Documentaries

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Future of Gaming

As gaming becomes the dominant form of entertainment this century, game developers increasingly track player behavior to tailor experiences that will keep people playing longer and spending more money.
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The Roots of Evangelicals’ Political Fervor

White evangelical Christians are among President Trump’s most important supporters. But more than 40 years ago, they were on the margins of American politics.
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Genetic Screening: Controlling Heredity

With every new advance in prenatal genetic screening, the ability to prevent suffering has also sparked difficult questions about what should count as “a disease” versus “a difference,” and whether we’re in danger of wiping out certain segments of the population. This story was produced in collaboration with PBS, American Experience.
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Abortion Was Illegal. This Secret Group Defied the Law

We tell the story of a little known chapter in American history, before Roe v. Wade, when a clandestine group provided thousands of women with illegal abortions in Chicago.
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For Private Prisons, Detaining Immigrants Is Big Business

An inmate population surge in the 1980s led to the growth of for-profit prisons. Today, despite their mixed record, private prison companies are overseeing the vast majority of undocumented migrants.
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Operation Ceasefire

Our latest collaboration with The New Yorker, tells the story of cops, African-American pastors, gang members, and academics coming together to create positive change for Boston, while upending notions of traditional policing in a way that is especially pertinent today.
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Future of Cities

In the latest installment of our “What Happens Next” series examining the future of society, we visit Medellín, Colombia—a city that has reinvented itself over the past few decades, turning its violent past into a sustainable future by transforming its slums.
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A Trusted Pill Turned Deadly. How Tylenol Made a Comeback

How do some companies regain public trust after something goes seriously wrong, while others fail? A look at how Tylenol responded after someone spiked its pills with poison in the 1980s sheds some light.
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Bitter Supreme Court Confirmations from Bork to Kavanaugh

Will Brett Kavanaugh answer any questions? He may not -- and it all goes back to the bitter hearings over Judge Robert Bork, which forever changed how nominees answer questions.
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Wild Horse Wars: Will Overpopulation Force Drastic Action?

The decades-long quest to save wild horses has run amok, creating a problem that even swooping helicopters, aging cowboys, camera-savvy activists, and millions of dollars can’t solve.
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Biosphere 2: A Faulty Mars Survival Test Gets a Second Act

NASA isn't the first organization to experiment with living on Mars -- in 1991 eight people sealed themselves inside a giant glass biosphere to practice space living. By the time they emerged two years later, they had "suffocated, starved and went mad."
Image from Why MLB and NBA Free Agents Should Thank Curt Flood
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Why MLB and NBA Free Agents Should Thank Curt Flood

The drama of modern free agency has become as much a part of professional sports as the games themselves. But it wasn’t always that way.
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From Y2K to 2038, Lessons Learned from First Computer Crisis

The Y2K bug threatened to wipe out computers and disrupt modern society at the end of the 20th century. We all remember the doomsday hype, but what really happened?
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Trump Administration Sued for Torpedoing Enforcement of Landmark Housing Law

Ben Carson, Secretary of HUD, is being sued for not enforcing the Fair Housing Act -- landmark legislation that was passed 50 years ago during the Civil Rights era.
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The Wildfire That Burned Yellowstone and set off a Media Firestorm

Increasingly, wildfires affect populated areas. But 30 years ago, it was a huge fire in Yellowstone National Park that stoked media attention and political controversy.
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Where the Debate Over "Designer Babies" Began

Genetic technology is advancing, and critics are warning of a slippery slope. We spoke with the scientists working at the forefront of the research, families who have benefited and the first-ever "test-tube" baby to understand the debate.
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Gerrymandering's Surprising History and Uncertain Future

Both political parties have always played the redistricting game. But some of today’s battles have roots in a civil rights case decided by the Supreme Court 30 years ago.
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She Derailed the Fight for Equal Rights for Women

Even in the #MeToo era, many people don't know that the Equal Rights Amendment never passed...because of one woman -- which is why it's a big deal that Illinois recently passed the amendment.
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Iran, North Korea, Russia: How the Nuclear Threat Re-emerged

Despite President Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un, new reports suggest North Korea is pushing ahead with its nuclear program. The U.S. and Russia are also expanding their nuclear arsenals... so how is it that the public seems so complacent about the risk of nuclear catastrophe?
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Why We Can't Have a Civil Conversation About Guns

In the 1980s, the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan and the shooting of his press secretary, Jim Brady, led to the Brady Bill. Decades later, are there lessons from that fight for the Parkland students?
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Rehab Rarely Works for Opioid Addicts. Could a Vaccine?

Overdose deaths are skyrocketing, forcing researchers to find new ways to think about and treat addiction.
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Selling the Code: Can Genetic Testing Services Really Predict Your Future?

Today, companies market genetic tests for everything from cancer to diet and exercise. But how much can tests like 23andme really predict?
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Fixing the Code: Genetically Engineering Your DNA to Cure Disease

For the past 20 years, scientists have been trying to cure disease by altering DNA. We examine how with CRISPR Cas-9 gene editing and the revival of gene therapy, they're closer than ever.
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Finding the Code: The Race to Sequence the Human Genome and What It Means

One of biology’s most spectacular achievements -- the race to sequence the human genome -- was billed as a way to end disease. Here's where it led.
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Us vs. Them: from George Wallace to Donald Trump

Trump has used populist politics to appeal to voters who are fed up with the status quo. We look at another politician who tapped into America’s divisions decades ago: George Wallace.
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The Black Athlete in America

In an N.F.L. season marked by President Trump’s attacks on football players who “took a knee” during the national anthem, this video explores the legacy of dissent in sports.
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What History Can Teach Us About Mass Killings

A century ago, a culture rid itself of the problem of mass murder. How did that happen and what can modern-day America learn from it?
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Myths and Misperceptions about Eating Disorders

30 million people will suffer from eating disorders in their lifetime, yet decades after Karen Carpenter died from anorexia, myths about eating disorders continue.
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Raising Doubts about Evolution… in Science Class

A growing skepticism of science has seeped into the classroom, and it’s revived attacks on one of the most established principles of biology – evolution.
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How ISIS Resembles the Doomsday Cults of the 1970s

Can the lessons we learned from extremist cults decades ago be used to fight ISIS recruitment today?
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Future of Work

A remote Oregon mountainside offers a window into the workplace of the future.
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Future of Money

Future of Money, the first in a 5-part series, looks at what ancient stones on a tiny Pacific island can teach us about Bitcoin, blockchains and the future of money.
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Future of Home

Guatemalan homesteaders and a Michigan contractor are riding a wave that could change how our lives are wired.
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Future of Fact

Virtual reality journalists aim to transform the news, and put feelings to work communicating the facts.
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Future of Food

A small South Dakota farm holds lessons for feeding a crowded and less predictable world.
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'Why Hasn't Sexual Harassment Disappeared?'

From naming the problem in the 1970s, to bringing it out of the shadows in the 90s, to a growing accountability today – the evolution of sexual harassment in the workplace.
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Trump’s Immigration Rhetoric Echoes a Bitter Fight in the 90s

Border fences, deportations, and putting “America First.” It all happened in the 1990s, and it started in California.
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How Special Ops Became Central to the War On Terror

As President Trump steps up the use of special operations forces, Retro Report looks at how two historic military missions -- one a legendary success, the other a spectacular failure -- helped set the stage.
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Women's Rights Protests & the Match That Sparked a Movement

From breaking sexual taboos in the 1970s to “The Handmaid’s Tale” today: The fight over women’s bodies continues to resonate.
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How Social Media Has Turned Us Into Digital Bystanders

Live-streaming apps like Facebook Live and Periscope give us a voyeuristic peek into the lives of others. But what is our obligation when we encounter digital violence?
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Pandemics, Plagues and Politics

What do the CIA and Nigerian imams have to do with the fight to end polio? Retro Report examines how the worlds of politics and public health can collide.
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Conspiracy Theories and Fake News from JFK to Pizzagate

Retro Report explores decades of conspiracy theories -- from the John F. Kennedy assassination to Pizzagate -- and what they can tell us about how we view the world today.
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Lobotomy: A Dangerous Fad's Lingering Effect on Mental Illness Treatment

From the 1930s to the 1950s a radical surgery -- the Lobotomy -- would forever change our understanding and treatment of the mentally ill.
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How Toughness on Leaks and a Free Press Link Trump, Obama, and Nixon

Taking a page from Nixon, President Trump is waging his own battle against leaks, which threatens to damage Americans’ right to know.
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Suing the President: The Students Who Challenged the Travel Ban

With the release of Donald Trump's new travel ban, a brief look at a Yale group that fought the original ban.
Image from Sanctuary Cities: Trump Renews an Uproar That Began Long Ago
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Sanctuary Cities: Trump Renews an Uproar That Began Long Ago

As deportations rise under President Trump, churches and cities are declaring themselves sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants. It’s the latest chapter of a movement with a long history.
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Forever Prison

Guantanamo Bay has become a symbol of the war on terror, but its story actually begins a decade before, when it was first used to detain thousands of Haitians outside the reach of U.S. law. This story was created in collaboration with NPR and PBS, FRONTLINE.
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DDT, Malaria, and the Book That Changed Environmental Debate

Author Rachel Carson's strike against the pesticide DDT turned her into both an environmental hero and a foil for those who believe regulation has gone too far. That fight is more relevant than ever.
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Could You Patent the Sun?

Decades after Dr. Jonas Salk opposed patenting the polio vaccine, the pharmaceutical industry has changed.  What does that mean for the development of innovative drugs and for people whose lives depend on them?
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Violence in the Amazon: Why Protecting the Rainforest is Still a Fight

In 1988, the murder of Chico Mendes fueled a movement of activists, celebrities and indigenous peoples that helped to make the rainforest a household name. But what happens now?
Image from Activating a Generation: From Live Aid to the Ice Bucket Challenge
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Activating a Generation: From Live Aid to the Ice Bucket Challenge

Thirty years after "Live Aid" changed the face of charity fundraising, clicktivism has taken center stage. If you share, re-tweet and like, are you making the world a better place?
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Princess Diana Brought Attention to Land Mines, but Their Danger Lingers

In the late 1990s, Princess Diana brought public attention to land mine victims. But, more than two decades after her death, how much progress has been made in the worldwide fight against leftover munitions?
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The Populist Politician and California's Property Tax Revolt

In 1978, voters passed Proposition 13, lowering taxes for millions of California homeowners. Decades later, what has it meant for California?
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Unraveling Zero Tolerance

Over the last 30 years, schools across the country have enacted tough new discipline policies. Some of those schools say they went too far.
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The Great Debate: Style or Substance?

The moments we remember from political debates are embedded in our political folklore, from the knockout lines to the losing gaffes. But does media coverage often miss the real lessons they offer?
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Where Does the American Dream Live?

How a little-known public housing program from the 1970s is changing housing policy today.
Image from The Split (1860): Conventional Wisdom
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The Split (1860): Conventional Wisdom

Some issues are too fundamental for a party to withstand, and the consequences can last for a generation.
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The Speech (2004): Conventional Wisdom

Sometimes the most important speech at the convention isn't delivered by the nominee.
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How Anti-Immigrant Sentiment Gave Birth to a New Democratic Party (1924): Conventional Wisdom

Immigration has been a defining issue in a campaign before, and the consequences transformed the Democratic Party.
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The Modern Primary (1912): Conventional Wisdom

In 2016, some Bernie Sanders supporters have said the delegate process isn’t fair. In 1912, a battle over the primary process transformed American politics.
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How It Started (1831): Conventional Wisdom

In 1831, a radical third party had a new idea for selecting a presidential candidate, and it’s still in use today: the national nominating convention.
Image from The Outsider Republican (1964): Conventional Wisdom
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The Outsider Republican (1964): Conventional Wisdom

Donald Trump's candidacy isn't the first time the Republican Party has been split by an outsider declaring war on the establishment elite.
Image from The Mess In Chicago (1968): Conventional Wisdom
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The Mess In Chicago (1968): Conventional Wisdom

There are important lessons to be learned from the Democrats' 1968 Chicago convention.
Image from The Power of the Delegate (1976): Conventional Wisdom
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The Power of the Delegate (1976): Conventional Wisdom

In 1976, Ronald Reagan found owning the soul of a party isn't the same as taking home its nomination.
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Smoking Man: Political Ads That Changed the Game

In the 2012 Republican primary, Herman Cain's campaign produced an unusual video featuring Cain's chief of staff, Mark Block, giving a pep talk while smoking a cigarette.
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The Rock: Ads That Changed the Game

In 2007, long-shot Democratic candidate Mike Gravel released one of the strangest ads in political history.
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Willie Horton: Ads That Changed the Game

The infamous Willie Horton ad placed a nail in the coffin of Michael Dukakis' 1988 presidential run.
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Morning in America: Political Ads That Changed the Game

Future "warm and fuzzy" ads can trace their lineage to this one. For his reelection campaign, Ronald Reagan employed a team of advertising all-stars, resulting in one of the most famous catchphrases in American politics.
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It's 3:00 am: Political Ads That Changed the Game

After a string of critical losses in the 2008 Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton's campaign put out a hard-hitting ad that questioned Barack Obama's readiness for the White House.
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Daisy: Political Ads That Changed the Game

Perhaps the most famous political ad of all time, this early television spot ran on air just once, but generated enough media coverage to become a real factor in the 1964 presidential election.
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The Mommy Wars

The Mommy Wars were billed as the nastiest fight in American parenting, and actually fueled by a decades-old blunder. This story was produced in collaboration with Quartz.
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The Outrage Machine

In the digital age, where everyday people can suddenly become public enemy number one, how do we strike the balance between keeping free speech alive online and preventing a cyber mob from taking over?
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Atomic Vets

The story of the veterans who witnessed secret atomic testing and how their decades-long struggle for recognition affects soldiers today. This story is a coproduction with Reveal, from The Center for Investigative Reporting.
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LSD: From 60s Counterculture to Doctor's Office

In the 1960s, mind-altering drugs like LSD helped fuel the counter-culture. Today, psychedelics are turning on a new generation – of scientists.
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Welfare and the Politics of Poverty

Bill Clinton's 1996 welfare reform was supposed to move needy families off government handouts and onto a path out of poverty. Twenty years later, how has it turned out?
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D&D: Lessons from a Media Panic

Dungeons and Dragons was once accused of leading children to Satanism, but today the game looks more like a solution to a problem plaguing modern parenting.
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Nuclear Winter's Forecast of Doom Still Debated Today

Carl Sagan and other Cold War scientists once feared that a nuclear war could plunge the world into a deadly ice age. Three decades later, does this theory still resonate?
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A Change of Heart

The artificial heart became a media sensation in the 1980s as it both raised hopes and spread controversy. Today its impact on medical science is still playing out in surprising ways.
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The Terminator and the Washing Machine

What the legendary match between a supercomputer and chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov reveals about today's artificial intelligence panic.
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Why Bush v. Gore Still Affects Our Elections Today

The dramatic controversy surrounding the 2000 presidential election led to sweeping voting reforms, but opened the door to a new set of problems that continue to impact elections today.
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Runaway Plane

For decades the United States has been on a quest to perfect stealth technology, but development of the F-35 fighter jet shows just how complicated dreams can become.
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What Is a Healthy Diet? The Answers Are Unsatisfying

Thirty-five years after the first dietary guidelines, how much do we really know about the science behind a healthy diet?
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The Boy in the Bubble

In the early 1970s, an unusual boy captivated the nation. Now, decades later, his story continues to unfold in remarkable ways.
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How Heroin Addiction's Rural Spread Changed an Inner City War on Drugs

In the 1970s, frustration over heroin related, urban crime led to the War on Drugs. Today, heroin is back. But the users, and the response, are very different.
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Boxing's Popularity Declined Due to Health Concerns. Is Football Next?

In 1982, boxing fans tuned in for a fight the sport wouldn't soon forget. Today, with concerns about the toll of football on the rise, is America’s favorite game nearing its own inflection point?
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Free Speech VS Censorship: Warnings From Explicit Lyrics to Trigger Warnings

Offended by lyrics they deemed too sexual and violent, Tipper Gore and Susan Baker campaigned to put warning labels on albums in 1985. Years later, warning labels have ended up in some unexpected places.
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Argentina's Stolen Babies, and the Grandmothers Leading the Search

Estela de Carlotto has spent nearly four decades searching for her grandson, one of the estimated 500 babies who disappeared after their mothers were taken by the military regime in Argentina in the 1970s.
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Lessons from Columbine About School Shootings and Media Misinformation

The killing of twelve students and a teacher at Columbine High School in 1999 continues to shape how we view and understand school shootings today.
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The Nanny Murder Case: Shaken Baby Syndrome on Trial

In 1997, a young British nanny charged with murder brought shaken baby syndrome into the national spotlight, and raised a scientific debate that continues to shape child abuse cases today.
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SWAT: Mission Creep

SWAT teams were created in the 1960s to combat violent events. Since then, the specialized teams have morphed into a force increasingly used in routine policing, most often to serve drug warrants,sometimes with disastrous results. Which raises the question -- are we too militarized?
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How Napster Created the 'Culture of Free'

In 1999, a file-sharing program created in a Boston dorm room sent shockwaves across the music industry and served notice that a major cultural shift was underway.
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From Crack Babies to Oxytots: Lessons Not Learned

In the 1980s, many government officials, scientists, and journalists warned that the country would be plagued by a generation of “crack babies.” They were wrong. More than 25 years later, the media is sounding a similar alarm.
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Why Waco is Still a Battleground in the 2nd Amendment Debate

22 years ago, federal agents raided the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, and generated a legacy that continues to shape antigovernment groups today.
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Transforming History

Transgender issues today are rooted in a decades-long struggle for inclusion.
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Population Bomb: The Dire Prediction That Fell Flat

In the 1960s, fears of overpopulation sparked campaigns for population control. But whatever became of the population bomb?
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E. Coli Outbreaks Changed Food Production, But How Safe Are We?

A 1993 E. coli outbreak linked Jack in the Box hamburgers sickened 700 people and acted as a wake up call about the dangers of food-borne illness. Decades later, how far have we really come in terms of food safety?
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Fire Safety and Chemicals in our Clothes

There are over 80,000 chemicals in use today. The story of TRIS, removed from children's pajamas in the 1970s, illustrates just how hard it is to regulate chemicals, or to even know if they're safe.
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He's the only CIA Contractor to be Convicted in a Torture-related Case

The story of the first and only interrogator connected to the CIA to be convicted in a torture-related case.
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The Snake That Ate the Everglades

Burmese pythons, often released into the wild by well-meaning pet owners, have infested the Florida Everglades and created a reptilian nightmare in the ecosystem.
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A Right to Die?

Should doctors be allowed to help suffering patients die? In 1990, with his homemade suicide machine, Dr. Jack Kevorkian raised that question. It's an issue Americans still struggle with today.
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How Geography Drove MLK's Fight for a Ferry in Alabama

Weeks before Selma's Bloody Sunday in 1965, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. urged residents of Gee's Bend, Ala., to vote, and fed a continuing fight over a small ferry that would last for decades.
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Vaccines: An Unhealthy Skepticism

An outbreak of measles that started at Disneyland turned a spotlight on those who choose not to vaccinate their children. Watch this Emmy-nominated backstory on how vaccinations became one of our country's most contentious topics.
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Power Line Fears

News media coverage in the 1980s and early 1990s fueled fears of a national cancer epidemic caused by power lines and generated a debate that still lingers today.
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Is Multiple Personality Disorder Real? One Woman's Story

In the 1970s, the TV movie “Sybil” introduced much of the nation to multiple personality disorder and launched a controversy that continues to resonate.
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A Mother, a Dingo and an Australian Media Frenzy

In 1982, an Australian mother was convicted of murdering her baby daughter. She was later exonerated, but soon fell victim to a joke that distracted the world from the real story.
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A Search for Justice

The murder of four American churchwomen focused attention on the United States' involvement in El Salvador. Nearly 35 years later, the case continues to take surprising turns.
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Reintroducing Wolves to Yellowstone Requires a Delicate Balance

In the 1990s, the federal government reintroduced the gray wolf to Yellowstone National Park. It was considered a big success. And that’s when the real fight began.
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How the Shootout at Ruby Ridge Resonates in the Gun Debate Today

When armed suspects stand off against the law today, one event continues to cast a shadow on both sides of the police line: the 1992 siege at Ruby Ridge.
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Campaign Finance from Watergate, to Soft Money and Citizens United

The Watergate campaign finance scandals led to a landmark law designed to limit the influence of money in politics. Forty years later, some say the scandal isn’t what’s illegal, it’s what’s legal.
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Bee Collapse: The Sudden Dying Off Bee Colonies Remains a Mystery

The mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder has pushed honeybees into the public eye. But the story of their plight -- and its impact -- is much more complicated.
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How Prozac Turned Depression Medication into a Cultural Phenomenon

When Prozac was introduced in 1988, the green-and-cream pill to treat depression launched a cultural revolution that continues to echo.
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The Promise of the Air Bag

How did cars become “computers on wheels,” so automated that some are about to start driving themselves? The story begins forty-five years ago with a quest to make cars safer and the battle over the air bag.
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Go or no Go: The Challenger Legacy

On January 28, 1986, seven astronauts *slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.* America’s space program was never the same.
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Flawed Evidence: The Limits of Science in the Crime Lab

Before DNA testing, prosecutors relied on less sophisticated forensic techniques, including microscopic hair analysis, to put criminals behind bars. But how reliable was hair analysis?
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Agent Orange: Last Chapter of the Vietnam War

The use of the defoliant Agent Orange during the Vietnam War continues to cast a dark shadow over both American veterans and Vietnamese citizens.
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The NFL Draft 20 Years After Manning-Leaf: How Teams Try to Pick a Winner

After the 1998 NFL draft produced one of the greatest busts in history, what have we learned about the science of evaluating human talent – on and off the field?
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Nuclear Power's Public Opinion Rollercoaster from Three Mile Island to Fukushima

More than three decades after the accident at Three Mile Island cast a shadow on the atomic dream, is America again ready to give nuclear energy a chance?
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The Enduring Legacy of Terri Schiavo

The controversy over Terri Schiavo’s case elevated a family matter into a political battle that continues to frame end-of-life issues today.
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Earthquake Readiness: How the San Franciso 1989 Quake Shook Awareness

The 1989 earthquake that shook San Francisco sent out a wake up call that continues to echo across the country.
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The Superpredator Scare

In the mid-1990s, after a decade of soaring juvenile crime, some social scientists warned the violence would only get worse. Reality proved otherwise.
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The Shame of the Church

Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has been making headlines for years. Some priests have been punished, but what about the bishops who shielded them?
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A Surrogate Mother's Fight to Raise the Baby She Bore

The custody battle over Baby M was the first time a court considered surrogacy. Today's families are created in many different ways. But have we resolved the question of surrogacy?
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The Fly That Quarantined California and Pitted Environmentalists Against Farmers

In the summer of 1981, the Mediterranean fruit fly spread through California’s Santa Clara Valley, infesting backyard fruit trees and threatening the state’s $14 billion agricultural industry.
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The Preschool Sex Abuse Case that Changed How Molestation is Investigated

The nightmare began in 1983 when a 39-year-old mother called the police department in Manhattan Beach, California and accused a teacher at the McMartin Preschool, Raymond Buckey, of molesting her two and a half-year old son.
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The Minneapolis Bridge Collapse that Sounded the Alarm on US Infrastructure

At the height of rush hour on August 1, 2007 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a bridge carrying eight lanes of I-35W over the Mississippi River suddenly collapsed, sending cars trucks plunging into the water below.
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Stealing J. Edgar Hoover's Secrets

Long before Edward Snowden, there was the greatest heist you've never heard of. On March 8, 1971, a group of eight Vietnam War protestors broke into a Federal Bureau of Investigation field office in Media, Pennsylvania and stole hundreds of government documents that shocked a nation.
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Oil Spills in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Disaster

On a cold March night in 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground off the coast of Southern Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the waters of Prince William Sound and creating one of the worst oil spills in American history.
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Crime and Punishment: Three Strikes and You’re Out

After the 1993 murder of a California child, many states passed laws to lock up repeat offenders for life, but today those laws are raising new questions about how crime is handled in America.
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Toxic Waste in the Neighborhood: The Love Canal Disaster of 1978 is an Ongoing Mess

In 1978, toxic chemicals leaking from an old landfill thrust an upstate New York community called “Love Canal” into the national headlines, and made it synonymous with “environmental disaster.”
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Wrongly Accused of Terrorism: The Sleeper Cell That Wasn't

Six days after 9/11, the FBI’s raid on a Detroit sleeper cell signaled America’s resolve to fight terrorism. But, despite a celebrated conviction, there was one problem — they’d gotten it wrong.
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Blackout: Understanding the US Power Grid's Vulnerability from the 2004 Failure

In 2003, a blackout crippled areas of the U.S. and Canada, leaving some 50 million people in the dark. Ten years later, we are still grappling with concerns over the vulnerability of our power grid.
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The Long War on Cancer

Forty-two years ago when President Richard Nixon vowed to make curing cancer a national crusade, many anticipated quick results.
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Hurricane Katrina's Aftermath and Lessons in Dealing with Disaster

Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005, and Louisiana’s troubled housing recovery has shaped the response to every major disaster since, including Hurricane Sandy.
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How Hot Coffee Landed McDonald's in Hot Water

In 1992, Stella Liebeck spilled scalding McDonald's coffee in her lap and later sued the company, attracting a flood of negative attention. It turns out, there’s more to the story.
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How Cloning a Sheep Set Off a Sci Fi Panic

In 1997, Scottish scientists announced they had cloned a sheep and named her Dolly, and sent waves of future shock around the world that continue to shape frontiers of science today.
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Richard Jewell: The Wrong Man

The 1996 Olympics in Atlanta were rocked by a bomb that killed one and injured more than 100. In the rush to find the perpetrator, one man became a target. There was only one problem. He was innocent.
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Walter Reed: The Battle for Recovery

In 2007, the scandalous treatment of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center shocked the nation. Today, after major reforms, what’s changed for America’s injured soldiers?
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Infamous Birth Defect Drug Thalidomide's Unlikely Comeback

In the 1950s, thalidomide cut a wide swath of destruction across the world, leaving behind thousands of deformed infants, but that was only the beginning of the story.
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Freeing Willy

In the wake of the 1993 hit movie Free Willy, activists and fans campaigned to release the movie’s star – a captive killer whale named Keiko -- and launched a story Hollywood couldn’t invent.
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The Battle For Busing

A story of America's school integration and what happened when the buses stopped rolling.
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GMO Food Fears and the First Test Tube Tomato

In the 1990s, a bunch of gene jockeys brought the first genetically engineered food to market. The business crashed but biotech science has flourished far beyond the produce aisle.
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The Tawana Brawley Story

In 1988, the nation learned the truth about the alleged crimes against Tawana Brawley, but the shocking story was far from over.
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The Legacy of Tailhook

Military sexual assault is not a new phenomenon. A second look at the Tailhook scandal in 1991 reveals what happened then. And what it all means now.
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The New York Garbage Barge That Revealed We Have a Trash Problem

The 1987 voyage of a barge loaded with New York garbage became a sensational fiasco, but it ended up fueling the modern recycling movement.