Peter Jennings Reporting (ABC News Series) — 1990-1998

The American Game 07/30/1998 A look at Little League baseball and American life. Peter Jennings follows a Hagerstown, Maryland, Little League team as they pursue a World Series championship. It is an emotional summer journey about the pursuit of dreams and the loss of innocence. “In short,” says Jennings, “the program is about the difference between what we say we want for our children and how we really act.”

Dangerous World: The Kennedy Years 12/04/1997 A two-hour special, “Dangerous World” is a co-production with Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh. It explores the complicated life and the secrets of President John F. Kennedy and what it was like at the center of power during some of the darkest days of the Cold War.

Unfinished Business: The CIA and Saddam Hussein 06/26/1997 This primetime special investigates the Central Intelligence Agency’s efforts to eliminate the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein.

Who is Tim McVeigh? 04/10/1997 Nearly two years after the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, Tim McVeigh goes on trial, accused of the most deadly act of terrorism in the history of the United States. The program contains additional material updating a previous broadcast: “Peter Jennings Reporting: Rage and Betrayal — The Lives of Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols.”

Pot of Gold 03/13/1997 Ounce for ounce, marijuana is worth as much or more than gold. So, no wonder so many Americans are growing marijuana for profit. By many estimates it is the country’s number one crash crop. Peter Jennings examines America’s multi-billion dollar underground marijuana economy.

Jerusalem Stories 12/19/1996 Every ancient king and conqueror wanted Jerusalem. Nearly every army in the ancient world, and some in the modern world, has made its presence known here. Peter Jennings, who has been reporting on Jerusalem for almost 30 years, returns to explore the city sacred to Muslims, Christians and Jews. “We’ll take viewers places tourists don’t go,” Jennings says, “It’s a place where past and present are always bumping into each other, and for people from all over the world, there is something about Jerusalem that’s irresistible.”

Never Say Die: How the Cigarette Companies Keep on Winning 06/27/1996 Despite the assaults on the tobacco industry from regulators and politicians, Peter Jennings reveals how through clever marketing, aggressive lawyering and big-money lobbying the tobacco industry not only survives, but even thrives.

Rage and Betrayal 04/11/1996 An intimate portrait of the relationships and events which shaped the lives of Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the two men accused of the single worst act of terrorism in U.S. history. Bill McVeigh traces his son’s devolution from “comic book collector” to drifter, gun dealer and “patriot.” The story of Terry Nichols is recounted through the observations of his father, his brother, his son, and his first wife.

Hiroshima: Why We Dropped the Bomb 07/27/1995 Using contemporaneous records left by participants, such as diary entries, memoranda, minutes of meetings, intelligence reports, decoded diplomatic cables, as well as interviews with historians, Peter Jennings addresses the most controversial questions surrounding the decision to drop two atomic bombs on Japan at the end of World War II. Were there alternatives? Did we need to be the first and only nation to use the atomic bomb? Did the bomb shorten the war?

The Peacekeepers: How the U.N. Failed in Bosnia 04/24/1995 Three years ago in Bosnia, the United Nations launched the largest and most expensive peacekeeping operation in its 50-year history. Despite thousands of troops and billions of dollars, the UN has done little to stop the brutal aggression and slaughter of innocent civilians. In this third special on the war in the former Yugoslavia, Peter Jennings examines why.

In the Name of God 03/16/1995 While mainline Protestant denominations have been declining since the 1950s, America’s hunger for spiritual meaning seems to be intensifying. Some of the nation’s evangelical churches are answering those needs through controversial forms of worship that are having a wide-ranging impact throughout mainline Christian denominations. “This is not a program about the religious right or errant televangelists,” says Peter Jennings. “It is a program about the changing face of church in America.”

House on Fire: America’s Haitian Crisis 07/27/1994 It has neither aggressive designs on its neighbors nor a burgeoning nuclear weapons program. Instead, Haiti is a small, impoverished nation of no strategic value. And yet, the United States is increasingly viewing an invasion as a feasible way of deposing the military government, stemming the flow of refugees and restoring President Rev. Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power.

While America Watched: The Bosnian Tragedy 03/17/1994 For genocide to happen, you don’t need Nazis or ovens. You need only killers and victims. And those who stand by and let it happen. Could the Bush and Clinton administrations have saved any of the hundreds of thousands who have died in the former Yugoslavia? Peter Jennings returns to the Balkans for this second prime-time special, and looks at how U.S. leaders made the decision to stand aside for so long while scenes of mass murder and genocide revisited Europe.

The Land of the Demons 03/13/1993 Peter Jennings tells some of the personal stories of survival in the former Yugoslavia, as he reports on the global implications of the death and destruction. “I wanted to go to Sarajevo,” says Jennings, “because a great many people were being slaughtered in a manner which was altogether too reminiscent of World War II — a war from which we thought we were going to learn more — and after which the world said, ‘Never again’.”

The Cocaine War: Lost in Bolivia 12/28/1992 The U.S. government is spending millions of dollars each year on interdiction efforts, but will adding more guns, more helicopters, and more border patrols ever make a difference? Peter Jennings examines America’s war on drugs, focusing on Bolivia, a country that produces a third of the world’s cocaine and where one in every five people owes his economic survival to traffickers.

The Missiles of October: What the World Didn’t Know 10/27/1992 Peter Jennings goes behind the scene of the Cuban Missile Crisis. “After 30 years we finally understand how close we were to nuclear disaster,” he says. “The leaders of all three countries involved were operating with little or no idea of what the other was planning, which put the world closer to the brink than anyone either knew or was willing to admit.”

Who is Ross Perot? 06/29/1992 While undeclared Presidential candidate Ross Perot has captured the nation’s attention and risen to the top of the national polls, what do Americans really know about him? This film looks beyond the political phenomenon of Ross Perot to focus on Ross Perot the man — how he got where he is today and what has kept him there.

Men, Sex and Rape 05/05/1992 This one-hour special examines rape, focusing on the male point of view. Through interviews with rapists and their victims, Peter Jennings discusses how men perceive women, why men rape, the boundary between rape and consensual sex — and whether men actually understand it.

From the Heart of Harlem 07/25/1991 An investigation into the financial troubles of the Dance Theater of Harlem, this program traces the dance company from it’s beginnings in a Harlem basement, to success on the world dance stage, to the brink of bankruptcy.

A Line in the Sand: War or Peace? 01/14/1991 – ABC An analysis of the Middle Eastern political environment, which led to the August 1990 Iraqi attack on oil-rich Kuwait. Peter Jennings looks at Saddam Hussein’s relationship with Western countries and America’s decision to become involved in the highly volatile situation.

The New Civil War 11/01/1990 In this election season, Peter Jennings reports from the front lines of the abortion war – “the most explosive social and political issue in America” – and illustrates just how polarized and politicized the debate is.

A Line in the Sand 09/11/1990 Documenting the beginning of the Gulf War, this program details what American military forces encountered in battle and what many people view as the underlying cause of the six-week-long war: oil.

From the Killing Fields: Beyond Vietnam 04/26/1990 Peter Jennings anchors an in-depth investigative report from inside the war-torn country of Cambodia, and hosts a discussion with prominent individuals, including General William Westmoreland, about Vietnam and Cambodia 15 years after the “end” of the war. Is the U.S. assisting the Khmer Rouge directly or indirectly? Is America still fighting the Vietnam War–in Cambodia?

Guns 01/24/1990 Peter Jennings goes to Stockton, California, where Patrick Purdy killed five children and wounded 30 with an AK-47 assault rifle, to report on national debate on gun control.

More Peter Jennings Reporting projects...