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American Experience; Dolley Madison


DVD Features: ‘Women’s History’ (01:00:00 - 01:02:45) ‘Congress and Parties’ (01:03:00 - 01:05:52) ‘Dolley’s Squeezes’ (01:06:10 - 01:09:25) ‘Costume Designer for Dolley Madison’ (01:09:40 - 01:16:42) ‘Turbans for Dolley Madison’ (01:17:00 - 01:23:02)

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American Experience
Dolley Madison
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered October 1988 As television's longest-running, most-watched history series, American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation. Now in its eighteenth season, the series has produced over 180 programs and garnered every major broadcast award. Series release date: 10/1988

Program Description

Style icon, extravagant hostess, humanitarian, doting mother, trusted political advisor, and diplomat. These are the roles we now expect in a First Lady, roles created by President James Madison's wife, Dolley. Born in relative obscurity before the American Revolution, Dolley's beauty attracted attention, but it was her political acumen that set her apart in a time when women held no overt political power. As the "first First Lady," she used her unelected position to legitimize the nation's new capital, to create a political and social style for the new country and to give Americans a sense of their own national identity. As her successors have gone on to do ever since, Dolley Madison adopted social causes of her own, including advocating for children left orphaned by the War of 1812. This portrait features Tony Award-nominee Eve Best (Nurse Jackie) as Dolley Madison and Tony Award-winner Jefferson Mays as James Madison.

A Production of tpt National Productions in association with Middlemarch Films, Inc. for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.

©2010 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. and WGBH Educational Foundation



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “American Experience; Dolley Madison,” 01/29/2010, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed March 26, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_ABE3E53843374A62A404A11EA978A6C3.
MLA: “American Experience; Dolley Madison.” 01/29/2010. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. March 26, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_ABE3E53843374A62A404A11EA978A6C3>.
APA: American Experience; Dolley Madison. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_ABE3E53843374A62A404A11EA978A6C3
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