Ex-Confederate soldier John Newman Edwards thought Jesse was largely a victim of his times. "We called him outlaw," Edwards wrote, "and he was; but fate made him so. When the war closed Jesse James had no home. Proscribed, hunted, shot, driven away from among his people, a price put upon his head -- what else could the man do, with such a nature, except what he did do?"
But Robert Pinkerton of Pinkerton's National Detective Agency, whose unarmed detective Jesse had murdered, rejected the idea that the young outlaw was a victim. In 1879 he wrote, "I consider Jesse James the worst man, without exception, in America. He is utterly devoid of fear, and has no more compunction about cold blooded murder than he has about eating his breakfast."
Shortly after the site launched in 2005, we asked our users to answer this controversial question. Below are the results from this poll.
Total number of poll participants: 4,151
Of the participants polled, 2,306 watched at least half of the film; of those, 1,415 said the film influenced their vote.
A look at five real-life "Rosies," the reality of working in defense plants during World War II and then having to give up those jobs for returning GIs.
John Philip Sousa was America's favorite bandmaster.
This funny, probing program re-examines assumptions about American culture in the 1950s.
A year in the life of Wyoming cowboys and the ranching families of the American West.
Legendary bank robber John Dillinger garnered the admiration of many struggling Americans, but FBI took him down with a message: crime doesn't pay.
The story of the American civil rights movement is told through its powerful music -- the freedom songs that protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, in police wagons, and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality.
The internationally famous carnival of delights in New York was the birthplace of the hot dog and the roller coaster.
Joseph Goebbels, the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany, was the mastermind behind Adolf Hitler's success.