Ken Burns American Stories 2002 | TV Show

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A series of documentaries by Ken Burns, including 'The Statue of Liberty,' 'Brooklyn Bridge,' 'Thomas Jefferson' and episodes of 'Jazz' and 'Baseball.'

Premiered: October 6, 2002

Rating: None

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Season 2, Episode 6 The West: Death Runs Riot

First Aired: September 17, 1996

Part 4 of the Burns-produced 1996 chronicle of the West details the rising tensions over slavery---and the eruption of violence in the new Kansas and Nebraska territories. As the Civil War began, federal attention focused on the East, so Western battles were often fought by volunteers, such as minister John Chivington, who defended Colorado from a rebel assault and would later be responsible for the savage slaughter of Indians at Sand Creek. Also included: rancher Juan Cortina, “the Robin Hood of the Rio Grande”; how veterans (including George Custer) turned their energy against the Cheyenne. Stephen Ives directed; Peter Coyote narrates.

Previous Episode

The West: The Speck of the Future

Season 2, Episode 5

September 17, 1996

Next Episode

The West: The Grandest Enterprise Under God

Season 2, Episode 7

September 19, 1996

Guest Cast