam and its aftermath, the second deadliest disaster in California history. The resulting flood killed over 400 people, destroyed millions of dollars of property, and washed away the reputation of one of the most celebrated men in Southern California, William Mulholland. A self-taught engineer, Mulholland had ensured Los Angeles' remarkable growth by building a cement aqueduct that piped water from the Owens Valley across the Mojave Desert and into the arid city, 233 miles away. But the bursting of his St. Francis Dam, the city's largest single reservoir, was a colossal engineering and human failure. 


S34E04 - Plague at the Golden Gate Air Date: 25 May 2022 01:00 -

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Over 100 years before the deadly COVID-19 pandemic set off a nationwide wave of fear and anti-Asian sentiment, an outbreak of bubonic plague in San Francisco's Chinatown unleashed a similar crisis. The death of a Chinese immigrant in 1900 would have likely gone unnoticed if a sharp-eyed medical officer hadn't discovered a swollen black lymph node on his body — evidence of one of the world's most feared diseases, bubonic plague. When others started dying, health officials and business leaders were torn about how to stave off an epidemic without causing panic and derailing the city's booming economy. A fascinating medical mystery and timely examination of the tense relationship between the medical community, city powerbrokers, and San Francisco's Chinese-American community, Plague at the Golden Gate tells the gripping story of the desperate race against time to save San Francisco and the nation from the deadly plague. Based on David K. Randall's Black Death at the Golden Gate, the film features interviews with a fascinating range of medical experts, authors, and Asian-American historians.

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