This is a list of specific websites that can help you find more information if you are confused or need more information as you read each chapter in The American Pageant, 14th edition. It is important that you use these to familiarize yourself with various historians’ arguments, as well. This is a work in progress, so check back frequently for new links.
Conquistadors, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/conquistadors/ Just what it says. Everything you wanted to know about those men in the shiny helmets and funny moustaches.
The Historian’s Perspective: The Columbian Exchange, by Alfred Crosby. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/06_2007/historian2.php Professor Crosby is a renowned historian from the University of Texas, and this kind of article not only broadens your understanding but also familiarizes yourself with the work of experts in the field of US history. Understanding the arguments about history deepens your mastery and prepares you for assessments. Make sure you read these.
The Historian’s Perspective: Navigating the Age of Exploration, by Ted Wilmer. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/06_2007/historian.php What exactly do we know about the explorers, and why are they so important?
The Historian’s Perspective: Native American Discoveries of Europe, by Daniel Richter. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/06_2007/historian3.php As the Europeans made landfall in the Americas, the indigenous people had to determine how best to respond to these people, with lasting consequences. Contact is not a one-way street.
Interactive History: Maps of the Age of Exploration, from the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/06_2007/interactive.php You can examine five different maps depicting European understanding of the western hemisphere.
The Historian’s Perspective: Jamestown and the Founding of English America, by James Horn. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/06_2007/historian4.php The English were a bit late to get into the colonization game, but once they did, they dug in with a bulldog tenacity. What does Jamestown tell us about us?
Empire of the Bay, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/empireofthebay/ The story of the Hudson Bay Company, whose search for furs from the Atlantic to the Pacific in the New World anchored the interests of England in the New World.
Colonial House, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/colonialhouse/ What was it like for average colonists in New England in 1628? Here is a reenactment.
The Historian’s Perspective: Conflict and Commerce: The Rise and Fall of New Netherland, by Simon Middleton. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/06_2007/historian6.php Why have we forgotten the role of the Dutch in the founding of the New World? Professor Middleton explores the impact of Dutch trading interests in the founding of New York.
Africans in America, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/home.html This is divided up into four chronological sections. The first section, “The Terrible Transformation, 1450- 1750,” is useful for this chapter, as well as throughout our discussions up to the Civil War. Bookmark this one for your AP review.
The Historian’s Perspective: African Immigration to Colonial America, by Ira Berlin. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/03_2005/historian3.php Professor Berlin examines the experiences of Africans coming to American as immigrants and how they assimilated into this foreign and hostile culture.
Benjamin Franklin: An Extraordinary Life, An Electric Mind, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/benfranklin/ Considered The First American, a pathfinder in publishing, scientific discovery, and diplomacy.
The War That Made America, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/thewarthatmadeamerica/ The French and Indian War made the American Revolution possible, or should we say it made the Revolution necessary?
From Revolution to Reconstruction from the University of Groeningen in the Netherlands: http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/ Another great general site that can be used all through the year and for review, and it’s Dutch! Hyperlinks, documents, all kinds of wonderful stuff!
The Historian’s Perspective: Antislavery Before the Revolutionary War, by Sylvia R. Frey. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History:
Liberty! The American Revolution, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/ktca/liberty/
The American Flag: Two Centuries of Concord and Conflict, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/americanflag/ If you think Betsy Ross is all there is, this is for you.
The Meaning of the American Revolution by Revolutionary Era authority Gordon S. Wood talks about the ideas that shaped the Revolution–Podcast from the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/institute/era_founding.php
The Role of Women in the American Revolution by Carol Berkin –Podcast from the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/institute/era_founding.php .
Who Won the American Revolution?– John Green gives you the straight story in the Crash Course on US History: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EiSymRrKI4
The Historian’s Perspective: Why We the People? Citizens as Agents of Constitutional Change, by Linda R. Monk. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/09_2007/ The story of the Federal Convention, better known as the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, and why individual citizens became the driving force rather than the states in making up our body politic.
The Historian’s Perspective: James Madison and the Constitution, by Jack Rakove. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History:
http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/09_2007/historian2.php Madison sought to counter the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation, but then ended up on the other side from those who expounded a strong federal government. A fascinating look at the career of the Father of the Constitution.
Vices of the Political System of the United States and other works of James Madison, from The American Memory Project at the Library of Congress: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/madison_papers/mjmconst.html Madison’s political journey in snapshots from his own works in his own handwriting.
The Historian’s Perspective: The Antifederalists: The Other Founders of the American Constitutional Tradition?, by Saul Cornell. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/09_2007/historian6.php Who were the men who opposed the ratification of the Constitution, and what were their main arguments?
The Historian’s Perspective: George Washington and the Constitution, by Theodore J. Crackel. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/09_2007/historian5.php He presided over the Constitutional Convention, yet remained largely silent in the debate. Are his actions as president our main source of information about his understanding of the Constitution?
The Historian’s Perspective: Ordinary Americans and the Constitution, by Gary B. Nash. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/09_2007/historian4.php Most of the founders were an elite, as your text says, an assembly of “demigods.” How did the new government affect workers, farmers, African Americans, or other regular people? Professor Nash is cited in your text as a particular authority on early America.
The Historian’s Perspective: Race and the American Constitution: A Struggle toward National Ideals, by James O. Horton. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/09_2007/historian3.php How did slaveholders at the Constitutional Convention attempt to protect their property rights in other human beings?
Interactive History: American Constitution Quiz, from the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/09_2007/interactive.php How much do you know? Test yourself! This is also great review!
States’ Rights versus Federalism: A 240 year argument, from The UMKC law school: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/statesrights.html A compendium of the basic beliefs of each ideology and how it has impacted US history and law.
Constitution, Articles, and Federalism— from John Green in Crash Course US history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bO7FQsCcbD8
The American President: An Online Resource Guide from the Miller Center: http://millercenter.org/president Includes information on each president and includes an archive of speeches. Bookmark this and use it throughout the year and for Review.
American Presidents Life Portraits from C-SPAN (Peabody Journalism Award winner) http://www.americanpresidents.org/
The American Experience: Alexander Hamilton, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/hamilton/
The Historian’s Perspective: The Legal Status of Women, 1776-1830 , by Marylynn Salmon. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/03_2006/historian3.php How did a woman’s marital status played a crucial role in the rights that a woman had?
The Historian’s Perspective: The Invention of the Fourth of July, by David Waldstreicher. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: by http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/06_2005/historian5.php How did British political celebrations influence the way we observe the anniversary of our nation’s birth?
Slavery in the Founding Era, by James O Horton. Podcast from the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/institute/era_slaveryabolition.php
Where US politics Came From— John Green in Crash Course US HIstory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r161cLYzuDI
Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery (companion to the Ken Burns documentary), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/lewisandclark/ Incredibly packed with features!
The life of Thomas Jefferson, from the History Channel: http://www.history.com/topics/thomas-jefferson/videos A series of short 4-5 minute videos by historians about various aspects of Jefferson’s life.
The Historian’s Perspective: When the Past Speaks to the Present: A Cautionary Tale About Evidence by by Annette Gordon-Reed. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/12_2004/historian4.php Uses the controversy over Thomas Jefferson’s rumored relationship with his slave, Sally Hemings to discuss how evidence can be contradictory.
The Historian’s Perspective: The Material Culture of Slave Resistance, by Douglas R. Egerton. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/12_2004/historian2.php What special consideration do historians have to consider when examining artifacts versus written documents?
Thomas Jefferson and his Democracy— from John Green at Crash Course US history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3Ox6vGteek
The War of 1812, from PBS.org: http://video.pbs.org/video/2089393539/
Resources for the Jacksonian Era, from the Gilder-Lehman Institute: https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/national-expansion-and-reform-1815-1860/age-jackson
The Age of Jackson— John Green gives you the story of Old Hickory and the rise of democracy at Crash Course US history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beN4qE-e5O8
The Market Revolution— John Green gives you the straight story in Crash Course US History: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNftCCwAol0
American Prophet: The Story of Joseph Smith, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/americanprophet/
Chatauqua: An American Narrative, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wned/chautauqua-american-narrative/ The Chatauqua movement started during the Age of Reform and continues today.
Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/stantonanthony/ The founding mothers of the movement for women’s rights.
The Historian’s Perspective: Angelina and Sarah Grimke: Abolitionist Sisters, by Carol Berkin. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/09_2005/historian4.php Although born in the wealthiest Southern port on the Atlantic, the Grimke sisters defied their culture and their upbringing to become leading voices speaking out against slavery and the trade.
Women in the 19th Century— John Green explains it in Crash Course US history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM1czS_VYDI
Reform Movements in the 19th Century— John Green in Crash Course US history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t62fUZJvjOs
Africans in America site, section 4 “Judgment Day”: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/title.html
The Historian’s Perspective: Abolition and Antebellum Reform, by Ronald G. Walters. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History:
http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/09_2005/historian.php The role of the anti-slavery movement in the “Sisterhood of Reforms” during the Reform era of the early 19th century.
The Story Behind “Amazing Grace,” by James G. Basker. Podcast from the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/institute/era_slaveryabolition.php One of the best-known Christian hymns of all time has its roots in the ethical questions regarding the slave trade.
American Slavery— John Green explains it all in the Crash Course on US History: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ajn9g5Gsv98
The US- Mexican War, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/kera/usmexicanwar/index_flash.html Two years that changed the destiny of America, reopened the debate over slavery with a vengeance, and made it possible for us all to obsess about California, even to this day.
War and Expansion— John Green explains it all in the Crash Course on US history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkdF8pOFUfI
The Underground Railroad, by David Blight. Podcast from the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/institute/era_slaveryabolition.php
The Historian’s Perspective: The Slave Narratives: A Genre and a Source, by by David W. Blight. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/12_2004/historian3.php Describes the impact that first-person accounts of people like Harriet Jacobs abd Frederick Douglass had on the growing abolition movwment in the antebellum period.
Looking for Lincoln, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/lookingforlincoln/ Views on Lincoln remain fluent and the true nature of the Great Emancipator remains the subject of historical controversy. This site helps you understand the current and past debate over this towering figure in American history.
The Historian’s Perspective: “Rachel Weeping for her Children”: Black Women and the Abolition of Slavery by Margaret Washington. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/09_2005/historian3.php The forced and usually permanent separation of slave mothers and their children was tragic, but the stories were also useful as shocking examples of the immorality of the slaver system.
Interactive History: Reviewing Documents on Slavery, State by State. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/12_2004/interactive.php Missouri’s contribution is a poster from 1852 about runaway slaves.
The Fiery Trial: Lincoln and Slavery, by Eric Foner. Podcast from the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/institute/era_slaveryabolition.php Professor Foner is one of the best known historians who study racial relations in the US, with an emphasis on the antebellum period through Reconstruction.
The Election of 1860 and the Road to Disunion— John Green and the Crash Course US history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roNmeOOJCDY
The Civil War (Companion to the Ken Burns Documentary) from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/civilwar/ The definitive film work on the conflict that remade America.
The Civil War part 1— John Green and Crash Course US history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY9zHNOjGrs
Civil War part 2— John Green and Crash Course US history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzTrKccmj_I
Civil War Battles— John Green and Crash Course US history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25HHVDOaGeE
The Reconstruction Amendments: Official Documents as Social History, by Eric Foner. From the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow/12_2004/historian.php This is one of several articles in the winter 2004 issue of History Now that helps students understand the careful use of primary source material, in this case the 13th-15th Amendments.
Reconstruction Era— from John Green in Crash Course US history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nowsS7pMApI
The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/jimcrow/ How did America’s failure to secure the rights of freed slaves and free blacks lead to a century of dishonor and violence? This site deserves a serious exploration.
Gilded Age Politics— from John Green in Crash Course US history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Spgdy3HkcSs
Mark Twain, an interactive scrapbook from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/marktwain/ Hannibal, Missouri’s favorite son!
Protest Music of the Labor Movement, from PBS’ Get Up, Stand Up: Pop Music and Protest:, http://www.pbs.org/wnet/getupstandup/flash_labor.html
The Industrial Economy— John Green explains it all in Crash Course US history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6tRp-zRUJs
Destination America, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/destinationamerica/ The story of the New Immigrants from Angel Island to Ellis Island.
Ancestors in America, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/ancestorsintheamericas/ Overview of the history of Asian Americans.
Becoming American: Inside the Chinese American Experience, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/becomingamerican/
Chinatown, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/kqed/chinatown/ctpr.html The story of San Francisco’s famed Chinatown, once the biggest concentration of Chinese outside of China.
The Jewish Americans, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/jewishamericans/ Although there had been a small Jewish population in America from the colonial era, Jewish people immigrated to America to escape persecution and pogroms in the late 19th century through now. Their impact on American culture has been astounding, from their roles as scientists and musicians to judges and athletes.
A Life Apart: Hasidism in America, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/alifeapart/intro.html The Hasidim are a movement within Orthodox Judaism who live a fascinating life dedicated to holiness.
Warrior in Two Worlds: The Life of Ely Parker, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/warrior/indexf.html Ely Parker was a Seneca who was a Civil War hero, a high ranking US government official, and a man trying to straddle two worlds. Was he a pathfinder, or a sell-out to his race?
Frontier House, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/frontierhouse/ what was life like in Montana in 1883? Find out.
The Crucible of Empire: The Spanish-American War, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/crucible/
Warship: Sea Power, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/warship/seapower/index.html The story of navies and their role in maintaining empires, especially in the 19th century, as Alfred Thayer Mahan is later going to remind us.
Forgotten Ellis Island, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/forgottenellisisland/ about the hospital that was opened on Ellis Island in 1902.
1900 House, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/1900house/ Do you freak out when the microwave doesn’t cook your food fast enough? Try living in a house in Victorian era America.
The People’s Century (Age of Hope, 1900-1914) from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/ageofhope/ This series utilizes oral histories of eyewitnesses to events. This is the first of many episodes stretching from 1900-1999. Uses RealAudio.
Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson (Companion website to the Ken Burn documentary) from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/unforgivableblackness/rebel/ The link takes you to an essay on the first black heavyweight boxing champion by Dr. Gerald Early of our very own WashU! This is a fascinating tale of a black man who outraged racial prejudice of the time on many levels. He may or may not have been a good man, but he was a fascinating one.
The Great War, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/greatwar/
The People’s Century (The Killing Fields, 1916), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/killingfields/ Eyewitnesses to fighting in the trenches of World War I. Uses RealAudio.
The People’s Century (Red Flag, 1917), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/redflag/ Eyewitness testimony of the Bolshevik Revolution.
The Blues, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/theblues/ A world wide music phenomenon with its roots in the African American Experience and its branches in rock and roll, R &B, and hip-hop.
Frank Lloyd Wright, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/flw/ The renowned path-breaking 20th century architect.
The People’s Century (On the Line, 1908-1945), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/ontheline/ Eyewitnesses to the rise of mass production from Henry Ford to the war industries in World War II.
The People’s Century (Great Escape, 1895-1964), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/greatescape/ Eyewitnesses to the rise of Hollywood and the influence of the movies on popular culture worldwide.
The People’s Century, (Sporting Fever, 1900-1938), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/sportingfever/ Eyewitnesses to the rise of professional sports in America. Before there was LeBron, there was Lou Gehrig and the Babe.
The People’s Century (Lost Peace, 1919-1935), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/lostpeace/ World War I’s horrors as the first modern war pushed many to do anything to prevent another war from ever beginning, but the seeds were already sown at Versailles. Oral histories using Real Audio.
Protest Music of the Great Depression, from PBS’ Get Up, Stand Up: Pop Music and Protest: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/getupstandup/flash_depression.html
The People’s Century (Breadline, 1929-1939), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/breadline/ Eyewitnesses to the worldwide economic crisis of the Great Depression.
The People’s Century (Master Race, 1926-1945), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/masterrace/ Eyewitnesses to the rise of Hitler and Nazi Germany.
The People’s Century (Total War, 1939-1945), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/totalwar/ Eyewitness to the effects of world War II on the civilian populations of combatant nations.
Daring to Resist: Three Women Resist the Holocaust, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/daringtoresist/ Very young women show incredible resistance in the face of overwhelming despair.
Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/auschwitz/
Children of the Camps, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/childofcamp/ Experiences of children who grew up in the Japanese Relocation Camps during World War II.
Conscience and the Constitution, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/itvs/conscience/ Some interned in the Japanese Relocation camps were drafted. Some served in Europe, but some refused to comply until their families were freed, and they paid a price. A little-known story from the home front in World War II.
The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/itvs/thegoodwar/ The story of conscientious objectors in World War II.
The Perilous Fight: America in World War II in Color, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/perilousfight/ Rare color images from World War II. An amazing find, so that hopefully you won’t get all your ideas from that stupid Pearl Harbor movie.
American Valor, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/weta/americanvalor/ The story of the Medal of Honor.
The Price of Freedom: The Story of America’s World War II Prisoners of War, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/thepriceoffreedom/ A story often ignored here in America.
Most Honorable Son, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/mosthonorableson/ A Nissei from Nebraska who with his brother was one of the first Japanese Americans to volunteer to serve after the attack at Pearl Harbor. He went on to actually be allowed to fly bombing missions over Japan when most other Nisei were restricted to the European theatre. Fascinating!
From Swastika to Jim Crow, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/itvs/fromswastikatojimcrow/ German Jewish professors found a home at Traditionally Black Colleges after escaping Hitler’s Germany. Another little-known incident from history.
The People’s Century (Fallout, 1945-1995), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/fallout/ Eyewitnesses to the rise of the atomic age and the arms race.
The People’s Century (Brave New World, 1945-1961), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/bravenewworld/ Eyewitnesses to the beginning of the Cold War through the inauguration of John F. Kennedy.
World War II: Behind Closed Doors, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/behindcloseddoors/ The story of the wartime conferences that influenced not just the conduct of the war against fascism but the early struggle of the Cold War, with emphasis on the relationship among Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt.
Warship: Big Guns, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/warship/guns/index.html Battleships allowed the use to move huge pieces of artillery into range of enemy coasts. The fact that the Japanese surrender was signed on the USS Missouri is symbolic of the importance of these big ships.
Affluenza, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/kcts/affluenza/ The dangers of the consumer society that was accelerated by the postwar prosperity of the post World War II years.
Unforgettable: The Korean War, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/programs/unforgettable/ Many now call this America’s “Forgotten War,” but it wasn’t a war and it wasn’t America’s alone, nor should it be forgotten.
Welcome to the Club: The Women of Rockabilly, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/itvs/welcometotheclub/Women rocked out even before Elvis was the King!
Red Files, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/redfiles/ From the vaults of the KGB, everything the Soviets didn’t want us to know.
Citizen Kurchatov: Stalin’s Bombmaker, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/opb/citizenk/
The Lord is Not on Trial Here Today, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/programs/lord-is-not-on-trial-here-today/ Did you know that one of the first cases on the question of the teaching of religion classes (not merely Darwinism) in the public schools started not too far from us in Champaign, Illinois in 1945-1948? I didn’t either. Here is a biography of the mother who brought the case, by her son: http://www.inmccollum.org/JIMMC/vashti_mccollum.htm
The People’s Century (Freedom Now, 1947-1990), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/freedomnow/ Eyewitnesses to the end of European empires began at the end of World War II , and dozens of countries received their independence throughout the world.
The People’s Century (Great Leap, 1943-1976), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/greatleap/ Eyewitnesses to the rise of Chairman Mao through the effects of the Cultural Revolution.
Warship: Submarines, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/warship/submarines/index.html Primitive subs were actually used even during the Civil War although their heyday began in World War I. Today, they are nuclear powered and can carry warheads — and women.
The People’s Century (Boomtime, 1945-1973), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/boomtime/. Eyewitnesses to the rise of the Affluent Society, as America achieves incredibly economic prosperity.
The People’s Century (Living Longer, 1944-1996), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/livinglonger/ Eyewitnesses to the great medical advances of the late 20th century, such as vaccines and new treatments for disease.
The People’s Century (Picture Power, 1939- 1997), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/picturepower/ Television changes EVERYTHING. Really. Leisure time, politics, music, fashion, sports, learning, news– everything.
Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement 1954-1985 (Companion to the documentary) from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/eyesontheprize/. Timelines, milestones, and a wealth of info. This is one documentary that you really should watch, as well.
Building the Beloved Community through Freedom Songs: Interview with the wife of folksinger Guy Carawan on the use of folk songs and spirituals to power the civil rights movement: http://video.pbs.org/video/2365058223/
Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/ralphbunche/ The first non-white person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Bunche was a professor, specialist in African relations, and UN mediator. Here is his biography from the Nobel site: http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1950/bunche-bio.html
Protest Music of the Civil Rights Movement, from PBS’ Get Up, Stand Up: Pop Music and Protest: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/getupstandup/flash_civil.html
Battlefield: Vietnam from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/battlefieldvietnam/ Includes a timeline of battles and explanation of military tactics used.
Freedom Riders, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/freedomriders/ 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the first freedom rides challenging segregation laws on public transportation.
Assignment: Hanoi from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/hanoi/ The story of a former American POW who was our first ambassador to Vietnam after we restored relations in 1997.
The People’s Century (Guerilla Wars, 1956-1989), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/guerrillawars/ Eyewitnesses to guerilla conflicts from Vietnam to El Salvador.
The People’s Century (Young Blood, 1950-1975), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/youngblood/ The peak of the youth movement and counterculture. It’s those pesky baby boomers again!
Protest Music from the Vietnam War, from PBS’ Get Up, Stand Up: Pop Music and Protest: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/getupstandup/flash_vietnam.html
John Gardner, Uncommon American, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/johngardner/ Gardner was a leading reformer who helped shape President Johnson’s Great Society
A Huey P. Newton Story, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/hueypnewton/ A founding member of the Black Panther Party. A Companion to a documentary directed by Spike Lee.
Alcatraz is Not an Island, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/itvs/alcatrazisnotanisland/ on the occupation of Alcatraz Island in 1969 by a group of Native Americans protesting their historical mistreatment
Justice For My People: The Dr. Hector P. Garcia Story, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/justiceformypeople/ Dr. Hector Garcia returned dfreom World War II as a decorated veteran only to challenge segregation practices against Mexican Americans in his home state of Texas and went on to serve our country for decades.
Warships: Aircraft Carriers, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/warship/carriers/index.html Aircraft carriers saved the day in World War II, provided launching points for everything from sorties over Vietnam and Bosnia to plucking astronauts from the ocean during the Apollo program.
Vietnam Passage: Journeys from War to Peace, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/vietnampassage/ After the fall of Saigon in 1975, we pretended the communist government of Vietnam didn’t exist. But issues about missing servicemen and economic growth in Asia during the 70s and 80s gradually forced a different strategy for the US.
The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers’ Struggle, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/itvs/fightfields/ The founding of the United Farmworkers, the Grape Boycott, and the fight for Chicano Rights.
The People’s Century (Asia Rising, 1951-1988), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/asiarising/ Eyewitnesses to the rise of the Asian economic role in the global markets. you’re probably reading this right now on a device made in Asia, aren’t you? That used to be crazy talk.
The People’s Century (Half the People, 1917-1996), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/halfthepeople/ Eyewitnesses to the two waves of the women’s movement in the 20th century. Woman are half the population, but their story apparently can be summed up in ONE episode. Nice, PBS.
Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/patsymink/ The first Asian American woman to serve in the House of Representatives and moving force behind Title IX, which outlawed discrimination against girls in schools, including sports.
The People’s Century (Endangered Planet, 1959- 1990), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/endangeredplanet/ Eyewitnesses to the growing concern regarding the environment in the late 20th century.
The People’s Century (God Fights Back, 1978-1992), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/godfightsback/ The last 35 years have seen the rise of fundamentalism in Christianity and Islam, and that has had important consequences for Americans today.
Cowboys, Indians, and Lawyers from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/cowboysindianslawyers/ Explains issues about Native Rights, Water Rights, and life in the Modern West (that led to the Sagebrush Rebellion) and still impacts development in what was formerly known as the Great American Desert.
New Perspectives on the West, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/ The West has been our dream, our challenge, our heritage and our destiny. What does it mean for us today, especially as it has risen in cultural and political significance?
The Return of the Cuyahoga, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/thereturnofthecuyahoga/. The Cuyahoga River was once so polluted that it caught on fire and burned for days. Randy Newman even wrote a song about it (see http://www.lyricsdepot.com/randy-newman/burn-on.html). But years later, the river is making a comeback.
The People’s Century (Skin Deep, 1948-1994), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/skindeep/ Eyewitnesses to the struggles against racism, comparing the fight in the US with that in South Africa.
Protest Music Against Apartheid, from PBS’ Get Up, Stand Up: Pop Music and Protest: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/getupstandup/flash_apartheid.html The fight against Apartheid in South Africa became a popular cause among American youth in the 1980s.
Live Aid Concert for Ethiopian Famine Relief, 1985, from PBS’ Get Up, Stand Up: Pop Music and Protest: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/getupstandup/flash_ethiopian.html
The People’s Century (People Power, 1971-1991), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/peoplepower/ Eyewitnesses to the fall of Communism and the end of the Cold War.
The Wall: A World Divided, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/programs/the-wall/ The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was one of the great turning points for America and the world after World War II. It meant the end of the Cold War, and the beginning of our inability to understand Germany’s love of David Hasselhoff.
The Video Game Revolution, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/kcts/videogamerevolution/ We used to be willing to pay a quarter every three minutes to play Pong, Ms. Pac-Man, Centipede, Donkey Kong, and we accidentally helped launch a computer revolution. You’re welcome. Without my friends and I, you wouldn’t be able to play Medal of Honor or Mortal Combat for hours on end. You’re welcome, and we, your parents, are now slapping ourselves.
Regarding War, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/pov/regardingwar/ a collection of personal accounts of war from Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq.
Reporting America at War, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/weta/reportingamericaatwar/ The history of war reporting in the 20th cenutry, from the Spanish American War’s Yellow Journalism to the first internet war in Iraq.
Regret to Inform, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/pov/regrettoinform/ A widow of a soldier killed in Vietnam makes a film about her journey to the village where he died. Powerful.
Reserved to Fight, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/reservedtofight/ Follow four members of the same Marine unit as they try to return to civilian life after fighting in Iraq in 2003.
California and the American Dream, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/california/ It’s elected actors as governors (TWICE!) and it’s the center of the entertainment universe. But California also offers lessons for the rest of the country on issues such as multiculturalism, taxation policy, environmental challenges, and population growth.
Worse than War, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/worse-than-war/ Historian and author Jonah David Goldhagen discusses the impact of genocides in the 20th century. Intense.
Y2K: The Winter of Our Disconnect, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/y2kwinter/ You may not believe this, but many computer experts were afraid that when January 1, 2000 dawned, a majority of our electronics might start working due to coding shortcuts in software. I’m not kidding. This actually caused my doctor to change the date of the birth of my last child.
Warplane, from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/warplane/ The use of powered aircraft in war stretches in this show from World War I to right now.
The People’s Century (Fast Forward, 1980-1996), from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/fastforward/ Eyewitnesses to the rise of technological advances of the late 20th century, from cell phones to gene therapy to the internet.