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179 History Documentaries You Can Watch Right Now (No Membership Required)

All of these programs are available to watch right now without a membership — but, bear in mind that some won’t stay free-to-watch forever, so catch them now before they’re gone.

Have you decided that it’s high time to take a step back and look at the big picture? Is your teenager sick of your attempts to remember history class in your newly-founded home school? Or are you just desperate to watch a story that doesn’t include a certain word that rhymes with Arizona? Whatever your motivation, we’ve got you covered. Here are 179 history documentaries available to watch right now without a membership. Just click the links and press play. Or better yet, find them in the free PBS Video app for your Roku, Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, Fire TV Stick, phone or tablet. Enjoy!

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An African boy hauls a bag over his head. | From "Lost Boys of Sudan"

Africa

Firestone and the Warlord

Lost Boys of Sudan

A closeup photo of a pharaoh statue.

Ancient

After Stonehenge

Cleopatra’s Lost Tomb

Decoding the Great Pyramid

Egypt’s Darkest Hour

Lost Ships of Rome

The Nero Files

Nero’s Sunken City

The Silver Pharaoh

 

A few men are depicted of building a dam against a backdrop of a river.

Architecture

10 Monuments That Changed America

10 Modern Marvels That Changed America

10 Streets That Changed America

10 Towns that Changed America

Grand Coulee Dam

Hollywood’s Architect

Paul Revere Williams

 

The Big Picture

Blank on Blank

History Detectives

The Origin of Everything

 

A few people trek down a road with the Griffith Observatory in the background.

California

Beach Culture

Before the Dodgers

Bootlegger Tunnels: A Journey Through LA’s Prohibition Lore

Borderlands

Building the Metropolis

Coded Geographies

Descanso Gardens

Desert Fantasy

Discovering the Universe

Dream Factory

Fantasyland

Ghost Town

Griffith Park: The Untold Story

Pacific Rim

Reshaping L.A.

Shindana Toy Company: Changing the American Doll Industry

Three Views of Manzanar: Adams, Lange, Miyatake

Venice

Wild L.A.

Wild West

Yosemite

 

A street sign that says "Wall Street."

Capitalism

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

American Empire: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos

The Business of Disaster

The Facebook Dilemma

The Gilded Age

Money, Power and Wall Street

The Secret History of the Credit Card

 

A promotional banner for the PBS Video app.

 

A portrait of William Still.

Civil Rights

The Fight

First Freedom: The Fight for Religious Liberty

Memories of the March

Underground Railroad: The William Still Story

 

The silhouettes of two firemen against a blazing fire.

Disasters

The Big Burn

Ebola in Congo

Fire in Paradise

 

A rendered image of a teenage girl from Jamestown in early America.

Early America

Ben Franklin's Bones

Secrets of Spanish Florida

 

The Terracotta Army from China line up side by side.

East Asia

Battle for Hong Kong

China's Terracotta Warriors

Myanmar’s Killing Fields

On the President’s Orders

The Tank Man

 

An image of Jacques Pepin wearing a chef's hat.

Food

Jacques Pépin: The Art of Craft

James Beard: America’s First Foodie

LA Foodways

The Poison Squad

 

A picture of King Richard III of England.

Great Britain

Arthur’s Lost Kingdom

Resurrecting Richard III

 

Healthcare workers pile on a truck.

Health

The Age of AIDS

Chasing Heroin

Flint’s Deadly Water

Outbreak

Right to Fail

 

Portraits of four Holocaust survivors.

The Holocaust

Escape from Auschwitz

The Last Survivors

The Last Laugh

Memory of the Camps

Shtetl

 

A long line of people petition outside the White House.

Immigration

Immigration Battle

Targeting El Paso

Marcos Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

North Korea’s Deadly Dictator

Separated: Children at the Border

Zero Tolerance

 

An upward shot of the Supreme Court building.

Justice

American Patriot

The Gang Crackdown

Last Days of Solitary

Life on Parole

A More or Less Perfect Union

The Mueller Investigation

Out of Gitmo/Forever Prison

Second Chance Kids

Supreme Revenge

The Trial of Ratko Mladić

 

A promotional banner for the PBS Video app.

 

An archaeologist is excavating in a dig site.

Latin America

Drug Lord: The Legend of Shorty

Into the Amazon

Teotihuacán’s Lost Kings

 

Thumbnail image for "Bitter Rivals: Iran and Saudi Arabia."

Middle East

Bitter Rivals: Iran and Saudi Arabia

Children of Syria

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

For Sama

Losing Iraq

Mosul/Inside Yemen

Netanyahu at War

Saudi Arabia Uncovered

Our Man in Tehran

 

A still from "RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked The World."

Music

RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked The World

 

Myths

Monstrum

 

Portraits of Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

Politics

Anti-Abortion Crusaders

The Abortion Divide

America’s Great Divide: From Obama to Trump

Bannon’s War

Emma Goldman

Gunned Down

Hillary’s Class

Ken Burns’ The Roosevelts

McCain

Secrets, Politics and Torture

Trump’s Road to the White House

Trump’s Takeover

Trump’s Trade War

United States of Secrets

Waco: The Inside Story

War on the EPA

 

A child and a woman walk through a dark hallway.

Poverty

Left Behind America

Poverty, Politics and Profit

Poor Kids

 

An image of a prehistoric community.

Prehistory

First Face of America

Great Human Odyssey

Making North America Human

Making North America: Life

Making North America: Origins

 

Children walk in a line outside a building with tall windows.

Race

The Chinese Exclusion Act

The Eugenics Crusade

Roads to Memphis

Separate and Unequal

Tell Them We Are Rising

Two American Families

 

A promotional banner for the PBS Video app.

 

A picture of the Vatican taken at night.

Religion

Bones of the Buddha

From Jesus to Christ

God in America

The Mormons

Secrets of the Vatican

 

An image of the Mona Lisa's eyes.

Renaissance

Building the Great Cathedrals

Decoding da Vinci

The Mona Lisa Mystery

 

Vladamir Putin

Russia

Putin’s Revenge

Putin’s Way

 

The view of Earth from the surface of the moon.

Science

Apollo’s Daring Mission

Chasing the Moon

Forgotten Genius

The Gene: An Intimate History

Leonardo, the Man Who Saved Science

Sealab

The Secret of Tuxedo Park

 

A silhouette of a man standing in front of a mic against a backdrop with many NFL logos.

Sports

Ken Burns’ Baseball

Ken Burns’ Jackie Robinson

League of Denial: The NFL’s Corruption Crisis

 

A man with his face masked holds a machine gun in his hand.

Terrorism

American Terrorist

Confronting ISIS

The Man Who Knew

My Brother’s Bomber

The Rise of ISIS

The Secret History of ISIS

Terror in Europe

Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald

 

A picture of the back of war soldiers' heads.

War and Revolution

Bush’s War

Carthage’s Lost Warriors

Ground War

The Hunt for Nazi Scientists

Hallowed Grounds

The Man Who Saved the World

The Mine Wars

Obama at War

Slave Ship Mutiny

The War of 1812

World War Speed

 

Annie Oakley poised to shoot with a double-barrelled rifle.

Wild West

Annie Oakley

The Klondike Gold Rush

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