The Lost Tapes: Tornado Super Outbreak

Network: Smithsonian Channel
Part of the Series: The Lost Tapes
Premiere Date: December 9, 2018 at 9PM EST

A powerful cold front over the American plains joined a warm air mass from the south on April 3, 1974, creating the perfect conditions for an 18-hour catastrophe now known as the Tornado Super Outbreak. Revisit the epic disaster that swept from Michigan to Alabama, powered by 148 tornadoes, 30 of them category F4 or F5. Through local news broadcasts, stunning audio recordings, and eyewitness home movies, look back on one of the most violent natural disasters in history.

The Lost Tapes: Apollo 13

Network: Smithsonian Channel
Part of the Series: The Lost Tapes

Nine months after Neil Armstrong makes “one giant leap for mankind,” Apollo 13 launches from Cape Kennedy, Florida for NASA’s third moon landing mission in April 1970. But 55 hours after takeoff, a catastrophic in-flight explosion causes serious damage to the spacecraft and puts the crew in mortal danger. In a frantic attempt to get the astronauts safely home, mission control must use every resource at their disposal. Witness the events as they unfolded, told through rare news reports, mission control audio, and original NASA newsreels.

The Lost Tapes: DC Sniper

Network: Smithsonian Channel
Part of the Series: The Lost Tapes

A year after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, there is still widespread fear that there will be another attack on U.S. soil. That fear is soon realized when an unseen gunman in the Washington D.C. area begins shooting residents for no apparent reason, triggering one of the most intense and complicated manhunts in American history. This is the story of the D.C. sniper’s three-week reign of terror, told through police audio and video, plus local and national media reports, most of which have not been broadcast since 2002.

The Lost Tapes: Clinton Impeachment

Network: Smithsonian Channel
Part of the Series: The Lost Tapes

Twenty years later, in a country shaken by political unrest and the fight for gender equality, we’re still living with the legacy of the Clinton presidency. The 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton rocked the country to its core and set the stage for the next two decades of polarization and controversy in America. Now, a new episode of Smithsonian Channel’s critically acclaimed The Lost Tapes relives the scandal, using only contemporary film and audio to allow viewers to experience history without comment.

The Lost Tapes: Malcolm X

Network: Smithsonian Channel
Part of the Series: The Lost Tapes

A historic voice in the 1960s civil rights movement, Malcolm X was and continues to be a fascinating yet controversial figure. During his life, he gave voice to the anger and frustration that African Americans experienced during the tumultuous 1950s and 60s in the United States, gaining a reputation for his fiery rhetoric and spellbinding speeches. The Lost Tapes: Malcolm X relives the pivotal years of this trailblazing activist using rarely seen footage and audio tapes, including never-before-seen footage of Nation of Islam rallies and recordings made at the Audubon Ballroom on the day of his assassination.

The Lost Tapes: Patty Hearst

Network: Smithsonian Channel
Airs: Fall of 2017
Part of the network series: The Lost Tapes

Newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was brutally kidnapped from her Berkeley, California apartment on Feb. 4, 1974.  For the next year-and-a-half, the daughter of one of America’s wealthiest families was held captive by an unknown group called The Symbionese Liberation Army.  At one point, Hearst was seen as a member of the group, even helping to rob a bank, armed with a machine gun.  Several members of the group were killed in a Los Angeles house fire following a shootout with the LAPD.  Hearst was eventually found by the FBI.  Her story — told here with no narration and no interviews, just rare and some previously not broadcast material — is a gripping tale of an American revolution story gone wrong.

The Lost Tapes: Son of Sam


Network: Smithsonian Channel
Airs: Sunday, July 30, 2017 – 9PM
Part of the network series: The Lost Tapes

An in-the-moment retelling of one of the most notorious and bizarre series of murders in the history of the United States.  In 1976 and 1977 a chilling string of lover’s lane murders in and around New York City shocked the nation.  Part portrait of a city in decay and a city in fear, this episode uses rare images and footage to recount how a man who called himself “The Son of Sam”
terrorized America’s largest city.

The Lost Tapes: The LA Riots


Network: Smithsonian Channel
Part of the network series: The Lost Tapes

In April 1992, following the not guilty verdicts in the trial of four white LAPD officers who beat Los Angeles motorist Rodney King, the city erupted into civil unrest not seen in the United States since the 1960s.  This episode details all aspects of what happened during six days of rioting, told through rare media reports, home movies, police and fire radio dispatches and a remarkable series of recordings made by the DJ’s of Compton’s KJLH Radio, who abandoned their music format and became an all-talk station.  For six days, KJLH became a beacon of hope for a community under siege, letting callers vent their frustrations and keeping their listeners updated on areas to avoid, all the while staying calm under the most intense pressure of their careers.

The Lost Tapes: Pearl Harbor

Network: Smithsonian Channel
Part of the network series: The Lost Tapes

Most people know about the story of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941.  But no documentary has ever told the story of that tragic day in this way.  Using only rare film footage, long-forgotten photographs and radio reports that were collecting dust in the United States National Archives since World War II, this episode of The Lost Tapes brings to life the disaster that was Pearl Harbor in true “You Are There” fashion.  From the ominous build-up to war, to sounds of the actual bombing itself, viewers follow moment-by-moment how the world learned about the events of that day.  The news unfolds in real time, transporting audiences back in time to the day the United States was attacked.