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While some identify the Thirties as an era of unprecedented economic turmoil, this decade also saw the birth of the world's greatest modern technologies, inventions and Hollywood movies. In the new American Experience documentary series, The 1930s, PBS takes an in-depth look as this important period in history-from the infamous stock market crash to the success of Seabiscuit, the legendary winning race horse that became a symbol of hope for many Americans at the time. Set to debut on DVD January 5, the collection will include the following five films: The Crash of 1929, The Civilian Conservation Corps, Hoover Dam, Surviving the Dust Bowl, and Seabiscuit.

In addition to The 1930s complete set, PBS Home Video will be releasing The Civilian Conservation Corps as a stand-alone DVD, which will also retail on January 5.

The 1930s

Beginning with the stock market collapse of 1929, The 1930s looks at the creation of FDR's Tree Army; the construction of one of the greatest engineering projects of the modern era; the impact of the catastrophic drought that transformed the plains; and an unlikely hero that gave downtrodden Americans hope. This collection of AMERICAN EXPERIENCE films examines America's response to the unprecedented threats facing the nation during one of history's most tumultuous decades-one that is increasingly a touchstone for our own.

The Crash of 1929: In 1929 there were few critics of the stock market; it seemed to rise without limits. In fact, presidents and economists alike confidently predicted that America would soon enter a "New Era" when everyone could be rich. But when reality finally struck, the consequences of such unbound optimism shocked the world.

The Civilian Conservation Corps: In March 1933, within weeks of his inauguration, President Franklin Roosevelt sent legislation to Congress aimed at providing relief for the one out of every four American workers who were unemployed. He proposed a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to provide jobs in natural resource conservation. Over the next decade, the CCC put more than three million young men to work in the nation's forests, parks and farms, planting trees, creating flood barriers, fighting fires and building roads and trails. Corps workers lived in camps under quasi-military discipline and received a wage of $30 per month, $25 of which they were required to send home to their families. Interweaving rich archival imagery with the personal accounts of Civilian Conservation Corps veterans, this film tells the story of one of the boldest and most popular New Deal experiments, positioning it as a pivotal moment in the emergence of modern environmentalism and federal unemployment relief.

Hoover Dam: An ambitious engineer turned a ragtag army of unemployed into a celebrated work force to create the Hoover Dam, a colossus rising 700 feet above the Colorado River that became a beacon of hope in dire times, bringing electricity and water to millions in the U.S. west.

Surviving the Dust Bowl: In 1931 the rains stopped and the "black blizzards" began. Less well-known than those who sought refuge in California, typified by the Joad family in John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath," the Dust Bowlers stayed and overcame an almost a decade of unbelievable calamities and disasters, enduring drought, dust, disease-even death-determined to preserve their way of life.

Seabiscuit: Despite his boxy build, stumpy legs, scraggly tail and ungainly gait, Seabiscuit was one of the most remarkable thoroughbred racehorses in history. His fabulously wealthy owner Charles Howard, his famously silent and stubborn trainer Tom Smith, and the two hard-bitten, gifted jockeys who rode him to glory turned Seabiscuit into a national hero.

The collector's edition will include the following bonus features:

* Bonus Seabiscuit footage: An interview with Stephen Ives/Superhorses Gallery

* Printable materials for educators

To order a copy of The 1930s, Civilian Conservation Camps and/or any of the programs that make up this American Experience series, please visit or call (800) PLAY-PBS.


PBS Distribution is the leading media distributor for the public television community, both domestically and internationally. Jointly owned by PBS (Arlington, VA) and WGBH (Boston, MA), PBS Distribution extends the reach of public television programs beyond broadcast while generating revenue for the public television system and our production partners. PBS Distribution offers a diverse range of programming to our customers, including Ken Burns's films (The National Parks, The War, Baseball, Jazz, The Civil War), documentaries from award-winning series NOVA (The Elegant Universe, Origins, The Miracle of Life), FRONTLINE (Bush's War, Growing Up Online), and American Experience (We Shall Remain, Jonestown, New York), dramas from Masterpiece (Jane Eyre, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries), films from independent producers (Latin Music USA, The Botany of Desire, The Story of India, Journey into Buddhism, I.O.U.S.A.), and popular children's programming from Super Why!, Wordgirl, Cyberchase, Martha Speaks, and Arthur.

TITLE: The 1930s SERIES: American Experience FORMAT: DVD RUNNING TIME: Approximately 4.5 hours SRP: $39.99 PREBOOK: 12/8/09 STREET DATE: 1/5/09

TITLE: Civilian Conservation Corps. SERIES: American Experience FORMAT: DVD RUNNING TIME: approximately 1 hour SRP: $24.99 P PREBOOK: 12/8/09 STREET DATE: 1/5/09

For more information, call 818/907-5929.
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Publication:CD Computing News
Date:Dec 29, 2009

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