History Making Productions will debut its third episode (of 12) of the documentary series, Philadelphia: The Great Experiment, January 24th beginning at 7:30p.m., on 6ABC.
The episode, titled Promise for a Better City, covers covers the period 1944-1964. The story opens with a city confronted by the challenges of racial inequality in its public transit system workforce as it serves as America's arsenal for World War II. A strike shuts down that system, impedes wartime production and brings local protests and Federal intervention to get workers back on the assembly lines. Seven decades of Republican machine politics are toppled by a group of reformers who usher in a new political era and a new form of local government--cleaner and optimistic. Redevelopment of a the downtown and city neighborhoods is led by a dynamic young city planner.
Philadelphia is excited about its future but systematically the very industrial jobs that sustained it since the Civil War are leaving as factories close or move to the suburban locations. New arrivals, among them African Americans from the rural south,come seeking economic opportunities only to find those doors closed. A boycott organized by religious leaders helps to provide more equality but the pace of industrial decline is too much, creating more poverty and frustration.
Finally the reform seems to fizzle, a neighborhood erupts in a riot and even the city's baseball team, on the verge of its first championship season in over a decade, implodes. A city that seemed to feel so upbeat suddenly feels under siege and uncertain.
Read what Sam Katz, founder of History Making Productions, had to say regarding the upcoming episode 3 in a recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. For more information on the Series please visit www.historyofphilly.com or www.Facebook.com/historyofphilly.