National Parks: America's Best Idea
- Related Broadcasts, Events, and Interactives
- Visit KQED's National Parks site for related broadcasts, interactive features, local events, and more.
- Share Your Story
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.
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.
- KQED World: Tue, Jun 28, 2016 -- 5:00am
- KQED World: Tue, Jun 28, 2016 -- 11:00am
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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