The History Channel is one of the great benefits of having cable or a satellite dish. In addition to bringing viewers specials on key events about the history of the world in general and the United States in particular, there are several interesting-dare we say exciting-programs -- dare we say exciting -- that run regularly on the History Channel. Here are the five coolest History Channel shows you're not watching.


"WWII in HD". This is one of the staples of the History Channel and one of the required programs that should be on a network that calls itself by that name. The series takes a look at all aspects of the war, including the war in Europe against the Germans and the war in the Pacific against the Japanese. The History channel uses historical footage preserved by the Department of Defense, interviews with key personnel and news reports as the basis behind this educational program. Some of the episodes include the attack on Pearl Harbor, the air war and the personality of General Douglas MacArthur.



"Vietnam in HD". The Vietnam War was one of the most controversial periods in the history of the United States. The war divided the country because many Americans believed the military had no business fighting in Southeast Asia. The other side of the argument was that American troops were needed to stop the spread of communism, and so the only honorable thing to do was to assist the South Vietnamese in holding off the North Vietnamese. The series looks at such key events as the beginning of the war, the Tet Offensive, the end of the war and peace with honor.



"The Presidents". This series looks at the American presidents and the details of their lives. The features include their lives leading up to their time in the White House, the key issues during their presidency and their personal lives. While many of the details are well-known, some are not, and this program puts all the information on American presidents on the record, presenting it in an organized manner.


"Gangland". This series looks at all aspects of organized crime. It includes significant episodes on the Mafia, gang violence and gang weapons. The episodes on the Mafia are quite significant because they tell the story of how organized crime grew in America, going into far greater detail than the fictional accounts in popular books and movies. The series also explores the rise of gangs and the hierarchy within those gangs.


"Swamp People". This series looks at the Louisiana Cajuns during alligator hunting season. The 30-day alligator hunting season is key to the income of those who hunt the reptiles. The hunters are almost all descendants of the French refugees, who were forced out of Canada in the eighteenth century and settled in Louisiana's bayou country. Many will traverse the bayous looking for large alligators. Some of their traps and methods for catching the reptiles are quite clever, while other hunters rely on guts and brute strength.