When the United States was getting ready to rip itself apart along the Mason Dixon line, everyone still longed for one country from sea to shining sea. In this hour historian Stephen Ambrose visits To the Best of Our Knowledge with the story of the race to build the transcontinental railroad. Also, Buffalo Bill, and how some Irish orphans rode to Arizona and became white.
Historian Linda Gordon tells Steve Paulson about "The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction." In 1904, the white settlers of a small Arizona mining town, reacted with violence when a group of Irish orphans were adopted by Mexican families. Gordon tells Steve Paulson the incident teaches us a lot about race, class and working conditions on the frontier. Also, historian Stephen Ambrose talks with Jim Fleming about his latest project: "Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, 1863 - 1869." Ambrose describes the tunnel building process and says the railroad united the country at a crucial time.SEGMENT 2:
Native American writer James Welch talks with Steve Paulson about the role Native people played in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show; why they went to work for Cody, and why they liked him. Welch is the author of "Killing, Custer," and several novels, most recently "The Heartsong of Charging Elk." Also, Joy Kasson is the author of "Buffalo Bill's Wild West: Celebrity, Memory and Popular History." She tells Jim Fleming that William F. Cody deliberately set out to make himself a celebrity as Buffalo Bill and that he always considered his show to be an educational enterprise.SEGMENT 3:
Claire Davis talks with Jim Fleming about the fierce attitude towards property rights which is common in the West, how it grows out of the harshness of the landscape, and why it plays out tragically in her devastating first novel, "Winter Range."Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 00-10-15-A.
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