Monday, January 3 at 9:00 p.m. on WPBT2
Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee is celebrated by handsome equestrian statues in countless cities and towns across the American South and by no less than five postage stamps issued by the government he fought against during the four bloodiest years in American history. Nearly a century and a half after his death, Robert E. Lee, the leading Confederate general of the American Civil War, remains a source of fascination and, for some, veneration. This film examines the life and reputation of the general, whose military successes made him the scourge of the Union and the hero of the Confederacy and who was elevated to almost god-like status by his admirers after his death.
Monday, January 10 at 9:00 p.m. on WPBT2
U.S. Grant: Warrior
Few public figures have ever held such a firm grip on the American popular imagination as Ulysses S. Grant. The greatest hero of the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant was a brilliant military strategist who rose from obscurity to a rank held previously only by George Washington, then became a leader for whom thousands of Northern soldiers were willing to fight and die, and for whom thousands did. His hard-nosed fighting style won him the nickname "Unconditional Surrender" Grant and the admiration of the Northern public.
Monday, January 17 at 9:00 p.m. on WPBT2
In the summer of 1868, paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh boarded a Union Pacific train for a sightseeing excursion through the heart of the newly opened American West. While most passengers simply saw magnificent landscapes, Marsh soon realized he was traveling through the greatest dinosaur burial ground of all time. Ruthless, jealous and insanely competitive, Marsh would wrestle over the discovery with the other leading paleontologist of his generation, Edward Drinker Cope. Over time, the two rivals would uncover the remains of dozens of prehistoric animals, including 130 species of dinosaur.
Monday, January 24 at 9:00 p.m. on WPBT2
On August 15, 1914, the Panama Canal opened, connecting the world’s two largest oceans and signaling America’s emergence as a global superpower. American ingenuity and innovation had succeeded where, just a few years earlier, the French had failed disastrously. But the U.S. paid a price for victory: more than a decade of ceaseless, grinding toil, an outlay of more than $350 million — the largest single federal expenditure in history to that time — and the loss of more than 5,000 lives.
Monday, January 31 at 9:00 p.m. on WPBT2
The Greely Expedition
In 1881, 25 men led by Lieutenant Adolphus Greely sailed from the harbor of St. John’s, Newfoundland. Their destination was Lady Franklin Bay in the high Arctic, where they planned to collect a wealth of scientific data from a vast area of the world’s surface that had been described by a British admiral as a “sheer blank.” Three years later, only six survivors returned, with a daunting story of shipwreck, starvation, mutiny and cannibalism. “The Greely Expedition,” from producer Rob Rapley, tells a harrowing tale of one of the great scientific adventures of all time.
Visit the website at www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/.