Spend Some Time With American Experience

I’m excited to finally be posting a blog about my favorite PBS series, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. If you follow this blog you know I’m a student of history, so of course I love AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. Although just to be slightly critical, I wasn’t a big fan of the new title packaging they introduced last season. I was never quite sure what the show was suppose to be about that evening and the music was awful. I prefer their classic open with the American flag and signature music. But then again most folks who enjoy history tend to like the traditional approach. But this is just a small complaint about an otherwise wonderful series.

This year AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is giving us a great line-up of programs. They start the season in the Civil War era, profiling the two great generals Robert E. Lee this Monday and U.S. Grant next Monday.

If you’ve ever spent any amount of time in the southern part of our great country, you know how important a figure Robert E. Lee is to the region. One visit to the laser light show at Stone Mountain in Atlanta will leave no doubt as to the significance of Lee and his role in the Civil War.

Robert E. Lee: American Experience, Monday, January 3. 9:00pm.

Watch the full episode. See more American Experience.

Lee was never a proponent of succession, he felt it was a betrayal of the Founding Fathers. He made no secret of the fact that he was fighting for Virginia and not the Confederacy. At the end of the war Lee supported civil rights for all, as well as a system of free public schools for blacks. However the man was still southern and although he supported the Reconstruction effort he did oppose any punitive measures against the South and was not a fan of the movement to give blacks the right to vote.

Lee finished his days as president of Washington and Lee University and participated in his own reconciliation by recruiting northern students to the Virginia university. He was never able to return to the one thing he was fighting for, his family home. The Custis-Lee mansion and land were confiscated by the Union during the war and became Arlington National Cemetery.

A fascinating man and a great way to start a new season of AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.

Stacia H.