Roundup: History on TV
This page features editor's picks for history programming on TV for the upcoming week.
Week of May 21, 2012
Tuesday, May 22
H2, 2pm EST
Host Tom Brokaw takes an in-depth look at one of the most important and influential figures in history.
Wednesday, May 23
Killer Subs in Pearl Harbor
PBS, Check local listing
NOVA presents a gripping exploration into the tragic sinking of the USS Arizona. For decades, it has been thought that a bomb dropped by a Japanese aircraft sank the Arizona. But the discovery of a group of Japanese midget subs in and around Pearl Harbor has raised questions about the battleship's final hours.
Missing in MiG Alley
PBS, Check local listing
In the early 1950s, epic battles unfolded in the skies over North Korea as American and Russian fighters faced off in history's first jet war. This program explores the Korean War's aerial tactics, technology, and grim aftermath for downed pilots, many of whom disappeared without a trace. [From PBS]
Thursday, May 24
Great Escape: Revenge on the Gestapo
NatGeo, 12pm EST
It was known as "The Great Escape": 76 Allied prisoners of war, desperately crawling to freedom through a man-made tunnel. Within days, 50 had been brutally murdered by the Gestapo - a blatant breach of the rules of war. Meet the investigators who searched the globe to bring these murderers to justice, many of whom claimed they pulled the trigger solely to save their own lives. Join us as NGC reveals the untold story of one of WWII's most astonishing criminal investigations. [From NatGeo] *Followed by Great Escape: The Final Secrets, an look at the top-secret group MIS-X that helped Allied POWs escape German prison camps.
Smithsonian Spotlights: Artists in their Studios
Smithsonian Channel, 4:30 pm EST
Take a look inside the artist's studio, including the Long Island barn where Jackson Pollock created his famous "poured" paintings and the nineteenth century Paris studio of John Singer Sargent. These workspaces often tell as much about the artists as their paintings.
Friday, May 26
Witness: Joplin Tornado
Nat Geo, 8pm EST
On May 22, 2011, an EF-5 tornado struck Joplin, Missouri, a city of 50,000 in the southwest corner of the state. Packing winds of more than 200 miles an hour, the tornado tore through the center of the city, tearing off two floors of the city’s main hospital, demolishing churches and businesses, and rendering whole neighborhoods unrecognizable. More than 150 people lost their lives in the storm, and the devastation to the city was enormous. [From NatGeo]
Saturday, May 27
Gettysburg: The Battle that Changed America
Military Channel, 4pm EST
The Battle of Gettysburg is the most important event in American history since the Declaration of Independence. See how close the South came to winning the battle - and almost changing history. *Followed by Gettysburg: The Speech that Saved America.