His exploits on the American frontier inspired dozens of dime novels. But the stories told in these wildly popular books belie the complexities of the real Kit Carson, whose life embodies the contradictions in the story of the American West.
An illiterate mountain man, he was fluent in Spanish and five Indian languages; he twice married Native American women, yet led a brutal war against the Navajo. When the West was a mystery to most Americans, Carson mastered it, and his expertise made him not only famous, but also sought after. Eventually, by helping to spur a migration that would change the West forever, he unwittingly became an agent in the destruction of the life he loved.
Combining rich archival materials of the period with original recreations this AMERICAN EXPERIENCE production brings the legendary trapper, scout, and soldier to vivid life, and provides a lens on a pivotal but little-understood era in American history.
A civil rights leader in Harlem before entering politics, Powell was one of the most charismatic black leaders of the 20th century.
The young CBS reporter changed his pacifist ideals after reporting on the rise of fascism in Europe during World War II.
The Last Stand, the final act of General George Custer's larger-than-life career, played out on a grand stage with a spellbound public engrossed in the drama. Part of the Wild West collection.
A look at JFK's assassination by Lee Harvey Oswald and the subsequent investigations that lead to a widespread loss of trust in government institutions.
The remarkable and tragic life of the third Kennedy son, Robert F. Kennedy.
How five abolitionist allies turned a despised fringe movement against chattel slavery into a force that literally changed the nation.
A nation comes of age.
America's Robin Hood who robbed not only the rich but the poor and defenseless as well, always saving the treasure for himself. Part of the Wild West collection.