The animated documentary is based on Samuel de Champlain accounts of his voyages, historical research, and commentary by a distinguished panel of scholars. King Henri IV of France sent Champlain on a mission to explore the New World and draw maps to help the French navigate the extensive waterways of the continent. In 1603, upon arriving in the St. Lawrence River area of present-day Quebec, Champlain wrote detailed dispatches about his epic journeys across thousands of miles of uncharted North American wilderness and the area’s terrain, flora and fauna, and, most importantly, people.
The story of Fort Niagara is the story of a struggle for a continent. For over 150 years, four nations struggled to control this strategic point at the mouth of the Niagara River, and thus control the critical water artery it protected.
Two-hundred and fifty years ago, three powers clashed in an epic struggle for North America. Often overshadowed by the American Revolution, the French and Indian War (1755-1760) determined which great European empire would control the Ohio River Valley, the gateway to the West, and the crucial highway of rivers and lakes connecting New York and Montreal. This documentary recounts the little-known story of how the Indian nations of the Northeast controlled the outcome of this war. It follows the fates of the Abenaki and Iroquois people, separates fact from the myth of Robert Rogers and his legendary Rangers and chronicles the “massacre” at Fort William Henry, the battles of Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point, the tragic expulsion of the Acadians and the fall of Quebec and Montreal.
Over two centuries ago, Britain and France fought a battle that would change the world. Now largely forgotten, the Battle of Quebec was once a story every schoolchild in the UK would have known. At stake was the future of North America and the fate of the British Empire. Britain used its growing industrial strength and a new scientific approach to fight a campaign unlike any that had gone before. It launched a fleet of 200 ships carrying 20,000 men on a deadly mission through uncharted waters. Dan Snow, an expert in this period of history having recently written a book about the expedition, sets sail up the magnificent St Lawrence River following the route taken by the British. He heads out into the wilds surrounding Quebec, takes to the air, and trains as an 18th-century infantryman to get a true idea of what the campaign and battle would have been like for the men involved
For two and a half years, Americans fought against the British, Canadian colonists, and native nations. In the years to come, the War of 1812 would be celebrated in some places and essentially forgotten in others. But it is a war worth remembering—a struggle that threatened the existence of Canada, then divided the United States so deeply that the nation almost broke apart. Some of its battles and heroes became legendary, yet its blunders and cowards were just as prominent. The film shows how the glories of war became enshrined in history – how failures are quickly forgotten – how inconvenient truths are ignored forever.
With stunning re-enactments, evocative animation and the incisive commentary of key experts, this program presents the conflict that forged
the destiny of a continent.
Anthem at 10 pm Tells the story behind Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the song famously penned after the relentless bombardment by the British of Fort McHenry during The War of 1812. Historians and music experts discuss the Colonial-era songs and events that influenced Key to write what would become the U.S. national anthem. Also reveals interesting facts about Key’s upbringing and religious leanings while tracing the origins of the song.