National Parks: America's Best Idea
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This 12-hour series, directed by Ken Burns and co-produced with Dayton Duncan, is the story of an idea as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence and just as radical: that the most special places in the nation should be preserved, not for royalty or the rich, but for everyone. As such, it follows in the tradition of Burns' exploration of other American inventions, such as baseball and jazz.
The Scripture of Nature (1851-1890) (#101) Duration: 1:56:46 STEREO TVG (Secondary audio: none)
The astonishing beauty of Yosemite Valley and the geyser wonderland of Yellowstone give birth to the radical idea of creating national parks for the enjoyment of everyone; John Muir becomes their eloquent defender.
The Last Refuge (1890-1915) (#102) Duration: 2:26:46 STEREO TVG (Secondary audio: none)
By the end of the 19th century, widespread industrialization has left many Americans worried about whether the country - once a vast wilderness - will have any pristine land left. At the same time, poachers in the parks are rampant, and visitors think nothing of littering or carving their names near iconic sites like Old Faithful. Congress has yet to establish clear judicial authority or appropriations for the protection of the parks. This sparks a conservation movement by organizations such as the Sierra Club, led by John Muir; the Audubon Society, led by George Bird Grinnell; and the Boone and Crockett Club, led by Theodore Roosevelt. The movement fails, however, to stop San Francisco from building the Hetch Hetchy dam at Yosemite, flooding Muir's "mountain temple" and leaving him broken-hearted before he dies.
The Empire of Grandeur (1915-1919) (#103) Duration: 1:56:46 STEREO TVG (Secondary audio: none)
In John Muir's absence, a new leader steps forward on behalf of America's remaining pristine places; a new federal agency is created to protect the parks; and in Arizona, a fight breaks out over the fate of the grandest canyon on earth.
Going Home (1920-1933) (#104) Duration: 1:57:55 STEREO TVG (Secondary audio: none)
As America embraces the automobile, a Nebraska housewife searches for peace and inspiration in park after park, while a honeymoon couple seeks fame and adventure in the Grand Canyon; and the future of the Great Smoky Mountains becomes caught in a race with the lumbermen's saws.
Great Nature (1933-1945) (#105) Duration: 1:56:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: none)
In the midst of an economic catastrophe and then a world war, the national parks provide a source of much-needed jobs and then much-needed peace; the park idea changes to include new places and new ways of thinking; and in Wyoming, battle lines are drawn along the front of the Teton Range.
The Morning of Creation (1946-1980) (#106) Duration: 1:56:46 STEREO TVG (Secondary audio: none)
A stubborn iconoclast fights a lonely battle on behalf of a species nearly everyone hates; America's "Last Frontier" becomes a testing ground for the future of the park idea; and in unprecedented numbers, American families create unforgettable memories, passing on a love of the parks to the next generation.
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