Air force general Bernard Shriever | Courtesy Getty Images

The Big Chill: The Cold War Fuels Business and Anxiety

This episode traces how The Cold War and Pentagon dollars fund the explosive growth of modern Los Angeles.  The end of World War II meant massive unemployment for the millions of workers in Southern California who built the aircraft that helped win the war, but a series of world events changed all that, creating a permanent wartime economy.  First, the Soviets successfully tested an atomic bomb.  Next, Mao Tse-Tung created a second Communist empire with his People’s Republic of China.  Finally, the Korean War marked the first communism/capitalism military showdown as the U.S. committed troops and armaments to defend South Korea from Soviet and Chinese-supported North Korea.  Within a decade, the Cold War workforce in Southern California climbed to more than a quarter-million; by 1953, there were 25,000 aerospace engineers working in Los Angeles.  Pentagon dollars fueled innovation with the assembly of first-generation jet fighters, bombers and Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) This episode also explores the personal cost to the family of test pilot Milburn Apt through the memories and reflections of his daughter, Sharman Apt Russell.  Walt Disney introduced the peaceful exploration of the cosmos with his “Man in Space” specials, that became among the highest-rated TV programs of the ‘50s.  But his chief on-camera spokesperson was Wernher Von Braun, a former Nazi who designed V-2 rockets Hitler that were launched on Great Britain.  He embodied the dichotomy between progress for peace and progress for war.

Airdates

  • 2019-07-21T13:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-07-21T16:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-07-22T07:00:00-07:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-07-26T07:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-07-26T12:00:00-07:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-07-28T10:00:00-07:00
    KCETLINK

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

Wings: Aviation Takes Flight in Early Los Angeles

In this episode, the documentary establishes Southern California as the undisputed aviation capital of the world and introduce the industry founders — Jack Northrop, Glenn Martin and Donald Douglas.  Nice weather attracted them but so did a climate friendly to dreamers, risk takers and entrepreneurs.  Amelia Earhart learned to fly here, becoming only the 16th woman in the world to earn a pilot’s license, succeeding in an industry dominated by men.

  • 2019-07-15T07:00:00-07:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-07-19T07:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-07-19T12:00:00-07:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-07-21T10:00:00-07:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-08-11T13:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-08-11T16:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-08-12T07:00:00-07:00
    KCETLINK

The Big Chill: The Cold War Fuels Business and Anxiety

This episode traces how The Cold War and Pentagon dollars fund the explosive growth of modern Los Angeles.  The end of World War II meant massive unemployment for the millions of workers in Southern California who built the aircraft that helped win the war, but a series of world events changed all that, creating a permanent wartime economy.  First, the Soviets successfully tested an atomic bomb.  Next, Mao Tse-Tung created a second Communist empire with his People’s Republic of China.  Finally, the Korean War marked the first communism/capitalism military showdown

  • 2019-07-21T13:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-07-21T16:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-07-22T07:00:00-07:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-07-26T07:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-07-26T12:00:00-07:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-07-28T10:00:00-07:00
    KCETLINK

A Space Odyssey: Southern California Spearheads Mankind’s Greatest Achievement

The triumphant and tragic Space Race unfolds in the first-hand accounts of those who pioneered the technology and built the hardware that made possible mankind’s greatest achievement. Meantime, the military-industrial-complex expands unchecked.

  • 2019-07-28T13:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-07-28T16:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-07-29T07:00:00-07:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-08-02T07:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-08-02T12:00:00-07:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-08-04T10:00:00-07:00
    KCETLINK

Back to the Future: A New Space Age Dawns in Southern California

“Back to the Future” explores the decline of the industry in Southern California and its resurgence in recent years.  We hear first-person testimony from Southern California residents who came of age during the Cold War and Space Race.

  • 2019-08-04T13:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-08-04T16:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-08-05T07:00:00-07:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-08-09T07:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2019-08-09T12:00:00-07:00
    KCETLINK
  • 2019-08-11T10:00:00-07:00
    KCETLINK