Explore some of history’s most dramatic events through the personal stories of those who lived through them in this new six-part series hosted by journalist Ann Curry. Through stories of courage, hope, survival and love, the series brings together people whose lives intersected during turbulent times, revealing powerful bonds between people who now, against the odds, reunite with those who transformed their lives. Join us each Tuesday at 7 p.m. for a journey of hope, searching for clues in marriage records and war and immigration documents, and combing archives to reunite those separated by time and distance.
“This series helps people separated by conflict, war and humanitarian disasters find each other again and reveals untold stories of courage, survival, friendship and even love,” said Curry. “This is human history — not from the point of view of kings or politicians or generals — but of everyday people on the front lines of massive events they have no way to control. Their stories tell us something about what we are made of.”
“Children of WWII”
Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the U.S. entered World War II. Two children whose lives were forever changed by the war search for lost friends. Reiko, a Japanese-American woman sent to an internment camp as a child, hopes to find the classmate who stood by her in the face of anti-Japanese sentiment. Peter, who fled the Nazis with his parents in 1938, searches for the family who befriended him in the last refuge open to the German Jews: the Shanghai Ghetto. Watch online.
“Rescued From Mt. St. Helens” at 9 p.m., following the State of the Union address
When Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980, 57 people were killed and hundreds more injured. Volcanic ash was scattered across 11 states. In this episode, two people who survived the disaster reveal how the experience influenced their lives. Mindy, a trainee scientist whose inspirational team leader was killed by the blast wants to find his family to let them know he saved her life. Sue hopes to find the brave helicopter pilot who risked his own life to rescue her. Watch online.
“Lost Children of Vietnam”
The war in Vietnam may have ended in 1975, but its impact lingers in countless lives today. Two children who became refugees after the war tell their stories – including a connection to Arizona’s Falcon Field. Tina, born in Saigon, searches for the American father she last saw more than 40 years ago, and Nam hopes to find Gary, the Texas cowboy he met as a 12-year-old refugee and who inspired his dream of coming to America. Watch online.
“Heroes of 9/11”
During the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC, strangers were thrown together in unimaginable situations. Patrick, a businessman visiting New York, searches for Emily, the photographer’s assistant who comforted him after the collapse of the World Trade Center. Timothy, a military chaplain plunged into chaos at the Pentagon, hopes to thank the fellow chaplain who gave him the courage to carry on. Watch online.
During the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Fatima, a teenager from New York, volunteered to register voters in Louisiana. Now, she returns to the South, hoping to find Thelma, the daughter of her host family, whose courage in the face of racism was unforgettable. Sherie searches for Lefty, the charismatic civil rights activist whose commitment to nonviolence inspired her own lifelong involvement with social justice causes.
For decades, gay Americans did not have equal protection under the law; many faced prejudice, possible imprisonment and rejection from their families and society. In the first of two stories of the struggle for acceptance, Tom longs to find Maria, the friend he trusted with his secret and who saved him from brutal electroshock conversion therapy in the 1960s. Paul, who was University of New Hampshire student body president in 1973, searches for Wayne, who organized the first gay student organization on campus. Wayne’s courage to take the fight to court against overwhelming opposition from the state’s conservative governor changed Paul’s life and ultimately helped him accept his own sexuality.