Accidental Eyewitness to History

This week we resume our series on the coming 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy. We visit with James Tague, an accidental eyewitness and today researcher and author on the subject, on this edition of The American Countryside.

More Important than Kitty Hawk?

WrightFlyer3The Wright Brothers first took flight in 1903 and that plane is in the Smithsonian. But the brothers said there was a much more important plane than that first one, and that version is in Dayton, Ohio. We go there on this edition of the American Countryside.

Up, Up, and Away…

Explorer2Before men could go into outer space, they first had to make it into the stratosphere. Many people don’t know that some of the pioneers of high altitude flying were actually pilots of balloons. We take a look at a high flying record that stood for 21 years…

The Truth About Paul Revere’s Famous Ride

Listen, my children, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere. On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five, Hardly a man is now alive who remembers that famous day and year. You may remember that famous Longfellow poem, but we separate fact from fiction on this edition of The American Countryside.

Gettysburg Week: Supporting the Soldiers

When a soldier heads to battle, there are many organizations that volunteer their services to help he or she and their families. During the Civil War, this organization grew from the YMCA to fill those needs. It’s a piece of history that few know. The story of the group is today’s edition of The American Countryside.

Gettysburg Week: Guiding Us Through History

He’s shared his knowledge with joint chiefs of staff, ambassadors and other high ranking government officials. But when you lead tours here, some of the most memorable encounters come when you least expect them. We continue with our 150th anniversary series on the battle of Gettysburg on this edition of The American Countryside.

Scenic Route: Supporting the Troops Before the USO

Before the USO was sending Bob Hope overseas, a little-known organization went to the war front to support soldiers in the Civil War. John Wega founded his own museum to share its story — and on this Scenic Route, he shares it with Andrew McCrea.

Scenic Route: Gettysburg Remembered

As America celebrates the anniversary of its founding, it also celebrates the 150th anniversary of one of its most important battles — the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg. On this episode of The Scenic Route, Andrew McCrea talks to Gettysburg battlefield ranger Eric Campbell for an in-depth look back at one of the battle’s forgotten Union heroes.

Gettysburg Week: The Man Behind the “Charge”

He is perhaps the most famous name to fight at the battle of Gettysburg. His leadership on the battlefield has made his name immortal, but he would probably preferred to remain anonymous. Hear the story of the man behind the “charge” on today’s edition of The American Countryside.

Gettysburg Week: What a Way to Spend Retirement

Imagine hitting the age to retire and then deciding to go volunteer for the army. That is what John Burns did. The military rejected him because of his age…but then the battle came to him and he joined the army anyway. It’s our week long series on the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Gettysburg Week: The General (Most of) America Forgot

Screen Shot 2013-07-01 at 3.02.54 PMIn the three days leading up to Indpendence Day, 1863, Americans waged the greatest of battles against one another at Gettysburg. So on the 150th anniversary of the battle, we’ll spend this week there, taking a look back at the the people and sites that played at important role in the conflict. We begin with the man who led the Union…a man most Americans cannot name.

Some Abraham Lincoln Stories You Won’t Get from Hollywood

Abraham_Lincoln_by_Nicholas_Shepherd,_1846-cropWhat was Abraham Lincoln doing with 81 bottles of champagne and 14 pounds of raisins? Thankfully he didn’t consume them all himself, but he was an integral part of the party for which the food and drinks were purchased. We go to that party and learn about Lincoln’s failed marriage proposal, to boot. All from his time in the old Illinois state capital of Vandalia. On this edition of The American Countryside.

A Deadly Trip

DeSoto-Hernando-1791Imagine walking all the way from Arkansas to Mexico City. That’s what this expedition attempted to do. When they finally reached their destination, nearly 70% had perished. The survivors were the first Europeans to see much of the interior of the U.S. Their story is this edition of The American Countryside.

Transforming Florida Forever

De_Soto_by_Telfer_&_SartainIt’s hard to imagine the changes that took place in the American southeast during the 16th Century. The Spanish came looking for gold. However, they brought something with them that transformed the area forever. The story of life before and after those explorers is this edition of The American Countryside.

Where the Delta Meets the Ozarks

450px-Powhatan_Historic_State_Park_Powhatan_AR_013Powhatan, Ark., is a once-thriving city, now mostly a ghost town. But its buildings have been restored and the stories of its glory days still abound. We head to the place where the Delta meets the Ozarks on this edition of The American Countryside.

America’s Territory with a Remarkable History

1BE82DE3-155D-451F-67D6940F28FCC7C7-largeThe Spanish were the first Europeans to arrive here. Then the French rules the island, followed by the Danes. Finally the Americans purchased it in 1916. Its remarkable history is not a thing of the past, for here the vibrantly colored buildings are an important part of today. It’s next on The American Countryside.

Caribbean Education for a Founding Father

Young_alexander_hamiltonToday a high school or college student might take an internship to learn the basics they need for a certain career. That was what Alexander Hamilton was doing, in a sense. No one realized that what he had learned would be the basis for appointing him Secretary of the Treasury. His story is today’s edition of The American Countryside.

A Founding Father with Island Ties

Alexander_Hamilton_portrait_by_John_Trumbull_1806Historians don’t agree whether this U.S. founding father was born in 1755 or 1757. He never arrived in what is today the United States mainland until he was 18 years old and that was the result of the writing that he did. His unique journey to found a nation is today’s edition of The American Countryside.

Tractors of the War

320px-John-Deere-MG-tractor-haugh-2We may not think of ag equipment manufacturers having much to do with the U.S. military. However, during World War II, most of those companies began building a wide range of hardware to aid the allies. Today we visit an interesting display that shows the breadth of what the ag industry produced during those years…and it’s next on the American Countryside.

Now THAT’S a Tractor

John-Deere-MG-tractor-haugh-1If you think those high-tech gizmos on modern tractors are cool, you should check out a John Deere model from the 1940s. It’s equipped with two 30-caliber machine guns. Find out why on the latest episode of the American Countryside.