E8 - Boom

The dawn of the 20th century

America is changing in ways never thought possible

Cities explode outward.

Booze fuels a criminal underworld.

Millions head north to escape poverty.

Violence erupts.

American is about to become the richest nation on earth

We are pioneers and trailblazers.

We fight for freedom.

We transform our dreams into the truth,

Our struggles will become a nation.

America: The Story of Us

Episode 8: Boom

It's 1900.

The dawn of the greatest consumer boom the world has ever seen

But none of it will happen without the discovery

Of what lies beneath the Texas dirt.


Oil will power the 20th century and build the modern world

Men call it ... "Black Gold".

Texas: a wide-open and wild territory.

Closer to the old West than modern-day

The Hamill brothers, Al, 24, ex-cattleman

Curt, 28, ex-salesman

A new breed of pioneer on the American frontier: oilman

Young, rugged, ambitious

Known as some of the best in the business,

"In the beginning of oil, It was hardship."

"Everything was hard to do"

"We didn't know anything"

"Only the surface of the ground"

Oil has just been discovered in Texas, but the wells are small.

Prospectors have a hunch that this shallow hill

Near Beaumont, east of Houston, signifies oil

What they don't know, what nobody knows,

Is that beneath their feet lie oil reserves

Worth more than 11 billion dollars today

Nowhere in the world has anybody discovered this much oil before

The first prospectors to tap into these reserves

Will become rich beyond their wildest dreams

The field the Hamill Brothers are hired to drill

Will become the stuff of legend Spindle top.

Until the late 1850s, oil had been, really an annoyance to most people.

And people would dig water wells,

And if they happened to strike oil by accident,

They'd curse their bad luck.

But with the development of railroads and with the industrial revolution

For the first time, people began seeking oil

Until recently, whale oil cornered the market.

It was used in lamps to light homes and streets.

But the whales have been hunted to near-extinction.

One discovery has saved them. Oil.

Made from the remains of tiny organisms in the world's oceans,

It's been down there for as long as 160 million years

Native Americans have used it as medicine

Then, in 1854, scientists in Pennsylvania

Discover it can be used for lighting,

There's no turning back.

Coal still dominates industry, powering trains and factories

But it's dirty and less efficient.

A ton of coal has half the energy of a ton of oil

For the right rig in the right place, there are fortunes to be made

Well, that is the American dream, is that this is a land of opportunity

Where anything is possible if you roll up your sleeves and get to it

Prospectors have tried drilling at Spindletop before,

But all previous wells here came up empty

The land, great for farming, is lousy for drilling

Earlier attempts hit hundreds of feet of sand and collapsed

The Hamills get 2 dollars for every foot they drill, top dollar in those days.

And when investors pay top dollar, they expect results

Their contract pays them to 1200 Feet

If they don't hit oil by then, the well's a dud and they're through

That's good, that's good.

Right now they are at 400 feet

Drilling for oil is dangerous work

6,000 die in oil explosions every year

Most rigs are primitive tools, smashing through rock

By pounding it with a heavy object on a cable

But this is sand.

You can't smash your way through sand

The Hamills are gambling on revolutionary technology

A steam engine that drills a pipe through the ground

So far it's been able to bore through

500 feet of sand and bedrock with no collapses.

But at 600 feet

Disaster strikes.

The drill hits a pocket of explosive gas and water

The pressure forces gas back up through the pipe

They're lucky to survive

I see a really strong parallel between the cultural prospecting

And the culture of entrepreneurial endeavors

You do all your surveys, you plan it out, you think it's really great

You dig down and there's there is nothing there.

It's really hard to predict.

Progress is slow.

They're fighting for every foot

The sand is too fine even for their drill

The walls of the bore hole are starting to collapse

Normally these kinds of rigs

Pump water into the bore hole to support its walls

But the sand is too fine, the water too thin.

They need a thicker liquid

They're forced to improvise, using only material they have on hand

Water...Dirt...And cows.

"We brought in a small herd of cattle and turned them loose in nearby water pit"

"The cattle stomped around and made a lot of mud for us"

The answer to all their problems is mud.

With mud holding up the walls of the bore hole they're back on track

"From then on, we operated the rig 24 hours a day"

Curt's innovation is still in use today

Only now rigs use synthetic compounds.

But drilling fluids like this are still called "Mud."

It's January 10, 1901.

The Hamills have been drilling for over two months

They're past 1100 feet--still no break through

Another 100 and they'll have to quit

Then..."I walked over and looked down the hole there."

"I heard--sort of something kind of bubbling"

"Just a little bit, and looked down there"

"And hear, this frothy oil was starting up"

"Coming up and sinking back"

"With the gas pressure and kept coming up and over the rotary table"

"And each flow a little higher, and a little higher"

This is a day that changes America forever

"Clear the rig, clear the rig!"

"Finally it came up with such momentum"

"That it just shot up clear through the top of the derrick"

The guides of crude oil shoots almost 200 feet into the air

The Hamills were hoping for 50 barrels a day.

The well would soon be pumping out over 80,000,

Making the US the largest oil producer in the world.

Overnight, the backers funding the rig are nearly 40 Million dollars richer

The Hamill brothers become legends.

The oil just burst out of the ground,

And it spewed for days and days before they could bring it under control.

It really marked the beginning of the petroleum age in the United States,

And one could argue, in the world as well.

Spindletop changes everything.

Oil production in the US instantly increases 50%.

Within a year 500 oil companies are born, including Texaco and Gulf.

The price of oil plummets from 2 dollars a barrel to 3 cents

It's cheaper than water

Cheap enough to turn into gasoline

Around the turn of the century,

Millions of Americans live their entire lives within 50 miles of their home

Gasoline makes the US mobile in ways never thought possible

Today the average American drives the equivalent of

2 and a half round-trips to the moon

One man will seize the opportunity in cheap oil

And change the face of the nation

Detroit, 1908.

Henry Ford: maverick, visionary, obsessive

A man with a bad reputation

Recently let go by the company that will soon become Cadillac,

He launches his third attempt to build cars.

But these will be different.

There are only 8,000 cars in the U.S...

Expensive toys for the wealthy, like owning a private jet today

There were dozens and dozens of small companies building cars

That were essentially play things for the rich

They were notoriously unreliable, they were not standardized

They were hand-built, essentially.

And if you were to own a car, you practically had to have

Your own mechanic on staff as well to keep the thing running

Nobody's figured out how to make a car that's affordable and low-cost

Henry Ford is about to change that

It won't just change how cars are made

It will change how everything is made

Detroit 1913.

Henry Ford isn't just making a revolutionary car

He's making it in a revolutionary way

The production line

High volume, low cost.

Products identical.

"The man who places the part doesn't fasten it."

"The man who puts in a bolt doesn't put on the nut,"

"And the man who puts the nut doesn't tighten it."

Work is standardized. Simplified.

It's a more efficient way to make


Mass production sweeps the nation

And it changes the world.

To be an assembly-line worker, you did not have to have a high degree of skill,

You didn't have to be a card-carrying machinist or whatever it might be

All you had to do was to learn how to turn the same wrench on the same nut

5,000 times a day and that was your job

Prices plummet.

In 1913, a Model T cost two years' wages

By 1924, it's just three months.

The Model T, without question,

Is one of the single objects in the history

Of America that changed America

What Henry Ford developed was the car for the common man.

The impact of this little car is massive

300,000 sold in 1913.

By 1924, there's a new Model T every 24 seconds.

Suddenly, this form of transportation, which was entirely new,

Was something that people could actually engage in.

They could afford it.

Where there are only several of them,

And they're millions and millions of dollars.

Washington State, 1915.

The Model T success is creating a nation of student drivers

Roscoe Sheller used to be a dairy farmer

He's about to start a new job

Car salesman.

The pay is fantastic

The only problem is... he can't drive.

You're not riding a horse, just take it easy

His boss offers to teach him the morning of his first day at work

It's not long before Roscoe has his first customers

Luckily, there's a manual called "How to drive an Automobile."

"Cranking is an art that is essential"

"For the new motorists to become proficient in"

"It is always a good plan."

"Undoubtedly a good ideas to lean to steer first"

"Steering is a very simple manipulation"

"An excellent plan for the beginning is to find"

"A long, straight and slightly downhill road free of other traffic... "

Roscoe takes his customers for a test drive.

Most are used to a horse and buggy.

"The majority of first-time drivers completely ignored corners"

"Instead of using a brake, they shouted "Whoa" at the top of their lung power"

"Often, they demand I teach his wife"

"And every kind old enough to reach the pedals "

America's love affair with the automobile has begun.

The American has a great sense of freedom and not being tied to one place

If I don't like it here, I'm gonna pack everything in the car

They don't require anybody's permission,

They don't have to sign out, and the automobile really enables that

When I came to America, the first thing I want to think about,

"How can I get hold of a car?"

I had a love affair with cars from the very beginning

Because this method of movement that can enable you to see vast, expensive space

Is something I never experienced in China.


This is a something I wanted to do almost more than anything else, is to buy a car.

Roscoe Sheller is one of America's pioneer car dealers

Today Americans drive 2.7 trillion miles a year

In vehicles that are descendants of Henry Ford's Model T.


By the roaring "'20s"

They are transforming the lives of millions.

Now you don't have to live near work

Cities explode outwards, creating giant suburbs.

Brand-new highways are built

Shopping malls with giant car parks

The biggest urban sprawl of all, Los Angeles

The center of a massive entertainment industry

800 films produced a year in the 1920s, double the amount today.

A feverish land grab is in full swing

High in the hills, a real-estate syndicate buys 500 acres

They hire stonemasons(石工) from Italy

To build luxury mansions overlooking the city.

Dream homes fit for oil tycoons(大君:大物) and film stars

To kick off their investment, the biggest advertising sign on the planet

4000 light bulbs announce the name of this luxury development


Movie director Busby Berkeley buys the first house on the plot.

It is supposed to be a temporary sign

In 1949, the end is removed

It becomes just "Hollywood."

Built on oil fueled by cars and movies

LA is the fastest-growing city in the world

But none of this incredible growth has been possible

Without one other vital ingredient


William Mulholland: Irish immigrant, tenacious, ruthless.

Superintendent of the LA City Water Company

It's 1904.

LA is running out of water

Its headline news

It's up to Mulholland to find it.

His reputation is on the line

The story of the West is the story of water

Because you can't turn this region that has a fertile soil

And sites for city development

Without that incredibly scarce resource in the West

Southern California.

Rainfall as low as 2 inches a year

Temperatures as high as 134 degrees

The surrounding mountains get plenty of rainfall

The problem is, it stays there

L.A. has one small river

It provides a fraction of the water the growing city will need.

California is at the edge of the great western desert,

And in order for large numbers of people to live in cities of California,

Means had to be provided to get the water

From where it was in California, mountains,

To where the people were, in the cities.

Mulholland must find water

The fate of Southern California hangs in the balance

His research begins just outside the city.


He moves 200 miles northeast

Still nothing

Finally, he reaches an area called Owens Valley.

It's perfect.

Flowing out of the mountains has formed a massive lake

110 square miles

Result, an oasis of lush farmland

Locals call it the Switzerland of California.

Aided only by gravity, this water could flow all the way to Los Angeles

all you need is an aqueduct(導水管)

It sounds simple, but the engineering feat will be phenomenal.

It's going to take 223 miles of steel pipe and concrete waterway

120 miles of railroad track

218 miles of power lines

500 miles of road

If Mulholland can pull it off,

He'll completely transform not just LA, but the entire state

The first giant steps

In creating the largest agricultural economy in the country

But it will come at a cost

The Los Angeles Aqueduct

5 years, 5,000 men

223 miles of steel and concrete that changed the face of the West

At the time, the largest water project in the world.

It cost the lives of 43 men.

Finally, in 1913... It's finished

This is yours!

It is your own fidelity and unfaltering courage that made this work possible.

The aqueduct is completed, and it is good.

The aqueduct saves Los Angeles

The city grows from 250,000 in 1900

To 2 million in 1930.

The federal government's investment in projects that move water in the west

Is more deeply formative of the character of the Western region

than all the cowboys and sodbusters(農夫)

And wagon trains and pioneers there ever were

But for Owens Valley, the source of water, it's a disaster.

The lake is sucked dry, creating a giant wasteland

Local farmers attempt to blow the aqueduct up,

Over 10 times.

But it's an unwinnable contest

This was controversial stuff

Uh... there was a lot of backroom politicking, a lot of buying people off

This made a lot of people unhappy

This devastated a region of California, the source of that water

But it was enormously beneficial, and in fact, one could argue

Los Angeles could not have grown in the way it did,

Without Mulholland architecting that aqueduct of water being brought to that area

Owens Valley farmland remains barren for decades

But in the 1990s, LA authorities

Begin the long process of restoring it

It's always been true that if you want something great,

You may have to give up something great to get there

We've sacrificed our blood and treasure

For just about every great thing in America.

The Los Angeles Aqueduct(送水路) remains one of America's

Most ambitious engineering efforts

When they built the aqueduct to bring water down across an entire state,

What a feat that was

And how it also fundamentally changed a whole part, of the state of California

And when you fly over California now

I always look out the window and I look down

You can see that glittering silver ribbon that runs the entire length of the state

It was always just magical to me


The aqueduct is a year old

America is booming

World War I creates massive demand for weapons, cars, and oil

In just 4 years the economy doubles

America is poised to become the richest nation on Earth

Three generations from the end of slavery,

Black Southerners are on the move in search of a better life

Between 1915 and 1930, 1.5 million head north -

1 in 7 of the entire African American population of the US

It is called the Great Migration.

The North represented the Promised Land to blacks in the South

If you can go north, you can work

If you can go north, you're not going to have step off the curb

When whites walk down the block

If you can go north, you can live in better neighborhoods

And your children get a better education

Many head for the Ford plant in Detroit.

Ford is unique in paying black and white workers the same

A staggering 5 dollars a day

5 times more than a sharecropper's wage in Georgia.

But equal pay doesn't mean equal treatment

Frank Hadas is an engineer at the plant.

"You can have them on some dirty, rough job"

"Where there wouldn't be many whites to complain against them"

"But if you try to mix them in the assembly lines"

"Or any place elsewhere whites predominated"

"And hung their coats touching those whites, you know, you couldn't do that."

Many white workers fear losing jobs to the new black workforce

Resentment is at the boiling point. 392is at the

The denial of white privilege clashing with the ambition of blacks

Looking for the Promised Land inevitably led to an explosion

The fuse will be lit in the summer of 1919.


There's no official segregation, but it's everywhere

Even on the beaches of Lake Michigan.

White refuse to sell their houses to blacks.

Homeowners in Hyde Park in Kenwood hold a meeting

"The negro invasion of the district is the worst calamity(災難) that has struck the city"

"Property owners should be notified"

"To stand together block by block to prevent such invasion"

Sunday July 27, a day that will be etched in history

17-year-old Eugene Williams

Skips church with some friends to go for a swim

John Harris is with them

"We could swim under water and dive and come up."

"Swim, kick, dive and play around"

A group of black men wander over to the white beach

They are not welcome.

Don't you come near me like that!

Eugene's raft is also drifting in that direction

It can only spell trouble

July 1919.

On a beach in Chicago tensions are rising

A white bather throws rocks

John Harris thinks it's a game.

"He'd take a rook and throw it, and we'd duck(かわす)"

"One fella(〈俗〉=fellow) would say, 'look out!' and we would duck it"

But it's no game.

This is racial tension transplanted to city life


Help! Somebody help!

By the time they get Eugene Williams back to the beach

He's dead

The police officer on duty is Daniel Callahan.

He refuses to arrest the white man who threw the fatal rock

But arrest a black man instead

This is how the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 begins.

Eight bloody days

500 wounded

38 died

23 of them black.

But the violence is just beginning

Riots erupt in 24 more cities across America

It's called the "The Red Summer".

Many found that the Promised Land was not the promise they thought

The North was better than the South

But there was not the land of milk and honey

The divides separating black and white widens

ghettos(スラム街) expand

Harlem in New York.

Paradise Valley in Detroit.

The Hill District in Pittsburgh.

In Chicago, the South Side.

Separate but not equal.

Black Americans are on the outside looking in

But black neighborhood also means black majorities

And in America, majority means power.

In 1928, voters on Chicago's South Side elect Oscar De Priest,

The first black congressman in the North.

80 years later, another Chicago resident

Becomes the nation's first black president

It's 1920.

The countries is at a turning point

For the first time more Americans live in urban areas than rural.

Cities become a symbol for decadence and danger

Jazz, cabaret, liquor

It will take the shirt off your black!

It should be whipped out the land of America with a whip of scorpions! (サソリ)

Billy Sunday, retired baseball player.

Reformed drinker.

The most famous preacher in the country

I go to a young man up on the scaffold(絞首台)

America has a booze problem.


You will affect only those...

At its peak, there is a "saloon" for every 300 people,

20 times more than today.

In 50% of all crime, involves alcohol

When you come staggering home cussing right and left.

Billy Sunday isn't the only one who thinks alcohol is ruining America

Religious group rally

Industrialists say it affects productivity.

Women campaign against drunken men beating up their wives

Alcohol is the crystal meth(クリスタル・メス:覚醒剤) of its day

For many, a total ban is the only solution

On January 16, 1919,

The 18th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified

The prohibition makes the manufacture and sale of alcohol illegal

This period in the early 20th century

just captured a whole swirl(渦) of desire to kind of rein in what's happening,

Shape it, come up with new policies that will ensure that people would get along,

They will live virtuous lives.

So Prohibition is this grand experiment

But Prohibition also creates a nation of criminals

This is one of them.

Willie Carter Sharpe, 26

Thrill seeker


They call her "The Run-Running Queen".

Its 1928, Prohibition is in its 8th year.

"It was the excitement that got me"

"We were mostly kids who liked the excitement"

"Cars scattering, dashing along the streets."

Behind her is a convoy of moonshine(密造酒)

Franklin County, Virginia,

Is one of the biggest moonshine producers in the country

bootleg(密造酒) liquor headed across the county line

Sharpe's job, decoy(おとり), to distract the Feds(FBI の捜査官).

In Franklin County,

99 residents out of 100 are thought to be involved

secret stills(蒸留酒製造所) are everywhere

Moonshine is flooding across the country

100 million gallons a year

Even the President has a private wine cellar

It seems so ridiculous

Anyone would ever tell you, you cannot legislate morality,

You certainly can't stop people from drinking

People need a drink at the end of day.

Outrunning the cops is the new extreme sport.

Locals witness Carter Sharpe in action.

"I saw her go right through our town"

"There was a federal car after her."

"They were trying to shoot down her tires"

"She was driving at 75 miles an hour"

"She got away."

She gets away because of this:

An ordinary car souped-up(馬力を上げた) for more horsepower

A supercharger rams additional air into the cylinders.

The result, America's first "Muscle cars"

They're so popular, they kick-start a new national pastime,

Stock-car racing.

Even today, there's a driving maneuver called "The bootleg turn"

But there's a darker side to bootlegging

The illegal liquor trade is worth tens of billions in today's money,

And it's not Willie Carter Sharpe who's in charge.

Its gangsters

Organized crime has a stranglehold stretching across the country

Lucky Luciano in New York, Frank "Chee-Chee" in DeMayo, Kansas City.

Joseph "Iron Man" Ardizzone in LA

The Licavoli family, Detroit.

Harry Rosen, Philadelphia.

Charles "King" Solomon, Boston.

And in Chicago, the most notorious gangster of all, Al Capone.

He earns over a hundred dollars a minute from illegal alcohol.

That's 1,500 dollars today.

But his luck is about to change.

2122 North Clark Street,

Headquarters of Capone's bitter rival, George "Bugs" Moran.

February 14, 1929.

Two men in police uniform arrive.

Normally the cops leave without arrests after a quick payoff

But this isn't a normal day,

And these aren't regular cops,

What happens on Valentine's Day 1929

Will change the course Prohibition in America

Chicago, 1929.

More than half the city's cops are on the take

In a North Side garage, seven gangsters are lined up

They think it's routine.

But today is no shakedown.

Behind them a group of men arrive,

Two carrying Thompson submachine guns.

It's the most notorious slaying in Mob history.

The question is, who's behind the hit?

The police or Al Capone?

Detectives and photographers flood the scene.

This shocking picture will appear in newspapers around the US

This is what Prohibition has come to.

America has had enough.

The federal government is forced to act.

Major Calvin Goddard, methodical, clinical, weapons expert.

Pioneer of a brand-new science, ballistic forensics

For the first time, vital clues like bullet casings

At a murder scene can be analyzed.

Goddard's work leads to one of

The first forensic crime labs in America.

It will revolutionize the work of the FBI

His job, to find out who is behind the Saint Valentine's Day massacre.

When a gun fires, it leaves mark on bullet casings

As unique as a fingerprint.

By analyzing casings at the murder scene,

Goddard establishes that just two "Tommy" guns were fired

Neither is a police gun.

Everything points to Capone.

But convicting Capone of murder won't be easy

He has an alibi.

He was in Florida at that time.

They'll have to get him on a different charge

Frank Wilson, accountant.

A very different kind of crime buster.

He's an agent of the Bureau of Internal Revenue in DC.

He's going after Capone on tax evasion.

In 1913, the 16th, Amendment gives the Federal Government

The right to tax personal income.

Even criminals have to pay taxes.

Capone is one of the richest men in the country

You should be paying 25% tax.

Between 1925 and 1929, he pays nothing.

"The defendant himself had no bank accounts,"

"Kept no book records of activities, bought no properties in his own name."

"He conducted all his financial dealings with currency."

To secure a conviction, Wilson needs to prove

Capone has an income on which he is paying no tax.

He uncovers a ledger,

Confiscated from a business called Hawthorne Smoke Shop,

Thought to be a Capone front.

It's a detailed record of a gambling business,

But no taxes have been paid on the income from this business.

If Wilson can establish a direct link with Capone,

He may be able to nail the nation's most notorious criminal

On taxes evasion.

Wilson studies the ledger, but can't connect it to Capone.

Then, a breakthrough.

The handwriting.

"A careful comparison of the handwringing in the ledger"

"With specimens from various employees of Capone organization"

"Established that the handwriting belonged to"

"The managers and cashier of the Hawthorne Smoke Shop."

The handwriting proves Capone's connection to the business.

It's the vital evidence.

On October 18, 1931,

Al Capone is found guilty of tax evasion.

Sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Frank Wilson found out that he was not paying his taxes.

So I think this man who had done all these other things

Ordered the execution of lots of people

Was responsible for the murder of people

And they get him on tax evasion

Tax, is no small matter

Prohibition has been a disaster

It has massively increased the stranglehold of organized crime.

It's cost the government billions in lost tax revenue.

Gangsters like Capone have become rich at America's expense

But now more than ever, the government needs cash.

The stock-market crash in 1929 Has brought the economy to its knees.

The government is broke.

A levy on alcohol is a solution.

On December 5, 1933 Prohibition is abolished,

Killed by the need for cold, hard cash.

It's an extraordinary U-turn.

The only time in history an amendment to the Constitution is repealed.

The 3 decades of economic boom,

Fueled by oil, cars

And the rapid growths of megacities are now over.

The country has hard times ahead.