History

NOVA
Escape from Nazi Alcatraz

 

Colditz Castle, a notorious prisoner of war camp in Nazi Germany, was supposed to be escape-proof. But in World War II, a group of British officers dreamt up an escape plan: in a secret attic workshop, they constructed a two-man glider out of bed sheets and floorboards. The plan was to fly to freedom from the roof of the castle, but the war ended before they could put it to the test. Now a team of aero engineers and carpenters rebuilds the glider in the same attic using the same materials and use a bathtub full of concrete to catapult the glider off the roof to find out if the legendary glider plan would have succeeded.

 

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
The Great War, Part 1 of 3

 

In conjunction with the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into the war on April 6, 1917, this three-part, six-hour documentary tells the rich and complex story of World War I through the voices of nurses, journalists, aviators and the American troops who came to be known as “doughboys.” The series explores the experiences of African American and Latino soldiers, suffragists, Native American code talkers and others whose participation in the war to “make the world safe for democracy” has been largely forgotten.

 

Part 1 of 3
Explore America’s tortured, nearly three-year journey to war. Reports of German atrocities and submarine attacks on American ships erode neutrality, finally leading to President Woodrow Wilson’s proclamation that “the world must be made safe for democracy.”

 

NAZI MEGA WEAPONS
Hitler’s Island Megafortress

 

In June 1940, the Nazis set foot on British soil. The Channel Islands, a British territory since the 11th century, fell under German rule. Hitler, was obsessed with holding onto the islands, and demanded the construction of a network of extraordinary fortifications across the island. In his bid to hold the territory, the islands became one of the most heavily fortified pieces of land in the whole of Europe.

 

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
The Great War, Part 2 of 3

 

In conjunction with the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into the war on April 6, 1917, this three-part, six-hour documentary tells the rich and complex story of World War I through the voices of nurses, journalists, aviators and the American troops who came to be known as “doughboys.” The series explores the experiences of African American and Latino soldiers, suffragists, Native American code talkers and others whose participation in the war to “make the world safe for democracy” has been largely forgotten.

 

Part 2 of 3
Follow America’s entry into the war as patriotism sweeps the nation, stifling free speech and dissent. A diverse group of men becomes the country’s first mass-conscripted army, while women continue to demand the vote.

 

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
The Great War, Part 3 of 3

 

In conjunction with the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into the war on April 6, 1917, this three-part, six-hour documentary tells the rich and complex story of World War I through the voices of nurses, journalists, aviators and the American troops who came to be known as “doughboys.” The series explores the experiences of African American and Latino soldiers, suffragists, Native American code talkers and others whose participation in the war to “make the world safe for democracy” has been largely forgotten.

 

Part 3 of 3
Discover how the violent and bloody conflict transformed the nation forever, as America steps onto the world stage for the first time. But while many heralded the peace, others worried about democracy at home.

 

WOLF HALL ON MASTERPIECE
Part 1 of 6

 

Internationally acclaimed actor Mark Rylance and Emmy-winner Damian Lewis (Homeland) star as Thomas Cromwell and King Henry VIII in this adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize-winning novels, which chart the meteoric rise of Cromwell in the Tudor court — from blacksmith’s son to Henry VIII’s closest advisor.

 

SECRETS OF THE DEAD
Nero’s Sunken City

 

Baiae, near the modern city of Naples, Italy, was an escape for ancient Rome’s powerful elite, the Las Vegas of its day. Now, follow archaeologists who are mapping underwater ruins and piecing together what life was like in this playground for the rich.

 

PBS HAWAI‘I PRESENTS
Biography Hawai‘i: Koji Ariyoshi

Koji Ariyoshi

 

Koji Ariyoshi lived a remarkable life at the center of events that transformed Hawai‘i, America, China and the world. Born on a Kona coffee plantation in 1914, he worked as a stevedore in Honolulu while attending the University of Hawai‘i. He was employed on the San Francisco docks when World War II broke out, and soon found himself at Manzanar internment camp for American Citizens and aliens of Japanese ancestry.

 

When he enlisted in the U.S. Army, his language skills led to an assignment which ultimately carried him to Yenan, China, where he observed Communist re-education camps for Japanese POWs and worked closely with several of China’s future leaders, including Mao Zedung. After returning to Hawai‘i, Ariyoshi became involved in union activities, and soon was editing the Honolulu Record, the voice of labor during the turbulent conflicts between unions and Hawai‘i’s ruling elites.

 

In August 1951, Koji Ariyoshi was one of the activists arrested and charged with being a Communist – a small group that had become known as the Hawai‘i Seven. Eventually acquitted, he later became a founder and champion for the University of Hawai‘i’s Ethnic Studies and Oral History programs, and for state historic preservation. This documentary contains interviews with family and friends, commentary by cultural historians, and stunning footage for wartime China.

 

AMERICAN MASTERS
Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning

 

Explore the life story of the influential “Migrant Mother” photographer through her granddaughter’s eyes. Never-before-seen photos and film footage, family memories and new interviews reveal the artist who challenged America to know itself.

 

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