Ken Burns American Stories 2002 | TV Show
Season 2, Episode 7 The West: The Grandest Enterprise Under God
First Aired: September 19, 1996
Part 5 of the Burns-produced 1996 series “The West” (directed by Stephen Ives) picks up the saga at the end of the Civil War, as work begins on the transcontinental railroad with the goal of uniting the coasts and accelerating settlement of lands west of the Missouri River. Included: how Congress provided loans and millions of acres of land to railroad companies to connect Omaha and Sacramento; the near-extinction of the buffalo. Also: Chinese immigrants' role in tunneling through the Sierra Nevadas; Mormon suffragette Emmeline Wells, who helped Utah's women gain the right to vote; how boisterous cowboys led some towns to hire gunmen such as Wyatt Earp to maintain peace and enforce gun-control laws. Peter Coyote narrates.
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