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.
Lyndon Johnson pushed progressive programs before the Vietnam War eroded his support. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
A six-hour series on how the West was lost and won, from the Gold Rush in 1848 until Wounded Knee in 1893.
In 1936, GM and Ford could not stop one of the worst battles of the American labor movement.
A biography of the 41st U.S. president, from his service in World War II to his days in the Oval Office. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
William "Buffalo Bill" Cody's legendary exploits helped create the myth of the American West that still endures today.
A peanut farmer who rose to become America's 39th president. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
America's first First Lady defined the role of the President's wife and in the process changed the face of the American presidency.
In 1936 Angie Debo uncovered the U.S. government's theft of Native Americans' oil rich lands in Indian Territories of Oklahoma.