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American Icons

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Figures who became icons of the American experience.

Latest episodes

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A century after he transformed baseball, celebrity culture and the American experience, the legend of George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr. remains.
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Walt Disney breathes life into animated characters, revolutionizes entertainment and sees the future as a magical place filled with possibilities.
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Colonial America had no freedom of religion, and the men who signed the Declaration of Independence hated each other; the reason these facts aren't known is because of Thomas Jefferson.
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The secret of Twain's success was that he echoed and reflected a longing of all sorts of people. By evoking an earlier America, Mark Twain became the most popular voice in America.
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Thomas Edison had no small ego and liked to promote himself as a lone inventor. But you can't take out 1100 patents in your lifetime by yourself. Instead, he built the first research and development laboratory, decades before anyone else in America understood the value of such a collaboration.
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He wasn't always the greatest strategist and tactician, and he actually made a lot of mistakes early on. But George Washington was a leader unlike any other. In an age of small men who liked to talk, he towered over them with his quiet strength.
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Known as the First Lady of the World, Eleanor Roosevelt was one of the most active first ladies in history and worked for political, racial and social justice.
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The life of Abraham Lincoln, a largely self-educated man who rose to become the 16th president of the United States and held a broken nation together.
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A historical and biographical account of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

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