American

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Chasing the Moon

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of
the moon landing

By Jody Shiroma , PBS Hawaiʻi

 

Apollo 11 Saturn V launch vehicle lifts off from Kennedy Space Center.July 20, 1969 was a momentous day, a day whose events some would refer to later as the “greatest experience of their lifetime.” Parents around the world invited their children to join them around the television, “Come and watch this,” they said.

 

Families gathered around their television sets in awe, listening intently as messages came crackling over the airwaves. From Apollo 11, two American astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, accomplished what no other humans had done – they stepped foot on the moon. Armstrong’s words, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind,” echoed around the world.

 

(Image at right) Apollo 11 Saturn V launch vehicle lifts off from Kennedy Space Center.

 

As Americans and the world shared their experiences, for those living in Hawai‘i the event continued as astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin and Michael Collins made their first landfall on O‘ahu after their capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. Their quarantine unit arrived at Pearl Harbor aboard the recovery vessel, the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, on their way back to Houston.

 

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and PBS Hawai‘i are premiering Chasing the Moon, a three-part, six-hour documentary series that brings the awe, excitement and unforgettable experience to life for both those who lived through it and for the generations who have come after.

 

Apollo 11 astronauts (from left): Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. share a laughFrom the space race’s earliest beginnings to the monumental achievement of the first lunar landing in 1969 and beyond, this series recasts this period as a fascinating time of scientific innovation, political calculation, media spectacle, visionary impulses and personal drama. Utilizing previously overlooked and lost archival material – much of which has never before been seen by the public – the film features a diverse cast of characters who played key roles in these historic events.

 

Among those are astronauts Aldrin, Frank Borman and Bill Anders; Sergei Khrushchev, son of the former Soviet premier and a leading Soviet rocket engineer; Poppy Northcutt, a 25-year old “mathematics whiz” who gained worldwide attention as the first woman to serve in the all-male bastion of NASA’s Mission Control; and Ed Dwight, the Air Force pilot selected by the Kennedy administration to train as America’s first black astronaut.

 

(Left) The Apollo 11 crewmen, still under a 21-day quarantine, are greeted by their wives. (Center) Poppy Northcutt became the first woman in an operational support role to work in NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston with the flight of Apollo 8. (Right) Ed Dwight, the first African American to be trained as an astronaut

 

“When we think of that breathtaking moment of the 1969 moon landing, we forget what a turbulent time that was,” said Mark Samels, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE executive producer. “The country was dealing with huge problems – Vietnam, poverty, race riots – and there was a lot of skepticism about the space program. Chasing the Moon explores the unbelievably complex challenges that NASA was able to overcome. It was a century-defining achievement, and our film tells a familiar story in an entirely new way.”

 

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

CHASING THE MOON

Monday – Wednesday at 9:00 pm
July 8 – 10
on PBS Hawaiʻi

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AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Chasing the Moon - cover story

 

 

 

LUCKY CHOW
Filipino Entrepreneurs

 

This series travels across the United States to explore Asian cuisine’s impact on American food culture. Hosted by Danielle Chang, the six-part series explores a wide variety of Asian food and drink and meets the new generation of chefs and entrepreneurs dedicated to keeping traditions alive. The series features renowned chefs and culinary personalities such as Top Chef winner Kristen Kish, YouTube sensation Maangchi, Chinese master chef Susur Lee and ramen entrepreneur Ivan Orkin.

 

Filipino Entrepreneurs
Filipinos comprise the second-largest Asian American population nationwide, yet their cuisine is relatively unknown. PJ Quesada, founder of the Filipino Food Movement, explains Filipino cuisine while feasting at his friend Tim Luym’s restaurant in San Mateo, CA. Then we meet restaurateur Nicole Ponseca, who left her life as an advertising executive in New York to give voice to her culture through food. Finally, the two friends behind Bling Bling Dumplings manufacture thousands of dumplings – from scratch, at home – to serve at festivals.

 

 

 

 

CURIOUS TRAVELER
Curious Williamsburg

 

Why did England choose Jamestown, Yorktown and Williamsburg, Virginia as their earliest American settlements? Why did King William III and Queen Mary II establish a university here? What was life like for the colonists here? What crazy concoctions are to be found in a colonial apothecary? What does the amber ox have to do with American history?

 

 

 

 

LUCKY CHOW
Bay Area’s Pacific Rim Cuisine

 

Meet Olivia Wu, designer of the original Asian restaurant concepts on the Google’s campus. Go behind-the-scenes at Google’s first sit-down restaurant, Baadal, where Chef Irfan Dama serves up biryani, an Indian rice dish. Then, meet two retired executives who, after careers in Silicon Valley, returned to their ancestral Japanese farming roots and constructed an indoor vertical farm.

 

 

 

CURIOUS TRAVELER
Curious Quebec City

 

After nearly 500 years, French is still the official language of this North American city. How has this UNESCO World Heritage Site retained its ‘Frenchness’ after all this time? Why does the Chateau Frontenac hotel look like a French castle, and what does it have to do with the Canadian railway? What’s so curious about Rue Saint-Jean, Place Royal and Petit-Champlain?

 

 

 

 

FRONTLINE
Documenting Hate: New American Nazis

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FRONTLINE reports on a neo-Nazi group that has actively recruited inside the U.S. military. The investigation shows the group’s terrorist objectives and how it gained strength after the 2017 Charlottesville rally.

 

Preview

 

 

 

PBS HAWAI‘I PRESENTS
Proof of Loyalty: Kazuo Yamane and the Nisei Soldiers of Hawai‘i

PBS HAWAI‘I PRESENTS - Proof of Loyalty: Kazuo Yamane and the Nisei Soldiers of Hawai‘i

 

Kazuo Yamane, a Nisei Japanese American from Hawai‘i, played a crucial strategic role in WWII. Drafted just before the war, Yamane became a part of the 100th Infantry Battalion. He was plucked from their ranks for his exceptional knowledge of the Japanese language, which would lead him to the Pentagon and to Europe, where he served under President Eisenhower. Yamane would eventually use his language skills to help shorten the war in the Pacific.

 

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AMERICAN MASTERS
Carole King

 

Delve into the hit singer-songwriter’s life and career from 1960s New York to the music mecca of 1970s LA to the present. King joins collaborators and family in new interviews, while rare home movies, performances and photos complete the tapestry.

 

 

 

John Denver:
Country Boy

John Denver: Country Boy

 

At the peak of his fame in the 1970s, John Denver was one of the most popular singers in America. He performed at sold-out concerts, his albums sold more than 100 million copies, his TV specials got top ratings and he was named poet laureate of his adopted Colorado. Yet this man, who brought happiness to millions, was filled with insecurity, suffered from depression and was savaged by the music critics. Exploring the private life and public legacy of “America’s Everyman,” this intimate profile includes exclusive accounts from those closest to him, including former wives and managers, his son and brother, the musicians who toured with him for decades and the friends who knew the real John Denver.

 

 

 

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