Erie: The Canal That Made America Previous Broadcasts

KQED World: Sun, Nov 5, 2017 -- 9:30 AM

The Erie Canal, one of the earliest transcendent tales of the American experience and an endeavor first scoffed at as nothing more than a ditch, became the nation's first great technical innovation, a gateway to prominence, and the eighth wonder of the world. This documentary marks the bicentennial of the start of construction of the Erie Canal when surveyors and excavators began linking the young United States' east to its west in 1817 and depicts how a young nation broke through with its first great crusade of ingenuity by willing an impossible-to-build, 363 mile man-made waterway to the American frontier. Once the waters of the Great Lakes were wed with the Atlantic Ocean, the canal helped create what America now knows as the Empire State and propelled New York City into the role of America's leading port and economic hub. But the 200 years of the Erie's existence is more than a New York story. The Erie Canal is a defining saga of immigration and American culture. Farmers and new citizens poured their lives into communities along what was once known as "Clinton's Ditch." We learn how six presidents, including Washington, Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt, are linked to the canal's destiny; though it would be a wily New York politician, DeWitt Clinton, who championed its construction and ensured that it would become the canal that made America.

Become a KQED sponsor

TV Technical Issues


To view previous issues and how they were resolved, go to our TV Technical Issues page.

KQED DTV Channels



Channels 9.1, 54.2, 25.1
XFINITY 9 and HD 709
Wave, DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T U-verse: Channel # may vary, labeled as KQED, or as KQET in the 831 area code.
Outstanding PBS programming, KQED original productions, and more.

All HD programs



Channels 54.1, 9.2, 25.2
XFINITY 10 and HD 710
Wave, DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T U-verse: Channel # may vary, labeled as KQEH
KQED Plus, formerly KTEH.
Unique programs including the best British dramas, mysteries, and comedies.

PBS Kids

PBS Kids

Channel 54.4, 25.4, and 9.4
XFINITY 192 (Monterey/Salinas 372 and Sacramento/Fairfield 391)
Wave: Channel # may vary.
Quality children's programming. Live streaming 24/7 at

KQED World

KQED World

Channel 9.3, 54.3 and 25.3
XFINITY 190 Monterey/Salinas 371 and Sacramento/Fairfield 390)
Wave: Channel # may vary.
Thought-provoking television — public affairs, local and world events, nature, history, and science.