The Making of a Nation explains the history of the United States, and each week tells how the country and its people have developed.
10:45 PM - 11:00 PM January 22, 2015
10:45 PM - 11:00 PM January 15, 2015
10:45 PM - 11:00 PM January 08, 2015
10:45 PM - 11:00 PM January 01, 2015
10:45 PM - 11:00 PM December 25, 2014
10:45 PM - 11:00 PM December 18, 2014
7:14 PM - 7:18 PM December 17, 2014
3:06 PM - 3:11 PM December 17, 2014
10:45 PM - 11:00 PM December 11, 2014
7:10 PM - 7:16 PM December 11, 2014
5:50 PM - 5:56 PM December 10, 2014
10:45 PM - 11:00 PM December 04, 2014
3:26 PM - 3:32 PM December 03, 2014
10:45 PM - 11:00 PM November 27, 2014
2:08 PM - 2:14 PM November 24, 2014
10:45 PM - 11:00 PM November 20, 2014
8:31 PM - 8:38 PM November 17, 2014
10:45 PM - 11:00 PM November 13, 2014
8:59 PM - 9:05 PM November 07, 2014
10:45 PM - 11:00 PM November 06, 2014
Four years of bloody fighting had preserved the Union of states and freed four million slaves. But the cost of the war was great – in lives, in money and in infrastructure. Yet the country had to find a way to rebuild.
On Friday, April 14, 1865, Lincoln was enjoying a play at the Ford's Theater when a man came from behind and shot him. To millions of Americans, Abraham Lincoln's death was a personal loss. They had come to think of him as more than the President of the United States. He was a trusted friend.
General Robert E. Lee’s military skill and intelligence helped extend the war between the states. But even his skill could not save the South from the industrial power of the North and its mighty armies -- armies that were better-fed and better-equipped. On Sunday, August 9, Lee surrendered.
Lincoln hated the Civil War. But he would not end it until military victory ended slavery and guaranteed political union. When Union troops captured Atlanta, the last remaining industrial cities of the South.The people of the North began to understand their side was winning the war.
In late 1864, Union General William Sherman brought a form of total warfare to the American South. He aimed to limit the South’s ability to fight and wanted to show the people of the Confederacy that their government could not protect them. His victory damaged the spirit of the South.
After Northern forces defeated Southern troops at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and Vicksburg, Mississippi, General Ulysses Grant decided to hit the Confederates with the full force of the Union armies. The fight did not go as he expected. But General Grant was resolved to defeat the Confederates.
On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln said no one would remember his speech at a battlefield cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. But Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address remains one of the most important speeches in U.S. history. | The Making of a Nation
In the summer of 1863, Confederate General Robert E. Lee led his troops into northern territory. He faced the army of Union General George Meade in central Pennsylvania. The Battle of Gettsyburg was one of the most important fights in the war. Historians believe the battle ended the South's hopes.
By the summer of 1862, President Lincoln was losing support for the nation’s bloody civil war. People in the north were tired of fighting to save the Union. In time, however, Lincoln recognized another reason to fight: to free slaves in the South. This changed the very nature of the Civil War.
Lincoln named George Pope to lead the Army of Virginia. He wanted to join Pope’s forces with the Army of the Potomac and break through Confederate defenses around Richmond. But General Robert E. Lee decided to hit Pope first. Lee then decided to carry the war to the North.
The American Civil War was fought not only on land, but at sea. In 1862, Confederate and Union forces fought a new kind of navy battle in waters off Hampton Roads, Virginia. It was the first battle between iron ships. On the Confederate side was a ship called the Virginia. | The Making of a Nation
The North and South clashed in a series of battles called the Seven Days Campaign. The struggle saved the Confederacy but came at a terrible price. But victory came at a terrible price. Twenty thousand Confederate soldiers were killed or wounded. The Civil War was becoming more costly.
Ulysses Grant won the greatest Union victory since the start of the Civil War. At first the North celebrated the news of its victory. But the public quickly became angry when they learned of the heavy losses. People blamed General Grant. They demanded President Abraham Lincoln dismiss him.
Generations of schoolchildren have been taught that Christopher Columbus discovered the New World. In fact, the second Monday in October is celebrated as a national holiday, Columbus Day, to honor the European explorer.
Many northerners wanted Union forces to seize the new Confederate capital and quickly end the rebellion. Pro-Union newspapers urged, "On to Richmond!" But the North soon learned it needed a better trained army to fight the Confederacy.
Lincoln famously wrote in September 1861, "I think to lose Kentucky is nearly the same as to lose the whole game."
President Abraham Lincoln asked the states for 75,000 soldiers to stop the South's rebellion. But border states -- those between the North and South -- refused to send any troops. And some prepared to leave the Union and join the Confederacy.
On April 12, 1861, Confederate forces in South Carolina shelled a Union base that President Abraham Lincoln refused to surrender.
The Confederate States of America wrote a constitution that gave more power to the states and protected slavery.
Abraham Lincoln entered office facing the most serious crisis in American history.
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Some religious minorities in America are demanding that schools close on their religious holidays. They ask, if Christian and Jewish holy days are recognized, shouldn’t those of other faiths also be observed? The issue is being debated in Maryland, near Washington, DC. More
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The public has never seen the majority of works in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museums of Asian Art. Now they can be downloaded from the Internet -- in many cases for free. The Freer and Sackler Galleries worked for over 15 years to make digital copies of more than 40,000 objects. More
Light pollution can affect our ability to see the night stars. It can also hurt our health and the planet. But light is needed to make our cities safe. How can we find a balance? In cities, artificial light comes from street lamps, buildings, signs and cars and blocks out stars in the sky. More