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Donner Party: American Experience Previous Broadcasts

Episode #503

KQED 9: Mon, Dec 3, 2012 -- 9:00 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 World: Mon, Dec 31, 2012 -- 4:30 AM
  • KQED World: Sun, Dec 30, 2012 -- 10:30 PM
  • KQED Life: Wed, Dec 5, 2012 -- 2:00 AM
  • KQED Life: Tue, Dec 4, 2012 -- 8:00 PM
  • KQED 9: Tue, Dec 4, 2012 -- 3:00 AM
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    • 7/27/18: Comcast Ch10 (SD version of KQED Plus)

      We are aware that Comcast is not broadcasting KQED Plus, SD version, on Ch 10 throughout most of the Bay Area. There is no problem with KQED’s signal, and the HD version of KQED Plus is still operational on Ch710. KQED Plus is also still available over the air on DT9.2, 54.1 and 25.2.  Despite … Continue reading 7/27/18: Comcast Ch10 (SD version of KQED Plus)

    • Update 7/27/18: KQET signal restored

      DT25.1, 25.2, 25.3, 25.4 UPDATE: Signal restored as of 7:45pm Friday afternoon (original post): KQET’s signal is down due to a break in the 3rd party fiber feed between San Francisco and the uplink reception point at California State University Monterey Bay. The line owner is aware of the issue and working on it.

    • 6/04/18: KQET Signal Loss

      KQET (DT25.1, 25.2 & 25.3) was unable to transmit from late Saturday 6/02 through early Monday 6/04 due to a break in the third party fiber feed somewhere between KQED?s Master Control room in San Francisco and the uplink reception point at California State University Monterey Bay. The break was found and fixed shortly after … Continue reading 6/04/18: KQET Signal Loss

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

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