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American Experience is TV's most-watched history series and brings to life the compelling stories from our past that inform our understanding of the world today.
In the fall of 1940, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered a small team of scientists on a clandestine transatlantic mission to deliver his country's most valuable military secret — a revolutionary radar component — not to the U.S. government, but to a mysterious Wall Street tycoon, Alfred Lee Loomis. Using his connections, his money, and his brilliant scientific mind, Loomis and his team of scientists developed radar technology that would arguably play a more decisive role than any other weapon in the war. The Secret of Tuxedo Park tells a long-overlooked story of an individual who helped alter the course of history in World War II.
Gilded is not golden. In the closing decades of the nineteenth century, during what has become known as the Gilded Age, the population of the United States doubled in the span of a single generation. The nation became the world's leading producer of food, coal, oil, and steel, attracted vast amounts of foreign investment, and pushed into markets in Europe and the Far East. As national wealth expanded, two classes rose simultaneously, separated by a gulf of experience and circumstance that was unprecedented in American life. These disparities sparked passionate and violent debate over questions still being asked in our own times: How is wealth best distributed, and by what process? Does government exist to protect private property or provide balm to the inevitable casualties of a churning industrial system? Should the government concern itself chiefly with economic growth or economic justice? The battles over these questions were fought in Congress, the courts, the polling place, the workplace and the streets. The outcome of these disputes was both uncertain and momentous and marked by a passionate vitriol and level of violence that would shock the conscience of many Americans today. "The Gilded Age" presents a compelling and complex story of one of the most convulsive and transformative eras in American history. Meet the titans and barons of the glittering late 19th century, whose materialistic extravagance contrasted harshly with the poverty of the struggling workers who challenged them. The vast disparities between them sparked debates still raging today.
On September 16, 1920, as hundreds of Wall Street workers headed out for lunch, a horse-drawn cart packed with dynamite exploded in front of Morgan Bank - the world's most powerful banking institution. The blast turned the nation's financial center into a bloody war zone and left 38 dead and hundreds more seriously injured. As financial institutions around the country went on high alert, many wondered if this was the strike against American capitalism that radical agitators had threatened for so long. A mostly forgotten act of terror that remains unsolved today, the bombing helped launch the career of a young J. Edgar Hoover and sparked a bitter national debate about how far the government should go to protect the nation from acts of political violence. Based on Beverly Gage's The Day Wall Street Exploded: A Story of America in its First Age of Terror.
Examine the origin, history, and impact of the 1882 law that made it illegal for Chinese workers to come to America and for Chinese nationals already here ever to become U.S. citizens. The first in a long line of acts targeting the Chinese for exclusion, it remained in force for more than 60 years.
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