America in Color

The BEST episodes of America in Color

Every episode of America in Color ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of America in Color!

From the 1920s through the 1960s, America transformed from a young country on the rise into a global superpower. Using digital colorization technology, we present these formative decades as few have seen them, revisiting 50 vibrant years of good times and great despair, technological triumphs and natural disasters, and global villains and national heroes.

Last Updated: 11/13/2022Network:Smithsonian Channel
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The 1960s
star
8.55
11 votes

#1 - The 1960s

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired 7/30/2017

The 1960s in the United States is a decade that played out on national television, decided a presidency, divided a nation about a war, and on July 20, 1969, declared a winner of the Space Race. Witness the dawn of modern America as it unfolded, through famous, and infamous, images and footage, shown in full color. From the drama of the Cuban Missile Crisis to the music of the Beatles, and from the March on Washington to the walk on the moon, we present the '60s like they've never been seen before.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The 1920s
star
8.25
16 votes

#2 - The 1920s

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 7/2/2017

The 1920s was a decade of unprecedented change for America. Soldiers returned from war. Well-paid jobs were plentiful. Women cast aside "proper behavior," and the Jazz Age erupted. It was an era of vibrant times and colorful characters, but for nearly a century, many have only seen it in black and white, until now. For the first time, we present the Roaring '20s in color, from Ford's assembly line to Charles Lindbergh's transatlantic flight and from speakeasies to New York's Wall Street, before and after the crash.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The 1930s
star
8.00
16 votes

#3 - The 1930s

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 7/9/2017

During the turbulent 1930s the stock market crash sent the United States into a tailspin of violence and disorder. As one president flounders, another offers a New Deal, putting America back to work and reshaping the landscape in the process. Revisit a decade when our nation was pushed to its limits and fought its way through, presented like it's never been seen before -- in color. From the end of Prohibition to the start of bold projects and from Dust Bowl nightmares to Technicolor Hollywood dreams, it's the '30s as only few have seen them.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The 1950s
star
7.92
13 votes

#4 - The 1950s

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired 7/23/2017

It's a decade many consider to be America's glory years, despite fearful conflicts at home and abroad. Join us as we revisit the 1950s, when families reaped unprecedented riches, teens discovered rock 'n' roll, and a nation found itself in the throes of civil unrest and on the losing end of the Space Race. Through digital colorization, we present the most significant moments of this incredible decade like they've never been shown before, including the Korean War, the Little Rock Nine, Elvis Presley, and more.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Disasters
star
7.83
6 votes

#5 - Disasters

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired 11/24/2019

The Hindenburg crash, the San Francisco earthquake, the Galveston hurricane, and the tri-state tornado are just a handful of disasters that slammed America during the first half of the 20th century. After each calamity struck, scientists and engineers raced to analyze the damage and collect data to better protect the public from future catastrophes. Witness these historic disasters in vivid color, and see how they shaped the nation and fostered better understanding of the world's geology.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The 1940s
star
7.77
13 votes

#6 - The 1940s

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 7/16/2017

It was an American era defined by a world war that united a nation and triggered an economic boom, but also unleashed fear and prejudice. This is the story of the 1940s like it's never been seen before, thanks to digital colorization technology. Watch our transformation from an isolated country to a global superpower, captured by rarely seen footage of the Pearl Harbor attacks, home movies behind the barbed wire fences of Japanese American internment camps, and newsreels of post-war celebration, discontentment, and growing prosperity.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Made in the USA
star
7.67
9 votes

#7 - Made in the USA

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired 12/8/2019

At the turn of the 20th century, 29 million Americans are working and 40% of them are farmers. Over the decades, factories expand like never before, two world wars speed up technological change, and by the 1950s, American workers have the highest wages and consumer power of any country in the world. This is the story of the men and women who built the American Dream, presented entirely in color through digitally remastered archival footage and home movies.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Hollywood's Golden Age
star
7.63
8 votes

#8 - Hollywood's Golden Age

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired 12/23/2018

The movie industry was born in West Orange, NJ in 1893 by Thomas Edison. Within thirty years, Hollywood grew into America's fourth largest, and by far most glamorous, industry. Revisit the Golden Age of Hollywood, when actors became global celebrities, moguls became millionaires, and the entire nation became movie crazy. Using digitally remastered news footage, rare studio archives, and home movie footage, look back on the dawn and meteoric rise of Tinseltown in color.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Wild West
star
7.56
9 votes

#9 - The Wild West

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired 11/18/2018

At the dawn of the 20th century, America west of the Mississippi was wild and untamed, featuring formidable landscapes and treacherous rivers. But in the following decades, industry and opportunity transformed the region into an economic and political powerhouse that drove change across the country and the world. Presented for the first time in color, revisit lands made famous by Buffalo Bill, championed by Teddy Roosevelt, and developed by opportunists seeking adventure and fortune.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Crimes of the Century
star
7.56
9 votes

#10 - Crimes of the Century

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired 12/15/2019

From Bonnie and Clyde to George "Machine Gun" Kelly and from the Lindbergh kidnapping to the Brink's robbery, the early 20th century in America was marked by celebrity outlaws, courtroom dramas, and shocking murders and misdeeds that captivated the nation. This is the story of America's fascination with crime, told in color. Using rare home movies, newsreel coverage, police footage, and FBI films, look back at the country's most high-profile criminals and cases.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Titans of Industry
star
7.43
7 votes

#11 - Titans of Industry

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired 11/25/2018

America is still a rural nation in 1910. Most homes don't have electricity, and less than one percent of the population owns a car. But that changes with the rise of Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, and Thomas Edison, who help foster the economic and technological booms of the early 20th century. Through colorized archival footage and personal home movies, explore the business relationships that transformed America and glimpse into powerful friendships that lasted a lifetime.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Playtime
star
7.29
7 votes

#12 - Playtime

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired 12/9/2018

At the start of the 20th century, Americans find themselves with more time and money on their hands. Coney Island launches the country's first amusement parks and proves that big profits can be earned from fun and entertainment. By 1953, Americans are spending $18 billion a year on leisure activities like camping, bowling, and attending sports events. This is the story of America at play, presented through digitally remastered and colorized archival footage and rarely seen home movies.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Alaska
star
7.29
7 votes

#13 - Alaska

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired 12/1/2019

At the dawn of the 20th century, most Americans think of Alaska as an icy unpopulated wilderness, but one event will change everything: the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896. Through remastered and colorized news footage and home movies, witness Alaska's evolution from a frozen wasteland at the edge of the world to the 49th state to join the Union. From boomtowns to volcanic blasts to Japanese invasions, this is the story of America's last frontier as you have never seen it before.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
American Royalty
star
7.17
6 votes

#14 - American Royalty

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired 12/16/2018

American royalty: a potent combination of popularity, glamour, money, and power. In the early 20th century, the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts build empires and spend fortunes. The Roosevelts and Kennedys spawn political dynasties. And news magnate William Randolph Hearst records it all, using film to cash in on the glitzy lives of the rich and famous. Now, through rare archival footage and home movies, get a colorful inside look at these storied families working hard and playing hard.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Small Town Life
star
7.00
8 votes

#15 - Small Town Life

Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired 12/22/2019

At the turn of the 20th century, two-thirds of Americans live in small towns, but by the 1960s, only a third remain. Some are lured to cities by the promise of opportunity and money, while others move there to escape racism and intolerance. Through it all, the myth of these quaint, harmonious communities continues to burn powerfully in the minds of many. This is the story of small town America, from soap box derbies and Will Rogers' charm to postwar poverty and the Great Migration, presented in color.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Organized Crime
star
6.75
8 votes

#16 - Organized Crime

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired 12/2/2018

It's the 1920s. America is on the rise, and so is a dark underworld run by a new kind of criminal, one that is organized, sophisticated, and ruthless. For the next 40 years, legendary gangsters like Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, and Frank Costello build vast empires thanks to bootlegging, illegal gambling, and shady alliances with politicians. Follow the violent rise and fall of organized crime, presented in color for the first time through remastered archival footage and never-before-broadcast home movies.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Coming to America
star
5.82
11 votes

#17 - Coming to America

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired 11/17/2019

For many immigrants, their first sight of the U.S. is the Statue of Liberty. The iconic structure promises sanctuary, hope, and a fresh start, but they soon learn that America's arms are not always open. Colorized rare home movies and archival footage reveal the amazing stories of ordinary people who share the same dream. From Caribbean immigrants who settled in Harlem to Italian "radicals" shipped back home to celebrities such as Albert Einstein, see how America changed as immigrants brought new cultures from the margins to the mainstream.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes

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