Join us this week on KLRU Q for three back-to-back features on America.
Wild West with Ray Mears ‘Deserts‘ – airs at 6:05 pm
Ray Mears looks at how the landscapes of America’s five great deserts challenged the westward push of the early pioneers. As Ray travels through the cold high mountain Great Basin desert, and the hot Sonora desert of Southern Arizona, he discovers how their hostile geography and rich geology shaped the stories of fortune-hunting and lawlessness in the Wild West, and were the setting for the last wars between the US Army and the Apache warrior tribes. His journey ends with the story of Geronimo’s surrender which marked the end of the Indian Wars, and of the Old West.
Klondike Gold Rush – airs at 7 pm
The Klondike Gold Rush is renowned as the richest gold strike in North American mining history. Hailing from 1896 to 1899 set off a “stampede” of more than 100,000 people on a colossal journey from Alaska to the gold fields of Canada’s Yukon Territory. Award-winning author Charlotte Gray and historians Terrence Cole and Michael Gates bring new insights and perspective to the event. Excerpts from Tappan Adney’s celebrated book The Klondike Stampede (1900) bring the Harper’s Weekly correspondent to life. Present-day characters reveal that the Klondike still resonates with the frontier spirit.
Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid: American Experience – airs at 8 pm
Long before Paul Newman and Robert Redford immortalized them on screen, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid captivated Americans from coast to coast. In the 1890s, their exploits robbing banks and trains in the West — and then seemingly vanishing into thin air — became national news and the basis of rumors and myth. But who were Robert Leroy Parker and Harry Alonzo Longabaugh? How did they come together to form the Wild Bunch gang? And how did they manage to pull off the longest string of successful holdups in history while eluding the Pinkertons, the nation’s most feared detective force? Separating fact from fiction, this program explores the last pair of outlaws to flee on horseback into a setting sun.