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Play The “Super Outbreak”

In April 1974, an unprecedented U.S. weather event spanned the Midwest and South and resulted in 315 deaths, over 5,000 injuries and millions of dollars in property damage.

Play Trailer | Mr. Tornado| American Experience

The remarkable story of the Ted Fujita, whose groundbreaking work in research and applied science saved thousands of lives and helped Americans prepare for and respond to dangerous weather phenomena.

Play Chapter 1 | George W. Bush, Part 2

The life and presidency of George W. Bush, from his unorthodox road to the presidency to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the myriad of challenges he faced over his two terms, from the war in Iraq to the 2008 financial crisis.

Play Neocons and Moderates

President Bush's cabinet included Donald Rumsfeld, who brought with him a coterie of advisors known as “neoconservatives,” and moderates such as General Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice. “I don’t think President Bush intentionally went for a team of rivals,” deputy chief of staff
Joshua Bolten said. “I think he went for a team of strong members and if that meant they were rivals, so be it.”

Play The Surge of Troops in Iraq

“To sell the surge to the American public, Bush had been forced to take a rare step — admit his mistake.” President Bush than enlisted the assistance of General David Petraeus to lead the surge, a move that later paid off.

Play The Fighter Pilot

To avoid combat in Vietnam, Bush joined the 147th Texas Air National Guard, along with other sons of wealthy and well-connected Texans. "In his heart of hearts he did not want to go to Vietnam,” said writer Bill Minutaglio, “but he knew damn well that his father's next step had been to join the military and then become a war hero."

Play Enhanced Interrogation Techniques

The behavior of American soldiers at Abu Ghraib shook President Bush, but, to him, there was no connection with his decision to approve harsh interrogation techniques on Al Qaeda suspects. "It showed the kind of rot that was occurring in Iraq under American occupation,” said journalist Elisabeth Bumiller, “and it showed how far off we had come from American ideals."

Play Saddam Hussein

Initially resistant to the neocons argument to invade Iraq right away, President Bush felt himself increasingly drawn to the idea. The reasons were not only political, they were personal. "Bush developed a sense that there was unfinished business from the first Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s, that leaving Saddam in power had been a mistake,” recalled journalist Barton Gellman.

Play The Weapons of Mass Destruction

The final nail in the coffin of the hunt for Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction came in January 2004 when David Kay told Bush the intelligence reports had been wrong. There were none. “It went to the heart of the Iraq question,” said journalist Peter Baker. “Did the administration mislead the public in some way? Did it intentionally deceive the American people in order to go to war?”

Play Financial Crisis

President Bush confronted the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression. “From the standpoint of an ongoing threat that everybody and government knew that we had to do something about, the financial crisis ... was really scary,” said chief of staff Joshua Bolten.

Play Media Gaffes

President Bush shone when he met voters in person, but that was not the case in television appearances. “He went into politics as a middle-aged person,” said chief speechwriter Michael Gerson. “He didn't have a set of acting skills that a lot of other politicians had developed over time.”

Play Criticism and Hurricane Katrina

During his second term, President Bush was criticized for the federal government’s response to the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina. “Katrina ends up being a media domestic version of Iraq,” said journalist Ron Suskind.

Play Occupying Iraq

After the U.S. took Baghdad, Iraq ground to a halt and became a free-for-all, as homes, stores, museums, hospitals & electric plants were looted. "There was a decision to be lean and count on others showing up to secure the peace,” recalled chief of staff Andrew Card. “There was not as much discussion that I remember in the National Security Council about the process of organizing a government."

Play Search for high-yield Wheat

In the 1940s, plant scientist Norman Borlaug began cross-breeding wheat strains from different regions. He pioneered “shuttle breeding” which sped up the wheat breeding process.

Play Norman Borlaug

An American agricultural scientist from Iowa, Norman Borlaug bred climate agnostic wheat strains that resisted disease. He was dubbed the “Father of the Green Revolution” and in 1970 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

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