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American Experience is TV's most-watched history series and brings to life the compelling stories from our past that inform our understanding of the world today.
In 1931 the rains stopped and the "black blizzards" began. Powerful dust storms carrying millions of tons of stinging, blinding black dirt swept across the Southern Plains — the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, western Kansas, and the eastern portions of Colorado and New Mexico. Topsoil that had taken a thousand years per inch to build suddenly blew away in only minutes. One journalist traveling through the devastated region dubbed it the "Dust Bowl."
Surviving the Dust Bowl is the remarkable story of the determined people who clung to their homes and way of life, enduring drought, dust, disease — even death — for nearly a decade. Less well-known than those who sought refuge in California, typified by the Joad family in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, the Dust Bowlers who stayed overcame an almost unbelievable series of calamities and disasters.
A central figure in the narrative of how the west was won, Wyatt Earp and his story became an American legend. Part of the Wild West collection.
On April 3, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King spoke to the crowd at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee, giving one of the most powerful and memorable speeches of his life. In it, he addressed the growing threats against his life, proclaiming, "It doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind."
The following day, escaped convict James Earl Ray shot and killed King while he lingered on a motel balcony. Roads to Memphis is the fateful narrative of this killer and his prey, set against the seething, turbulent forces in American society. The assassination shocked the country, setting off deadly riots from coast to coast and triggering the largest, costliest, and most ambitious manhunt in American history.
Roads to Memphis is told through eyewitness testimony from King's inner circle and the officials involved in Ray's capture and prosecution following an intense two-month international manhunt.
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