Wild Wild West

The story of Westward Expansion in America

John Wesley Powell: Wild West Explorer

Despite losing an arm in the US Civil War, John Wesley Powell was one of the great explorers of the American West, and made history as the man who mapped the Grand Canyon.

Remember the Alamo

The Battle of the Alamo has become the stuff of legend – when 200 brave Texan fighters took a stand against a Mexican force of thousands. But there’s more to the story than meets the eye.

Shootout at the OK Corral

The shootout at the OK Corral is one of the most famous episodes in US history – but the true story is very different from the movies.

Birth of the Lone Star State

Today, Texas is famous around the world as being the most American state of them all – but it once belonged to Mexico. For almost a decade, it was an independent republic.

Blazing a Trail for Women’s Votes

We often think of the American West as a lawless, uncivilized place. But in the 19th century, it was ahead of its time – as the only part of America where women could vote.

Wanted: The Infamous Reno Gang

Over a two-year period in the 1860s, infamous train robbers the Reno Gang stole the equivalent of $9 million dollars, until an act of vigilantism stopped them in their tracks.

The Donner Party’s Deadly Detour

Taking a shortcut in the unexplored American West was always a gamble – but for the Reed and Donner families it proved catastrophic.

Civil War Battle for the West

One of the most important battles of the Civil War wasn’t fought in the South – it was fought in the West. In March 1862, Union and Confederate forces came face-to-face – at New Mexico’s Glorieta Pass.

Black Cowboys of the West

The stereotypical image of a White cowboy dominates popular culture – but in the 19th century, a quarter of ranch hands were Black!