The People
To 1806
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The West

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Empire Upon the Trails - 1806 to 1848
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The West
The American realizes that 'Progress is God.' The destiny of the American people is to subdue the continent -- to rush over this vast field to the Pacific Ocean... to change darkness into light and confirm the destiny of the human race... Divine task! Immortal mission! The pioneer army perpetually…
The Storm
Part of the Series: The Roosevelts
"The Storm" 1920-1933 In the 1920s, memories of Theodore Roosevelt begin to fade. The Great War is over, Woodrow Wilson is ill, and the American public is weary of domestic reform and events overseas. The Republican Party nominates Warren G. Harding for president, while Democratic nominee James M. Cox chooses…
The Rising Road
Part of the Series: The Roosevelts
"The Rising Road" 1933-1939 Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1933 presidential inauguration comes during the nation's worst economic crisis - the Great Depression. Banks have failed and savings accounts have been wiped out, so to explain the banking system and how it works, Franklin Roosevelt gives his first "fireside chat" to the…
The Common Cause
Part of the Series: The Roosevelts
"The Common Cause" 1939-1944 By the late summer of 1939, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is halfway through his second term in office. Both he and Eleanor are tired and looking forward to retirement, but when Germany invades Poland on September 2, 1939, everything changes. Although the United States is poorly prepared…
Get Action
Part of the Series: The Roosevelts
"Get Action" 1858-1901 Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt are the most prominent members of one of the most important families in American history. Theodore and Franklin occupy the White House for nineteen of the first forty-five years of the twentieth century, years during which much of the modern world -…
A World Without War
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The War
Episode Seven "A World Without War" March 1945-September 1945 In spring 1945, although the numbers of dead and wounded have more than doubled since D-Day, the people of Mobile, Sacramento, Waterbury and Luverne understand all too well that there will be more bad news from the battlefield before the war…
Fight No More Forever - 1874 to 1877
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The West
My father was the first to see through the schemes of the white men....He said: "My son...when I am gone...you are the chief of these people....Always remember that your father never sold his country....This country holds your father's body. Never sell the bones of your father and mother." I pressed…
One Sky Above Us - 1887 to 1914
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The West
By 1887, the West was changing faster than ever before. Americans were moved by the same impulses that had always moved them, to better their own lives and transform the region in the process. Now their numbers soared, and they brought with them the tools of the new industrial age.…
Speck of the Future - 1848 to 1856
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The West
There are all kinds of people on earth that you will meet some day... They will be looking for a certain stone. They will be people who do not get tired, but who will keep pushing forward, going, going all the time... These people do not follow the way of…
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 Geography of Hope - 1877 to 1887
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The West
"Americans aren't wrong in seeing the West as a land of the future, a land in which astonishing things are possible. What they often are wrong about is that there's no price to be paid for that, that everybody can succeed, or that even what succeeds is necessarily the best…
Death Runs Riot - 1856 to 1868
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The West
"Time after time, Congress and the people in the East saw the West as a safety valve, a place where you could go and escape the problems of where you were, it was part of the whole myth of the West. You could escape and be free. Well, we thought…