American Experience: Season 29 (2016 - 2017)

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Season 29
American Experience

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Episodes

Air date: Oct 18, 2016

A profile of Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), the genius engineer who developed a way to distribute electricity over vast distances; and who envisioned a world linked by wireless technology.

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Air date: Nov 1, 2016

The harrowing 1950 Korean War battle at Chosin Reservoir, in which a surprise attack by 120,000 Chinese troops led to far-outnumbered UN forces being surrounded, is recalled. Veterans of the brutal 17-day engagement share their memories of the conflict, which occurred during subarctic temperatures. The documentary also features insights from historians; and archival footage.

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Air date: Jan 10, 2017

An account of an incident at a Titan II missile complex in Damascus, Ark., in 1980 that almost caused the explosion of a ballistic missile carrying a nuclear warhead 600 times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. The near-calamity was kicked off when a socket fell from the wrench of an airman performing maintenance in a Titan II silo and punctured the missile, releasing a stream of highly explosive rocket fuel. Included: first-person accounts of USAF personnel on the scene.

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Air date: Jan 24, 2017

A profile of scientist and writer Rachel Carson (1907-64), whose 1962 book "Silent Spring" helped launch the modern environmental movement.

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Air date: Jan 31, 2017

The construction of America's first subway, in Boston, is recalled. The effort in the late 19th century was not an easy one for reasons beyond the digging of the tunnels: some 12,000 businessmen opposed the idea; and many people feared that traveling underground would bring them closer to the devil. But the city needed an alternative to the 8000 horse-drawn trolleys, which caused the city to be filthy and noisy, in its downtown. Frank Sprague's proposal for an electric underground system was it.

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Air date: Feb 7, 2017

The 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City is recalled. Orchestrated by disgruntled Gulf War veteran Timothy McVeigh, who subscribed to extreme anti-government views, it killed 168 people and injured 675 others. The documentary draws from jailhouse interviews with McVeigh and delves into the far-right militia movement that inspired him. It also shares the stories of survivors, first responders, U.S. Marshals, FBI investigators and journalists.

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Air date: Feb 14, 2017

The 1992 siege at Ruby Ridge in Idaho, which fueled anti-government sentiments, is recalled. The incident came about when white separatist Randy Weaver, charged with selling two sawed-off shotguns, failed to appear in court and holed up at his cabin. A firefight erupted between U.S. marshals scouting the area and Weaver's son Sam and friend Kevin Harris; Sam and a marshal were killed. Weaver was then shot and his wife Vicki killed. Former Green Beret Bo Gritz negotiated an end to the standoff.

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Air date: Apr 10, 2017

Part 1 of 3. A history of World War I. President Woodrow Wilson vowed to keep the U.S. out of the war after hostilities erupted in Europe in August 1914, and it was a promise he kept until 1917, when the Germans resumed "unrestricted submarine warfare"— a policy it had started and then stopped in 1915—and began sinking U.S. ships. An intercepted telegram also showed Germany trying to convince Japan and Mexico to declare war on America. It was then that he asked Congress for a declaration of war.

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Air date: Apr 10, 2017

Part 1 of 3. A history of World War I. President Woodrow Wilson vowed to keep the U.S. out of the war after hostilities erupted in Europe in August 1914, and it was a promise he kept until 1917, when the Germans resumed "unrestricted submarine warfare" -- a policy it had started and then stopped in 1915 -- and began sinking U.S. ships. An intercepted telegram also showed Germany trying to convince Japan and Mexico to declare war on America. It was then that he asked Congress for a declaration of war.

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Air date: Apr 11, 2017

Conclusion. The fall of 1918 is recalled, including a major American offensive that Gen. Pershing thought could bring a swift end to the war; a lost U.S. battalion that was surrounded by German forces; and, on the homefront, a deadly flu epidemic.

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Critic Reviews for American Experience: Season 29

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Audience Reviews for American Experience: Season 29

  • Jul 08, 2018
    The Great War (Episodes 6 through 8, airing 10-12 April 2017) is brilliant documentary storytelling.

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