Watch History Specials

History Specials are a series of television series created by the History Channel. Each series covers a different time period in history and is created in a documentary like style to talk about the past. The topics range from ancient Greece to the psychedelic 1960s. Each episode is made up of reenactment segments and interviews with people who either lived in that area or who are very knowledgeable on the subject (like professors at universities who teach the subject matter).

A&E
3 Seasons, 175 Episodes
January 31, 2008
History
7.2/10
Cast: Trace Adkins, Bobby Bowden, James Carville, Jeff Foxworthy
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History Specials Full Episode Guide

  • This two-hour biography explores the life of David Cassidy during his final days.

  • This two-hour special takes viewers inside the new world of futuristic conventional warfare. It's an explosive, escalating journey through the modern development of the U.S. and worldwide arsenals, highlighting the critical technological turning points of the post-WWII age, the most fearsome weapons in circulation now, and the mind-blowing armaments in development that will soon eclipse anything seen thus far. From hypersonic missiles and laser weapons to space-based kill vehicles and swarm drones, Rise of the Superbombs is packed with stunning CGI, newly declassified footage, insider insights from senior officers and engineers, and a series of immersive field tests dissecting the science behind how these mega-weapons work.

  • A gripping look at Putin's rise from humble beginnings to brutal dictatorship, and his emergence as one of the gravest threats to America's security.

  • September 11th... Pearl Harbor... the assassination of JFK. Days that forever changed America. But the Kennedy assassination is different: 50 years after it happened, most Americans think we don't know who did it.

  • This two-hour documentary captures the amazing life and times of our nation's forgotten founding father: Alexander Hamilton. Exploring the iconic American political and financial institutions he helped to create, from the US Mint and Wall Street to the two-party political system, we'll examine Hamilton's enormous influence that still resonates today.

  • Stonework experts Jim and Bill Vieira continue their hunt for the Lost Colony of Roanoke by analyzing the inscription on the mysterious Dare Stone against the 400-year-old historical record. By lining up passages on the stone with clues left behind by Captain John Smith of Jamestown, the Vieiras set out on a search for evidence that could reveal the location of the Lost Colony, and change American history.

  • For centuries, the disappearance of 117 colonists from Roanoke Island has been this country's oldest mystery. Now, stonework experts Jim and Bill Vieira will use cutting-edge technology to take a deeper look at a mysterious inscription, which could finally lead to the truth about the lost colony.

  • Comprised of two interviews with President Barack Obama conducted both before and after the 2016 Presidential election, The 44th President: In His Own Words is the President's first-hand account of his time in office--his successes, his failures, his unfinished business--and what he hopes will be his legacy. Including additional interviews with members of his staff, Congress, and the press, The 44th President: In His Own Words is a unique examination of the Obama presidency from the inside out, and a profound and candid historical record that will stand for generations.

  • This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The truth behind Pearl Harbor is explored through new revelations from previously undisclosed documents that expose the appalling intelligence and military blunders that allowed the early warning signs of the Japanese attack to be missed.

  • This documentary special takes us on a journey through the "day that will live in infamy," by exploring the biggest stories and lesser known details that still surprise us 75 years later. Accounts from experts, military minds, and even those who lived through it, will show how this tragedy continues to shape our country today.

  • How does a local militia run by a former criminal become the world's most feared terrorist organization--a self-proclaimed state able to coordinate and inspire deadly attacks in cities and towns around the world? ISIS: Rise of Terror reveals the origins of the Islamic State

  • While many agree that Nostradamus predicted some of the most tumultuous and destructive events in history (including World War II and 9/11), there is a growing body of evidence that points to Nostradamus predicting the winner of this year's Presidential Election.

  • Tells the extraordinary stories of three people who infiltrated white hate groups in an effort to bring them down from the inside. But these individuals unknowingly become part of fighting something far larger: the tight network of American white supremacy groups that is growing bolder and stronger every day.

  • Featuring best-selling author and History host Brad Meltzer, this program uncovers the mystery and search of the iconic Ground Zero 9/11 Flag. Captured in an iconic photo that galvanized America, the flag disappeared on 9/11. Along with key forensic and art crimes experts, Brad attempts to unravel the mystery.

  • History's Emmy Award-winning, and critically acclaimed documentary chronicled the terror of 9/11 in real-time. It is a minute by minute account of the catastrophe unfolding, using footage from numerous sources, including personal camcorder footage, police and fire department recordings.

  • Featuring interviews with key political figures including President George W Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Rudolph Giuliani, Michael Bloomberg, and media heavy hitters Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Matt Lauer and Matthew Broderick, this documentary event examines 9/11 through the lens of the last 15 years. Brought to life by photos declassified in 2016, recently released documents from the 9/11 commission, and never before heard stories from photographers and first responders, a new perspective will arise to provide an unrivaled viewpoint of the historic attack.

  • 50 YEARS OF STAR TREK celebrates the phenomenon that is the Star Trek franchise from its origins as a primetime television series to the worldwide blockbuster it¢‚¬„¢s become.

  • Killer, drug smuggler, folk hero, Houdini of jailhouse escapes--the legend of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is well known. But now this two-hour documentary special reveals an unprecedented look at the man behind the myth and how his international drug cartel impacts us right here at home.

  • The greatest minds in history have pointed to the theoretical possibility of time travel, but what if there were signs that human beings have already traveled through time?

  • The swagger. The outrageous pronouncements. The ego. The wealth. The hair. This is the story of how Donald John Trump became "The Donald". And how a kid from Queens took New York City by storm, survived two failed marriages and several failed businesses, and managed to reinvent himself as one of America's preeminent cultural icons.

  • There has been an enormous change in how this country views cannabis. Today, some states allow some form of medical marijuana and four have outright legalized it. This two-hour special will take a 360-degree look at the growing industry that is marijuana. The growers, the smokers, the opponents, the entrepreneurs...it's a deep dive into the history and the current landscape in the ever changing world of marijuana.

  • Every day our planet faces cataclysmic events that threaten our very existence. Whether from natural or manmade forces, rising from the earth or menacing from space, the world seems beset by more catastrophes than ever.

  • How did a French prophet living in 16th century France predict so many modern day disasters? From the tragic events of 9/11, to recent tsunamis in the Pacific, to the Ebola outbreak in 2014--how could one man see so far into the future so accurately? It's because he had a secret--and now, we know what it was.

  • Craig Beals, High School Science teacher and Montana's 2015 Teacher of the Year is on a lifelong mission to explore and reveal the planet's most surprising secrets. Beal believes the world is the ultimate classroom and the best way to uncover its secrets is by doing off-the-wall experiments.

  • The 90s holiday season began with cheer as Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev resigned on Christmas Day. Desktop computers, Tickle Me Elmo and the latest Beanie Baby toys were on everyone's Christmas list. And Socks the Cat got his own Christmas decorations at the White House.

  • The 80s were all about the Walkman, Cabbage Patch Kids, and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Relive the splendor of Clark Griswold's Christmas light display, and rock out as now classic hits by Run DMC and Band Aid set the soundtrack for the holiday season.

  • America's "Supermax" prisons are supposed to be inescapable fortresses, designed to keep the worst of the worst safely locked away from society. But with enough time, preparation and sheer guts it's amazing what convicts are capable of pulling off.

  • In the 1970s we traveled to a galaxy far far away with our Star Wars action figures and visited Big Bird on Sesame Street. And though the holidays were tense as we waited anxiously for American hostages to be released in Iran, we were also able to enjoy the fun of Pet Rocks

  • Christmas in the 1960s was a turbulent time, marked by the tragic loss of JFK and absent loved ones fighting in Vietnam. A live Christmas Eve broadcast from Apollo 8 astronauts offered peace and hope to all on Earth, and Charlie Brown reminded us of the true meaning of Christmas.

  • The year 2015 marks the 60th anniversary of Albert Einstein's death... and the disappearance of his brain. Stolen by the doctor trusted to perform his autopsy, scientists over the decades have examined this priceless specimen to try and determine what made this seemingly normal man change the face of science and define the word genius.

  • Seventy-five years ago, the discovery of a set of stones gripped the world, shocked historians, and destroyed careers in an attempt to find the answer to America's lost colony of Roanoke. Regardless of their veracity, the stones shed light on America's first mystery, and are a beacon to those who are drawn to the lost colony of Roanoke. Today, historian David LaVere, the leading authority on the stones, is about to launch an investigation that may finally answer the question of what happened to the lost colony. Joined by stonemasons Jim and Bill Viera, and funded by an ailing North Carolina businessman, Frederick Lawson Willard, the team will come together to simultaneously try to authenticate the first stone and take part in an unprecedented excavation in hopes to solve the riddle once and for all.

  • In 1962 John Anglin, Clarence Anglin, and Frank Morris broke out of the toughest penitentiary America had ever conceived--Alcatraz. Presumed dead, their bodies were never found. Now, more than 50 years later, the family of the Anglin brothers is coming forward for the first time with new evidence and secrets that could crack open this iconic cold case. We'll follow the family as they work alongside a retired lawman who has been obsessed with this case for decades. Together they will go further than anyone has ever been able to go before...to solve the "Riddle of the Rock" once and for all.

  • This one-hour special will dig deep into the core of "The Rock," detailing its imprint on our national psyche with fresh and revealing interviews from those who know the true story of Alcatraz. We'll examine the mythology surrounding this penitentiary.

  • Amazing people, amazing places and amazing things! This special zips across the US looking for the facts. From our founding fathers' favorite treats to buried treasure, very old bones from a swamp to the ever-expanding earth, gold and gems in unusual places to whiskers in the White House, lightning, volcanoes and presidential grandchildren. So many facts--so little time!

  • This special examines the historic poppy plant and three of its deadliest derivatives: opium, morphine and heroin. In ancient times, the poppy was considered divine, often used in "magic." In the 19th and 20th centuries, however, its addicting and lethal narcotics caused unprecedented national outrage, social upheaval and transformation. Opium alone sparked two wars between Britain and China, resulting in Hong Kong becoming a British colony. Although used by the upper classes as patent medicines to inspire creativity, heroin became the bane of society when the working class began to use it. Therefore, in 1914, Federal law banned heroin and opium, and restricted morphine to medicinal use. Interestingly, illegality increased heroin's demand and cost. From Civil War veterans and service men in Vietnam, from Hollywood to Silicon Valley and Wall Street, "heroin chic" has continued to flourish as the underground drug.

  • A scientist searches for answers to his son's mysterious death in the Algerian desert, and discovers a vortex of unexplained activity similar to the Bermuda Triangle. His investigation uncovers eleven other "Vile Vortices" around the world, where some of the planet's most unusual and disturbing events are taking place. Bizarre animal attacks, unexplained weather patterns, and passenger jets disappearing right out of the sky might only be the beginning of a greater, looming threat. Could these vortices have been created by extra-terrestrials? Is the government hiding their existence? And can anything be done to neutralize them? This is the exclusive documentary that follows the expedition as they race to unlock the secrets at all costs.

  • Marcus Robinson's inspiring documentary chronicles the reconstruction of the World Trade Center and restoration of the New York City skyline. Eight years in the making, this special focuses on the construction workers who performed the Herculean task. They were the men and women who did the heavy lifting once the dream to rebuild was set into motion on the 16-acre site that witnessed the worst terrorist attack on American soil. Robinson, an Irish artist and filmmaker renowned for architectural and industrial photography, arrived on the site in 2006, five years after the original World Trade Center was destroyed in the September 11 attacks. He placed 13 cameras throughout the site to document eight years of progress with stunning time-lapse imagery, and shadowed workers every step of the way as they turned a pile of ashes into a towering testament to imagination and resilience.

  • What does Thomas Jefferson have to do with your lights? How is Henry Ford connected to your grill? What does your pool have to do with taxidermy? From settling the American West to landing on Mars, every one of mankind's greatest achievements is hidden in your house; you just need to know how and where to look. Now, Kevin O'Connor, the host of PBS's This Old House, is on an H2 mission to deconstruct the American home and reveal the History hidden inside. You'll never look at your house the same way again.

  • Holy Grail in America

  • The Real Wolfman

  • How do you honor the memory and legacy of over 3,000 lives lost to the terror attacks of 9/11? That is the challenge facing the creators of the National 9/11 Memorial Museum, opening in 2014. This world premiere special documents the stories of five objects that will soon be displayed in the National 9/11 Memorial Museum.

  • From the catapult to the stealth fighter, the most basic and the most complex weapons alike have changed the course of history--and with it, our world. Whether it s the Chinese fire tube or the US Air Force s laser-guided smart bombs, weapons have enabled humans to be the ultimate predator at every corner of history and fueled the expansion of every empire. But despite the constant evolution of weapons with all their shock-inducing and awe-inspiring capabilities, some of the simplest weapons (such as the AK-47 with its nine moving parts) kill more people in one year (a quarter-million) than the combined deaths of the Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 (160,000 combined.) This is the ultimate countdown of every "boom" and "bang" since we began walking upright.

  • This countdown special reveals the weapons, inventions and vehicles that shaped and decided World War II. Counting down from 10 to 1, we ll provide an expert-led analysis of key game changers, from every theatre of the war. Designed to include surprising information and packed with visually stunning CGI, these instruments of WWII will come to life like never before.

  • An exciting race against time to uncover the lost wrecks of WWII's most epic campaign... the Battle of the Atlantic. Ian Lawler and a team of deep sea divers are on a mission to map the lost wrecks of the battle. But it isn't easy. The dive season is short, the weather is wild, and the wrecks are rusting away. The team has to fight high winds, terrible sea conditions and unexpected challenges to chart these forgotten wrecks and reveal the untold stories of the Battle. Will Ian and the team be able to complete their mission in time? The Pentagon's naval expert Dr. Randy Papadopolous, and German U-boat specialist Dr. Axel Niestle are on hand to study the underwater footage, identify the wrecks and help Ian piece together the stories behind the Battle. Could one of the wrecks prove to be Hitler's deadliest U-boat?

  • Get ready to go on the job with the people who make iconic Stetson cowboy hats, woodworkers who create baseball bats from scratch for Major League Baseball, and a man whose high-stakes job is to keep a nuclear facility in Connecticut safe from terrorist attacks. And we'll stop people on the street to see if they'll answer the taboo question: "How much do you earn?

  • Why are salaries so taboo in America? We'll finally find out--and get people to spill what's in their paychecks. Along the way, we'll meet a small business owner who turned his leather football-making hobby into a growing small business, factory workers with a long history of manufacturing combat knives for the Marines, and the expert beer brewers at Samuel Adams. And we'll learn incredible facts about American salaries past and present, including what George Washington earned as President.

  • This 2-hour special, narrated by Deon Cole, gives a fresh perspective of the black movement in America, from Emancipation to the Civil Rights era. The special uses first-hand accounts, rare audio recordings, never-before-seen archival footage, and home movies to chronicle African American life as lived by regular people, in their own words, through 150 years of social upheaval.

  • As we look at the world around us, we think we're seeing things as they really are. But in fact, our human senses can only perceive less than 1% of what's actually there. The rest is invisible. Every day, unseen rays and waves bombard us. All around us there's an infinite, invisible ecosystem of wondrous and sometimes terrifying microorganisms struggling to survive. With the naked eye we can't see the things that are too fast or too slow, too big or too small...until now. In this fascinating documentary, we count down the 40 most amazing things you can't see with the human eye. We use the latest in cutting edge technology, and state of the art CGI animation to reveal the astonishing reality of the invisible world around us.

  • Our lives are so full of stuff these days that the average object is instantly forgettable. But, when fate and history combine, even the simplest of objects become infused with destiny--so much so that they actually change the world. It may look like a lump of rock, but if it's a Moon Rock then it stands for mankind's giant leap. And while it's just a twisted loop of steel, if it's a Slinky it bounces us back to our youth. Sometimes a guitar is just a guitar, but if the guitar you're playing is Jimmy Hendrix's, then you're touching a generation. Some objects are one-of-a-kind (King Tut's mask,) others are ubiquitous (the wedding ring,) but they touch us all...personally and universally. They're icons, and without them, the world wouldn't be the same.

  • Across borders, cultures and time, food is one thing that all people share. And from the time of the caveman to today s spaceman we like our food to go. While the burger and fries reign supreme in the world of fast food, grub on the go has taken us way past the drive-thru. Quick eats like beef jerky have allowed us to explore new frontiers and pocket-sized portables like protein bars enable us to push our bodies to the limit, no matter the conditions. Fueled by pizza, we have burned the midnight oil, and from the battleground (MREs) to the final frontier (space food,) food is always along for the ride. This is the countdown of fast foods that takes us back, propels us forward, and sometimes even gazes into the future (the fortune cookie.)

  • It starts with a spark, but some ideas catch fire and in the process change the world. Necessity is the mother of invention--from darkness, man found light (the candle) and from even the farthest distances we can still find each other (the telephone). But some inventions have transformed our lives far beyond our homes (the steam engine), our planet (the telescope), and our wildest dreams (the Internet). This countdown highlights how human ingenuity comes in all shapes and sizes. Some were born from the humblest means (the hammer) while others push the limits of what was ever believed possible (the airplane). But regardless of the ratio of inspiration to perspiration, each invention to make the cut was destined to change our lives forever.

  • Brad Meltzer connects the dots between ancient doomsday prophecy, modern science, and human behavior to decode the real threats to humanity when an extinction event strikes. Across the country, "preppers" are building and stocking underground bunkers and drawing up escape plans in anticipation of the apocalypse, but will they survive 2012?

  • This spectacular two-hour special delivers the tipping points of World War II as you ve never seen them before. The key editorial feature of the program is an all-seeing CGI eye; a satellite, flying above earth, bringing a new visual approach to the biggest conflict of all time. Flying through space and time from above, we ll see these monumental moments in their global context, bringing new information to the forefront and explaining how a nation ranked 19th in the world s militaries in 1939, emerged six years later as the planet s only atomic superpower. Our view from above means we can re-interpret WWII; placing key events in perspective, flying around the world to show the importance of simultaneity, revealing the hidden ripple effects of crucial incidents, and re-creating ground-breaking moments that could never have been captured on camera.

  • Hurricane Sandy was one of the most devastating super storms to hit our shores, claiming over 160 lives and causing billions of dollars in damage. This special examines what happened when Sandy hit and how it happened. We also hunt for clues that could reveal if we are entering an age when bigger, more deadly storms will become a regular occurrence. Is it possible to tell when the next super storm will strike and ultimately will we be prepared?

  • Forged over 4.6 billion years, the Earth is stacked with valuable riches, from timber to cattle to gold. Together, these resources have built our greatest civilizations. But what if we could scan the planet as if it were in a checkout line, counting up every tree and every nugget of gold left on Earth in the biggest inventory ever attempted? WHAT'S THE EARTH WORTH will put a price tag on everything the planet has to offer, look at how much we've used through human history and how much is left, to reveal the absolute value of the Earth.

  • Master illusionist Steve Cohen tracks down, decodes, and resurrects some of the most thrilling and terrifying magic effects ever witnessed. Magic has a secret history, and it takes an insider like Cohen to gain access to the ancient incantations, secret sorcery, and mysterious contraptions that have shocked audiences for centuries. Can their secrets somehow be rediscovered? And can they thrill and shock today's audiences like they once did? Explore the mysteries of how these legendary effects were influenced by their times, and even how the illusions themselves changed the course of history. Steve Cohen discovers that there is much more to magic than meets the eye, and he becomes drawn closer and closer to taking the same sometimes death-defying risks that conjurors have been taking for the sake of an illusion since magic began, over a thousand years ago.

  • With the help of one controversial magazine challenging the roles of men and women, 20th-century American culture experienced a climax of reformation in sex, the sexes, race relations and freedom of speech. From the boardroom to the bedroom, HISTORY hops into the Playboy realm offering viewers a tantalizing glimpse through the pages of this 50+-year-old empire while discovering How Playboy Changed the World.

  • Known around the world for his vision and ability to turn raw metals into art, Jesse James still has one metalworking discipline he hasn't yet mastered. In the special Jesse James Blacksmith on HISTORY, Jesse travels to Israel to study under world-renowned blacksmith Uri Hofi to learn how to forge metal. Uri is Jesse's type of guy; over the years, he's had the courage to question tradition and convention and has developed new forging systems. Uri teaches his craft all over the world, including inside prisons, and is used to tough guys like Jesse. So when the two strong-willed artisans get together, it can be a clash of the craftsmen. But after absorbing some of Uri's very radical ideas, Jesse returns to his shop in Long Beach to apply what he's learned to build his most spectacular bike yet.

  • The gripping story of an immigrant family that's held us captive for decades continues to make HISTORY. The Godfather trilogy's epic saga became a phenomenon as a best-selling novel and then burst onto the big screen in 1972. On the eve of its 40th anniversary, it remains one of cinema's most iconic films, and the Corleone family continues to influence popular culture. THE GODFATHER LEGACY includes exclusive interviews with the filmmakers, historians, FBI agents, federal prosecutors, and real Mafiosi whose lives and careers have been changed by the films.

  • Who was the first U.S. President from New York? What pre-Revolutionary event involved an unauthorized boarding of the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver? This school year, thousands of students from across the U.S. faced tough questions like these in the first annual National History Bee Competition. The top scorers, one from each of 32 regions, qualified for a two-day National Championship held in Washington, D.C. on May 11-12, where one young scholar walked away with a $50,000 scholarship and a national championship title. HISTORY will air the final rounds of this first-ever, fast-paced competition, in which students will race to demonstrate their knowledge of history from a wide array of eras and disciplines. Al Roker will serve as the moderator during the competition, and the special will be hosted by HISTORY/H2's Brian Unger. Joining them as a roving reporter will be Rutledge Wood from Top Gear, along with expert commentator Bob Harris.

  • It was called "unsinkable" and its power to fascinate remains unequalled. How was the ship wounded so quickly by an iceberg, forcing 1500 people beneath the waves of the North Atlantic? To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, HISTORY partnered with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and RMS Titanic, Inc. for the most extensive exploration and imaging ever undertaken of the wreck site in Titanic at 100: Mystery Solved. For the first time, the entire ship and debris field is made visible in stunning HD and 3D-HD. CGI illustrates what happened structurally to the ship, minute by minute, after the collision. Never-before-seen views dramatically underscore this tragic history.

  • Nazi Titanic is the amazing and unknown story of one of the most bizarre chapters of WWII. In the middle of the war, Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, who was fascinated by the Titanic, decided to make a movie based on the sinking of the ship. This movie was so large in its scale, the Nazis were forced to divert men, materials and ships from their war effort in order to complete the film. Over the course of production, Herbert Selpin, the movie's original director, clashed with Goebbels over their differing visions for the project. Selpin was arrested by the Gestapo and found dead in his cell the next day. Nazi Titanic reveals this little-known story by investigating the making of the film, what happened to the original, as well as the Ally sinking of the Arcona - the German liner used in the film to represent the Titanic - just days before the end of WWII, and how one Hollywood movie used footage from the Nazi-film to portray the sinking of the Titanic.

  • In this two-hour H2 special, historian and weapons expert Mike Loades goes medieval diving deep into the world of the Middle Ages. From the 5th to the 15th centuries, Mike battles the realities vs. the myths of this extraordinary time crusading for the core of real life while delivering fun-filled facts. From living, working and fighting to how to keep a knight's armor shiny using a vigorous rub of sand, vinegar and urine, Going Medieval is an expert account of life during medieval times.

  • For centuries, science and faith have been polarized on some of the most fundamental questions in the universe, sometimes with deadly consequences. But as mankind seeks to answer the ultimate question--whether God exists--religion and science have joined in an unlikely alliance. Can new scientific discoveries and digital age technology reveal tangible proof of God? From the far reaches of the cosmos to the inner working of the human mind, scientists and believers around the world are using science to open new frontiers in this ultimate quest.

  • This momentous special reveals the untold story of the little-known, yet pivotal, events that occurred after President Roosevelt received the call that Pearl Harbor had been attacked on December 7, 1941. Author Steve Gillon (The Kennedy Assassination: 24 Hours After) has unearthed new evidence from the FDR Library that shows the true panic that gripped the White House and shook the nation. Fearing an aerial attack in Washington, D.C., the underfunded U.S. Army assembled wooden sticks on the White House roof to resemble weapons from above. Concerned that a Japanese assassin might try to take Roosevelt's life as they drove him to Congress to deliver his speech, the Treasury Department used a bulletproof car confiscated from Al Capone. For the first time, the FDR library provides details that offer an intimate look at the paralyzed man behind the presidency, and how he had to be lifted out of bed and placed in braces and straps to hold him upright during his pivotal December 7th speech when he declared it a date which will live in infamy.

  • Two years ago, a German family cleaning their attic discovered the original blueprints to one of history's most gruesome constructions - Auschwitz. The diagrams, never before seen on television, illustrate in painstaking detail the methods behind the madness of the Holocaust. While the Holocaust has become a symbol of man's gravest inhumanity, it was as much an elaborate machine as any of man's other inventions.

  • Most people believe zombies are a recent phenomenon that grew out of comic books, movies and TV. The truth is very different. This two-hour special explores the real story of zombies beginning at the dawn of civilization and continuing right through to today. The first written reference to zombies can be found in the Epic of Gilgamesh, mankind's oldest work of literature. A look at both the old and new testaments of The Bible reveal numerous stories of the undead. We'll detail how Europe's Black Plague became one of the most prolific periods for myths and legends about zombies. Find out why Viking legends believed zombies were nearly indestructible except by decapitation or immolation. Examine other zombie legends from around the world, including secret stories of China's Terra Cotta Warriors and the voodoo rituals of Haiti. See how modern science added a whole new twist on zombies beginning with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

  • A rapid-fire history of our world, from the beginning of time as we know it to present day. This two-hour CGI-driven special delves into the key turning points: the formation of earth, emergence of life, spread of man and the growth of civilization--and reveals their surprising connections to our world today.

  • From the early cave dwellers who first stumbled upon psychedelic mushrooms to the over 6000-year-old tradition of opium cultivation in the East to a modern pharmaceutical industry with over 24,000 drugs on the market, drugs have played a role in our lives since well before recorded human history. Explore the reasons we've used drugs through the ages, while considering the devastating consequences that accompany the choice to use certain drugs. This fascinating, fresh, and insightful documentary will ask the question: overall, have drugs done more to help us or hurt us? Host Dean Norris will journey through the millennia and look in on the greatest civilizations in human history to discover if drugs helped these societies flourish or fail and whether drug use was holy or hedonistic, a savior or a curse?

  • HISTORY'S commitment to honoring the memories of 9/11 continues with a modern marvel. The only structure at Ground Zero that will be completed by the tenth anniversary of the attacks is the National September 11 Memorial. Situated on eight acres within the footprints of the Twin Towers, two 30-foot waterfalls will cascade into below-surface reflecting pools, reminiscent of the voids left after the attacks. An illuminated bronze parapet inscribed with the names of the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives on 9/11 and in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing will surround each of the two squares, and a landscaped memorial plaza forested with hundreds of oak trees will form a park-like space around them. Architect Michael Arad goes onsite to describe the design behind his work, and contractor Chris Powers discusses the engineering challenges he faced when bringing Arad's design to life. As the largest pieces of the memorial are trucked into the city and put into place, this one-hour tour documents history in the making.

  • He was the world's most wanted terrorist, and his death ended the costliest manhunt in American history. On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, HISTORY tells the inside story of the operation to hunt and kill Osama bin Laden. From decision-making in the White House to SEAL Team Six's attack on the compound in Abbottabad, How We Got Bin Laden weaves minute-by-minute strategies, dangerous tension and explosive action into a compelling drama-documentary. Probing interviews with key politicians, spies, generals, special force operatives, and al Qaeda experts in the U.S. and Pakistan combine rigorous journalistic standards with state-of-the art filmmaking to bring the most compelling story in recent history to life for the first time.

  • Some believe the earliest documentation of alien visitation to Earth exists in prehistoric cave paintings and petroglyphs, where drawings of strange humanoid figures feature distinctively non-human attributes and anatomy, including helmets and other accoutrements too advanced to be from the ancient world.

  • The idea that history is written by the victors is perhaps nowhere more true than in the aftermath of the American Civil War. The Union's defeat of the Confederacy brought the southern states back into the American fold, but in many ways, the two regions would remain divided, the North inheriting the credit for its impact on history.

  • Jamie Stachowski, the maestro of meat, lifts the lid on the American melting pot to see what's cooking. Beef, Pork and Chicken, the meats Jamie calls the "Usual Suspects" are definitely in the mix, but these animals weren't even on the continent before Columbus discovered the New World.

  • Produced with the cooperation of leading Civil War historian and Forrest Gump author Winston Groom, Lee and Grant is a personal look at the two iconic leaders of the Civil War. Surprising details reveal the bold choices and almost godlike power Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee summoned on decisive battlefields like Vicksburg and Gettysburg that, within days of each other, turned the tide of the war and changed the course of American history.

  • New evidence is highlighted that there may have been a lone survivor of the iconic Battle of Little Big Horn whose account of 'Custer's Last Stand' changes our view of that historical day. Who was the female Cheyenne warrior who struck Custer's fatal blow? Why did he leave his ultimate weapons, three Gatlin guns, on the boat that took him West? HISTORY raises old questions and reveals startling new truths in Custer's Last Man: I Survived Little Big Horn.

  • Gathered from archives and attics and now seen for the first time, these extremely-rare home movies tell the story of the children of Joseph and Rose Kennedy, as they grew up in the 1930s and 40s through November 1963, and include scenes of the last weekend Jack and Jackie Kennedy spent with Caroline and John, Jr., just two weeks before Dallas. The movies provide behind-the-scenes footage of the family at their Hyannis Port and Palm Beach homes, and on trips to Europe and Asia. Also featured are never-before-seen home movies filmed by Robert and Ethel Kennedy in the early 1950s. This footage, shot by the Kennedys and their closest friends, allows viewers to experience the forces and personalities that shaped their lives as never before. Interviews with family members of Kennedy friends provide fresh anecdotes and colorful stories, and distinguished historians contribute new insights into this larger-than-life American family.

  • We Americans like to think we know our President. We followed him during the campaign, invited him into our living rooms during countless televised appearances and even learned about his cholesterol count after each annual physical at Bethesda.

  • Today's world has troubles unique to its time in history, from the global financial crisis to technological meltdowns to full-scale, computerized global war. HISTORY profiles three men "modern prophets" from different disciplines and with different theories who all believe America is on the decline, and will ultimately meet its end.

  • Moments after the President of the United States is sworn into office he gains access to "The Nuclear Football," a briefcase that contains the most volatile top-secret information in the world--America's nuclear launch codes.

  • Experience what it would have been like to be present at history's most world-changing moments in What Went Down, the gripping series from HISTORY that serves as an HD time machine to the past. From the showdown at the Alamo to the cockpit of a Japanese plane at Pearl Harbor, What Went Down brings crucial historical events vividly to life. With the help of top CGI artists and on-location experts, each detail of these earth-shaking moments is meticulously investigated and researched, allowing viewers to see history from firsthand angles and points of view, as if they were there themselves.

  • Experience what it would have been like to be present at history's most world-changing moments in What Went Down, the gripping series from HISTORY that serves as an HD time machine to the past. From the showdown at the Alamo to the cockpit of a Japanese plane at Pearl Harbor, What Went Down brings crucial historical events vividly to life.

  • Throughout history, tidal waves have drowned us, storm surges have sunk cities, and hurricanes and cyclones fueled by the ocean have blown away all in their path. Today, science forecasts that the oceans are getting fiercer, rising up to reshape our coastlines and create untold devastation, social unrest and economic crisis.

  • Get an unprecedented look at the most extreme missions of the most extreme job in the world. You have one shot, one scoped sight, one controlled breath, one squeeze of a honed trigger. In a fraction of a second, you will either be a hero who took out an enemy commander, or a lone hunter who has suddenly become the hunted. This special deconstructs and analyzes the most dangerous feats undertaken in the history of military warfare. The legendary snipers who are still alive will share never-before-told stories about their classified missions. What techniques were used by these sharpshooters?

  • Peer into the sex life of the ancients, from the princes and queens of Egypt to the prostitutes of Pompeii, in these two revealing episodes_4-18 of Sex in the Ancient World. Observe with HISTORY the world's first sex manual, the Egyptian Turin Papyrus, and a wonderfully preserved brothel in Pompeii where pleasure-seeking male and female clients expressed multiform desires.

  • On the edge of the Giza Plateau, a team of archaeologists is uncovering a giant pyramid. As they excavate deep into the pyramid chambers, evidence shows this is the lost fourth pyramid of Giza. Its construction five thousand years ago had been a race against time. In seven short years between gaining power and his death, the aging pharaoh Radjedef had been determined to exceed the achievements of his hated father, the great Khufu, the most powerful pharaoh Egypt ever knew. Radjedef would stamp his supremacy in this world and the next by erecting the highest pyramid ever built, towering some 60 feet above Khufu's Great Pyramid of Giza.

  • 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic has inspired years of conjecture and speculation, including numerous conflicting theories about how and why the liner plunged into the depths. In August 2005, a HISTORY expedition to Titanic, led by John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, found two huge intact sections of the ship's bottom, the original red paint still on them.

  • For nearly two centuries, the Knights Templar were the medieval world's most powerful order, a fearsome and unstoppable Crusader militia. Then came accusations of unspeakable crimes. Who were the Templars, really? How did they become so powerful, so fast, and why did they fall just as quickly? Evidence hints that the Templars excavated under Jerusalem's Temple of Solomon. What did they find there? Was it, as The Da Vinci Code suggests, the true identity of the Holy Grail--the bloodline of Christ?

  • The 2008 collapse of the nation's economy wreaked havoc on the American people. While the stock market imploded before them, some investors were devastated by a far more trusted source. See the personal chaos brought on to individual investors by Bernie Madoff, a popular and trusted investor from middle-class Queens, New York and alleged Ponzi schemer as experts dissect his $65 billion scam, from its humble beginnings to its stunning downfall, in Ripped Off: Madoff and the Scamming of America.

  • War, famine, plague According to the Book of Revelation in the Bible, these are three of the four horsemen of a coming apocalypse. The fourth? The anti-Christ, in human form, walking somewhere among us. Could this 2,000-year-old prophecy actually come true? And could it be about to happen today? In this fascinating special, HISTORYä decodes the ancient prophecy, which consists of seven signs within seven signs within seven more signs, and examines whether any of them could be linked to real or potential occurrences today, occurrences such as asteroids, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, red tides, global warming and plagues.

  • It was the largest manhunt in history - ten thousand federal troops, detectives and police hunted those responsible for the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The conspiracy was vast - an effort to decapitate the United States government at the end of the Civil War. The manhunt was intense - ending 12 days later in a fiery showdown with the man who pulled the trigger - John Wilkes Booth.

  • Primal Fear will be a two-hour Special detailing our most pervasive and terrifying fears. Each fear -- buried alive, eaten alive, drowning, burned alive, vermin, and the unknown - will be explored by looking at its history, the science behind it, and a contemporary experience.

  • In 2009, 46 years after he was shot, JFK will be gone for as long as he was alive. While the moments and hours after his tragic assassination were some of the most formative and important for our country, that story has rarely, and only partially, been told. For the first time, using never-before-seen transcripts only recently made public, this film pieces together the 24-hour period after those fateful shots were fired.

  • As incredible as anything in the pages of Tom Clancy or John le Carré, this is a gripping story of international intrigue, booze, drugs, sex, high society and arms deals. It is the true story of Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's and CIA operative Gust Avrakotos's covert dealings in Afghanistan, and how they armed the Afghan Mujahideen in what became the CIA's largest and most successful campaign in history. Their goal was to turn Afghanistan into the Soviet Union's Vietnam. The effort would blow back to haunt America into the next century.

  • Did you know that an extramarital affair launched the Civil War? Or that one of the things that made George Washington so appealing as a presidential choice was his sterility? Beltway Unbuckled explores the fascinating ways sexual politics have impacted and created American history. Many people think that the 2008 presidential election is the first time that sex and gender have played a role in American history, but that is far from the truth. In Beltway Unbuckled, we learn surprising and intriguing information about the lesser known facts that have shaped our country's history.

  • Most people think they communicate primarily with words, but research shows only 7% of understanding comes from the words we speak. The bulk of communication 93% occurs through our gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice and body movement. Delve into the science of non-verbal signals as Secrets of Body Language exposes a fascinating world of non-verbal communication that goes well beyond words. From President Franklin D. Roosevelt, to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and 2008 presidential hopefuls Senators Barack Obama and John McCain, see how politicians and celebrities use the subtle movements of body language to persuade masses, establish power, and advance careers.

  • Join ever-acerbic comedian Lewis Black on an odyssey through history to rediscover and understand the origins of the "Big Four" holidays - Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah and New Year's. Once the "happiest season of all," it's hard to deny that the 35 days between Thanksgiving and New Year's have become weighed-down with enough stress and anxiety - the shopping, the wrapping, the eating, the drinking, the card-writing, the obligations, the office parties, the pressures, the bills - to make even the most cheery holiday-goers bitter. What's with Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, and New Year's?

  • For nearly two centuries, the Knights Templar was the most powerful order in the medieval world. Despite the Knights' long reign of power, the order experienced a sudden collapse in the early fourteenth century when certain members stood accused of unspeakable crimes and were subsequently tortured and killed. Today, the group's legacy has been popularized in the writings of Dan Brown, and is played out in an array of Hollywood blockbusters and numerous other works of literature.

  • The course of history could have been so different if the first plot to kill Adolf Hitler, in 1939, had been successful. But Hitler proved a hard man to kill.

  • Viewers will go where only the most elite insiders from the highest levels of the US government are allowed--on board Air Force One. Discover what makes this uniquely modified Boeing 747 faster, more secure, more comfortable and more capable than any other comparable plane. Take a 20,000-mile voyage through the heart of Africa and join the crew and privileged passengers on one of Air Force One's most challenging missions.

  • "The Koran is one of the most important works ever written. For almost one billion people worldwide, it is the Holy Scripture, the word of God and his prophet. For others, it is a historical artifact that has left an indelible imprint on the world. DECODING THE PAST: SECRETS OF THE KORAN probes the heart of the work that many outside Islam find mysterious.

  • America's myth makers don't like to look into defeats for their heroes.

  • Since the beginning of time, 99% of all the animal and sea creatures that ever lived on Earth have become extinct. Watch as a paleontological forensics team employs technological devices such as CT scanning, computer imaging and x-ray beam technology to shed new light on these strange and horrifying beasts. Freakish armored carnivores, deadly murderous insects, and oversized herbivores that weighed in the tons are brought back to life in an effort to understand how they lived, and why they died.

  • The Roman Empire, rotten to the core by the fifth century, lay open to barbarian warriors. Europe was beset by famine, plague, persecutions, and a state of war that was so persistent it was only rarely interrupted by peace. These centuries are remembered today as the Dark Ages. Beneath this cloak of darkness were people like Charlemagne, St. Benedict and the Empress Theodora who helped to bridge the gap of civilization between Rome and the Renaissance.

  • It was a time of cataclysmic change a disruption in the global climate unlike anything the earth had ever seen caused a flash relapse into ice-age conditions. Suddenly the temperature in North America plummeted, blizzards and ice storms took over and the mile-high glaciers of the ice age re-advanced. Mammoths, saber-tooth cats, and dire wolves were all driven into extinction...but somehow, humans survived. Using state-of-the-art computer graphics, Journey to 10,000 BC re-creates the events of this lost world and attempts to solve the mystery of mankind's continued existence.

  • All warfare is based on deception. Therefore, when capable of attacking, feign incapacity; when active in moving troops, feign inactivity. When near the enemy, make it seem that you are far away; when far away, make it seem that you are near. - Sun TzuSun Tzu was the Nostradamus of warfare and his book Art of War, written 2,400 years ago, is still the ultimate how-to guide for winning at war. This feature-length HISTORY special weaves together the epic story of Sun Tzu himself, and a war that occurred soon after his death in which a city was saved using his tactics, paving the way toward the unification of China. Art of War is an emotional, epic and ultimately visual understanding of Sun Tzu's lessons, telling the story of other great battles in history, from Rome to the Civil War, WWII and the present day, that help to illustrate that on the battlefields of war, people who understand strategy are the most dangerous weapons of all.

  • Crash: The Next Great Depression?--these celestial travelers have forever filled us with fear and wonder. Lurking in the furthest reaches of our solar system, they come close to Earth as they orbit our Sun. Could something as destructive as comets hold the key to life? Are the building blocks of carbon-based life forms frozen inside? Might they contain information about the creation of our solar system? At the conclusion of two spectacular NASA missions that sent spaceships to rendezvous with these mysterious objects, we examine the scientific and historical record of comets, including man's reaction to them.

  • He would become an emperor more powerful than Napoleon, capture more territory than Alexander the Great and create the largest army the world has ever seen. In 240 B.C. Chin Shi Huang Di, ruler of the Qin Kingdom, rose to power, defeated six states and created an empire that would lay the groundwork for modern day China. Learn about the life and times of this unique leader and see what still remains of the Qin Dynasty today--from the Great Wall of China to the army of 8,000 life-sized terracotta warriors and horses that guard his empire in the afterlife.

  • Apocalyptic dust storms once blackened American skies, causing destruction, disease and financial ruin on an unimaginable scale.

  • Get an inside look at the past, present and future of great joke-telling in this provocative journey to discover the secret ingredients of a great joke. Celebrated comedian Lewis Black's side-splitting adventure uncovers what it takes to tell the perfect joke timing, surprise, sex, pain, hard work, and plenty of humiliating failure all elements firmly rooted in ancient comedic tradition.

  • Armageddon. It is a universal theme that has spanned centuries and cultures, and has, as some say, become increasingly more relevant today. Surprisingly, however, a final chapter of this apocalyptic end has received little examination: the actual final battle between God and Satan, good and evil. The Bible points to a battlefield at Meggido in present day Israel, with each side taking a series of steps that will lead up to, and unfold, during this actual battle. What will this battle look like? Where do the stories come from, and how have they differed throughout history, between religions? God vs. Satan: The Final Battle will take viewers on a tour of the final days, and moments, as envisioned by believers of the three Abrahamic religions.

  • Explore the earliest history of our planet and how it evolved to support a rich and vibrant menagerie of creeping, crawling, walking creatures in How Life Began. Visually stunning animation supplemented with expert interviews from leading historians, geologists and physicists, plus expeditions to exotic locations combined with cutting-edge science, help tease out answers about life's origins. Was life triggered by some event (like lightning hitting a pond full of amino acids) or did it float from some distant galaxy on the back of a meteor? Can we create life in a laboratory?

  • They claim they're merely a civic-minded fraternity, bound together by harmless rituals. But throughout their long history, the Freemasons have been reviled as devil worshippers, accused of provoking revolution, and suspected of plotting to take over the world. This two-part series from HISTORY uses dramatic reenactments, expert interviews, sophisticated CGI, and original location footage to transport viewers back to the time when Freemasons led the Revolution, framed the Declaration of Independence, designed our nation's capital and, in the early years of the Republic, grew to unmatched heights of influence and power.

  • Throughout history, crucifixion has been one of the cruelest and most excruciating ways to die. Approximately 500 years before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Persian King Darius crucified political opponents and both Alexander the Great and Caligula used crucifixion as a means of punishment and entertainment. Watch as a team of forensic experts reconstruct a 2000-year-old body using the only physical evidence of a crucifixion ever discovered.

  • Against a morning sky, a mushroom cloud spirals heavenward. A nuclear bomb has detonated in the heart of Washington D.C., incinerating 15,000 residents in just 15 seconds. More than 50% of the population living within a half-mile radius of the explosion is either dead or severely injured. The next 24 hours will determine whether the rest of the city lives or dies. To survive this horrific ordeal they will need a plan. And lucky for them there is one. But will it work?

  • The target of a daring assassination plot by members of his military, Hitler nearly died at Wolf's Lair, his main wartime headquarters. It was one of 15 known attempts on his life. This is the story of those diverse individuals who tried to alter history's course, and of a top secret British plot to kill the most hated man on earth.

  • Archaeologist Jim Turner was island-hopping somewhere near the Marshall or Solomon Islands when he discovered a giant monolith he claims the Mayans believed their Gods would descend to observe the end of the world. Hidden for centuries to all but a handful of people, Mayan symbols on the statue predict the site to be the best vantage point for observing the total solar eclipse they believe will signal the dreaded 2012 apocalypse. The shock is that the island is located in the South Pacific, a long way from home for the Mayans, who are thought to have been a non-seafaring people. How could the Mayans have navigated so far across the sea to this location, and how could they have known their destination? Travel with HISTORY to this hidden place, where Turner, who spent ten years preparing for this expedition, will attempt to prove the significance of the ancient statue through extensive analysis, including carbon dating techniques to pinpoint the era when the rock was carved and where it came from, and interviews with elders of the ancient tribe that has called this the island home for centuries.

  • Who were the real powers behind the men who would be President of the United States? Who were they that even presidents trembled before them? Mothers! This feature-length special, based on the book First Mothers: The Women Who Shaped the Presidents by Time Magazine correspondent and bureau chief Bonnie Angelo, takes a look at the lives of ten mothers of world leaders, including aristocrat Sara Delano Roosevelt, pacifist Ida Eisenhower, family matriarch Rose Kennedy, stoic Hannah Milhous Nixon, courageous Dorothy Ford, Peace Corps mother Lillian Carter, actress Nelle Reagan, champion athlete Dorothy Bush, hard-living Virginia Clinton, and Barbara Bush, the former First Lady and later First Mother.

  • On Friday the 13th of October 1972, a charter plane carrying 45 rugby team members crashed in the remote Andes Mountains. For 72 days, the world thought they were dead. But what 16 survivors endured was far worse than death, driven to what would become headline-making acts of cannibalism in their struggle for life. I Am Alive: Surviving the Andes Plane Crash presents one of the most remarkable human survival stories of all time as it has never been told before: through the first person, on-camera account of survivor Nando Parrado.

  • On September 11, 2001 thousands of people faced the ultimate test of judgment, courage and skill. From senior political leaders to air traffic controllers and ordinary men and women, 9/11 State of Emergency recounts the difficult split-second decisions made that fateful day.

  • Tom Brokaw brings to life the epic story of one of the most important figures in history. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr., relive his remarkable journey for civil rights starting from the moment he reluctantly joined the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama. See his rise as a world figure, to his tragic death in Memphis at age 39. Interviews with Andrew Young, Harry Belafonte and Martin Luther King lll will be included. Celebrity activists such as Bono, Be Be Winans and Forest Whitaker will appear in a montage of music and historical speeches that add a contemporary flair to this historical program.

  • It is inevitable that disaster will someday strike America on an unprecedented level. What have past acts of destruction taught us about what will happen to mankind after the apocalypse? History's most dramatic events Hiroshima, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and others are examined and analyzed with hard data gathered from their massive aftereffects in the new HISTORY special After Armageddon. The disappearance of water and food supplies, the effects of deteriorated sanitation and health care on the remaining population, and the increased use of violence as a means of survival all illustrate how societies have responded and survived. Can history prepare us for the next Armageddon?

  • Faces...and facts...fleshed out from the grave. Unprecedented technology brings to life extraordinary mirror images and powerful last impressions of history's most powerful men. Every line, every wrinkle, every expression tells a story. Forensic-science and anthropology experts have identified that history's most relevant figures left behind highly-detailed casts of their faces, created at their moment of death, to preserve their souls and physical memory for eternity.

  • According to the Bible, Jesus Christ spent 40 days on Earth after his resurrection that first Easter Sunday. Astonishingly, the New Testament is practically silent on what happened during this period. Why are only a few scattered paragraphs devoted to perhaps the most central, most defining and miraculous event in Christianity? And more importantly, what did Jesus do and say during those incredible 40 days? Jesus: The Lost 40 Days is a new investigation into this missing time period. Could Christ's words during those 40 days contain his most important teachings? Why is none of it in the Gospels? Could there have been a conspiracy to exclude this information? For the first time, viewers will see all that recorded history can reveal about those 40 days as HISTORY attempts to unravel a centuries-old mystery and further our understanding of the amazing life-and-death events surrounding one of history's most prominent figures.

  • 25,000 B.C. In Europe, arctic glaciers reach as far south as London. Massive predators are on the prowl. Across the continent, two species of primitive man struggle to survive. The Neanderthals are natural hunters, built for brute strength and well-adapted to the cold. However, they lack the understanding of technology and ability to speak in abstract terms that our species has. The Cro-Magnon, Homo sapiens are smarter but more fragile. With exciting new research in anthropology, archaeology and genetics, follow these early humans through a season of survival.

  • What happens inside the Vatican continues to compel billions of people and change history -- but few get to see it.

  • Humans have mapped every corner of the globe - from jungles and deserts to the depths of space. Yet we've gone only seven miles below the Earth's surface - just one five hundredth of the way to the Core. Now, Journey To The Earth's Core goes deeper: 4,000 miles down to the heart of our planet.

  • Throughout history, mankind's ingenuity has pursued better ways to kill enemies and win wars. But hidden by our more famous inventions lie some highly unusual, sometimes unbelievable efforts. This special reveals the most absurd, ridiculous and radical examples of warfare ever recorded.

  • It began like the common cold. Then fever, baseball-sized black swellings on the neck, coughing of blood. Few lived more than two days. The year--1347. It was history's worst biological disaster and almost half of Europe's population died within three years.

  • Americans know President Ronald Reagan's politics, his policies, and his oratorical prowess. But as we approach what would have been his 100th birthday in February 2011, the totality of the legacy of America's 40th president is still eclipsed by the myth. While some say he's a hero, and others call him an empty suit, one thing is for certain - President Ronald Reagan made history. But what made him? Using rare archival footage and personal interviews with those who knew him best, Reagan goes beyond the myth to reveal the epic story of an unforgettable man who, against all odds, rose to the pinnacle of power.

  • The deadliest weapon on the battlefield is neither bullet nor gun; it's the lone sniper. Journey inside the science and psychology behind the greatest shots in military history, through the scope of the world's most extreme marksmen. Deconstruct the missions, ranging from Vietnam to Iraq to Afghanistan, presented by the men who were there and pulled the trigger.

  • Known affectionately as "Uncle Billy" by Union soldiers, but reviled in the South as a brutal war criminal, General William Tecumseh Sherman is one of the truly enigmatic and complex figures in the American pantheon. His legacy was built during a five-week campaign of terror and destruction that would become known as "total war".

  • More than 350 years after his death, Miyamoto Musashi is celebrated in Japan as a national hero. The ultimate warrior of the Samurai era, his innovative fighting style is still taught and used by martial artists today. In the two-hour special Samurai, HISTORY follows modern-day martial artist and actor Mark Dacascos as he journeys to Japan in search of the life and legacy of this enigmatic warrior.

  • The existence and location of the Ark of the Covenant has remained one of the most enduring mysteries in archaeology. Professor Tudor Parfitt from London's School of Oriental and African Studies will reveal where he believes the Ark is. Parfitt is well-known for discovering that the Lemba tribe in Zimbabwe is one of the lost tribes of Israel.

  • His life is a seemingly impenetrable thicket of contradictions: he enshrined the words '"All Men are Created Equal," and yet was a lifelong slave-owner; he was simultaneously a "man of the people" and the personification of the Virginia aristocrat; he was a die-hard American revolutionary who was also a dedicated lover of European culture and art; he advocated ruthless fiscal responsibility as president, yet his own finances were mired in debt. Thomas Jefferson is the most researched, most written about, most referenced, and most quoted of our Founding Fathers. And yet, somehow, he remains the most stubbornly inscrutable. Embrace and celebrate the third president's complicated life and legacy in the two-hour HISTORY documentary, Jefferson, the story of a national icon who remains, in historian Joseph Ellis' memorable phrase, "a great American Sphinx.

  • There are six places on Earth believed to be actual entrances into Hell. They include a volcano in Iceland, a cave in the jungles of Central America, and a lake of fire in Africa. According to ancient myth and Christian legend, each is a passage to a terrifying underworld for the damned. Even today, some believe they are still portals. Eerily, they share striking similarities. We'll visit these six locations, and along the way, reveal how the concept of Hell emerged in history and why it still evokes fear today.

  • A strip of land fought over for centuries by England and Spain creates a nightmare of historic proportion for airline pilots. Gibraltar Airport's powerful winds and short runway --complete with ground traffic -- make it one of the world's most treacherous. This special unpacks the problems of the world's most extreme airports and examines the engineering behind them, from territorial battles that have led to unsafe layouts, to geographical challenges and natural obstacles that make these places unfit for travel.

  • Go back to a time before the invention of artificial light and experience a world petrified in the pitch of darkness...when fear ruled the night. Throughout the ages, real and imagined terror existed in the absence of light, and nighttime was anything but relaxing. Our predecessors cowered in caves to keep from being eaten alive. During the Middle Ages, brutal bandits went on the prowl and roadside ditches became death traps. Also in years past, the devil, werewolves and vampires were staunchly believed to stalk the night. With no artificial light, the black night sky of Galileo's gaze could illuminate every star without a telescope. This chilling HISTORY special AFRAID OF THE DARK explores all the reasons why the dark was so feared through the eras; takes you around the globe to places where real night still exits; and examines our modern-day fear factor when the lights go out during blackouts.

  • This is the inside story of the 10 ways the US government has tried to capture or kill the most wanted man in history--Osama bin Laden. Some of the planners and military personnel involved in the hunt tell their stories, many for the first time.

  • Did other explorers beat Columbus to our shores? New evidence suggests that America may have been discovered -- and rediscovered -- by Asian, Celtic, and Polynesian tribes, among others. Dramatic recreations augment the story of these amazing journeys.

  • Robin Hood is the inspiration for more movies, radio and TV programs than any other folk hero, but the man in tights and a feathered cap is a recent addition to the myth. The Real Robin Hood probes the fascinating story behind the marauding vigilante of English folklore. In reality, the character is a composite of actual historical figures whose exploits date back to the Crusades, a dark time of tremendous brutality. Coinciding with the 5/14/10 Universal release of the film Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, director Ridley Scott will also produce this dynamic two-hour television special. The Real Robin Hood features highlights from the film, as well as interviews with Ridley Scott, Russell Crowe and renowned historians.

  • We are so familiar with the map of United States, but do we know why our states look the way they do? Every line on the U.S. map tells a great story: California's border was bent to claw onto lucrative gold deposits; Oklahoma's panhandle reflects a shifting national barometer for legal slavery; and Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia's shared border traces the scar of a meteor impact. How the States Got Their Shapes reveals the larger story of what makes America unique: a range of natural resources, a history of social experimentation and a thriving democracy.

  • Many people believe Jesus Christ was buried in the Shroud of Turin, an ancient linen cloth that bears traces of blood and the faint, ghostly image of a man. In May 2010, this holy relic will be put on public display for the first time in ten years. As new data reveals an astonishing, three-dimensional, sculpture-like figure embedded in the shroud, a team of graphic artists works diligently to bring that image to life. Using the principles of physics, today's digital technology, and the revolutionary CGI process that reconstructed Abraham Lincoln in the HISTORY special, Stealing Lincoln's Body, The Real Face of Jesus? takes a fascinating journey from the realm of creativity and imagination into that of science and technology. Can HISTORY unlock the secrets of one of the world's most scrutinized and controversial artifacts to unveil a startling, life-like composite, from head to toe, of who many believe to be Jesus Christ?

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