the Land of Ayllon
VHS, 30 min., 1993
Thirty-four years after Columbus landed in the "New World," Spanish lawyer Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon found the first American colony. Ayllon brought six hundred men, women and children, with horses, pigs, equipment and food, to settle the Georgia coast. Ayllon's ill-fated colony ended after a few short weeks but it pre-dated Saint Augustine's founding by thirty-nine years.
VHS, 90 min., 1994
This documentary tells the story of Arkansas in the Civil War. Using photography and present day images from significant sites around the state, combined with the words of historians and people who lived and fought during the war, the program attempts to help Arkansas recover a neglected history and to remember that even today, the war is still around us.
Slides/tape, 15 min., 1981
The transition from the prairie fields of east Arkansas where no trees would grow to the rich rice lands with enough crop yield to make Arkansas the number one rice producer in the nation is documented with slides and narration.
VHS, 60 min., 2002
While most Americans know about the 1804-1806 Lewis and Clark explorations in the new Louisiana Purchase, few know that President Thomas Jefferson also commissioned a second expedition, led by William Dunbar and George Hunter, to explore some of the southern areas. The two men and their crew went up the Red, Black and Ouachita Rivers, as far as "the hot springs." They mapped, described flora and fauna, and tested the waters of the Hot Springs area, and sent President Jefferson the first report on the huge new territory that had just been purchased from France.
VHS, 20 min., 1987
A dramatic re-enactment of German explorer Friedrich Gerstacker's travels through Arkansas, when it was still a wilderness. Adapted from his 1843 account of his Arkansas adventures, Wild Sports in the Far West.
VHS, 92 min., 1979
An outstanding feature film about the settling of the American West. Against the numerous hardships Clyde and Elinore proudly defend their personal boundaries Clyde his farm, his herd, and his willful devotion to his family; Elinore all of these, and her singularly determined consciousness as a pioneer and a woman.
VHS, 60 min., 1981
This popular documentary portrays the development of Arkansas through the people whose livelihood depended on the land. It goes back some 200 years tracing the settlement of Arkansas, the Civil War, Reconstruction, King Cotton, the boll weevil, the Great Depression, and World War II. The struggle for survival has nearly destroyed the small family farmer; but agribusiness has pushed Arkansas into international prominence. Interviews with old farmers rekindle the warmth and wholeness of a life on the land that few experience today.
VHS, 30 min., 1980
Woody Guthrie wrote about them and walked the same road; so did Jack Kerouac. Dylan commiserated in his song, "I am a lonesome hobo, without family or friends." Contemporary hoboes in Arkansas speak of their lives, share their tin-can-culture with you, and wave goodbye as they hop the eternal freight at sunset. A sensitive look at some fascinating men and women.
VHS, 60 min., 1990, CC
The story of the completion of the transcontinental railroad, brought on, for the most part, by the gold rush in California. Built during the Reconstruction years, the railroad came to symbolize a healing of wounds between the north and south.
VHS, 50 min., ND
Old footage and interviews with midwestern farmers trace the psychological, economic and social effects of the Great Depression on agricultural life. Funded by the Nebraska Humanities Council.
Slides/tape/script, 20 min., 1996
49 slides accompanied by a script and an audiocassette that examine the ways American adults and children have spent much of their leisure time throughout our history: sports, games, and other play from the late 19th century and early 20th century are represented.
VHS, 90 min., 1984
The American Civil War was the most cataclysmic event in American history: 600,000 deaths, ruined cities, scorched countryside, and social revolution. This film explores the ways in which the echoes of the Civil War can still be felt in American society: from politics to economics, from civil rights to foreign policy, from individual to collective memory and from South to North to West.
VHS, 20 min., 1991, Study guide available
Using contemporary maps and illustrations, this program explores the Columbian Encounter from the 13th- 17th centuries. The program charts the changing shape of the known world and describes territorial struggles of both Native Americans and Europeans. The maps are a record of the clash of cultures, the conflicting ideologies, technologies, and political ambitions which shaped the encounter.
VHS, 30 min., 1995
A production of the Jefferson County Historical Society, this video tells the story of Pine Bluff. Beginning with the early days on the river when Joseph Bonne paddled his canoe upriver and established his home on the first pine bluff thus creating the settlement that eventually became the city of Pine Bluff. This project was underwritten by a grant from the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Historical Museum.
Funded by the Southern Humanities Media Fund, this film tells the story of black and white sharecroppers protesting unjust treatment by local plantation owners. Their demonstration spurred the U.S. government to develop new housing for displaced sharecroppers.
VHS, 23 min., 1992
One hundred and fifty years ago, a great fleet of ships hunted whales for their oil to light American homes and supply American industry. But times changed: petroleum and plastics replaced whale products, and we now admire and study the magnificent whale. Insight and knowledge of the industry, and the history of the Charles W. Morgan are provided.
VHS, 55 min., 1984, CC
The struggle of miners and laborers in the American West is revealed in Out of the Depths. Miners relate the harsh working conditions in the mines of the early 1900s and recall the volatile events that led to the famous 1913 United Mine Workers strike and the 1914 Ludlow Massacre.
VHS, 30 min., 2004
To try to break the cycle of rural poverty, a Roosevelt administration initiative during the Great Depression of the 1930's, set up the Farm Resettlement Program. Farm families were able to acquire about 40 acres that included a new house, barn, and other out buildings, and a 40-year payment schedule with very low payments. Many resettlement communities have faded from memory, but not Clover Bend in Northeast Arkansas. A Place Called Home tells the story of Clover Bend and includes interviews with settlement participants, many of whom still live in the area.
VHS, 30 min. 1978
During the wartime hysteria of WWII, the U.S. government incarcerated 110,000 Japanese Americans in ten camps two in southern Arkansas. This tape features interviews with Sam Yada, a member of the camp, whose family still resides in Arkansas; and the recollections of Rev. Joseph Hunter, former assistant director of Rohwer. Perhaps through these investigations we can discover the roots of the injustices of the past so that our children may be spared their recurrence.
Here are three carousels of slides from the National Archives which document the two Japanese-American internment camps located in Jerome and Rohwer, Arkansas, during World War II.
VHS, 10 min., 1990
Produced by AETN for The Arkansas Traveler, this is an update on Sam Yada and his family less than a year before his death.
VHS, 60 min., 1978
The place . . . the Arkansas territory. The time . . . 1827. This drama/documentary recalls the political events surrounding William Woodruff and his newspaper, The Arkansas Gazette oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi. The film's realistic settings, period costumes, and acting all convey a sense of the culture and attitudes of early territorial Arkansas.
VHS, 60 min., 1981 Study guide available
The resettlement of a Laotian family in America is documented with focus on the attendant stress and triumphs of crossing cultural barriers. Similar to the Cuban and Vietnamese refugee experiences in Arkansas, this film is a significant portrait of courage and faith in the face of severe dislocation and culture shock.
VHS, 72 min., 1996
The Great Depression forced 4,000,000 Americans away from their homes and onto the tracks in search of food and lodging. Of this number, 250,000 of these transients were children. The filmmakers of Riding the Rails relay the experiences and recollections of these now-elderly survivors of the rails. Using archival footage, personal photographs, and interviews, the film recounts these young hoboes lives on the tracks.
VHS, 30 min., 2001
This is the story of patients who survived the morbid treatments at the Booneville, Arkansas Tuberculosis Sanatorium, a facility that once was among the largest TB treatment centers in the world, housing 5,000 patients in peak years. The patients who survived the sanatorium have moved on to a very different world. Their disease is gone, but their memories remain, of the the pain and suffering, hope and despair, of life at sanatorium hill.
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