Ken Burns: The National Parks
America’s Best Idea

PBS
Show More

6 videos in this collection

The Scripture of Nature
In 1851, word spreads across the country of a beautiful area of California's Yosemite Valley, attracting visitors who wish to exploit the land's scenery for commercial gain and those who…
The Last Refuge
By the end of the 19th century, widespread industrialization has left many Americans worried about whether the country - once a vast wilderness - will have any pristine land left.…
The Empire of Grandeur
In the early 20th century, America has a dozen national parks, but they are a haphazard patchwork of special places under the supervision of different federal agencies. The conservation movement,…
Going Home
While visiting the parks was once predominantly the domain of Americans wealthy enough to afford the high-priced train tours, the advent of the automobile allows more people than ever before…
Great Nature
To battle unemployment in the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt creates the Civilian Conservation Corps, which spawns a "golden age" for the parks through major renovation projects. In a groundbreaking…
The Morning of Creation
Following World War II, the parks are overwhelmed as visitation reaches 62 million people a year. A new billion-dollar campaign - Mission 66 - is created to build facilities and…

Related videos

Great Nature
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The National Parks
To battle unemployment in the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt creates the Civilian Conservation Corps, which spawns a "golden age" for the parks through major renovation projects. In a groundbreaking study, a young NPS biologist named George Melendez Wright discovers widespread abuses of animal habitats and pushes the service to…
The Scripture of Nature
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The National Parks
In 1851, word spreads across the country of a beautiful area of California's Yosemite Valley, attracting visitors who wish to exploit the land's scenery for commercial gain and those who wish to keep it pristine. Among the latter is a Scottish-born wanderer named John Muir, for whom protecting the land…
The Last Refuge
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The National Parks
By the end of the 19th century, widespread industrialization has left many Americans worried about whether the country - once a vast wilderness - will have any pristine land left. At the same time, poachers in the parks are rampant, and visitors think nothing of littering or carving their names…
The Empire of Grandeur
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The National Parks
In the early 20th century, America has a dozen national parks, but they are a haphazard patchwork of special places under the supervision of different federal agencies. The conservation movement, after failing to stop the Hetch Hetchy dam, pushes the government to establish one unified agency to oversee all the…
Going Home
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The National Parks
While visiting the parks was once predominantly the domain of Americans wealthy enough to afford the high-priced train tours, the advent of the automobile allows more people than ever before to visit the parks. Mather embraces this opportunity and works to build more roads in the parks. Some park enthusiasts,…
Kawah Ijen—World’s Most Acid Lake
Imagine a place where steam is so acidic that it burns your lungs, where flaming, liquid sulfur condenses from that steam, and a turquoise-colored lake is filled with the equivalent of battery acid. This hellish place is the crater lake of Kawah Ijen on the island of Java in Indonesia.
Hybrid: One Man's Passion for Corn
In a rather unusual form, where animations of crawling and mating corncobs alternate with meditative nature scenes, Hybrid tells the story of one mans obsession for hybrid corn. Using dry Midwestern wit, the film describes the sexuality of corn and delves deep into one family's complex relationships with an eccentric…
The Grand Canyon—Earth’s Layers
Read the incredible story told in the mile-deep layers of the Grand Canyon. Investigate the canyon's formation and its connection to the opening of the Gulf of California and the birth of the San Andreas Fault. Also consider what gives the canyon its extraordinary visual effect.
The Morning of Creation
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The National Parks
Following World War II, the parks are overwhelmed as visitation reaches 62 million people a year. A new billion-dollar campaign - Mission 66 - is created to build facilities and infrastructure that can accommodate the flood of visitors. A biologist named Adolph Murie introduces the revolutionary notion that predatory animals,…
South Africa 6: Kagga Kamma - Land of the Bushmen
"Recommended. Originally, the Bushmen/San lived in the Kagga Kamma area of western South Africa, but European settlement drove them into the Kalahari Desert; today, we see some Bushmen/San have resettled in their original homeland. Here Bushmen/San and reserve rangers explain how the Bushmen/San culture lives off the land; we see…
The Great Plow Up & Dust to Eat
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl
THE DUST BOWL chronicles this critical moment in American history in all its complexities and profound human drama. It is part oral history, using compelling interviews of 26 survivors of those hard times--what will probably be the last recorded testimony of the generation that lived through the Dust Bowl. Filled…
Great Blue Hole—Coastal Symmetry in Sinkholes
Probe the mystery of the Great Blue Hole, an enormous submerged sinkhole ringed by a coral reef off the coast of Belize. Study the processes that create sinkholes, and investigate the nature of karst topography, which is produced by the erosion of limestone.