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American Experience

American Experience, TV's most-watched history series, brings to life the compelling stories from our past that inform our understanding of the world today.

Part 2 |Taken Hostage | American Experience

1h 51m

Revisit the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, when 52 Americans were held hostage in Tehran, through stories of those whose ordeal riveted the world.

Episodes

  • Plague at the Golden Gate: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Plague at the Golden Gate

    S34 E4 - 1h 52m

    Discover how an outbreak of bubonic plague in 1900 set off fear and anti-Asian sentiment in San Francisco. This new documentary tells the gripping story of the race against time by health officials to save the city from the deadly disease.

  • Flood in the Desert: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Flood in the Desert

    S34 E3 - 52m 45s

    Explore the 1928 dam collapse, the second deadliest disaster in California history. A colossal engineering failure, the dam was built by William Mulholland, who had ensured the growth of Los Angeles by bringing water to the city via aqueduct.

  • The American Diplomat: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The American Diplomat

    S34 E2 - 52m 43s

    Discover how three Black diplomats broke racial barriers at the US State
    Department during the Cold War. Asked to represent the best of American ideals
    abroad while facing discrimination at home, they left a lasting impact on the
    Foreign Service.

  • Riveted: The History of Jeans: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Riveted: The History of Jeans

    S34 E1 - 52m 39s

    Riveted: The History of Jeans reveals the fascinating and surprising story of the iconic American garment. They’re more than just a pair of pants — America’s tangled past is woven deeply into the indigo fabric. From its roots in slavery to the Wild West, youth culture, hippies, high fashion and hip-hop, jeans are the fabric on which the history of American ideology and politics are writ large.

Extras + Features

  • Snapshot: America in the 1970s: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Snapshot: America in the 1970s

    S34 E5 - 2m 6s

    From Jimmy Carter's "Crisis of Confidence" speech to the Hostage Crisis, here's a look at each year from 1970 to 1979.

  • Ways A Rescue Mission Can Go Wrong: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Ways A Rescue Mission Can Go Wrong

    S34 E5 - 3m 40s

    On April 24, 1980, after 172 days of captivity, a U.S. Armed Forces operation attempted to rescue the hostages. Colonel James Q. Roberts recalls the details of the failed Iran Hostage rescue mission.

  • Hilary Brown: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Hilary Brown

    S34 E5 - 48s

    Hilary Brown was the first female foreign correspondent at ABC News. Her coverage included first-hand reports on the fall of Saigon, the Rwandan genocide, and the Iranian Revolution.

  • Who's Who: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Who's Who

    S34 E5 - 1m 3s

    Who's who of the Iran Hostage Crisis.

  • Operation Ajax: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Operation Ajax

    S34 E5 - 6m 8s

    The secret plan by the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) to overthrow the then-democratically-elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh.

  • The event that held the news hostage: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The event that held the news hostage

    S34 E5 - 3m 55s

    On November 4th, 1979, following months of protests and a rapidly developing revolution, a group of Iranian college students stormed the United States embassy in Tehran, taking 63 American citizens hostage. This one event in 1979 changed the modern mediascape forever.

  • Barry Rosen: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Barry Rosen

    S34 E5 - 46s

    Barry Rosen was the press attaché at the U.S. embassy in Tehran during the Iran hostage crisis. He first visited Iran in 1967 on a two-year Peace Corps mission and fell in love with the country and pursued graduate studies in Iranian language and culture.

  • Trailer | Taken Hostage: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Trailer | Taken Hostage

    S34 E5 - 3m 14s

    Revisit the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, when 52 Americans were held hostage in Tehran, through stories of those whose ordeal riveted the world.

  • Title Sequence: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Title Sequence

    S34 E5 - 1m 7s

    Watch the opening sequence of film, Taken Hostage from American Experience.

  • The Shah: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Shah

    S34 E5 - 1m

    Mohammad Reza Pahlav, the last Shah of Iran consolidated power after a CIA-backed coup in 1953 overthrew Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh.

Schedule

  • Image
    American Experience: TVSS: Iconic

    American Experience

    The Pilgrims

    Sunday
    Nov 27

    2 Hours

    The details behind how the pilgrims arrive in the New World; the myths about Thanksgiving.
  • Image
    American Experience: TVSS: Iconic

    American Experience

    Sunday
    Dec 4

    2 Hours

    "American Experience" combines dramatic re-enactments with commentary by historians and authors to present an absorbing look at the personalities, events and resources that have had a profound impact on the shaping of America's past and present. Many of the program's documentaries have received major honors in the broadcasting community, including Emmy, Peabodys and duPont-Columbia University awards.
  • Image
    American Experience: TVSS: Iconic

    American Experience

    The Polio Crusade

    Wednesday
    Dec 7

    1 Hour

    Personal accounts from polio survivors about the disease that paralyzed thousands before Jonas Salk introduces a vaccine to guard against it.
  • Image
    American Experience: TVSS: Iconic

    American Experience

    The Polio Crusade

    Thursday
    Dec 8

    1 Hour

    Personal accounts from polio survivors about the disease that paralyzed thousands before Jonas Salk introduces a vaccine to guard against it.
  • Image
    American Experience: TVSS: Iconic

    American Experience

    Thursday
    Dec 8

    2 Hours

    "American Experience" combines dramatic re-enactments with commentary by historians and authors to present an absorbing look at the personalities, events and resources that have had a profound impact on the shaping of America's past and present. Many of the program's documentaries have received major honors in the broadcasting community, including Emmy, Peabodys and duPont-Columbia University awards.
  • Image
    American Experience: TVSS: Iconic

    American Experience

    Friday
    Dec 9

    2 Hours

    "American Experience" combines dramatic re-enactments with commentary by historians and authors to present an absorbing look at the personalities, events and resources that have had a profound impact on the shaping of America's past and present. Many of the program's documentaries have received major honors in the broadcasting community, including Emmy, Peabodys and duPont-Columbia University awards.
  • Image
    American Experience: TVSS: Iconic

    American Experience

    Billy Graham

    Friday
    Dec 9

    2 Hours

    The life of Billy Graham, one of the best-known and influential Christian leaders of the 20th century.
  • Image
    American Experience: TVSS: Iconic

    American Experience

    Billy Graham

    Saturday
    Dec 10

    2 Hours

    The life of Billy Graham, one of the best-known and influential Christian leaders of the 20th century.
  • Image
    American Experience: TVSS: Iconic

    American Experience

    Billy Graham

    Saturday
    Dec 10

    2 Hours

    The life of Billy Graham, one of the best-known and influential Christian leaders of the 20th century.
  • Image
    American Experience: TVSS: Iconic

    American Experience

    Billy Graham

    Saturday
    Dec 10

    2 Hours

    The life of Billy Graham, one of the best-known and influential Christian leaders of the 20th century.
  • Image
    American Experience: TVSS: Iconic

    American Experience

    The Polio Crusade

    Sunday
    Dec 11

    1 Hour

    Personal accounts from polio survivors about the disease that paralyzed thousands before Jonas Salk introduces a vaccine to guard against it.
  • Image
    American Experience: TVSS: Iconic

    American Experience

    Sunday
    Dec 11

    2 Hours

    "American Experience" combines dramatic re-enactments with commentary by historians and authors to present an absorbing look at the personalities, events and resources that have had a profound impact on the shaping of America's past and present. Many of the program's documentaries have received major honors in the broadcasting community, including Emmy, Peabodys and duPont-Columbia University awards.

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