On December 19, 1907, a tremendous explosion shook the Youghiogheny River Valley at the Darr Mine in Van Meter, Westmoreland County, killing 239 men and boys. It remains the worst mining disaster in Pennsylvania history and led to important changes in the mining industry. Yet very few people know the story. With compelling interviews and rich archival images, the story focuses on a small, dedicated group of people - led by elderly Ann Toth of Bobtown, Pennsylvania - all determined to preserve the Darr's place in history.
Original airdate: Dec 19, 2011
Nestled in the rolling hills of northwestern Pennsylvania is a "Mayberry" kind of town. It's got everything...fly fishing, Amish, a covered bridge, old grist mill, specialty shops and that warm small town feel. People come from all over the world to visit Volant, but if the residents there hadn't been creative, the town might have closed-up when hard economic times ensued.
Original airdate: Dec 05, 2011
The tuberculosis sanatorium in Cresson, Pennsylvania closed in 1964, but former patients are still haunted by their experiences. Many people remember the dangerous illness, the stigma of a TB diagnosis, and the landmark hospital in Cambria County that was nicknamed "The San." Rare archival photos, film and compelling interviews are woven around the memories of Chuck Felton, who launched a fascinating website about his life as a teenage patient in the 1950s. This Emmy winning documentary is from the team of writer/producer David Solomon and videographer/editor Paul Ruggieri.
Original airdate: Nov 21, 2011
WQED contributing reporter Dave Crawley documents Western Pennsylvania's contributions to World War II, including the Bantam Jeep designed in Butler, LST production on Neville Island, steel production in Homestead and the Westinghouse artist who created the Rosie The Riveter image.
Original airdate: Nov 07, 2011
At the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, animal keepers are working to save the world's most endangered and threatened species. WQED goes behind the scenes at the Pittsburgh landmark to focus on efforts to protect animals such as amur tigers, Philippine crocodiles, and sea turtles.
Original airdate: May 30, 2011
Also known as the National Road, Route 40 has fascinating connections to historic figures, where inns once welcomed west-bound settlers passing through Western Pennsylvania. Farmington, one of the towns along the route, still welcomes visitors, with attractions ranging from The Christian Clay Winery, Laurel Caverns, the historic Stone House, to the vistas of the Summit Inn and the legendary white buffalo at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Reporter Dave Crawley follows 40 to Farmington in this historic travelogue.
Original airdate: Apr 11, 2011
Almost every day there are news reports of bullying: ranging from nasty text messages to beatings. There are even reports of bullying in the workplace. Often victims suffer emotionally and physically - sometimes becoming so depressed over bullying, they take their own lives. This documentary shares stories of victims while focusing on programs that are helping put Pennsylvania on the forefront of bullying prevention in schools.
Original airdate: Mar 28, 2011
This documentary follows four Pittsburgh-area people who are compelled to climb. Explorer Will Cross, watchmaker Michael Kobold, Dr. Ray Benza and physician assistant Jessica Lazar are all scaling the highest mountains in the world to raise money and awareness for diabetes, lung disease and injured Navy Seals.
Original airdate: Feb 28, 2011
They are senior citizens now, but during the early 1960s, their youthful actions reshaped America. WQED shares the unforgettable memories and rare photographs of Civil Rights era activists including the Reverend C.T. Vivian, Sister Patricia McCann, and freedom singer Rutha Harris, who fought against segregation and for African-Americans' right to vote.
Original airdate: Feb 21, 2011