More than 100 million Americans can trace their ancestry to New York’s Ellis Island. Ellis Island is more than a museum, it is hallowed ground; it is the place where many immigrants from all over the world first touched American soil. Through the museum’s oral history project and through the everyday objects on display a pair of boots, a cooking pot, religious artifacts and traditional clothing the museum strives to “give voice” to people whose lives have not typically been seen as history.
Get to the bottom of the world’s great cities – literally! Sink into subterranean discovery lead by intrepid explorers Eric Geller and Don Wildman. With each step below street level you travel back decades, even centuries, into the fascinating past of the world’s great cities. What mysteries await discovery in the dark corners of these subterranean realms? This is the stuff of fantasy exploring secret chambers and forbidden passages beneath city streets, unlocking mysteries of the past and discovering forgotten relics. New York The Big Apple – Subterranean New York City is explored. Included aqueducts, and a classified World War II site.
Megastructures: Built from Disaster explores how accidents throughout the world have influenced the evolution of modern structural engineering. Ships Episode 2 – At sea, you don’t get a second chance. Once out of sight of land the only thing you can depend on is your ship, and tragically, for thousands of people, the ship has let them down. But out of every catastrophe comes knowledge, from the Titanic to the Estonia, every disaster at sea has had a radical effect on the design of the ships that followed. Examining the latest in Arctic cruise liners and hi-tech, high speed passenger catamarans, this programme shows how ships have become more technologically advanced than ever before, and by following the building of one of the world’s most advanced and luxurious vessels, Ruby Princess, the design secrets that allow modern passenger ships to operate safely, with thousands of passengers and crew on board will be revealed.
Decoding the Past is a series that “decodes” the past by looking for unusual, paranormal, and mysterious things written about throughout history that may give clues as to what will happen in the future. Secrets Of The Dollar Bill – There is more to the design of the dollar bill than counterfeit and forgery prevention. Experts discuss the history meaning and rich symbolism of all the markings of the millions in circulation. Go inside the Treasurys Department of Printing and Engraving as experts analyze the symbols on the dollar and see how and why the dollar has changed over generations.
Megastructures: Built from Disaster explores how accidents throughout the world have influenced the evolution of modern structural engineering. Skyscrapers Episode 6 – The titans of city architecture for over a century, skyscrapers dominate urban landscapes throughout the world. No other building design so readily accommodates the voracious need for space in urban centres, but there can be a high price for this solution to overcrowded city life. Within such high and crowded structures, the consequences of engineering errors can be catastrophic.
Dan Snow gets down and dirty in the murky histories of London, Paris and New York, exploring their filthy histories from the bottom up. Imagine having to dodge the contents of emptied bedpans or step over rotting corpses on the way to work. That was a reality of city life before technology, public policy, and public values began to focus on the effects of poor sanitation. In this immersive three part series, sophisticated computer animation and in depth scholarship bring history’s struggles with urban filth vividly to life. Episode 3 Industrial New York – Dan Snow travels back to a seething Manhattan in the throes of the industrial revolution. Dan succumbs to some of the deadly disease carrying parasites that thrived in the filthy, overcrowded tenement buildings. He has a go at cooking with some cutting edge 19th century ingredients, clothes dye and floor cleaner, added to disguise reeking fetid meat. And he marvels at some of the incredible feats of engineering that transformed not just the city, but the world.
Back from the brink of extinction, the bald eagle is one of America’s triumphant comeback stories. It is the the continent’s most recognizable aerial predator yet most people know little about the bald eagle beyond its distinctive appearance. This riveting program takes an unprecedented look at this remarkable bird and its struggle to survive in the wild. With a shocking white head, electric yellow beak, and penetrating eyes. In the 1960s, this symbol of the United States became an emblem of environmental degradation as the pesticide DDT and other human pressures brought it to the brink of extinction. But following their protection as an endangered species, bald eagles have come roaring back. This first-ever documentary on bald eagles is an intimate portrait of these majestic raptors’ lives in the wild.
Don Wildman gets down and dirty in the murky history of New York, exploring it’s filthy history from the bottom up. Imagine having to dodge the contents of emptied bedpans or step over rotting corpses on the way to work. That was a reality of city life before technology, public policy, and public values began to focus on the effects of poor sanitation. In this documentary sophisticated computer animation and in depth scholarship bring history’s struggles with urban filth vividly to life. Episode 3 The Slums Of New York – Don Wildman (in the U.S.A. version) travels back to a seething Manhattan in the throes of the industrial revolution. Millions fled persecution, poverty and famine in Europe in the 19th century in search of the Promised Land. When they arrived what they found was even worse than what they’d left behind. New York was a city consumed by filth and corruption, its massive immigrant population crammed together in the slums of Lower Manhattan.
The period of over 125 years from the beginning of the 19th century saw the creation of some of the world’s most remarkable feats of engineering. Seven of the most notable are described here, each one proving that human creativity is as much alive in the modern world as it was in ancient times. Episode 2 The Brooklyn Bridge – John Roebling from Germany, won the contract to build the largest bridge in the world, the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. It was to stretch 1,600 feet, in one giant leap, across the wide and turbulent East River that separates New York from Brooklyn. At the time such a bold design seemed almost miraculous, and all to be built out of a new material, steel.
The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. offers the single most important collection of art by women in the world. The museum provides an astonishing survey of women artists representing every major artistic period from 16th-century Dutch and Flemish still life to 20th-century abstract expressionism. This Great Museums special reflects on everything from how women artists have been overshadowed in art history to feminism and the French Revolution to the memorable feminine artistic expressions of the late 19th century. The good news is that due to shining stars like the National Museum of Women in the Arts, women artists in the 20th century are anonymous no more! The program integrates themes of history and diversity with art the great common denominator.
The period of over 125 years from the beginning of the 19th century saw the creation of some of the world’s most remarkable feats of engineering. Seven of the most notable are described here, each one proving that human creativity is as much alive in the modern world as it was in ancient times. Episode 5 The Panama Canal – Having completed the building of the Suez Canal in 1869, a Frenchman, Vicomte Ferdinand de Lesseps, dreamed of an even bolder scheme: the Panama Canal. Making the world itself would seem a smaller place. Once out in the tropical heat of Panama, however, the French found themselves facing impenetrable jungle, dangerous mudslides and deathly tropical diseases, as the project proved to be an undertaking of nightmare proportions. The extravagant dream eventually came true, but in the process it stole over 25,000 lives, and 25 years had to elapse before the oceans were finally united.
In September 2004, on the last remaining site on the Mall in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian Institution opened the National Museum of the American Indian, inaugurating a new era in the education of all people about Native America. In conjunction with this event, and in response to popular demand 500 nations was broadcast on the Discovery Channel. Episode 6 Removal – Follow the Trail of Tears as Native Americans are displaced even as they adopt American ways. Shawnee leader Tecumseh sparks a return to traditional ways but The Indian Removal Act becomes law in 1830. Many stoically accept, others resist.
What makes a masterpiece? In this visually stunning high definition production, A World of Art, the magnificence of America’s premier art museum lights up the screen. One of the architectural glories of New York, the Met stretches 1000 feet along Fifth Avenue. Inside is a dazzling three dimensional encyclopedia of world art, radiating 5,000 years of artistic history. Founded in 1870, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was built on the shoulders of capitalism J.P. Morgan, Havemeyer, Lehman, Rockefeller, and Annenberg are just a few of the names behind the Met’s collections. Met is the largest art museum in the United States with among the most significant art collections. Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided among nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan’s Museum Mile, is by area one of the world’s largest art galleries. Represented in the permanent collection are works of art from classical antiquity and Ancient Egypt, paintings and sculptures from nearly all the European masters, and an extensive collection of American and modern art. The Met also maintains extensive holdings of African, Asian, Oceanic, Byzantine, and Islamic art. The museum is also home to encyclopedic collections of musical instruments, costumes and accessories, and antique weapons and armor from around the world. Several notable interiors, ranging from 1st century Rome through modern American design, are permanently installed in the Met’s galleries.
The period of over 125 years from the beginning of the 19th century saw the creation of some of the world’s most remarkable feats of engineering. Seven of the most notable are described here, each one proving that human creativity is as much alive in the modern world as it was in ancient times. Episode 6 The Line – By the middle of the 19th century, the benefits brought by the host of advances of the industrial age were gradually beginning to reach America, which soon developed a spectacular achievement of its own, the Transcontinental Railway, reaching right across the continent. With two teams, one building from the east and the other from California in the west, they battled against hostile terrain, hostile inhabitants, civil war and the Wild West. Yet in 1869, the two teams’ tracks were joined, shrinking the whole American continent, as the journey from New York to San Francisco was reduced from months to days.
In September 2004, on the last remaining site on the Mall in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian Institution opened the National Museum of the American Indian, inaugurating a new era in the education of all people about Native America. In conjunction with this event, and in response to popular demand 500 nations was broadcast on the Discovery Channel. Episode 7 Roads Across The Plains – Native tribes of the Great Plains watched their lifestyles end as American settlers extinguished huge buffalo herds. Though native leaders pursue a path of peace it is met with tragedy at Sand Creek. The massacre suffers severe repercussions.
This documentary tour de force on the world’s greatest battles and the fearless men who won them. The Conquerors examines 12 legendary figures that altered the course of history through military brilliance and sheer willpower. Diary entries, interviews with scholars and heart-stopping reenactments examine the strategies, weapons of conquest and the significance of each engagement in the annals of history. Hosted by decorated war veteran Captain Dale Dye. Episode Fremont Conqueror of California – Meet the larger than life personality who fomented the Bear Flag Rebellion and helped bring California into the Union. It was one of the most significant land grabs in history. Acting on what many believe to be secret orders from President Polk, John Charles Fremont fomented the Bear Flag Rebellion in June of 1846, which led to Mexico ceding the vast California territory to the United States. It was just one chapter in the full life of the man who mapped the Oregon Trail and became Arizona’s first governor. The Conquerors explores the tense relationship among Fremont, Commodore Robert Field Stockton and General Stephen Watts Kearney, who worked together to wrest California from Mexico. See how Fremont came to occupy the dominant place in this rivalry, and examine his accomplishments both during the Mexican War and in the years afterwards.
In the late 19th century, paleontologists Edward Cope and O.C. Marsh uncovered the remains of hundreds of prehistoric animals in the American West, including dozens of previously undiscovered dinosaur species. In the summer of 1868, paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh boarded a Union Pacific train for a sight-seeing excursion through the heart of the newly-opened American West. While most passengers simply saw magnificent landscapes, Marsh soon realized he was traveling through the greatest dinosaur burial ground of all time. Ruthless, jealous and insanely competitive, Marsh would wrestle over the discovery with the other leading paleontologist of his generation, Edward Drinker Cope. Over time, the two rivals would uncover the remains of dozens of prehistoric animals, including over 130 dinosaur species, collect thousands of specimens, provide ample evidence to prove Charles Darwin’s hotly disputed theory of evolution and put American science on the world stage. But their professional rivalry eventually spiraled out of control. What began with denigrating comments in scientific publications led to espionage, the destruction of fossils and political maneuvering that ultimately left both men alone and almost penniless.
An intimate look at the traditions associated with New Orleans music and the preservation of those traditions through the work of local musicians and educators who mentor young talent. narrated by actor Wendell Pierce, is an intimate look at the traditions associated with New Orleans’ music and the preservation of those traditions through the work of local musicians and educators who mentor young talent; museum curators who care for musical treasures; historians and archivists who research and document the stories; activists working to protect, heal and inspire the many musicians whose livelihoods were taken away by Katrina. All are committed to the preservation of the rich musical heritage of New Orleans, as well as the future of New Orleans music. “The living museum is a manifestation of participation” proclaims Ellis Marsalis.
This documentary tour de force on the world’s greatest battles and the fearless men who won them. The Conquerors examines 12 legendary figures that altered the course of history through military brilliance and sheer willpower. Diary entries, interviews with scholars and heart-stopping reenactments examine the strategies, weapons of conquest and the significance of each engagement in the annals of history. Hosted by decorated war veteran Captain Dale Dye. Episode Sherman’s March To The Sea – See how Sherman’s destruction of the South laid the foundation for a new generation of warfare. On November 15, 1864, Union General Sherman left Atlanta with 62,000 men and headed toward the Georgia coast. Traveling the rail lines to Savannah, his army laid waste to the countryside, burning crops, confiscating supplies, destroying buildings, and ripping up rail tracks.
Ancient Aliens explores the controversial theory that extraterrestrials have visited Earth for millions of years. From the age of the dinosaurs to ancient Egypt, from early cave drawings to continued mass sightings in the US, first hand accounts and theories surrounding this age old debate. Did intelligent beings from outer space visit Earth thousands of years ago? Episode 1 Aliens and the Old West – Have aliens been visiting earth for thousands of years, even in America’s Old West? In Aurora, Texas, a cemetery claims to hold the body of an alien from 1897. In Utah, petroglyphs depict beings in space suits, did the cowboys and native people of America’s Wild West actually come in contact with alien beings from another-much more distant-frontier?
American is a land of museums. America’s museum offer solitude, sanctuary and discovery. They reflect who we were, who we are, and who we hope to be. Visit some of America’s museums coast-to-coast. Meet the characters whose fervor fueled the revolution that changed America’s museums. Narrated by Susan Stamberg. Discover the commanding and charismatic characters whose fervor fueled the 20th-century revolution that changed America’s museums from dusty and elitist to dynamic and democratic! This landmark public television special features museum stories coast-to-coast. Riches, Rivals, and Radicals is hosted by award-winning national correspondent Susan Stamberg, who has covered the world of museums and the arts throughout her broadcasting career.
You’ll find it in the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge, the stately U.S. Supreme Court building, New York City’s legendary skyline and the vivid memories of thousands of steelworkers. Bethlehem Steel, The People Who Built America chronicles more than one hundred forty years of this once colossal company’s rich history as seen through the eyes of those who made steel. During the twentieth century in the industrial eastern Pennsylvania city of Bethlehem, generations of immigrant families labored at what they called “The Steel”. The mammoth plant offered decent paying jobs and provided workers and their families with a good quality of life. But changes in technology, the market, and controversial executive decisions proved too much for Bethlehem Steel. In 1998 the company completely closed its original South Bethlehem plant leaving the community stunned. But the demise of Bethlehm Steel gave way to a growing and changing new community – a city that lent its name to the once powerful company which helped change American life in the 20th century.
Each half hour episode looks at a major fighting people or force and charts the reasons for their rise to dominance and subsequent fall. The show explores the motivations of ancient soldiers, as well as how they lived, fought, trained, died, and changed the world. It also uses battle re-enactments and computer graphics to demonstrate military strategy. This series from the Discovery Channel is especially good for the lesser known groups of warriors. Episode 20 The Sioux Warriors of the Plains – Dakota history and warrior tactics, the Dakota battle American settlers, massacre at Wounded Knee. When the American west was still wild, they were its master. On the back of the horse, they swept across the plains. At a river called the Little Big Horn, under a warrior called Crazy Horse, they humbled a nation and won the greatest victory in the wars for the west.
Narrated by Morgan Freeman. Located in an old depot in Clarksdale, Mississippi, where Muddy Waters boarded the train to carry the Blues to the world, this small museum tells the powerful story of the origins of the Delta Blues and its ultimate transformation into Rock-n-Roll. Interviews include actor and native son, Morgan Freeman and blues artists Charlie Musselwhite and “Super Chikan” Johnson. Featured are Muddy Waters’ sharecropper cabin; Sonny Boy Williamson’s harmonicas; B.B. King’s guitar, “Lucille;” and the annual Sunflower River Blues festival, which brings together rising talents and established stars of America’s most enduring music.