Donate

Donner Party: American Experience Previous Broadcasts

Episode #503

KQED 9: Mon, Feb 1, 2010 -- 10:00 PM

Of all the 19th-century pioneer stories, none exerts so powerful a hold on the American imagination as the tale of the Donner Party in the high Sierra Nevadas in the winter of 1846. That June, along with thousands of others, George and Jacob Donner and James Frazier Reed led their families west out of Springfield, Illinois, and headed for the "Promised Land" in California, 2000 miles away. Theirs was a prosperous caravan that would swell to more than 87 men, women and children. They packed huge wagons (one was two stories high), took food, hired servants and even sewed money between the covers of a quilt. When family leaders made the fateful decision to take an untried short cut to beat the coming winter, only half of them would come out alive. What began as a trek to the Western paradise became a terrifying tale of misery, death, madness and cannibalism. But there was also extraordinary bravery, as survivors made their way to California, after enduring the worst winter ever recorded in the high Sierras. Through family journals, newspaper accounts and interviews with historians and descendants of the party, the film recreates the Donner Party's now legendary journey.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Wed, Feb 3, 2010 -- 3:00 AM
  • KQED Life: Tue, Feb 2, 2010 -- 9:00 PM
  • KQED 9: Tue, Feb 2, 2010 -- 4:00 AM
Become a KQED sponsor

TV Technical Issues

TV
    TV Technical Issues
    • KQED DT9s OTA: very brief outages Thurs 6/11/15

      (DT9.1, 9.2 and 9.3) There will be 3 very brief outages (apx. 10 seconds each) of KQED’s Over The Air (OTA) DT9 signal Thurs 6/15, between 10am and 3pm. This is to accommodate preventative maintenance and inspections at Sutro Tower. Most TVs will recover easily each time the signal is restored, but a few viewers […]

    • KQET planned overnight outage, early Friday 3/13

      (DT25-1 through 25-3) Another station on Fremont Tower needs to perform more maintenance work overnight, requiring other TV stations to shut down their signals for the safety of the workers. KQET’s signal will turn off late Thurs/early Friday between midnight and 12:30am, and should return by 6am Friday morning. Many receivers will be able to […]

    • KQET planned overnight outage, early Wed 3/11

      (DT25-1 through 25-3) Another station on Fremont Tower needs to perform maintenance work overnight, requiring that other TV stations shut down their signals for the safety of the workers. KQET’s signal will turn off late Tues/early Wednesday between midnight and 12:30am, and should return by 5am Wednesday morning. Many receivers will be able to recover […]

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

KQED DTV Channels

KQED 9

KQED 9
Channels 9.1, 54.2 & 25.1 - Monterey (KQET)
XFINITY 9 and HD 709

All widescreen and HD programs

KQED Plus

KQED +
Channels 54, 54.1, 9.2 & 25.2 - Monterey
XFINITY 10 and HD 710

KQED Plus, formerly KTEH

KQED Life

KQED Life
Channel 54.3
XFINITY 189

Arts, food, how-to, gardening, travel

KQED World

KQED World
Channel 9.3
XFINITY 190

History, world events, news, science, nature

v-me

V-Me
Channel 54.5 & 25.3
XFINITY 191 & 621

24-hour national Spanish-language network

KQED Kids

KQED Kids
Channel 54.4
XFINITY 192

Quality children's programming parents love too