American Masters (PBS, 9-10:30 p.m.): Like Benjamin Franklin, R. Buckminster Fuller delved into many fields: architecture, engineering, philosophy, and poetry among them. This episode of the series that profiles important figures in American culture looks at Fuller - best known for creating the geodesic dome, an air-deliverable prefabricated home called the Dymaxion house, and a maximum-safety 12-passenger automobile, the Dymaxion car. His pioneering, global approach to technology and modern needs established him as one of the most original thinkers of the second half of this century.


Chicano! History of the Mexican-American Civil Rights Movement (PBS, 9-11 p.m.): Though Mexican-Americans make up one of the fastest-growing minorities in the United States, their history often goes unsung. This four-part series - the first two of which air tonight - sheds light on their quest for social justice from 1965 to 1975. Among the events profiled are a 1965 strike, under the nonviolent leadership of Cesar Chavez, against California grape growers for better working conditions and fair wages; the 1969 Denver Youth Conference, during which hundreds of young Mexican-Americans met to plan their national agenda; and the 1970 Anti-Vietnam Moratorium March in East Los Angeles, which turned into a riot and resulted in the murder of journalist Ruben Salazar.

The program is narrated by Henry Cisneros, US secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Homicide: Life on the Street (NBC, 10-11 p.m.): Actress Kathy Bates directs this episode of the gritty police drama, which has been building its following this season. When Detectives Lewis (Clark Johnson) and Kellerman (Reed Diamond) investigate a murder in a housing project, they find themselves at odds with a civilian group that the city contracted to patrol the area. Problems are only compounded when the city shuts down the civilian group, leading to a rise in both the murder rate and racial tensions.

Please check local listings for these programs.

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