In recognition of Women’s History Month, Connecticut Public will feature a number of special programs throughout March 2022 on CPTV, CPTV Spirit, and Connecticut Public Radio. Women find their voice with classic biographies highlighting their talents and contributions, and documentaries bring women’s issues to the forefront. Perspectives on the female experience round out the month of programming. See the full programming schedule below.


Secrets of the Dead: Woman in the Iron Coffin

March 14 at 10pm

On October 4, 2011, construction workers were shocked to uncover human remains in an abandoned lot in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens, New York. So great was the level of preservation, witnesses first assumed they had stumbled upon a recent homicide. Forensic analysis, however, revealed a remarkably different story. Buried in an elaborate and expensive iron coffin, the body belonged to a young African American woman who died in the first half of the 19th century, before the Civil War and the federal abolishment of slavery. But who was she? Follow forensic archaeologist Scott Warnasch and a team of historians and scientists as they investigate this woman’s story and the time in which she lived, revealing a vivid picture of what life was like for free African American people in the North.

Independent Lens: Duty Free

March 14 at 11pm

Fired from a lifelong job, 75-year-old mom Rebecca Danigelis loses the only job she’s ever known. She has no savings, no 401K safety net, and no employment prospects. Rebecca teams up with son Sian-Pierre to take the trip of a lifetime, one bucket list adventure at a time. Her journey uncovers the economic insecurity faced by millions of Americans.

How about your own bucket list? What would be on it? Take your own bucket list quiz!

American Masters - Mae West: Dirty Blonde

March 21 at 11pm

Mae West: Dirty Blonde is the first major documentary film to explore Mae West’s life and career as she “climbed the ladder of success wrong by wrong” to become a writer, performer and subversive agitator for social change. West achieved great acclaim in every entertainment medium that existed during her lifetime, spanning eight decades of the 20th century. A full-time actress at seven, a vaudevillian at 14, a dancing sensation at 25, a Broadway playwright at 33, a silver screen ingénue at 40, a Vegas nightclub act at 62, a recording artist at 73, a camp icon at 85 – West left no format unconquered. She possessed creative and economic powers unheard of for a female entertainer in the 1930s and still rare today. Though she was a comedian, West grappled with some of the more complex social issues of the 20th century, including race and class tensions, and imbued even her most salacious plotlines with commentary about gender conformity, societal restrictions, and what she perceived as moral hypocrisy.

American Masters - Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

March 22 at 9pm / March 28 at 11pm

Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr (Ziegfeld Girl, Samson and Delilah) was known as the world’s most beautiful woman – Snow White and Cat Woman were both based on her iconic look. However, her arresting appearance and glamorous life stood in the way of her being given the credit she deserved as an ingenious inventor whose pioneering work helped revolutionize modern communication. An Austrian Jewish emigrant who invented a covert communication system to try to help defeat the Nazis, Lamarr was ignored and told to sell kisses for war bonds instead. It was only toward the very end of her life that tech pioneers discovered that it was her concept that is now used as the basis for secure WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth technologies. Discover how Lamarr’s true legacy is that of a technological trailblazer.

Frontline: Pelosi’s Power - New

March 22 at 10:30pm

Powerful and polarizing, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's life and legacy is explored. Across three decades, find out how Pelosi has gained and wielded power and faced grave challenges to her leadership and to American democracy from Trump and his allies.

Secrets of the Dead: Viking Warrior Queen

March 28 at 10pm

A team of archaeologists examine one of the most significant Viking graves ever found and test the DNA of the remains of the female warrior buried inside, rewriting our understanding of Viking society.

On CPTV Spirit

Bring Her Home - New

March 23 at 10pm

Bring Her Home tells the story of three Indigenous women fighting to vindicate and honor their missing and murdered relatives. Artist Angela Two Stars, activist Mysti Babineau, and Representative Ruth Buffalo have all experienced and coped with the enduring traumas of colonization in their Indigenous communities. Within the framework of marching at the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Rally and March, an annual community event honoring missing Native women, the film tells the stories of how these women have brought attention to the crisis while also providing encouragement to their communities.

NOVA: Picture a Scientist

March 29 at 8pm

Science has provided humanity with invaluable technologies, lifesaving medicines, and awe-inspiring discoveries. But there is also a dark reality to the field: gender and racial discrimination that have persisted for generations.

Women make up less than a quarter of STEM professionals in the United States, and numbers are even lower for women of color. But there is a growing group of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists, exposing longstanding discrimination, and leading the way in making science more inclusive. Join a biologist, a chemist, and a geologist as they lead viewers on a journey through their own experiences in the sciences, ranging from outright harassment to years of subtle slights, providing new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all.

American Experience: The Code Breaker

March 30 at 9pm

Discover the fascinating story of Elizebeth Smith Friedman, the groundbreaking cryptanalyst whose painstaking work to decode thousands of messages for the U.S. government would send infamous gangsters to prison in the 1930s and bring down a massive, near-invisible Nazi spy ring in WWII. Her remarkable contributions would come to light decades after her death, when secret government files were unsealed. But together with her husband, the legendary cryptologist William Friedman, Elizebeth helped develop the methods that led to the creation of the powerful new science of cryptology and laid the foundation for modern codebreaking today.

Independent Lens: Writing with Fire - New

March 30 at 10pm

Meet the fearless women journalists of India's only all-female newspaper, Khabar Lahariya (“News Wave”). As they navigate a male-dominated media landscape, they risk it all, including their own safety, to cover the country’s political, social, and local news from a women-powered perspective. From underground network to independent media empire—now with 10 million views on their YouTube site—they defy the odds to redefine power.

On Connecticut Public Radio

Disrupted - The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall

March 9 at 2pm

Activist Alicia Garza joins Disrupted to talk about her book The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart and about her work at the Black Futures Lab.

Disrupted - Sonia Manzano on Sesame Street

March 30 at 2pm

Sonia Manzano, who played Maria on Sesame Street for more than 40 years, joins Disrupted to talk about her career and the importance of education in kids TV.

Learning Snacks

Plus, check out a special Women's History Month collection of educational resources for parents, students, and teachers.