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Nineteen Twenties
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The Great Gatsby: Midnight in Manhattan

This documentary was produced to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the publication of The Great Gatsby on April 10th, 1925. "Midnight in Manhattan" explores the dark, turbulent life and creative spirit of "Gatsby"'s writer, F. Scott Fitzgerald. It covers his college days at Princeton where he wrote rather than doing coursework and ended up as a dropout.. His unsucessful marriage to Zelda Sayre who eventually was diagnosed with schizophrenia and committed to multiple hospitals is also addressed. The documentary explores the difficult friendship between Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, which was strained by the mutual dislike between Hemingway and Zelda as well as Hemingway's disgust with how Fitzgerald often changed and twisted his stories to sell to magazines for cash. His final days [...]
Clemons (Stacks)

It's That Special Year, 1929

Newsreel footage from people in the news, politics and world events, fashion, entertainment, and sports.
Ivy (By Request)

The Crash

The stock market was raging, driven by rampant optimism and a decade of soaring prices. This program brings the heady world of the 20s to life with portraits of the decade's leading figures, from J.P. Morgan to Charles Ponzi, then examines how they weathered--and in some cases contributed to--the crisis. It also gives a first-hand look at the Crash through the recollections of Wall Street workers of the day, and examines the parallels between the economic climate then and now.
Ivy (By Request)

Modernist Portraits [electronic resource]

Examines the experimental styles of American modernist writers in Paris after World War I. Discusses Gertrude Stein's role in the modern art movement in Paris, her interest in psychology, and the experimental styles of her poetry and prose. Examines the themes of death and disillusionment in Ernest Hemingway's novels. Discusses F. Scott Fitzgerald's novels, which chronicled the Jazz Age and explored the theme of loss.

The Roaring Twenties [electronic resource]

Best known for its flappers, gangsters, and jazz, the Roaring Twenties was also an era of social tensions and political change. This program is a time capsule of a boisterous era that began with a surge of hope and ended on the verge of the Great Depression. Topics include the presidencies of Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge, the post-World War I "return to normalcy," the economic boom and the affordable Model T, the Red Scare, Garveyism, the Scopes trial, Prohibition, and the unique pop culture of the decade. Correlates to standards from the National Council for the Social Studies.
2006; 2004

Wall Street Crash


The Roaring Twenties

The roaring twenties were a time of startling contrast--World War I was over; women got the right to vote, cut their hair, and raise their skirts; alcohol was outlawed and speakeasies and bootlegging filled the void.

The Twenties

The Roaring Twenties take to the road in Henry Ford's landscape-altering invention, the Model T. Ford's moving assembly line, the emergence of a consumer culture, and the culmination of forces let loose by these entities in Los Angeles are all explored by Professor Miller.
2015; 2000

Republican Congress, the

Former Secretary of Labor and university professor Robert Reich talks about the abrupt changes that took place when the Republicans gained control of Congress in the 1994 congressional elections. "I had to stop a lot of bad things from happening and guard my programs, make sure that decisions that had been made were going to stick," Secretary Reich recalls.
2015; 2011

Behind the Burly Q

Burlesque was one of America’s most popular forms of live entertainment in the first half of the 20th century. Gaudy, bawdy and spectacular, the shows entertained thousands of paying customers every night of the week. And yet the legacy of burlesque is often vilified and misunderstood, and left out of the history books. By telling the intimate and surprising stories from its golden age through the women (and men!) who lived it, Behind the Burly Q reveals the true story of burlesque, even as it experiences a new renaissance.
2017; 2011

Washington Monument Syndrome, the

Former Secretary of State James A. Baker talks about what he calls "The Washington Monument Syndrome." Secretary Baker explains that career people in the various federal government departments and agencies, along with the Congress and the press, ". . . have a way of preserving programs whether you want to get rid of them or not."
2015; 2011

First Hundred Days, the

Former Secretary of State James A. Baker talks about how important the first hundred days are for any new Administration. He also explains how the Reagan team laid out a very precise plan for their first hundred days, and stuck to it.
2015; 2011

From the White House to Treasury

Former Secretary of State James A. Baker talks about his move from the White House Chief of Staff job to his position as Secretary of the Treasury. He recounts how there was initially a degree of skepticism about his qualifications, because he hadn't come out of Wall Street or been a banker previously.
2015; 2011

Theodore Roosevelt and Reform (Part Two)

Professor of history Gary Gerstle explains that, ". . . the great reform effort of the first half of the twentieth century was about building a strong government that could regulate private industry and private power." Professor Gerstle suggests that Theodore Roosevelt was very much responsible for that, noting that "...Roosevelt set it all out by 1910 and 1912 and...this was the template of reform politics for the next fifty years."
2015; 2011

Immigration Following World War I (Part One)

Professor of history Gary Gerstle explains that after World War I, ". . . the country pretty much decided, not right away, but pretty quickly, that it could not take any more foreigners." The only immigrants welcomed from that point forward were certain Europeans, "...who were deemed to be racially superior," Professor Gerstle says.
2015; 2011

Making a Difference

Former Secretary of Labor and university professor Robert Reich talks about the satisfaction of being part of the process that alters public policy with regard to issues like minimum wage and worker safety. "There is no greater satisfaction than knowing that you have made a difference in enabling sometimes millions of people to live a better life," Secretary Reich notes.
2015; 2011

Al Capone and Prohibition

On January 16, 1920, the 18th amendment to the United States Constitution comes into force, one year after its ratification. All sale, production, and transport of alcohol are henceforward forbidden in the entire territory of America. It’s the start of Prohibition. Several criminals grab the opportunity to create veritable empires by means of contraband liquor. Al Capone is certainly the most infamous among them. The United States Treasury gives the no-less-famous Eliot Ness the mission of bringing down Al Capone. Despite the many, and fruitful, operations carried out against his clandestine distilleries, the boss of the Chicago underworld holds out—until another solution is considered: charge Capone with tax evasion. In 1931, Al Capone is found guilty of tax evasion and sentenced to [...]

10 Homes That Changed America

10 Homes that Changed America highlights ten architecturally adventuresome dwellings, which provided Americans with more than just a “roof over their heads”—these homes elevated living to an art form. Meet the talented architects who brought these buildings to life, along with their often-eccentric clients, and the lucky individuals who live in these historic homes today. A primer in domestic architecture, 10 Homes will also offer a lesson in the history of American domestic life, as the evolving design of these homes over time reveals America’s changing relationship with nature, technology, and each other.
2017; 2016

Reaping the Whirlwind

Following "Black Sunday," the crucible of dust, drought and Depression only intensifies. Many people on the southern Plains, including an itinerant songwriter named Woody Guthrie, give up and join a "migration of the defeated" to California. There they are branded as "Okies" and face vicious discrimination. Meanwhile, Caroline Henderson and her neighbors struggle to hang on to their land. Franklin Roosevelt's administration attempts to help them through New Deal programs aimed at preventing the breadbasket of America from becoming a Sahara. Survivors recount their families' desperate times, their joy at the rains' return, and the lessons learned--and sometimes forgotten--from the Dust Bowl.
2017; 2012

Becoming Americans

Written and produced by John Maggio and narrated by Academy Award-nominated actor Stanley Tucci, “The Italian Americans” explores the evolution of the Italian community, from “outsiders” in the late nineteenth viewed with suspicion and mistrust to some of the most prominent leaders of business, politics and the arts today. This film explores racial discrimination faced by immigrants from 1900 to 1930. In public schools, children were taught to reject their Italian identity to assimilate to American culture. Arturo Giovannitti led the largest labor strike of 1912, winning better working conditions and wages. When Italian Americans were marginalized by the Irish Archdiocese, they took to the streets to reinforce their beliefs and culture. Anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti’s execution reinf [...]
2015; 2014