Take advantage of this month’s Learning at Home broadcast schedule – great for students engaged in hybrid or distance instruction, and families looking to spend some extra, quality time together!
After watching these fascinating programs, explore the PBS LearningMedia and web resources to learn more.
Wednesday, December 1
1 PM: Secrets of the Dead: Gangster’s Gold
Join three groups of treasure hunters, armed with modern technology and newly uncovered clues, as they set out to find the lost treasure of notorious Prohibition-era gangster Dutch Schultz and solve an 85-year-old mystery.
In 1984, a Maltese national treasure went missing from the cathedral of St. John in Valletta – a masterpiece by the legendary Italian master Caravaggio. Two years of investigations across Europe led to nothing, but a strong-willed priest never gave up. Father Marius Zerafa, director of museums in Malta, managed to establish a channel of communication with the thieves and set off on a quest to recover the priceless painting. Despite not having the money to pay their ransom, he risked everything, putting his life on the line for the sake of a masterpiece.
Filmed over the course of one year, Inside the Vatican gains unprecedented access to one of the most important places in the Christian world. Nestled in the city of Rome, the Vatican is the headquarters of the Catholic Church and an independent city-state.
1 PM: Soundscapes: Gretchen Koehler and Daniel Kelly
Local musicians and stunning scenics take centerstage on Soundscapes. The duo of fiddler Gretchen Koehler and pianist Daniel Kelly close out this season of Soundscapes with a lively mix of traditional and original works at the Strand Center Theatre in Plattsburgh, NY.
An inevitable part of the human experience, pain is impossible to objectively measure but felt universally. While artists have forever represented pain, it is something most must endure alone. Violinist Gil Shaham may well be the last musician to personally own a great instrument. His Stradivarius is precious and cherished.
From 1983 to 1988, Bob filmed The Joy of Painting in a makeshift studio in the L.L. Ball home near the campus of Ball State University. “The Bob Ross Experience” is an hour-long program documenting the transformation of his original studio into an intimate museum experience designed for those he inspired.
1 PM: The Roosevelts: An Intimate History | Get Action (1858-1901)
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History chronicles the lives of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of the most prominent and influential family in American politics. In “Get Action,” a frail, asthmatic young Theodore Roosevelt transforms himself into a champion of the strenuous life, loses one great love and finds another, leads men into battle, and then rises like a rocket to become the youngest president in American history at 42. Meanwhile, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, brought up as the pampered only child of adoring parents, follows his older cousin’s career with fascination.
Narrated by veteran Hollywood actor Tom Selleck, Remember Pearl Harbor chronicles the personal stories of veterans and citizens who witnessed the surprise attack by the Japanese on the American Pacific Fleet on December 7, 1941, launching the United States into World War II. Using archival footage and photos and graphics, the documentary shows in detail the bombings on Oahu, along with the fiery explosion of the USS Arizona, the sinking of the USS Oklahoma, and the attacks on Hickam Field, as well as on other parts of the island. The film documents the 75th anniversary, the tragic events and the courageous acts of those who were in or near Pearl Harbor on that day.
1 PM: The Roosevelts: An Intimate History | In the Arena (1901-1910)
Murder brings Theodore Roosevelt to the presidency, but in the seven years that follow, he transforms the office and makes himself perhaps the best-loved of all presidents, battling corporate greed, preserving American wilderness, carrying the message of American might around the world. FDR weds Eleanor Roosevelt and jumps at the chance to run for the New York state senate.
1 PM: The Roosevelts: An Intimate History | The Fire of Life (1910-1919)
Theodore Roosevelt leads a Progressive crusade that splits his own party, campaigns for American entry into World War I — and pays a terrible personal price. Franklin masters wartime Washington as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, while Eleanor finds personal salvation in war work. Her discovery of Franklin’s romance with another woman transforms their marriage into a largely political partnership.
Local musicians and stunning scenics take centerstage on Soundscapes. Guitarist Kevin Sabourin takes the stage at the Strand Center Theatre in Plattsburgh, NY with a set of storytelling acoustic tunes.
Novelist Veronica Roth and pianist Amy Yang see a way forward. Young adult author Veronica Roth taps into a youthful zeitgeist. Her best-selling novels transport readers to dystopian futures where love still survives. Pianist Amy Yang plays and absorbs music in an unusual way. Touch, listening, and her own visualizations give her a unique perspective on the sound she is producing.
Join Charles Dickens in his study on Friday, the 13th of October 1843. History, humor, and the holiday come to life in The Night Before Christmas Carol. Renowned Dickens scholar and author Dr. Elliot Engel crafts this entertaining study suitable for every holiday audience. In this acclaimed performance, actor David Zum Brunnen portrays Charles Dickens and 17 familiar characters, giving personal, social, and historical context to a ghostly classic, A Christmas Carol.
1 PM: The Roosevelts: An Intimate History | The Storm (1920-1933)
Franklin Roosevelt runs for vice president in 1920 and seems assured of a still brighter future until polio devastates him. He spends seven years struggling without success to walk again, while Eleanor builds her own personal and political life. FDR returns to politics in 1928 and acts with such vigor during the first years of the Great Depression that the Democrats nominate him for president.
1 PM: The Roosevelts: An Intimate History | The Rising Road (1933-1939)
FDR brings the same optimism and energy to the White House that his cousin Theodore displayed. Aimed at ending the Depression, his sweeping New Deal restores the people’s self-confidence and transforms the relationship between them and their government. Eleanor rejects the traditional role of the first lady, becomes her husband’s liberal conscience and a sometimes controversial political force.
1 PM: The Roosevelts: An Intimate History | The Common Cause (1939-1944)
FDR shatters the third-term tradition, struggles to prepare a reluctant country to enter World War II and, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, helps set the course toward Allied victory. Meanwhile, Eleanor struggles to keep New Deal reforms alive in wartime and travels the Pacific to comfort wounded servicemen.
1 PM: The Roosevelts: An Intimate History | A Strong and Active Faith (1944-1962)
Frail and failing but determined to see the war through to victory, FDR wins re-election and begins planning for a peaceful postwar world, but a cerebral hemorrhage kills him at 63. After her husband’s death, Eleanor Roosevelt proves herself a shrewd politician and a skilled negotiator in her own right, as well as a champion of civil rights, civil liberties, and the United Nations.
Local musicians and stunning scenics take centerstage on Soundscapes. Canadian cellist and Crane School of Music professor Marie-Elaine Gagnon performs a collection of covers from classical composers at the Strand Center Theatre in Plattsburgh, NY.
Leonardo da Vinci was a Renaissance genius. Not only did he paint masterpieces of art, but he was an obsessive scientist and inventor, dreaming up complex machines centuries ahead of his time, including parachutes, armored tanks, hang gliders, and robots. On the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death, with the help of biographer Walter Isaacson, NOVA investigates the secrets of Leonardo’s success. How did his scientific curiosity, from dissections of cadavers to studies of optics, shape his genius and help him create perhaps the most famous painting of all time, the “Mona Lisa”?
Conceived by John Mauceri, this new work is a re-imagination of Tchaikovsky’s holiday favorite, “The Nutcracker.” Based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 book, Alan Cumming recounts the origin story of how a prince got put into a nutcracker. Unlike the ballet, we also learn what happens when the young girl grows up, having saved the prince, and what they are doing today.
2:30 PM: One Voice: The Songs We Share | The Sacred
Join the American Pops Orchestra as we celebrate uniquely American music that has transcended its original genre and audience. “The Sacred” features Justin Guarini (“American Idol”), Maureen McKay (Metropolitan Opera), Daniel Colaner (16-year old prodigy artist and cancer survivor), and Broadway star Adam Hyndman. Hosted by Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child.
1 PM: Rick Steves’ Europe | Luther and the Reformation
Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther kicked off the Protestant Reformation, which contributed to the birth of our modern age. In this one-hour special, Rick Steves visits key sites relating to the Reformation and explores the complicated political world of 16th-century Europe — from indulgences to iconoclasts. It’s a story of power, rebellion, and faith that you’ll never forget.
Join Lucy Worsley on a 12-day extravaganza as she discovers that much of what we enjoy in contemporary Christmas — from carols to gift-giving, feasting and drinking — was just as popular 500 years ago, with some surprising Tudor twists.
The Western Front, Christmas, 1914. Out of the violence a silence, then a song. A German soldier steps into No Man’s Land singing “Stille Nacht.” Thus begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music, peace. A remarkable true story, told in the words and songs of the men who lived it.
Against the music of the great composers, Christmas on the Danube travels the majestic Danube River as it passes through European landscape, history and culture. The cities along the Danube have a special sparkle at Christmas. This heartwarming holiday special visits Vienna, Budapest, Salzburg, and Oberdorf. Other highlights include a visit to the Melk Abbey, the old town on Passau, and the charming Christmas Market in Bratislava. Christmas on the Danube is a companion to European Christmas Market.
Local musicians and stunning scenics take centerstage on Soundscapes. Local bluegrass legends Beartracks bring their treasured original songs and classic covers to the stage of the Strand Center Theatre in Plattsburgh, NY, complete with some brother-sister banter.
Music has been a salvation for Timothy Showalter, frontman and founder of Strand of Oaks. Writing and recording have helped him through personal tragedy and despair. Solo and with the Bearded Ladies Cabaret, theater artist John Jarboe explores the politics of sexuality and gender in popular culture.
In a concert tradition that began in the 1930’s, the Crane Chorus and the Crane Symphony Orchestra come together each year to present a very special holiday concert. Featuring carolers and musicians from the renowned Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam, the concert includes traditional Christmas and seasonal hymns from around the world along with popular favorites.
Stunning new archaeological evidence provides clues about the Egyptians who built the Great Pyramid of Giza–and how they did it. Join researchers as they delve into the logbook of a work crew and discover how the massive project transformed Egypt.
Tracing the origin of the legends of secret chambers hidden in the heart of the pyramid, Secrets of the Dead will show what lies within, solving a 4,500-year-old mystery, by following the first scientific mission in 30 years to be authorized by the Egyptian government to examine the pyramids of Egypt.
Representing the meticulous and ambitious work of an all-Chinese film company led by award-winning filmmaker, Xi Zhinong, this spectacular film is the true story of a family of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys living in the highest forests in the world.
Witness the incredible journey of newborn polar bear cubs as they leave the safety of their den for the first time. Bravely led by their mother, the cubs must make the perilous 400-mile Arctic trek to the sea to feed. Narrated by Kate Winslet.
This four-part series takes an in-depth look at the workings of some of Scotland’s most magnificent country estates through the eyes of the current owners, the ghillies, the gardeners and the housekeepers, not forgetting the paying guests who frequent these stunning country estates. Filmed entirely in Scotland, the show tells the fascinating stories behind these magnificent buildings. Begin by touring the interior of the fabulous Dumfries House, an architectural gem that boasts one of the largest collections of Chippendale furniture in the world. This once-neglected mansion was dramatically brought back to life and saved for the nation by HRH The Prince of Wales.
The 70-room Kincardine Castle is home to only two people, Andrew and Nicky Bradford. In a little over a century, the castle and its surrounding 3,000-acre estate have gone from being a trifling extravagance for its fabulously rich owners to presenting a passionate but ongoing struggle to keep it afloat for its present-day occupants.
Many believe the mysterious Rosslyn Chapel to be home to the Holy Grail or to the skull of St Matthew, John the Baptist or even of Jesus Christ himself. Art historian and owner Lady Helen Rosslyn guides us as we examine the legends that surround this small chapel on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
For more than 500 years, Inveraray Castle has housed the chieftain of one of the world’s best-known family clans, the Clan Campbell. It is now the home to the 13th Duke of Argyll, His Grace Torquhil Ian Campbell, and his young family. Visited by thousands every year, the castle was the stand-in for “Duneagle” in the “Downton Abbey” Christmas episode.
Local musicians and stunning scenics take centerstage on Soundscapes. Dulcimer virtuoso Nate Pultorak introduces audiences to his enthralling music and an instrument they may not be familiar with at the Strand Center Theatre in Plattsburgh, NY.
Stories have shaped our knowledge and communication and have been the bedrock of how we’ve entertained ourselves since time immemorial. And even as technology advances and the world becomes more interconnected, stories are still core to our shared humanity. Afrofuturism may be a newer lens for viewing art, media, and philosophy, but it frames stories that have been thriving since long before their representation in the mainstream.
Take a wild ride into the riot of color, creativity and chaos that is Miami’s street art scene. Every year during the Art Basel fair, street artists from around the globe converge on Miami’s Wynwood district to transform its streets anew with a riot of creative colors. Streets of Wynwood transports the viewer into this nomadic subculture to meet some of world’s best exponents of urban art and to appreciate first-hand how this once clandestine tribe of taggers, graffiti writers and muralists have claimed their place in the broader art world. It’s a dazzling experience.