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.
Thursday, October 1
1 PM: American Masters | Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart
Explore the inner life and works of the activist, playwright and author of A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry. Narrated by actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson and featuring the voice of Tony Award-winning actress Anika Noni Rose as Hansberry.
1 PM: Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise | Part 2
Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise looks at the last five decades of African American history since the major civil rights victories through the eyes of Henry Louis Gates, Jr., exploring the tremendous gains and persistent challenges of these years.
How did life emerge on our primeval continent? Why was North America home to so many iconic dinosaurs like T. rex? And how did a huge sea filled with giant marine reptiles end up covering Kansas? We tell the surprising intertwined story of life and the landscape in North America.
Explore the intimate connections between the landscape, the colonizing of the continent, and the emergence of our industrial world. As a result, human activity has transformed the continent on a scale that rivals the geological forces that gave birth to it billions of years before. Yet, scientists warn of sleeping giants like the Cascadia fault, and the earthquake/tsunami one-two punch it could unleash on the Pacific Northwest. Even as we re-mold the continent to suit our needs, geologic processes inexorably continue, and they raise potential risks of catastrophe to our human civilization.
Rebels On Lake Erie tells the story of Virginia native John Yates Beall – a wealthy, college-educated Southern plantation owner – who served in the Confederate army under legendary General Stonewall Jackson, later as a privateer, and a leader of two ambitious (and ultimately unsuccessful) missions: to liberate the Confederate soldiers imprisoned on Johnson’s Island Prisoner-of-War Depot near Sandusky, Ohio and to free captured Confederate officers by derailing a passenger train in Upstate New York.
Winter, 1865: the final stages of General Sherman’s bloody march through the South. On February 17th, the capitol city of Columbia, South Carolina lay squarely in the General’s crosshairs. In a last-ditch effort to protect the vital railroad hub and thousands of terrified refugees packing city streets, Confederate soldiers destroyed the remaining bridge over the Broad River. But, in less than 12 hours Sherman’s men crossed the river and brought destruction to the birthplace of the Secessionist South. Nearly a century and a half later, David Brinkman of Columbia, South Carolina, believes a longstanding marker commemorating this history has missed the mark.
Hawaii, the most remote island chain on Earth, offers sanctuary for wildlife that has reached its tropical shores. From humpback whales to waterfall-climbing fish, it’s home to an extraordinary wealth of wildlife.
Just as writing changed the course of human history, the evolution of paper and printing revolutionized the spread of information. The printing press kicked off the Industrial Revolution that fast-tracked us to the current digital age. But as the 4,000-year-old tradition of penmanship falls out of favor, should we consider what might be lost in this pursuit of ever more efficient communication?
1 PM: Breakthrough: The Ideas that Changed the World | The Telescope
Meet the brilliant minds throughout history, from Galileo to Edwin Hubble, responsible for creating the telescope. Today, their invention allows humanity to reach the furthest limits of seeing – 13 billion light-years out.
2 PM: Breakthrough: The Ideas that Changed the World | The Airplane
Take to the sky with the dreamers whose work gave humans the ability to fly. From Leonardo da Vinci’s “flying machines” to the modern commercial plane, without these inventions, we may have never left the ground.
Venture to the Pacific Northwest to capture the stories of ongoing traditions and perseverance of its original inhabitants. For the tribes of this region, water is life. The rivers that crisscross this land were the highways for trade and fresh water grocery stores for thousands of years. Today, tribes celebrate their cultures by participating in a yearly canoe journey, an opportunity for people to gather and travel to all the places their ancestors once inhabited. From totem poles, to language preservation to traditional crafts, host Chris Eyre (Cheyenne Arapaho) discovers the wilds of the North.
2 PM: Growing Native | Alaska: People of the North
All across Alaska, Native cultures have depended on the abundant natural resources found there to support their families, cultures and ways of life. Now, however, those resources are growing scarce, and the people who have relied on them for centuries have to find new ways to adapt. Growing Native visits some of the many communities engaged in this familiar struggle – the struggle to maintain their traditions and ways of life, while continuing to thrive in a constantly changing world. Host Chris Eyre (Cheyenne Arapaho) meets Alaska Natives who thrive and survive in this complex environment.
Over the centuries, the Great Lakes have been home to hundreds of tribes and a source of fresh water, food, and health. Indigenous creation stories describe the world came into being on a back of a turtle shell, and today they know the earth as Turtle Island. Growing Native host Stacey Thunder (Red Lake and Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe) guides this journey by engaging tribal voices while touring Indian country with those who still devote their lives to care for the land.
Oklahoma is home to thirty-nine federally recognized tribes. Nowhere in North America will you find such diversity among Native Peoples, and nowhere will you find a more tragic history. Host Moses Brings Plenty (Oglala Lakota) guides this episode of Growing Native, on a journey to Oklahoma’s past and present. What he discovers among the many faces of Oklahoma culture is the determination, values and respect that tribes have brought to this land, once called Indian Territory.
1 PM: American Masters | N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear
American Mastersexamines the enigmatic life and mind of National Medal of Arts-winner Navarro Scott Momaday, the Kiowa novelist, short-story writer, essayist and poet. His Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “House Made of Dawn” led to the breakthrough of Native American literature into the mainstream.
Ohero:kon – Under the Husk follows the challenging journey of two Mohawk girls as they take part in their traditional passage rites to becoming Mohawk Women. Kaienkwinehtha and Kasennakohe are childhood friends from traditional families living in the Mohawk Community of Akwesasne that straddles the U.S. / Canada border. They both take part in a four-year adolescent passage rites ceremony called Ohero:kon “Under the Husk” that has been revived in their community. This ceremony challenges them spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. It shapes the women they become.
In the first episode of Story of Cats: Asia to Africa, we discover how the first cats arose in the forests of Asia, how they spread across the continent, and later came to conquer Africa. We reveal how they evolved flexible limbs to climb, giant bodies to survive in the cold, and super senses to catch prey. Ultimately we discover how becoming social made the lion, king of the savannah.
Worshipped as a goddess, condemned as satanic, and spun into a stunning array of breeds, cats have long fascinated humans. But did we ever really domesticate them? And what can science tell us about our most mysterious companions?
1 PM: Breakthrough: The Ideas that Changed the World | The Car
Go for a ride through the 9,000-year history of the car, from its roots in dogsleds to Henry Ford’s affordable and assembly line-built Model T, and meet the scientists working on the next generation of self-driving automobiles.
Journey with Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to Kenya, Egypt and beyond as he discovers the origins of man, the formation of early human societies and the creation of significant cultural and scientific achievements on the African continent.
2 PM: Africa’s Great Civilizations: The Cross and the Crescent
Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. charts the ancient rise of Christianity & Islam, whose economic & cultural influence stretched from Egypt to Ethiopia. Learn of African religious figures like King Lalibela, an Ethiopian saint, and Menelik, bringer of the Ark of the Covenant.
In this conclusion to the two-part series, we discover how cats first crossed from Asia into North America and how they went on to become the top predators of the continent. Today there are 13 feline species in the Americas – from the mighty jaguar, to the urban mountain lion, to the curious ocelot and from the Canada lynx to the nimble margay.
Dogs have long been dependable companions by our sides. But it wasn’t always that way, and a look at their closest living relative, the wolf, makes it clear why. Research into dog domestication and intelligence offers clues into the human-dog relationship. And analyzing dogs’ brain activity and genes may even help answer whether dogs are in it for the food—or if they really love us.
1 PM: Africa’s Great Civilizations: Empires of Gold
The third hour in the series marks an era of great commercial and manufacturing growth throughout several regions on the continent. It begins with the revolutionary transformation of North and West Africa. On the shores of the Sahara Desert, farmers, traders, warriors and nomads turned this region into the crossroads of some of history’s most advanced, and wealthiest, civilizations. Intricate networks of long distance trade would link up productive commercial centers established by rulers of empires and kingdoms.
Hour four shines a light on the powerful, cosmopolitan cities that dotted Africa at a time when Europe was in its Middle Ages. From 1000 to 1600, a golden age evolves in the expansion of commerce, wealth and prosperity across Africa, and, along with this, the building of new cities and the founding of new powerful states.
Explore humanity’s relationship with nature and wildlife, as scientists and conservationists from all over the world examine ways we can restore our planet. In the first episode of the series, discover how a new awareness of nature is helping to restore ecosystems from Panama to China to Mozambique. See how innovative actions are being taken to repair manmade damage and restore reefs, rivers, animal populations and more.
For animals in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, the normal balance of competition and predation was upended when a war wiped out the top predators. The remaining animals didn’t simply grow in numbers—they began behaving in unusual ways, veering outside their typical territories and feeding patterns. Could it be that it’s not just predators’ kills that keep other populations in check, but also the fear they inspire? NOVA joins a team of scientists as they reintroduce wild dogs to Gorongosa to find out if restoring the park’s “landscape of fear” can restore balance to an entire ecosystem.
1 PM: Africa’s Great Civilizations: The Atlantic Age
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the impact of the Atlantic trading world, giving rise to powerful new kingdoms, but also transatlantic slave trade. Learn of the revolutionary movements of the 18th & early 19th centuries, including the advent of the Sokoto Caliphate.
2 PM: Africa’s Great Civilizations: Commerce and the Clash of Civilizations
In the series’ final hour, host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. brings the story of Africa’s Great Civilizations into the nineteenth century, when a fierce competition for resources and trade stimulated ingenuity, while also enticing European powers and inciting conflicts that would threaten the stability and wellbeing of the continent.
1 PM: American Experience: McCarthy | Power Feeds on Fear
McCarthy chronicles the rise and fall of Joseph McCarthy, the Wisconsin senator who came to power after a stunning victory in an election no one thought he could win, and who led a Cold War crusade against Communists. Once in office, he declared that there was a vast conspiracy threatening America — emanating not from a rival superpower, but from within. Free of restraint or oversight, he conducted a chilling campaign against those he accused of being enemies of the state; marked by groundless accusations, bullying, intimidation, grandiose showmanship and cruel victimization.
Unlock the mysteries of wild pandas whose counterparts in captivity are known for their gentle image. Journey through the steep Qinling Mountains with filmmakers, scientists and rangers to witness pandas’ startling courtship and aggressive behaviors.
2 PM: Norman Mineta and His Legacy: An American Story
Meet the statesman who served as cabinet secretary for Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush. Imprisoned by the U.S. during World War II for his Japanese ancestry, Mineta rose to become the first Asian American to serve in a presidential cabinet.
America’s Socialist Experiment recounts both the victories and failures of a unique brand of socialism in the historically conservative city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Between 1910 and 1960, elected socialists in Milwaukee — including a U.S. Congressman and three mayors — reduced corruption, improved conditions for working people, and cleaned up the environment, leaving a mixed legacy to which both Democrats and Republicans lay claim today.
2 PM: Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP
Civil rights attorney Thurgood Marshall’s triumph in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision to desegregate America’s public schools completed the final leg of an heroic journey to end legal segregation. For 20 years, during wartime and the Depression, Marshall traveled hundreds of thousands of miles through the Jim Crow South of the United States, fighting segregation case by case, establishing precedent after precedent, all leading up to one of the most important legal decisions in American history. Winning more Supreme Court cases than any lawyer in American history, and setting the stage for the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Marshall went on to become the first black Supreme Court justice in 1967.
If spacecraft OSIRIS-REx can grab a piece of an asteroid and bring it back to Earth, scientists could gain great insight into our planet’s origins — and even how to defend against rogue asteroids. But NASA only gets three shots at collecting a sample. Can they pull it off? NOVA takes you inside the mission.
Explore how a new understanding of nature is helping us find surprising ways to fix it. From the Pacific Northwest to Yellowstone to Scotland, scientists, citizens and activists are restoring the environment, benefiting humans and animals alike.
1 PM: Fake: Searching for the Truth in the Age of Misinformation
Given the sheer volume of news available, how can the average person separate fact from fiction? This series draws from common sense, critical thinking skills, and universal standards of journalism to give viewers the tools to discern fact from fiction in news reports, identify fake news, and evaluate the biases of real news.
2 PM: Bombs Away: LBJ, Goldwater & the 1964 Campaign That Changed It All
Three-year-old Monique Corzilius counts to 10, pulling petals from a daisy. A voice from mission control then counts down as the camera zooms into Monique’s dark pupil. An atomic blast and ensuing mushroom cloud consumes the TV screen as President Lyndon Johnson’s voice proclaims “We must either love each other, or we must die.” This political ad, “Peace Little Girl,” aired only once or twice during the 1964 presidential campaign between Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater, but it ushered in a new era of the television attack ad.
Spotlight Special: Fulton Fryar’s Closet tells a relatively unknown story of racial inequality in 1950’s Adirondack culture, and how memories of it resurfaced recently when a building at Seagle Music Colony faced demolition. The building housed a young singer named Fulton Fryar, the first African American singer to study at the colony, and whose sleeping quarters in 1957 were kept separate from those of the other singers on the campus. Learn what role architectural experts, museum curators and concerned citizens are playing to make sure Fryar’s story will be remembered.
2 PM: Spotlight Special: Creating an Adirondack Folk Opera
Explore the creation of Promised Land: an Adirondack Folk Opera and learn about the creative process, and people, behind the making of the production. The opera relates the story of the 1840’s Adirondack settlement, named Timbuctoo, with themes including civil rights, voters’ rights, and racial issues in the era before the Civil War in America – topics that remain poignant in modern times.
A group of university actors, musicians, directors and producers travel to four rural communities in Nebraska to perform Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro.” Through community concerts and school presentations, many people are seeing opera for the first time and they love it!