This CuriosityStream original series tells the often unknown stories of the men and women who have defined America; why they were so influential and what made them great. Featuring insight from renowned historians including David McCullough, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Jay Winik.
A century after he transformed baseball, celebrity culture, and the American experience, Babe Ruth is still one of a kind. But if not for a change in the course of history, The Babe might today only be remembered — if at all — as a pretty decent pitcher.
As a young boy, literature allowed Abraham Lincoln to transcend his surroundings. Stories of far away places showed Lincoln the wider word, and fueled his ambition to make his mark. But to most, he was just a country bumpkin.. until one iconic photograph changed everything.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
FDR is remembered for overcoming the toughest possible challenges — staring down the Depression, staring down the Nazis, saving democracy. He would remake the world and at the same time conquer his own personal limitations. And in those darkest of days, it was a powerful memory from childhood calmed his nerves fueled his determination.
Even as a painfully shy child, Eleanor Roosevelt knew from an early age that she was smart and had something to contribute. She just had to figure it out. Eleanor began public life as a stand in for her husband, but after several critical events, soon learned that the american people wanted to hear from her.
He wasn’t always the greatest strategist and tactician, and he actually made a lot of mistakes early on. But George Washington was a leader unlike any other. In an age of small men who liked to talk, he towered over them with his quiet strength.
Thomas Edison had no small ego and liked to promote himself as a lone inventor. But you can’t take out 1100 patents in your lifetime by yourself. Instead, he built the first research and development laboratory, decades before anyone else in America understood the value of such a collaboration.
The secret of Twain’s success was that he echoed and reflected a longing of all sorts of people. By evoking an earlier America, Mark Twain became the most popular voice in America.