As television's longest-running, most-watched history series, American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation.
NOTE: many presentations within this series will show up under their individual titles, i.e. "Roberto Clemente: American Experience".
American Experience Previous Broadcasts
Truman (Part 2) (Episode #1002)
KQED Plus: Sun, Jan 16, 2011 -- 9:00 PM
After Harry Truman's unlikely rise to the presidency, he would face some of the biggest crises of the century. Truman would end the war with Germany; use the atomic bomb against Japan; confront an expanding Soviet Union; and wage war in Korea - all while the woman he adored, his wife Bess, refused to stay in the White House and play the role of First Lady. On the home front, Truman was the first president to tackle civil rights issues for blacks - a move that would prove controversial when campaigning for his second term. His unpredictable win over Thomas Dewey in the presidential elections of 1948 proved to Truman that he had finally separated himself from FDR's shadow. However, his second term brought another war and battles with Congress to pass health care and civil rights legislation. Exhausted after his second term, Truman relinquished the presidency and retired to Independence, Missouri, where he lived as a popular and well-loved citizen. In later years, he would receive recognition for all his accomplishments and come to be admired as a gritty American original.
- KQED Plus: Mon, Jan 17, 2011 -- 3:00 AM
Truman (Part 1) (Episode #1001)
KQED Plus: Sun, Jan 9, 2011 -- 9:00 PM
He was a farmer, a haberdasher-gone-bankrupt, an unknown politician from Missouri who suddenly found himself president. Of all the men who had held the office, he was the least prepared. Yet Harry S. Truman (president from 1945-1953) would have to end the war with Germany and Japan, decide whether to use the most terrible weapon ever devised, confront the Soviet Union and wage war in Korea. Many -- including Truman himself -- feared he wasn't up to the job. Likable, modest, hardworking, he proved them all wrong with a stubborn determination that earned him a stunning political upset and the rallying cry, "Give em hell, Harry." Jason Robards narrates.
- KQED Plus: Mon, Jan 10, 2011 -- 3:00 AM
Nixon (Episode #302)
KQED Plus: Sun, Jan 2, 2011 -- 9:00 PM
This 3-hour presentation provides a reassessment of Richard Nixon's life and political career. The program chronicles his achievements and defeats from his boyhood in Yorba Linda, California, to his rise to prominence as a virulent anti-communist congressman, to his presidency, including Nixon's historic overtures to China and the Soviet Union, his divisive handling of the Vietnam War and his resignation in the face of the Watergate scandal.
- KQED Plus: Mon, Jan 3, 2011 -- 3:00 AM
Grand Central (Episode #2004)
KQED Plus: Mon, Jan 3, 2011 -- 11:00 PM
On the morning of January 8, 1902, a southbound commuter train traveling through a smoky, congested tunnel in New York City's Grand Central Depot slammed into the rear of another train, instantly killing 17 people, and injuring 38. A self-taught engineer's innovative response to that crisis ultimately gave birth to one of America's greatest architectural and technological monuments -- Grand Central Terminal. When Grand Central Terminal opened on February 12,1913, the press heralded it as the greatest railway terminal in the world. Today, it remains one of New York and America's most famous spaces, and a living monument to the nation's great railway age.
- KQED Plus: Tue, Jan 4, 2011 -- 5:00 AM
George H.W. Bush - Part 2 (Episode #2010)
KQED Plus: Sun, Jan 30, 2011 -- 9:00 PM
Part two examines Bush's role as leader of the first Gulf War and his final days as President of the United States.
- KQED Plus: Mon, Jan 31, 2011 -- 3:00 AM
George H.W. Bush - Part 1 (Episode #2009)
KQED Plus: Sun, Jan 23, 2011 -- 9:00 PM
"George H.W. Bush" (w.t.) examines Bush's service in World War II, and his early career in Texas, to his days in the Oval Office, first as Vice President to Ronald Reagan, then as the leader who presided over the first Gulf War. Drawing upon Bush's personal diaries and interviews with his closest advisors and most prominent critics, the film also explores Bush's role as the patriarch of a political family whose influence is unequaled in modern American life. Part one examines Bush's childhood, early career in Texas, his courtship of Barbara Bush and his rise in the Republican Party.
- KQED Plus: Mon, Jan 24, 2011 -- 3:00 AM