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

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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!

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


Firestone and the Warlord

Lost Boys of Sudan

A closeup photo of a pharaoh statue.


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.


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.


Beach Culture

Before the Dodgers

Bootlegger Tunnels: A Journey Through LA’s Prohibition Lore


Building the Metropolis

Coded Geographies

Descanso Gardens

Desert Fantasy

Discovering the Universe

Dream Factory


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


Wild L.A.

Wild West


A street sign that says "Wall Street."


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.


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.


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.


The Age of AIDS

Chasing Heroin

Flint’s Deadly Water


Right to Fail

Portraits of four Holocaust survivors.

The Holocaust

Escape from Auschwitz

The Last Survivors

The Last Laugh

Memory of the Camps