Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Back in New Mexico--Billy the Kid to show on AMERICAN EXPERIENCE!

I am living in New Mexico again--I love the American Southwest! There is so much to see here. As I discussed earlier, my husband and I drove through Lincoln County, New Mexico earlier this year. Lincoln County was once the largest county in New Mexico.

Lincoln County is also the place where Henry McCarty, a.k.a. Billy the Kid, worked for cattleman and banker John Tunstall. When Tunstall was murdered, his ranch foreman, Dick Brewer, formed a posse called the Regulators to hunt down Tunstall's killer, William Morton, and Billy the Kid was a member of this posse. This was the start of the Lincoln County War, which is discussed in detail on our favorite website, Legends of America.

Billy the Kid was shot and killed by Pat Garrett at the home of Pete Maxwell in Fort Sumner, New Mexico where Billy the Kid is buried. Pete Maxwell inherited this home, and ranch, from his father, Lucien Maxwell. Lucien Maxwell was once the largest landowner in the world with 1,714,765 acres in New Mexico and what is now Colorado!

I was thrilled to learn today that the story of Billy the Kid is now part of the award-winning AMERICAN EXPERIENCE documentary series. Billy the Kid, a 60 minute show, will premiere on January 10 at 9/8 Central on PBS. The Billy the Kid premiere will kick off a month-long "Wild West" collection on AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.

I have always enjoyed the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE series. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE has received every major broadcast award, and they were well-deserved. The series received 24 Emmy Awards,four DuPont-Columbia Awards, and 14 George Foster Peabody Awards. This past season, its premiere of Freedom Riders drew critical acclaim along with three Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming, Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming, and Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking.

I will post reminders about this show as we grow closer to the time of the premiere, but until then, you may want to check out these websites for more information:

Billy the Kid website
Billy the Kid Film Trailer
Billy the Kid, Chapter 1
Billy the Kid Timeline
Billy the Kid Photo gallery
Billy the Kid Bonus Video


Tim Shey said...

I have also heard about the Lincoln County War. Up in Wyoming, there used to be something called the Johnson County Cattle Wars--between homesteaders and big cattle ranchers. At one time (in the 1890s), Cheyenne, Wyoming had the highest per capita income in the world (a lot of cattle ranchers had second homes in Cheyenne). Some of those big cattle ranchers were not unlike the drug cartels of Colombia. If you go to Boise, Idaho there is a statue of a former governor of Idaho--he was assassinated by some ranchers in around 1907.

I have done a lot of hitchhiking in New Mexico. It is such a beautiful state. I used to work on an apple farm for two months in Embudo north of Santa Fe.

If you are ever in Montana, you should visit Virginia City. They still have buildings that were built in the 1870s and 1880s there. Virginia City had a gold rush there in the 1860s; it used to be the capitol of Montana.

Darla Sue Dollman said...

I have visited the site of the Lincoln County War many times and love it! Everything is so carefully preserved and there is a museum just off the main road. I've also spent a great deal of time in Cheyenne, which I will write about soon. Cheyenne was a rather large city during the days of the Old West and I believe it was one of the first cities to have street lights. I'll have to check on that, though. I've never been to Virginia City. I'll bet Montana is beautiful! As is the area north of Santa Fe. A lot of history in that area. Santa Fe is the oldest state capital in the U.S.

Anonymous said...

The 60 minute Billy the Kid, show has just been run in danish television (scandinavia) - twise.:-)

Darla Sue Dollman said...

I have a collection of documentaries on Billy the Kid. I think his situation is fascinating. I often wonder if things had been different for him, a different time, a different place, if he would have turned out to be considered more of a hero. As it is, there is tremendous conflict regarding whether or not he was a hero or criminal. (And you can't trust the fictionalized movie versions.)

Christmas dinner for a family, from a series of photos documenting Gen. John J. Pershing's 1916 Punitive Expedition into Mexico. ...