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  • Premiered: 
    April 23, 2019
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: ABC
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Historical
  • Tags:

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Plot Synopsis

Featuring first-hand accounts of events that came together 50 years ago at the same dizzying, chaotic time, 1969 is a one-hour docuseries weaves together rarely told stories of the moon landing, Manson murders, Chappaquiddick scandal and Woodstock with that of Nixon's first year in office, John Lennon's Bed-Ins for Peace, FBI shootouts with black activists and the Stonewall Uprising. The six-part docu-series' original score by multiplatinum producer and Grammy-nominated artist, producer and songwriter Salaam Remi pays tribute to the revolutionary sounds of a year that reshaped rock.

The series opener, "Moon Shot," includes accounts from the unsung women who helped make the moon landing possible. In July 1969 when Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins traveled to the moon and planted the American flag on the lunar surface, it brought the nation and the world together. Though the billions spent on the moon shot were controversial, especially among civil rights leaders, it would make America the world leader in technology. Featured in the episode are interviews with Margaret Hamilton, a pioneering female software engineer whose coding made the moon landing possible; "Hidden Figures" Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden; astronaut Michael Collins who was among the three who strapped themselves to an explosive rocket and hurtled into the unknown; and Charlie Duke and Gerry Griffin, who provided the astronauts a crucial lifeline to Mission Control as they dared to attempt the impossible. Young astronauts and engineers of today look back at why what they did was so incredible -- and what we owe them.

The following week's episode, "The Girl in The Car," tells the story of Mary Jo Kopechne, whom the powerful Senator Ted Kennedy drove off a bridge after a party and left to die. Other episodes feature accounts from Black Panthers, Manson family women and organizers of Woodstock, which nearly became the Fyre Festival of 1969. These gripping stories are told by those who lived them, alongside contemporary influencers including Roots' Black Thought and celebrity LGBTQ activists Jazz Jennings and Laverne Cox.
On Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 10pm ET/PT, ABC premiered "Fortunate Sons," the series finale of 1969. This episode traces the roots of the American culture wars to a time 50 years ago when the nation was increasingly prosperous and increasingly divided. The question of what America owed the world and its own people was hotly debated as the gap between the generations grew. In 1969, as President Richard Nixon battled a growing anti-war movement, TV shows like HEE HAW and LAWRENCE WELK promoted small-town values, while other shows like THAT GIRL and THE BRADY BUNCH challenged ideas about what a family and what being female should look like. In the same period, John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged Bed-Ins for Peace and young TV stars like Marlo Thomas attended anti-war rallies.

In 1969, as millions of young Americans turned 18 and were eligible for the draft for the first time, parents and their young adult children were at odds over what it meant to be American. Were the hippies waving Viet Cong flags the real patriots, or was it the "silent majority" who voted Richard Nixon into office and supported the war effort? Where did that leave the young men returning from the war -- the drafted and the volunteers -- who were changed forever by what they had seen?

The episode explores the growing divide in the nation that year, along with the journey of three U.S. soldiers, including Tiney Corbett Jr., a young African American soldier who braved enemy fire for $75 a day while seeing fellow soldiers waving confederate flags; Dan Millians, a helicopter pilot from Georgia, who enlisted out of high school and ended up rescuing Vietnamese civilians during one of the most infamous massacres in American military history; and a young John Kerry, who volunteered after graduating from Yale, but became a leading opponent of the war after his service. In a new interview, Pat Buchanan, Nixon's youthful media advisor, describes life inside the White House in 1969. He and Kerry would go on to battle one another for decades. "Fortunate Sons" also examines the massacre at My Lai, where American soldiers were found to have slaughtered old men, women and children, and that ultimately changed popular sentiment about the war itself.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Lincoln Square Productions