FRONTLINE marks the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination with a two-hour reprise of its investigative biography of the man at the center of the political crime of the 20th century. At the heart of the assassination lies the puzzle of Lee Harvey Oswald: Was he the emotionally disturbed lone gunman of the 1964 Warren Commission report? Was he, as the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded, probably part of a conspiracy on that day in Dallas? Or was he an unwitting fall guy, the patsy, as Oswald himself claimed when he was arrested on November 22, 1963?
In this program, scientists around the world follow a once-in-a-lifetime event, the path of the sun-grazing comet ISON. The comet, somewhere between one and 10 kilometers in diameter, is currently just beyond the orbit of Jupiter. As it races past Earth toward the sun, it will likely develop a tail to light up the night skies. Then ISON will slingshot around the back of the sun, to emerge perhaps brighter than ever.
The asteroid that exploded in the skies over Siberia injuring more than 1,000 and damaging buildings in six cities was a shocking reminder that Earth is a target in a cosmic shooting range. From the width of a football field to the size of a small city, these space rocks have the potential to be killers. In a collision with Earth, they could set off deadly blast waves, raging fires and colossal tidal waves. But some audacious entrepreneurs look at asteroids and see payday, not doomsday.
In 1863, Abraham Lincoln proved himself a master of a new frontier — not on the battlefields of the Civil War, but in his high-tech command center: the War Department Telegraph Office. The internet of the 19th century, the telegraph gave Lincoln new powers to reshape leadership and wield personal control across distant battlefields. It also connected him to the country in new ways, as information poured in, and allowed him to feel the pulse of the country faster than before.
“Rise!” examines the long road to civil rights, when the deep contradictions in American society finally became unsustainable. African Americans who fought fascism in World War II came home to face the same old racial violence. But mass media — from print to radio and TV — broadcast that injustice, planting seeds of resistance. The success of black entrepreneurs and entertainers fueled African-American hopes and dreams. In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, heralding the dawn of a movement of resistance, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.