Don’t miss PBS’s ‘American Experience: The Swamp’

The Public Broadcasting System’s series “American Experience,” the network claims, is the most-watched history series on television, now in its 31st season. The first episode of the 2019 season, which first aired Jan. 15 and has been repeated several times on WXEL-Channel 42, South Florida PBS, is titled “The Swamp” and relates the fascinating history of the Everglades.

According to the pbs.org website: “The history of the Everglades is a dramatic yet little-known story of humanity’s attempt to conquer nature. The Swamp, told through the lives of a handful of colorful and resolute characters, explores the repeated efforts to reclaim, control and transform what was seen as a vast wasteland into an agricultural and urban paradise, and, ultimately, the drive to preserve America’s greatest wetland.

As Florida preservationist Marjory Stoneman Douglas once said, “There is no Everglades anywhere else in the world.” So in actuality, it may indeed be the globe’s greatest wetland.

To someone who is more than half Florida native (33 years of 59 on this Earth), it was astonishing to watch this episode of “American Experience” because it opened my eyes to history that somehow I never became completely aware of in all those years living practically in the shadow of the Herbert Hoover Dike.

It may be among the most engrossing, enlightening programs you could ever spend two hours watching, so I highly recommend this show for all Okeechobeeans and anyone else living around Lake Okeechobee who’d like to learn more about the “Liquid Heart of Florida.”

You can watch a livestream of the show until Feb. 12, or purchase it via DVD, at https://www.pbs.org/video/the-swamp-ij97wu/.

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