American Experience - Season : 4

Season 4 Episode 1 - LBJ (1)

LBJ's career started in 1938 when he was elected a congressman, one of the youngest ever. He was elected to the Senate in 1948 under a cloud of suspicion. LBJ won by only 87 votes. In 1954, when the Democrats took over the Senate, LBJ became the youngest majority leader ever at age 46. In 1957, LBJ engineered passage of the first civil rights bill since Reconstruction, but the bill had too many compromises and no teeth. By 1960, LBJ felt he was ready for the presidency, but John Kennedy got there first and then picked LBJ as his vice president. Air Date : 30th-Sep-1991  Read More

Season 4 Episode 2 - LBJ (2)

Lyndon Johnson's ascension to the Presidency and the controversial events of his tenure such as the Great Society and the Vietnam War are chronicled here. Air Date : 30th-Sep-1991  Read More

Season 4 Episode 3 - The Massachusetts 54th Colored Infantry

The first officially formed regiment of northern black soldiers who fought in the Civil War, the 54th's roster included shopkeepers, clerks, cobblers and seamen. They knew the eyes of the nation would be on them at a time when many whites insisted that black soldiers were too cowardly to fight. By the war's end, 180,000 black troops filled the Union ranks. Air Date : 7th-Oct-1991  Read More

Season 4 Episode 4 - Scandalous Mayor

James Michael Curley dominated Boston's politics for almost half a century, building a sophisticated political machine based on rhetoric, old-fashioned patronage and sheer personal will. In 1903, he ran a campaign from jail and won; he overpowered opponents with charisma and intelligence, and if that didn't work, he smeared them. Curley's colorful, combative style seized the imagination of the community because he thumbed his nose at the Yankee establishment. Air Date : 28th-Oct-1991  Read More

Season 4 Episode 5 - The Johnstown Flood

By an abandoned earthen dam, at a mountain resort 14 miles up the valley, the leaders of industry and their families created an exclusive summer retreat. But the structure of the dam was fatally flawed. On May 31, 1889, after steady spring rains, it broke without warning, and this small city in Pennsylvania was swept away in a wall of water over 30 feet high. More than two thousand people lost their lives; thousands were left homeless. Air Date : 4th-Nov-1991  Read More

Season 4 Episode 6 - Pearl Harbor: Surprise and Remembrance

The shock of what happened on December 7, 1941 has made Pearl Harbor a synonym for deceit and unpreparedness. Produced for the 50th anniversary, this examination of events shows the attack could have been foreseen -- the US and Japan had been on a collision course for years. A minute-by-minute account, on both sides of the Pacific, leading up to the surprise attack that Sunday morning. Air Date : 11th-Nov-1991  Read More

Season 4 Episode 7 - G-Men: The Rise of J. Edgar Hoover

The rise of the FBI from a minor government bureaucracy to the premiere law enforcement agency in the world under the controversial leadership of J. Edgar Hoover. Air Date : 24th-Feb-1992  Read More

Season 4 Episode 8 - Duke Ellington: Reminiscing in Tempo

At a time when black and white musicians rarely performed together, when black musicians were exploited by record companies, Ellington was an international star. He made the Cotton Club his showcase for original jazz compositions, some of the most exiting music America had ever heard. Underscored with more than 40 Ellington pieces. Air Date : 9th-Dec-1991  Read More

Season 4 Episode 9 - The Quiz Show Scandal

When CBS premiered The $64,000 Question in 1955, the show was more than a hit; it was a national phenomenon. More quiz shows followed. What the audience was to learn, much later, was that many of these shows were fixed. Slowly, painfully, the deceit unravelled. A look at the formative years of television and the scandal's impact on the TV business and a naive America. Air Date : 6th-Jan-1992  Read More

Season 4 Episode 10 - Love in the Cold War

Eugene Dennis fled to Moscow to avoid indictment and prison for his work for the American Communist Party in the late 1920s; his wife Peggy and 18-month-old son soon followed. In 1935, they were reassigned to America but ordered to leave behind their five-year-old who spoke only Russian. A second son, born in America, offers an honest and touching examination of the lives of his parents, whose political beliefs tore the family apart. Air Date : 13th-Jan-1992  Read More

Season 4 Episode 11 - Wild by Law

For years there was no federal law to protect the shrinking wilderness from encroaching industry and tourism, until three men dedicated their lives to finding a remedy. Robert Marshall, Aldo Leopold, the prophet of the modern environmental movement, and Howard Zahniser struggled for decades to create a permanent system of federally protected wilderness areas. The fruit of their efforts, the Wilderness Act, passed in 1964. Air Date : 10th-Feb-1992  Read More

Season 4 Episode 12 - Barnum's Big Top

P.T. Barnum was huckster, con man, promoter and entertainer. His American Museum featured ancient relics side by side with such "living curiosities" as lions, snakes, bearded ladies and Siamese twins. In 1871 he took the whole show on the road; it traveled by rail. Barnum introduced the idea of three rings, and his "Jumbo the Elephant" added a new word to the English language. By the time he teamed up with James Bailey, his circus had become "The Greatest Show on Earth." Air Date : 14th-Oct-1991  Read More

Season 4 Episode 13 - In the White Man's Image

In 1875, in St. Augustine, Florida, an ambitious experiment was conceived -- to teach Native Americans to become imitation white men. With the blessing of Congress, the first school for Indians was established in Carlisle, PA, to continue the "civilizing" mission. Indian students ha their hair cut short, were forbidden to speak their native languages or to visit home for up to five years. By 1902, there were 26 reservation boarding schools. Although liberal for the times, it was cultural genocide -- a humanist experiment gone bad. Air Date : 17th-Feb-1992  Read More

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