ALEXANDRIA, Virginia - In the spring of 1927, after weeks of incessant rains, the Mississippi River went on a rampage. Racing south from Cairo, Illinois, the river blew away levee after levee, inundating thousands of farms and hundreds of towns, killing as many as a thousand people, and leaving more than half a million homeless.
By the time it reached New Orleans, the flood had not only altered a landscape of 27,000 square miles -- it had widened the abyss of race relations in the Deep South. The sixty-minute documentary and companion Web site examine archival footage and eyewitness accounts to chronicle one of America's greatest natural disasters. Log on to http://www.PBS.org/amex/flood
What you can do online:
- Watch film clips shot before and during the flood. (Available in QuickTime and RealVideo.)
- Cast your vote in an online poll: do you think LeRoy Percy betrayed the African American community in Greenville?
- Trace the path of the flood of 1927 and compare it to the damage done when the Mississippi broke its banks in 1993.
- Explore the lives and hardships of African American sharecroppers living in the Mississippi Delta during the flood, through eyewitness accounts and blues songs about the flood.
- Read interviews with Professor David Evans and radio host Mai Cramer on Delta blues music.
- Examine a timeline of efforts to control the mighty Mississippi.
- Read excerpts from Will Percy's 1941 memoir, "Lanterns on the Levee: Recollections of a Planter's Son."
The preeminent American history site on the Web, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE ONLINE complements the viewing experience by encouraging in-depth exploration of the issues surrounding each documentary subject beyond the television screen. Regular features include interactive games and demonstrations; online polls; interviews with historians, biographers, and eyewitnesses; primary sources; maps, timelines and charts; and QuickTime VR tours.
PBS ONLINE http://www.PBS.org
, PBS's award-winning site on the World Wide Web, produces high-quality Web programming as it pioneers the convergence of television and the Internet. PBS ONLINE features more than 135,000 pages of content as well as companion Web sites for nearly 450 PBS programs and specials.
Tune in to PBS on Monday, April 16, 2001 at 9pm (check local listings.)