History


New! Episode 1: Join or Die (1706-1774) 114 min.

Leaving behind his Boston childhood, Benjamin Franklin reinvents himself in Philadelphia where he builds a printing empire and a new life with his wife Deborah. Turning to science, Franklin gains worldwide fame from his lightning rod and experiments in electricity. After entering politics, he spends years in London trying to keep Britain and America together as his own family starts to come apart.

Formats: DVDStreaming Copyright Date: 2022

New! Episode 2: An American (1775-1790) 114 min.

Benjamin Franklin leaves London and returns to wartime Philadelphia where he joins Congress and helps Thomas Jefferson craft the Declaration of Independence. In Paris, he wins French support for the American Revolution then negotiates a peace treaty with Britain. He spends his last years in the new United States, working on the Constitution and unsuccessfully promoting the abolition of slavery.

Formats: DVDStreaming Copyright Date: 2022

New! Ken Burns: Benjamin Franklin 240 min.

Ken Burns’s four-hour documentary, Benjamin Franklin, explores the revolutionary life of one of the 18th century’s most consequential and compelling personalities, whose work and words unlocked the mystery of electricity and helped create the United States. “Write things worth reading,” he said in Poor Richard’s Almanack, “or do things worth the writing.” Benjamin Franklin did both.

Formats: DVDStreaming Copyright Date: 2022

New! Pelosi's Power 84 min.

Powerful and polarizing, explore House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s life and legacy. Across three decades, examine how Pelosi has gained and wielded power and faced grave challenges to her leadership and to American democracy from Trump and his allies.

Formats: DVDStreaming Copyright Date: 2022

New! Watchmen 53 min.

Henry Louis Gates explores the family trees of actor Regina King and writer/producer Damon Lindelof--the creative forces behind Watchmen, a visionary television series about America’s tortured racial past. Though they come from very different backgrounds, King and Lindelof discover that they have more in common than meets the eye, encountering ancestors who overcame great traumas.

Formats: DVDStreaming Copyright Date: 2022

New! Where Did We Come From? 53 min.

Henry Louis Gates helps news anchor Erin Burnett, fashion journalist Andre Leon Talley, and actor Amy Carlson retrace the perilous journeys that shaped their family trees. From war-torn France to a witch trial in Sweden to a North Carolina slave plantation, each discovers the places their ancestors once called home, providing new insight into what made them who they are today.

Formats: DVDStreaming Copyright Date: 2022

New! America Is Retreating from Global Leadership: A Debate 68 min.

After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the United States emerged from the Cold War as both powerful and ascendant. As the world’s only surviving superpower, America boasted a level of military and economic supremacy seldom seen before and a strong desire to lead what President George H. W. Bush (R, 1989–93) called "a new world order." But things have changed eno...

Formats: DVDStreaming Copyright Date: 2022

New! Activist Roots 53 min.

Henry Louis Gates explores the family trees of Brittany Packnett Cunningham and Anita Hill, introducing two women who’ve made profound sacrifices for social justice to the ancestors who made sacrifices for them. Using DNA and the historical record, Gates rediscovers lost heroes, telling stories of African Americans who fought for their rights against enormous odds.

Formats: Streaming Copyright Date: 2022

New! Children of Exile 53 min.

Henry Louis Gates explores the poignant roots of chef David Chang and actor Raúl Esparza—two men whose families fled their homelands to live in exile, never to return. From war-torn cities in North Korea to shark-infested waters off the shores of Cuba, Gates sets off to recover the stories of individuals who came to America against all odds and built a better life for themselves.

Formats: Streaming Copyright Date: 2022

New! Fighters 53 min.

Henry Louis Gates traces the roots of actors Terry Crews and Tony Danza, two men who overcame adversity, revealing they aren’t the first in their families to beat the odds through sheer force of will. From impoverished Italian villages to slave plantations in rural Georgia, long-lost records reveal individuals who came from nothing and built a better life for their families.

Formats: Streaming Copyright Date: 2022