Donate

1421: The Year China Discovered America? Previous Broadcasts

Episode #101W

KQED Life: Wed, May 7, 2014 -- 7:00 PM

The first hour introduces the controversial theory of British author Gavin Menzies, who has devoted nine years to proving that Zheng He and his Ming fleet of more than 100 ships reached America before Columbus. This episode investigates what is known about the fleet and its historic voyages, and the impact they had on the civilizations around the rim of the Indian Ocean. The program retraces the armada's journey to far-flung outposts throughout China, Southeast Asia, Arabia, India and Africa. Dramatic reconstructions using computer graphics bring to life the Ming fleet's scale and the unique design of the spectacular 400-foot treasure ships within the armada - a nautical achievement never surpassed by any other wooden fleet. The program the questions: Could the armada truly have sailed around Africa's Cape of Good Hope and reach the Americas? And will Menzies' investigations rewrite history and change the way people view the world?

The second hour puts Menzies' controversial theory to the test, visiting locations to search for clues and drawing together contemporary historical accounts, archaeology and a wealth of evidence from consultations with scholars to investigate Menzies' claims. Historians, archaeologists and scientists cast major doubts on the claims that the Chinese rounded the Cape of Good Hope, that they entered the Atlantic Ocean, that they visited or settled in America or indeed produced a Master Chart of the World. Menzies claims he can't be proved wrong. However, the discovery that led to his investigation has unearthed mysteries surrounding both the discovery of America and the true nature of the Ming voyages.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Thu, May 8, 2014 -- 1:00 AM
Become a KQED sponsor

TV Technical Issues

TV
    TV Technical Issues
    • Comcast channel moves, Monterey/Salinas & Sacramento/Fairfield

      As of Tuesday 8/25, Comcast/Xfinity has moved four of KQED’s channels to new numbers in two of its service areas. The new info is: Monterey-Salinas: 371 – KQED World 372 – KQED Kids 373 – KQED Life 374 – KQED V-Me Sacramento, Fairfield, Rio Vista, Travis AFB and Vacaville: 390 – KQED World 391 – […]

    • Sutro Tower Annual Maintenance, week of 8/24 daytime

      (may affect Over the Air signal for KQED DT9.1, 9.2, 9.3) The Sutro Tower team will be doing their annual tower check and maintenance work this week, meaning that all stations may be switching back and forth from their main antenna to their auxiliary antenna between 9am and 4pm. Work should conclude no later than […]

    • Comcast/Xfinity Ch10 audio, Monday 7/20 evening

      UPDATE: Comcast was able to resolve their technical glitch apx 10:45pm * * * * * We are aware that at least during the early part of the evening of Monday 7/20, the audio is out of sync on Comcast/Xfinity channel 10, their basic cable service. This problem still exists as of 8:10pm. We have […]

To view previous issues and how they were resolved, go to our TV Technical Issues page.

KQED DTV Channels

KQED 9, KQET

KQED 9 / KQET

Channels 9.1, 54.2, 25.1
XFINITY 9 and HD 709
Wave 9 and HD 164
DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T U-verse: Channel # may vary, labeled as KQED, or as KQET in the 831 area code

All HD programs

KQED Plus, KQET

KQED Plus / KQET

Channels 54.1, 9.2, 25.2
XFINITY 10 and HD 710
Wave 10
DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T U-verse: IF this channel provided to customer, channel # may vary, labeled as KQEH

KQED Plus, formerly KTEH

KQED Life

KQED Life

Channel 54.3
XFINITY 189
Wave 157

Arts, food, how-to, gardening, travel

KQED World

KQED World

Channel 9.3
XFINITY 190
Wave 156

History, world events, news, science, nature

v-me

V-Me

Channel 54.5 & 25.3
XFINITY 191 & 621
Wave 154

24-hour national Spanish-language network

KQED Kids

KQED Kids

Channel 54.4
XFINITY 192
Wave 155

Quality children's programming parents love too