67 votes
American Experience

American Experience

PBS 1988

Examine the people, events, technology, and natural resources that have shaped the country. Hosted by David McCullough until 2002 and narrated by a number of well-known personalities - The American Experience uses historians and authors, period images and film, music, dramatic re-enactments, and contemporary context to set the stage for its topics.

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The 10 Best Episodes of American Experience

American Experience - S28E2

#1 - The Mine Wars


Season 28 - Episode 2

Go inside the coal miners' bitter battle for dignity at the dawn of the 20th century with The Mine Wars. The struggle over the material that fueled America led to the largest armed insurrection since the Civil War and turned parts of West Virginia into a bloody war zone.

The episode was rated from 13 votes.

American Experience - S27E11

#2 - The Pilgrims


Season 27 - Episode 11

The challenges the Pilgrims faced in making new lives for themselves still resonate almost 400 years later: the tensions of faith and freedom in American society, the separation of Church and State, and cultural encounters resulting from immigration.

The episode was rated from 11 votes.

American Experience - S25E6

#3 - War of the Worlds


Season 25 - Episode 6

Shortly after 8 p.m. on October 30th, 1938, the voice of a panicked radio announcer broke in with a news bulletin reporting strange explosions taking place on the planet Mars, followed minutes later by a report that Martians had landed in the tiny town of Grovers Mill, New Jersey. It turned out to be H.G. Wells' classic 'The War of the Worlds', performed by 23-year-old Orson Welles. Although most listeners understood that the program was a radio drama, the next day's headlines reported that thousands of others plunged into panic, convinced that America was under a deadly Martian attack. 75 years after the original radio broadcast, 'American Experience' examines the elements that came together to create one of the biggest mass hysteria events in U.S. history.

The episode was rated from 10 votes.

American Experience - S29E8

#4 - The Great War (3)


Season 29 - Episode 8

The Great War, a six-hour documentary presented over three nights, explores how World War I changed America and the world.

The episode was rated from 34 votes.

American Experience - S31E6

#5 - Woodstock


Season 31 - Episode 6

In August, 1969, half a million people from all walks of life and every corner of the country converged on a small dairy farm in upstate New York. They came to hear the concert of their lives, but most experienced something far more profound: a moment that would change them and the country forever, and define a cultural revolution.

The episode was rated from 17 votes.

American Experience - S31E4
#6 - Chasing the Moon (2): Earthrise
Season 31 - Episode 4

Part two covers 1964–1968, four heady, dangerous years in the history of the space race, focusing on the events surrounding the Apollo 1 and Apollo 8 missions. As Americans moved through the 60s and reflect on the challenges ahead, many begin to wonder: What exactly is it going to take to beat the Soviets to the moon?

The episode was rated from 22 votes.
American Experience - S26E10
#7 - Walt Disney (2)
Season 26 - Episode 10

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE offers an unprecedented look at the life and legacy of one of America’s most enduring and influential storytellers in Walt Disney, a new two-part, four-hour film premiering Monday and Tuesday, September 14-15, 2015, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET on PBS

The episode was rated from 10 votes.
American Experience - S30E7
#8 - The Circus (1)
Season 30 - Episode 7

The Circus explores the history of this popular and American form of entertainment, from the first one-ring show at the end of the 18th century to 1956, when the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey big top was pulled down for the last time. The Circus brings to life an era when Circus Day would shut down a town, its stars were among the most famous people in the country, and multitudes gathered to see the improbable and the impossible, the exotic and the spectacular.

The episode was rated from 16 votes.
American Experience - S29E2
#9 - Rachel Carson
Season 29 - Episode 2

She set out to save a species...us. An intimate portrait of the woman whose groundbreaking books revolutionized our relationship to the natural world.

The episode was rated from 26 votes.
American Experience - S29E10
#10 - The Great War (3)
Season 29 - Episode 10

The Great War, a six-hour documentary presented over three nights, explores how World War I changed America and the world.

The episode was rated from 19 votes.

Last updated: nov 28, 2021



_American Experience_ represents a fountain of knowledge and is by far one of the best series for bringing documentaries to the general public. While each episode, or arc, is of different quality and tone almost all of them are worth watching. Every American should be a regular watcher.

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