American Experience: Season 7 (1994 - 1995)

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Season 7
American Experience

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Episodes

Air date: Oct 12, 1994

"The Center of the World," explores Roosevelt's family background and education, looking for clues as to how the coddled child of rich parents managed to climb the ladder to political success."Fear Itself," begins with Roosevelt's bout with polio at age

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Air date: Oct 13, 1994

"FDR" concludes with a review of his Presidency, including his "New Deal" policies; and his wartime alliances with Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill. Narrated by David McCullough.

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Air date: Oct 19, 1994

While the 19th century saw great advances in science and technology, it also spawned the 40-year craze known as "spiritualism." Originally telecast as an episode of the Emmy award-winning PBS series The American Experience, this program traces the beginning of spiritualism to 1848, when reports of mysterious noises heard by two girls wound up captivating the attention of newspaper readers. Narrated by acclaimed actress Ellen Burstyn, the show takes a look at the sociological reasons for the fascination with the occult by American society, including intelligent and famous people such as Abraham Lincoln and Horace Greeley. Congress even debated funding research into communicating with the dead. Featured are interviews with Rev. Anne Gehman, of the National Spiritualist Association of Churches, and James "The Amazing" Randi the magician and author who, like Harry Houdini, enjoys debunking the occult aspects of his business. For his script, director Matthew Collins received a nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Television and Radio Writing by the Writers Guild of America, East.

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Air date: Oct 26, 1994

This documentary chronicles the career of seminal filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, one of the first and most prominent African American filmmakers in cinema.

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Air date: Nov 9, 1994

In December 1944, when Allied forces seemed to have decisively turned the tide in World War II, the German Army mounted one last major attack, which became one of the bloodiest battles of the war -- 80,000 American soldiers died, and German casualties were estimated at twice that figure. American Experience: The Battle of the Bulge offers a documentary look at this brutal event, recreating the story with newsreel footage and interviews with survivors of the battle. David McCullough narrates.

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Air date: Feb 15, 1995

The 70-year battle for women's suffrage is the subject of this gripping documentary. One Woman, One Vote documents the struggles both of the leaders and the women who fought along side them. From Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Alice Paul, this film follows the fight for equal rights. Though the U.S. called itself the world's greatest democracy, more than half of its citizens were denied the right to vote. And yet the struggle for equal suffrage split the movement apart, pitting those who were more militant in their approach against women with more conventional strategies of education and lobbying. Narrated by Susan Sarandon, this is a valuable look at an important chapter in American history.

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Air date: May 8, 1995

Ric Burns' four-part series The Way West explores the short and violent history of American expansion. Taking its title from philosopher George Berkeley's beliefs in manifest destiny, The Way West: Westward, the Course of Empire Takes Its Way, 1845-1864 focuses on the history of the West from 1845 to the end of the Civil War. Ric Burns presents an alternate version of the typical scenario with Native Americans taking center stage. When the Gold Rush opened the West, confrontation was inevitable. Westward migration was a death cry for many Indians as shown in the Minnesota uprising of 1862 and the Massacre at Sand Creek. Yet, the trickle of pioneers couldn't be stopped.

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Air date: May 8, 1995

Part 2 of "The Way West," examines how U.S. Army involvement and railroad construction contributed to loss of Native American land. Events covered include military campaigns against the Lakota Sioux; and Red Cloud's negotiation of the Fort Laramie treaty of 1868. Russell Baker is the narrator.

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Air date: May 9, 1995

Part 3 of "The Way West" examines the fight for the last remaining Native American territories. Included: the treaty-breaching plunder of the Black Hills of the Dakotas in 1873 in a search for gold; and the U.S. Army's defeat at the 1876 Battle of Little Big Horn.

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Air date: May 9, 1995

Ric Burns' four-part series The Way West comes to an end with the final episode The Way West: Ghost Dance, 1877-1893. Chronicling these years, the release again focuses on the Native American perspective. Western expansion meant the death of many Indian rights and the seizure of tribal lands. Having already conceded vast territories to gold-seeking Americans, the native people had nowhere left to go. Little Big Horn represented the final straw for restless Anglos. The Way West: Ghost Dance, 1877-1893 describes the spiritual practice of Native Americans who found themselves represented by the increasingly powerless Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. Episode four ends with a last battle, which would determine the fate of all Indians: the Battle at Wounded Knee.

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