History

Iconic America

In this new eight-episode documentary series, David Rubenstein explores America’s 400-year history through a close examination of iconic national symbols such as the Hollywood Sign, Fenway Park, American cowboys and the Statue of Liberty: indelible artifacts, places, and archetypes. Each episode tells the story of an American symbol to reveal its origins, significance and the arc of its resonance.

The Golden Gate Bridge

55m 11s

The Golden Gate bridge is an engineering marvel that symbolizes America’s can-do spirit. Can America continue to execute bold and ambitious infrastructure projects in the 21st century?

Episodes

  • The Golden Gate Bridge: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Golden Gate Bridge

    S1 E8 - 55m 11s

    The Golden Gate bridge is an engineering marvel that symbolizes America’s can-do spirit. Can America continue to execute bold and ambitious infrastructure projects in the 21st century?

  • Stone Mountain: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Stone Mountain

    S1 E7 - 55m 38s

    As Confederate statues are torn down across the country and the nation wrestles with its past, there are heated arguments about the fate of the Monument at Stone Mountain, Georgia, the Confederate Mount Rushmore.

  • The American Bald Eagle: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The American Bald Eagle

    S1 E6 - 55m 8s

    The story of how the American Bald Eagle soared to its vaunted perch in American iconography, a symbol not only of patriotism but also of environmental activism and Native American traditions.

  • The Statue of Liberty: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Statue of Liberty

    S1 E5 - 55m 11s

    This episode explores the evolving meaning of The Statue of Liberty as symbol for a “nation of immigrants,” and how it embodies our values and our conflicts, from abolition and women’s suffrage to the treatment of refugees

  • The Cowboy: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Cowboy

    S1 E4 - 55m 24s

    The cowboy is the quintessential American — fiercely independent, brave and laconic. This episode examines the myths and realities of this archetype, which remains as potent as ever in the 21st century.

  • The Gadsden Flag: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Gadsden Flag

    S1 E3 - 55m 11s

    The “Don’t Tread on Me” flag is such a potent symbol of independence that it has been co-opted by a wide variety of Americans over its long history.

  • The Hollywood Sign: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Hollywood Sign

    S1 E2 - 55m 35s

    The Hollywood Sign episode examines the history of the Los Angeles landmark, which was erected in 1923 originally as a real estate advertisement, and went on to become an international symbol of fame, fortune, and the American dream.

  • Fenway Park: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Fenway Park

    S1 E1 - 55m 27s

    Baseball is a favorite American pastime and obsession, and no ballpark is more iconic than Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. This episode tells the story of a city’s loyalty to its team and love for its ballpark through thick and thin.

Extras + Features

  • The Golden Gate Bridge Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Golden Gate Bridge Preview

    S1 E8 - 32s

    The Golden Gate bridge is an engineering marvel that symbolizes America’s can-do spirit. Can America continue to execute bold and ambitious infrastructure projects in the 21st century?

  • Bridging Times: An Icon of American Innovation: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Bridging Times: An Icon of American Innovation

    S1 E8 - 2m 34s

    "We, as Americans, have the power, and the ability, and the talent to create marvels in this world and the ingenuity to do it. So, I think about, what's the Golden Gate Bridge of the future? What new technology or new ways of seeing, or doing, or being can help us advance from one place to the next?"

    - Katherine Toy, Deputy Secretary for Access at California Natural Resources Agency.

  • Overcoming Construction Challenges and Skeptics: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Overcoming Construction Challenges and Skeptics

    S1 E8 - 1m 47s

    From its unprecedented length (for a suspension bridge), to enormous geological and financial hurdles, the plan to construct the Golden Gate Bridge was met with scores of naysayers.

  • Hidden tolls: The Impact of Freeways on BIPOC Communities: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Hidden tolls: The Impact of Freeways on BIPOC Communities

    S1 E8 - 2m 1s

    Historically, freeway development in the U.S. was often made without adequate consideration of the social and environmental consequences on BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities. This has caused systemic inequalities in BIPOC communities and contributed to significant and long-lasting negative impacts including displacement, economic disinvestment and health disparities.

  • Confederate Monuments as a Constant Reminder of Separatism: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Confederate Monuments as a Constant Reminder of Separatism

    S1 E7 - 27s

    "It's a very scary thing to live in a space that is whispering to you, 'You don't belong. You're not authorized.' There are forces that will roughly remind you of what you can and can't do."

    U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith discusses the possible psychological toll on Black people living in the shadow of a Confederate monument like Stone Mountain.

  • United Daughters of the Confederacy's Lost Soldiers: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    United Daughters of the Confederacy's Lost Soldiers

    S1 E7 - 1m 59s

    This clip takes a look at The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the pivotal role that they played in memorializing Confederate soldiers. This organization, originally comprising female relatives of Civil War soldiers who fought for The South, was instrumental in propagandizing the war and reframing its origins by coining phrases such as “The War of Northern aggression.”

  • An Alternative Rationalization for the Civil War: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    An Alternative Rationalization for the Civil War

    S1 E7 - 3m 2s

    “In order to believe that the Confederacy and these Confederates were noble, you have to have this myth of victimization of white Southerners that they are the real victims during the Civil War... And any effort to redeem them ought to be considered heroic.”
    – History Professor Hasan Jeffries explaining how attempts to reframe the causes of the Civil War gained traction in The South.

  • Meet Stone Mountain Memorial Association's Black Chairman: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Meet Stone Mountain Memorial Association's Black Chairman

    S1 E7 - 5m 38s

    “I don’t see the carving being removed… I don’t see pleasing everybody because you’re not going to please everybody. I’d rather be agitating on the inside than be on the outside looking in."

    - Rev. Abraham Mosely, Chairman of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, discusses plans for the future that he hopes will alleviate some of the controversy surrounding the Confederate monument.

  • Stone Mountain Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Stone Mountain Preview

    S1 E7 - 31s

    Should Confederate leaders remain on places like Stone Mountain, or should they be erased? As Confederate statues are torn down across the country and the nation wrestles with its past, David Rubenstein looks at the origin, the impact and the future of Stone Mountain Georgia's problematic monument to the Civil War.

  • Endangered National Symbol: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Endangered National Symbol

    S1 E6 - 31s

    The effect of DDT, a pesticide widely used in the mid-20th century, on the Bald Eagle population in the northeastern United States was devastating. When eagles consumed prey contaminated with DDT, the pesticide accumulated in their bodies over time. As a result, the eagles experienced thinning eggshells, making them more prone to breakage during incubation.

  • The American Bald Eagle Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The American Bald Eagle Preview

    S1 E6 - 31s

    The story of how the American Bald Eagle soared to its vaunted perch in American iconography, a symbol not only of patriotism but also of environmental activism and Native American traditions.

Schedule

  • Image
    Iconic America: Our Symbols and Stories With David Rubenstein: The Gadsden Flag: TVSS: Iconic

    Iconic America

    The Gadsden Flag

    Thursday
    Jul 4

    1 Hour

    How the "Don't Tread on Me" flag has been co-opted by a wide variety of Americans over its long history.
  • Image
    Iconic America: Our Symbols and Stories With David Rubenstein: The Statue of Liberty: TVSS: Iconic

    Iconic America

    The Statue of Liberty

    Thursday
    Jul 4

    1 Hour

    The evolving meaning of the Statue of Liberty and how it embodies values and conflicts in America, from abolition to the treatment of refugees.
  • Image
    Iconic America: Our Symbols and Stories With David Rubenstein: The Statue of Liberty: TVSS: Iconic

    Iconic America

    The Statue of Liberty

    Friday
    Jul 5

    1 Hour

    The evolving meaning of the Statue of Liberty and how it embodies values and conflicts in America, from abolition to the treatment of refugees.
  • Image
    Iconic America: Our Symbols and Stories With David Rubenstein: The Statue of Liberty: TVSS: Iconic

    Iconic America

    The Statue of Liberty

    Friday
    Jul 5

    1 Hour

    The evolving meaning of the Statue of Liberty and how it embodies values and conflicts in America, from abolition to the treatment of refugees.
  • Image
    Iconic America: Our Symbols and Stories With David Rubenstein: The Statue of Liberty: TVSS: Iconic

    Iconic America

    The Statue of Liberty

    Sunday
    Jul 7

    1 Hour

    The evolving meaning of the Statue of Liberty and how it embodies values and conflicts in America, from abolition to the treatment of refugees.
  • Image
    Iconic America: Our Symbols and Stories With David Rubenstein: The Statue of Liberty: TVSS: Iconic

    Iconic America

    The Statue of Liberty

    Wednesday
    Jul 10

    1 Hour

    The evolving meaning of the Statue of Liberty and how it embodies values and conflicts in America, from abolition to the treatment of refugees.
  • Image
    Iconic America: Our Symbols and Stories With David Rubenstein: The Statue of Liberty: TVSS: Iconic

    Iconic America

    The Statue of Liberty

    Wednesday
    Jul 10

    1 Hour

    The evolving meaning of the Statue of Liberty and how it embodies values and conflicts in America, from abolition to the treatment of refugees.

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