AMERICAN EXPERIENCE has partnered with GetGlue for exclusive check ins to the show. During Billy the Kid and other premieres, check in to the "Billy the Kid on AMERICAN EXPERIENCE" page to join in on the conversation of others on the GetGlue network. Individual program pages also exist for Custer's Last Stand, Clinton, and The Amish. (You can also join others in discussing other shows on the American Experience series GetGlue page.)
Throughout this year, our staff at AMERICAN EXPERIENCE kept seeing the subjects of our January 2012 Wild West Collection cropping up in the news. The headlines were a constant reminder that stories of characters like Billy the Kid and George Custer continue to resonate today. Check out some of the headlines below that made us look forward to programs coming up in 2012...
December 31, 2010: Despite having been dead for more than a century, outlaw Henry McCarty, aka Billy the Kid, was up for consideration to receive an official pardon from New Mexico's Governor Bill Richardson. On his last day in office, Richardson announced his decision not to pardon the Kid on national television. Billy The Kid premieres on January 10th at 9/8C.
June 26: The only original tintype photograph of Billy the Kid sold at an auction in Denver for $2.3 million. Billy the Kid premieres on January 10th at 9/8C.
November: Iconic photographer Annie Leibovitz tracked down an ace-of-hearts target used by sharpshooter Annie Oakley for her new book Pilgrimage. Pilgrimage is a compilation of iconic American figures that have shaped her view of cultural inheritance. Annie Oakley, described by Will Rogers as "the greatest woman rifle shot the world has ever produced," rebroadcasts on January 31st at 8/7C.
November 23: More than $1 million of historical weapons were auctioned off at the Wild West guns and weapons auction, including a rifle owned by Geronimo ($100,000), Wyatt Earp's shotgun ($65,000) and Custer's saber ($20,000). The Wild West Collection (including the films Custer's Last Stand, Wyatt Earp, and Geronimo) premieres on January 10th at 9/8C.
November: Michelle Bachmann is criticized for claiming her great-great grandfather won a farm from Jesse James in a poker game in her new book Core of Conviction. A part of the Wild West collection, Jesse James portrays the story of one of America's most cherished myths. Rebroadcasting January 31st at 9/8C.
November: More than 125 years after the surrender of Apache leader Geronimo, the Fort Sill Apache won the right to establish a reservation in southern New Mexico. Geronimo fought against Mexico and the United States for the expansion of Apache lands. Hear his story when Geronimo rebroadcasts on January 24th at 9/8C.
November 29: The new book The Smoking Gun, written by a woman claiming to be Jesse James' great-granddaughter, argues that Robert Ford did not kill Jesse James. Supported with photographs, the book attempts to demonstrate how Jesse James pulled off one of the biggest bluffs in American history by faking his own murder in 1882, fleeing to Texas and dying there as James L. Courtney. The facts in the book have been contested by many. Jesse James rebroadcasts on January 31st at 9/8C.
Tory Starr is a Production Assistant for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.
2011 was a great year for the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE website. Our huge stand-alone website for Freedom Riders featured the only comprehensive online list of all 400+ of the original 1961 Freedom Riders, along with a stellar 10-day live blogging experiment in May during which we posted 132 videos and 173 essays from the 2011 Student Freedom Ride. We created a really cool interactive that details the Panama Canal, posted some of America's first imaginative depictions of dinosaurs, and published several comprehensive timelines including Deadliest Workplace Accidents, U.S. Foreign Aid, and Milestones in the American Gay Rights Movement. But enough about what I liked! Let's get to the content that our users flocked to the most.
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE fans gravitate toward both the old and the new, which is why we work so hard to keep all of our content relevant and accurate, regardless of when it was first published. Here is the list of the Top Ten film pages that our users visited:
8. Gold Rush
See any that you think should be on the list but aren't? Let us know! Or, better yet, visit the site and try to get it on 2012's Top Ten list.
Molly Jacobs is the Web Producer for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.
Last week on our series Facebook page you told us
"My favorite American Experience program is ______."
Not only did we get an unbelievable number of responses, our fans named 77 different shows as their favorites! Here are the top 10...
You may have noticed a change, if you have looked at the American Experience website from your mobile device recently. A few weeks ago we launched our mobile-friendly website in an effort to keep our users from having to squint till their heads hurt just to read some text, among other things.