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Michal Scott: TV Taught Me History School Never Did (Contest)
Monday, October 11th, 2021

UPDATE: The winner is…flchen1!
*~*~*

When I was growing up Westerns were a staple on television.  I probably watched every one produced, either in real-time or syndicated reruns. Gunsmoke, Rawhide, The Rifleman, Have Gun Will Travel, Bat Masterson, Death Valley Days, Branded, Bonanza, Wanted Dead or Alive, High Chaparral, The Guns of Will Sonnett, Maverick. There was even a Northwestern, Here Come the Brides, that I enjoyed. I also remember Alias Smith and Jones, a comedic western. I was so steeped in westerns that in junior high school I got a grade of A++ on a pioneer journal assignment. However, while I can name all the shows I watched, one particular episode sticks with me: an episode of High Chaparral that featured Buffalo Soldiers.

To be honest. if a show — no matter what kind — had a black actor or actress on it I watched it. So no surprise I watched High Chaparral regularly on which Frank Silvera, a Jamaican-American, played the Mexican paterfamilias, Don Sebastian Montoya. It’s no wonder then that even after all these years I can still see the half-page ad description in the old TV Guide on their Buffalo Soldiers episode. I must have stared at the drawing of Black cowboys on horseback forever because the picture is still embedded in my memory. I never learned about Buffalo Soldiers in school. I always had the Schomburg Library to go to find information that was verifiable and books on the history of Blacks and the West by authors like Tom Willard and William Lorenz Katz. Today I’m thankful to the Internet that I can learn directly from the websites of Black history museums like the Black American West Museum & Heritage Center in Denver Colorado.

It’s because of an episode of Bonanza I learned the Chinese used thumbprints as means of identification. The episode on Bonanza that dealt with Little Jo’s birth opened my eyes to racism against Native Americans. I wonder if the children in school today are learning about the role the 9th and 10th Cavalry played in the history of the West. Do they know the Chinese invented gunpowder, the compass, and pulp papermaking? Are they learning about the Trail of Tears? I would hope so. I would hope they are being taught by enlightened school systems that uplift the contributions of all cultures to the history of this country.

I don’t watch much TV these days, so I hope what little seeds planted by the stories told on it now grow into trees of truth and not misinformation. In my own small way, I hope the romances I write might do a little planting of their own. So how about you? For a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, share in the comments any pieces of history you learned from unexpected sources.

Coming Tomorrow! “The Patience of Unanswered Prayer” from Cowboys

Cowboys: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology

A feisty businesswoman about to become the next victim of Post-Civil War revenge receives rescue from an unexpected source

Excerpt from “The Patience of Unanswered Prayer”…

Something sinister wafted in the still night air from the edge of Franklin Adams’s property. The low growl from the wolf by his side signaled the animal had detected it, too.

“Too quiet, eh, Zeb?”

The wolf tensed as if in agreement.

Franklin sucked in a lungful of warm Oklahoma summer air and scanned the sky. Too quiet like that night a week ago when eight sheet-shrouded night riders thought they’d scare him off his land. No jigaboo had money for a spread like this they’d shouted. None should be allowed to have one outside of the Black townships anyway. Calls to tar and feather and ride his nappy-headed ass out on a rail followed.

Steel from Franklin’s Winchester and the attack of Zeb’s wolf pack had put the fear of God into those shivering cowards. All fled screaming into the night, bruised, bloodied, and bullet-ridden. Surely, they hadn’t come back for a second try? Although many a drunk might grow brave and stupid and forgetful, if they let enough time pass and consumed enough whiskey.

A breeze troubled the leaves of the oak in the front yard. Birdwings fluttered anxious sounds into the air.

Yep. Someone was out there.

Buy link: Amazon – https://amzn.to/3iwUhkN
Michal Scott Amazon Author Page – https://amzn.to/2TSHzRn
Website: www.michalscott.webs.com

28 comments to “Michal Scott: TV Taught Me History School Never Did (Contest)”

  1. Debra Guyette
    Comment
    1
    · October 11th, 2021 at 6:40 am · Link

    An old series called Iron Horse taught me about the railroad.



  2. Anna Taylor Sweringen
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    2
    · October 11th, 2021 at 8:49 am · Link

    As always thanks for letting me share, Delilah.



  3. Anna Taylor Sweringen
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    3
    · October 11th, 2021 at 8:51 am · Link

    Hi Debra, I remember the opening of that one with the engine coming straight toward the camera. Thanks for sharing.



  4. Delilah
    Comment
    4
    · October 11th, 2021 at 9:09 am · Link

    Does F Troop count? LOL

    And Lordie did I have a crush on Manolito in High Chaparral.



  5. Jennifer Beyer
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    5
    · October 11th, 2021 at 9:39 am · Link

    I recently watched the John Adams miniseries and I had to keep my computer at hand to look up stuff I didn’t know. So interesting!



  6. Lena Pinto
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    6
    · October 11th, 2021 at 10:21 am · Link

    Hi, Anna —

    Terrific post!

    I watched most of those shows when I was growing up. (They were first run at that time. LOL!) One of my favorites was Wagon Train. It took a lot of courage for the folks in the East to pick up and move to the big unknown West.

    (Don’t enter me in the drawing.)



  7. Anna Taylor Sweringen
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    7
    · October 11th, 2021 at 11:18 am · Link

    Hi Delilah,

    Yes F Troop counts. How could I have forgotten about them?



  8. Anna Taylor Sweringen
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    · October 11th, 2021 at 11:19 am · Link

    Hi Jennifer, so true. We’d have had to run to the library in the olden days (which is what I always ended up doing.) Thanks for sharing.



  9. Anna Taylor Sweringen
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    · October 11th, 2021 at 11:25 am · Link

    Hi Lena, Wagon Train, another goodie. I think I’m going to go back and look at episode guides to brush the nostalgia off of my memory. Thanks for stopping by.



  10. Diana Cosby
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    10
    · October 11th, 2021 at 12:17 pm · Link

    Hi Anna, congratulations on the release of ‘“The Patience of Unanswered Prayer!”

    Though wrapped around a fictional storyline, Gunsmoke gave insight into living in the west and the challenges faced.

    Take care, and I wish you the best!..



  11. Colleen C.
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    11
    · October 11th, 2021 at 12:37 pm · Link

    Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman – showed how Native Americans were treated by settlers and the Army… how Chinese immigrants were treated… even women in general… things about the railroad and how the government acted in certain instances.



  12. Anna Taylor Sweringen
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    12
    · October 11th, 2021 at 1:01 pm · Link

    Thanks, Diana.



  13. Anna Taylor Sweringen
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    13
    · October 11th, 2021 at 1:02 pm · Link

    Thanks for sharing, Colleen. Dr. Quinn is one I’ve never watched. Appreciate the information.



  14. bn100
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    14
    · October 11th, 2021 at 2:21 pm · Link

    learned about WWI through documentaries



  15. Anna Taylor Sweringen
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    15
    · October 11th, 2021 at 3:31 pm · Link

    Hi bn100,

    Me too. I think that’s why I prefer them to fictionalized accounts of the same events. Thanks for sharing.



  16. Vonnie Alto
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    16
    · October 11th, 2021 at 5:01 pm · Link

    I read widely as a child which supplemented textbook reading as so much of history isn’t in textbooks. That’s why visiting the library–even my school’s library was always a treat because then I could peruse shelves for interesting stories that I might not otherwise know about when I dipped into the biography section. I read about Madame Curie (who pioneered radioactivity research), George Washington Carver (an agricultural scientist/inventor), and Harriet Tubman (an abolitionist). Then there was the novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin which was too gritty for me but provided a realistic glimpse into slavery. And so many other biographies and novels that educated me on the history of the U.S.



  17. Mary Preston
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    17
    · October 11th, 2021 at 5:14 pm · Link

    I read a lot of historical novels. I am always learning something new and often googling to find out more. Just recently my interest was piqued by different historical monetary values.



  18. ButtonsMom2003
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    18
    · October 11th, 2021 at 5:55 pm · Link

    I think I watched all of the shows you mentioned, most of them when they were first run. I loved the mini-series Roots. I still remember watching it at my mom and dad’s house. I was married but my hubby worked nights so I spent a lot of time there and we watched a lot of TV. I gave up watching TV about 7 years ago so that I could spend my free time reading.

    I would add Sky King, My Friend Flicka, The Rifleman and The Lone Ranger to your list. I know some of those might not have correct representation of minorities but I have to admit that, as a kid, I enjoyed watching them.



  19. Anna Taylor Sweringen
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    · October 12th, 2021 at 12:53 am · Link

    Hi Vonnie, libraries were a second home to me growing up. I loved the history and plays. Thanks for sharing.



  20. Anna Taylor Sweringen
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    · October 12th, 2021 at 12:56 am · Link

    Hi Mary, I loved R.F. Delderfield. Thanks for sharing.



  21. Anna Taylor Sweringen
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    · October 12th, 2021 at 1:02 am · Link

    Hi Buttons Mom, TV miniseries were wonderful sources of entertainment and education. I heard of Sky King but never watched it. Riverside Church used to have a radio station WRVR that used to play old radio shows. That’s where I got most of my Lone Ranger. Thanks for sharing.



  22. Anne Carrole
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    22
    · October 12th, 2021 at 9:07 am · Link

    I loved all these old Westerns. Definitely Bonanza but also Maverick, Bat Masterson, and Rawhide. And there were enough times that the female character was tough and independent that it made me delve into history to find women who ran ranches, went on cattle drives, were gamblers, owned newspapers, etc opening up possibilities for a young viewer.



  23. Anna Taylor Sweringen
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    23
    · October 12th, 2021 at 1:25 pm · Link

    Hi Anne, yes! The power of seeing diversity at a young age can’t be underestimated. Thanks for sharing.



  24. flchen1
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    24
    · October 13th, 2021 at 10:00 pm · Link

    I watch so little these days, I think my main sources for unexpected lessons is through books. I so appreciate authors who carefully research and write history in ways that make it a living thing.

    One novel I remember having a big impression on me is Carrie Lofty’s His Very Own Girl, set in World War II. Not long after, our family had the chance to visit a WWII ship, and it was a gut punch to see some of what I’d just read–it wasn’t “just a book”.



  25. Anna Taylor Sweringen
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    25
    · October 14th, 2021 at 7:23 pm · Link

    Hi flchen1. It is a neat surprise to come upon something new when we read. Thanks for sharing.



  26. Jackie Wisherd
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    26
    · October 17th, 2021 at 7:33 pm · Link

    I have learned a lot about WWII. from reading novels about real people who served. I like to watch tv shows about History as well.



  27. Mary McCoy
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    27
    · October 17th, 2021 at 8:31 pm · Link

    I enjoyed watching the old newsreels re WWII that they used to run at the movie houses (several years later).



  28. Delilah
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    28
    · October 19th, 2021 at 5:11 am · Link

    Thanks to Anna for another wonderful post!

    The winner of the gift card is…flchen1! Congrats!!



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