American Experience: Season 3 (1990 - 1991)

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Season 3
American Experience

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Air date: Oct 1, 1990

He thrilled the world, but Americans claimed him as their own. Pilot Charles Lindbergh became a hero to millions on May 20, 1927, when he successfully landed his plane, The Spirit of St. Louis, in Paris, France. It was the conclusion of a daring journey -- the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. But tragedy and a fall from grace awaited the aviator. Originally telecast on the award-winning PBS series The American Experience, this documentary chronicles the life and career of one of the most famous men of the first half of the 20th century. Included are details of the sensational kidnapping and death of Lindbergh's child and of his controversial early support of Adolf Hitler prior to World War II. Highlights include interviews with the aviator's wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and two of the couple's children, as well as archival photographs and film footage.

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Air date: Oct 8, 1990

Part 1 of 3. A profile of Richard Nixon, from his childhood to his resignation from the presidency. Included: comments from John D. Ehrlichman, John Dean, Charles Colson and Elliot Richardson; archival footage and stills.

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Air date: Oct 15, 1990

Part 2 of 3. A profile of Richard Nixon, from his childhood to his resignation from the presidency. Included: comments from John D. Ehrlichman, John Dean, Charles Colson and Elliot Richardson; archival footage and stills.

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Air date: Oct 15, 1990

Conclusion. A profile of Richard Nixon, from his childhood to his resignation from the presidency. Included: comments from John D. Ehrlichman, John Dean, Charles Colson and Elliot Richardson; archival footage and stills.

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Air date: Nov 12, 1990

This program is part of the PBS series American Experience. In this episode, the camera turns to that dark day in America when the economic foundations of the country came tumbling down. The stock market crash, which occurred on October 29, 1929, changed the American experience forever. Fortunes were lost and confidence was shaken, ushering in the Great Depression of the 1930s. Scholarly analysis of this complex event are accompanied by archival news clips, photographs, and personal accounts of those who survived this monumental day in American history.

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Air date: Nov 26, 1990

The American Experience tells the dramatic history of the first transcontinental railroad -- a feat of engineering and backbreaking labor that opened up the riches of the West and turned America's dream of manifest destiny into a reality. This hour-long treatment focuses on the politics, the personalities, and the money that drove this project to completion, along with the brutal working conditions for the 20,000 (mostly immigrant) laborers. Designed for educational use as well as home viewing.

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Air date: Dec 3, 1990

This program is part of a series from PBS entitled the American Experience. This episode takes the viewer back in time to the Cold War and the early days of the space race. When the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, it sent a challenge to America far beyond that of being first at pioneering the space exploration effort. The nation was thrown into a furor over national security issues and hurt pride. The ensuing struggle for hegemony in the far reaches of space is related in this story with archival news clips, photographs, journalistic accounts, personal recollections, and scholarly commentary.

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Air date: Dec 17, 1990

Featured: a docudrama based on the 1881 case of Charles Guiteau (Ron Vawter), who killed President Garfield, claiming that God had instructed him to do it. Scoville: Robert Fields. Dr. Gray: Paul Anderson. Gorham: Bob Appleton. Narrated by Kyle MacLachlan.

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Air date: Jan 7, 1991

It was one of the darker moments in American history. This episode of the PBS series The American Experience focuses on events in the Depression year of 1932, a time that saw communities across America dotted with "Hoovervilles," shantytowns comprised of unemployed workers and named after the nation's president, Herbert Hoover. This documentary focuses special attention on the World War I veterans known as "Bonus Marchers," who built their Hooverville in Washington, DC, during the summer of that year in an effort to force Congress to redeem their service compensation certificates immediately, instead of waiting for them to mature. Hoover and Congress declined, believing the outflow of cash would further weaken the economy. Ultimately, Hoover sent in the army to clear Pennsylvania Avenue. Commanded by General Douglas MacArthur, tanks and horse cavalry ran roughshod over the unemployed veterans and their families, burning tents and destroying the camp. Although some historians believe MacArthur overstepped explicit orders from the president, voters that year held Hoover accountable and elected Franklin Delano Roosevelt to replace him. Highlights of this program include archival film footage and photographs, as well as commentary by historians.

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Air date: Jan 28, 1991

This program is part of the PBS series American Experience. This episode takes the viewer to the copper-mining towns of Arizona to investigate that state's labor history. Mexican immigrants began working in American copper mines in 1903. Their struggle was long, hard, and bloody to achieve parity in wages and benefits. It was not until decades later that the disparate pay rate for Anglos and Mexicans was abolished. Archival photographs, film clips, personal accounts, and commentary by historians tell the story of this labor struggle for equality.

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