ancestor

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Blackout


 

Encore

 

Look back at what happened in New York City the night the lights went out in summer 1977, plunging seven million people into darkness. By the time the power was fully restored more than a day later, more than 1,600 businesses had been looted, over 3,700 people had been arrested, and firefighters had battled more than 1,000 fires. See how this event led to both lawlessness and acts of selflessness and generosity.

 

AMERICAN MASTERS
The Day Carl Sandburg Died

 

For much of the 20th century, Carl Sandburg was synonymous with the
American experience, a spokesman on behalf of “the people.” Using his unique
life as the basis for free-verse poetry, Sandburg became one of the most
successful writers in the English language: a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winner,
biographer, children’s storyteller, novelist and captivating performer. Yet,
after his death in 1967, his literary legacy faded and his poems, once taught
in schools across America, were dismissed under the weight of massive critical
attack. AMERICAN MASTERS provides a dynamic examination into the life, work and
controversy surrounding Sandburg, exposing his radical politics and anarchist
writing during WWI as well as the burgeoning resurgence of interest in him and
his contributions.

 

FIRST PEOPLES
Europe

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Air date: Wed., July 8, 9:00 pm

 

See how the mixing of prehistoric human genes led the way for our species to survive
and thrive around the globe. Archaeology, genetics and anthropology cast new light on
200,000 years of history, detailing how early humans became dominant.

 

Europe
When Homo sapiens turned up in prehistoric Europe, they ran into the Neanderthals.
The two types of human were similar enough to interbreed – and they were just as
capable of making artifacts. But as more Homo sapiens moved into Europe, there was
an explosion of art and symbolic thought. The balance of power had shifted and
Neanderthals were overwhelmed.

 

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
The Abolitionists

 

Encore

 

Vividly bringing to life the epic struggles of the men and women who fought to end slavery, this three-part series tells the intertwined stories of Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Angelina Grimké, Harriet Beecher Stowe and John Brown. Fighting body and soul, they led the most important civil rights crusade in American history. What began as a pacifist movement became a fiery and furious struggle that forever changed the nation. Black and white, Northerners and Southerners, poor and wealthy, these passionate anti-slavery activists tore the nation apart in order to form a more perfect union. The series, which tells the story largely through period drama narrative, airs 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation took effect in January 1863.

 

Part One: 1820s-1838
Tues., July 7, 8:00 pm

 

Shared beliefs about slavery bring together Angelina Grimké, the daughter of a Charleston plantation family, who moves north and becomes a public speaker against slavery; Frederick Douglass, a young slave who becomes hopeful when he hears about the abolitionists; William Lloyd Garrison, who founds the newspaper The Liberator, a powerful voice for the movement; Harriet Beecher Stowe, whose first trip to the South changes her life and her writing; and John Brown, who devotes his life to the cause. The abolitionist movement, however, is in disarray and increasing violence raises doubts about the efficacy of its pacifist tactics.

 

Part Two 1838-1854
Tues., July 7, 9:00 pm

 

Douglass escapes slavery, eventually joining Garrison in the anti-slavery movement. Threatened with capture by his former owner, Douglass flees to England, returning to the U.S. in 1847. He launches his own anti-slavery paper. John Brown meets with Douglass, revealing his radical plan to raise an army, attack plantations and free the slaves. Harriet Beecher Stowe publishes Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1852. A best-seller, and then wildly successful stage play, this influential novel changes the hearts and minds of millions of Americans. The divide between North and South deepens, touching off a crisis that is about to careen out of control.

 

FIRST PEOPLES
Asia/Australia

 

See how the mixing of prehistoric human genes led the way for our species to survive and thrive around the globe. Archaeology, genetics and anthropology cast new light on 200,000 years of history, detailing how early humans became dominant.

 

Asia
Discover the ancient humans living across Asia when Homo sapiens arrived. Our ancestors mated with them and their genes found a home within our DNA. More than that, they’ve helped us face down extinction.

 

Australia
When humans arrived in Australia, they were, for the first time, truly alone, surrounded by wildly different flora and fauna. How did they survive and populate a continent? There is a close cultural and genetic link between early Australians and modern-day Aborigines; here the ancient and modern stories intersect as nowhere else. The secret to this continuity is diversity. Intuitively, early Australians found the right balance between being separate and connected.

 

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Mount Rushmore

 

High on a granite cliff in South Dakota’s Black Hills tower the huge carved faces of four American presidents. Together they constitute the world’s largest sculpture. The massive tableau inspires awe and bemusement. How, and when, was it carved? Who possessed the audacity to create such a gargantuan work? The story of Mount Rushmore’s creation is as bizarre and wonderful as the monument itself. It is the tale of a hyperactive, temperamental artist whose talent and determination propelled the project, even as his ego and obsession threatened to tear it apart. It is the story of hucksterism and hyperbole, of a massive public works project in the midst of an economic depression. And it is the story of dozens of ordinary Americans who suddenly found themselves suspended high on a cliff face with drills and hammers as a sculptor they considered insane, Gutzon Borglum, directed them in the creation of what some would call a monstrosity and others a masterpiece.

 

FIRST PEOPLES
Americas/Africa

 

See how the mixing of prehistoric human genes led the way for our species to survive and thrive around the globe. Archaeology, genetics and anthropology cast new light on 200,000 years of history, detailing how early humans became dominant.

 

Americas
As early humans spread out across the world, their toughest challenge was colonizing the Americas because a huge ice sheet blocked the route. It has long been thought that the first Americans were Clovis people, who arrived 13,000 years ago. But an underwater discovery in Mexico suggests people arrived earlier — coming by boat, not on foot. How closely related were these early Americans to today’s Native Americans? It’s an emotive issue, involving one of the most controversial fossils in the world, Kennewick Man.

 

Africa
200,000 years ago, a new species, Homo sapiens, appeared on the African landscape. While scientists have long imagined eastern Africa as a real-life Garden of Eden, the latest research suggests humans evolved in many places across the continent at the same time. Now, the DNA of a 19th-century African-American slave reveals that during the early days of our species, our ancestors continued meeting, mating and hybridizing with other human types in Africa – creating ever greater diversity within us.

 

FINDING YOUR ROOTS
Our People, Our Traditions

 

From AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES (2006) through the first season of FINDING YOUR ROOTS (2012), Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. has been helping people identify relatives hidden for generations. Professor Gates employs a team of genealogists and the world’s leading geneticists to uncover the origins of a diverse group of 30 guests. Each of the 10 episodes will feature three guests bound together by an intimate, sometimes hidden, link, as Gates treks through layers of ancestral history, uncovers secrets and surprises, and shares life-altering discoveries.

 

Our People, Our Traditions
In this episode we learn about the ancestors of three celebrated Americans who not only share a Jewish heritage, but a history of perseverance in the face of withering opposition. Tony Kushner delves into the history of the Holocaust to discover his ancestors’ fate; Carole King learns the origins of her family name and confronts the reality of the discrimination her ancestors faced in America; and Alan Dershowitz finds out that the first Hassidic synagogue in Brooklyn, started by his great-grandfather, played a secret role in WWII.

 

 

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