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American Experience

The Alaska Pipeline (#1811)

In the early weeks of 1968, after a decade-long search for oil in Alaska's frozen wilderness, gas burst up out of an exploratory well on the North Slope with such force the crew thought it was about to blow. Geologists soon calculated that as much as ten billion barrels of oil lay below the frozen tundra of Prudhoe Bay-the largest oil find in North America. The pipeline built to bring that oil to market was one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century. For more than three years, workers battled brutal Arctic weather to construct an eight hundred mile pipeline that traversed three mountain ranges, thirty-four rivers, and eight hundred streams, and that withstood earthquakes and subzero temperatures. The men, machines and money the pipeline brought to Alaska would forever transform what had long been regarded as America's last great wilderness. [56 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Series Description: As television's longest-running, most-watched history series, American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation.

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