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#Diggers - Wyatt Earp #WildWest - #NationalGeographic Channel

Diggers - Wyatt Earp Wild West (Season 3, Episode 11)


Two quirky pals scour the country for lost relics and riches of American history. In this episode, the guys go to Dodge City, once home to the Wild West's famous lawmen Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson.

  • Tombstone, Arizona - 1879 Wyatt Earp moves in from Dodge City. October 1880 - cowboys high on opium shoot their guns into the air; Marshal White was killed by "Curly" Bill Brocius while trying to disarm the group; Virgil Earp became marshal at 37 years old after White's death; town council banned guns and slapped anyone with a gun a $25 fine (about $600 in today's money)
  • October 26, 1881 - The Earps and Doc Holliday approached 5 Cowboys (Billy Claiborne, Billy and Ike Clanton, Frank and Tom McLaury) and ordered them to disarm. 30 rounds were shot in 30 seconds. 3 cowboys were killed (Frank and Tom McLaury, Billy Clanton) while the other two fled. Only Wyatt Earp made it thorugh unharmed. "OK" stands for "Old Kindersley" who were the previous owners of the property.
  • Fort Barclay, Watrous, New Mexico - built in late 1840's and included a mercantile, blacksmith and stables; was abandoned late 1800's when railroad bypassed it completely. The Diggers find an Eagle Button with a "C" in the center to indicate "calvary". They also find an oval U.S. belt buckle which was added to the standard uniform in 1839.
  • Naco, Arizona - 1916 Pancho Villa raided New Mexico and was pushed back into Mexico; the Diggers find a pin with crossed canons motif (which was for the artillery, known as "King of Battle"); the Arizona Army National Guard was formed in 1865 almost 50 years before Arizona became a state; the U.S. set over 5,000 troops to the border to protect against Villa. Pancho Villa had a contract with Hollywood to film his battlefield exploits.

Check your local library for a copy or you can view via online streaming through Amazon here:

#Diggers - The #GoldRush - #NationalGeographic Channel

Diggers - Gold Rush (Season 3, Episode 16)


Two quirky pals scour the country for lost relics and riches of American history. In this episode, the guys explore mines that produced a fortune in silver and gold during the prospecting frenzy.
This show is really fun to watch because these are "ordinary" guys just running around with their metal detectors (with permission, of course) uncovering cool artifacts in the ground. It's interesting to see the history behind the quest's topic (in this case, the Gold Rush), what types of things they find and what the experts say. Take some of their antics with a grain of salt and you will enjoy it.

  • Matchless Mine, Leadville, Colorado - Silver mining capital between 1878 and 1880 with production around $50,000 per day. Mules were used to pull the cars (loaded with silver).
  • Toughnut Mine, Tombstone, Arizona - 5.4 million ounces were mined here; deep tunnels; danger of poisonous gases and cave-ins; paths were irregular as the miners followed the vein of ore; Sears catalog pages were used as toilet paper (ouch!); drilling was often a two-man job with one working the drill steel and the other working the hammer
  • Kennedy Mine, Jackson, California - 6000 feet deep; 1.75 million ounces (worth $1.5 Billion today); largest gold nugget ever discovered weighed 210 lbs (worth over $4.2 million today)

CLICK HERE for Nat Geo's official Diggers series website

Check your local library for a copy or you can view via online streaming through Amazon here:

10 Things You Don't Know About The #GoldRush - #HistoryChannel

I found this neat series on the History Channel called "10 Things You Don't About..." and each episode focuses on a different historic topic, event, person or group ranging from the Gold Rush (reviewed here) to the Founding Fathers to Adolph Hitler and reveals interesting tidbits that we never learned in history class.

10 Things You Don't Know About - The Gold Rush (Season 3, Episode 10)


In Season 3 of 10 Things You Don't Know About on H2, punk icon Henry Rollins continues to uncover crazy new twists and facts about historic eras, figures and places in American history that you thought you knew.

  • John Sutter is given credit for discovery gold (at Sutter's Mill) but it was actually carpenter James Marshall who actually discovered it in January of 1848. Sutter tells Mariano Vallego (California Military Commander) about the gold and word spreads. Eventually people just flood Sutter's land holding (11,000 acres) and squat. Sutter eventually sells all but 600 acres.
  • Colorado had a gold rush around 1858. It was considered the richest square mile on Earth (worth about $8-$10 billion today)
  • William Thomas invested a wind-powered wago. It could go 25 mph, carry 25-30 people, and had 12 foot wheels. But too much wind caused the axels to overheat and the brakes went out.
  • More people got rich from selling water and supplies than finding gold.
  • 1850 - Ships sailed into Yerba Buena cover (San Francisco). 500 ships were abandoned in the cover creating a "forest of masts". People bought the discarded ships to build up "land" with the broken-down lumber (creating very unstable holdings).
  • Malakoff Diggins - 1853 - hydraulic mining (using water canons). The levees broke and flooded the town. By 1882, the destruction was so bad that the farmers sued. The case went to Federal Court and eventually the first environmental law went into effect.

CLICK HERE to view Full Episodes from the 3 seasons. "The Gold Rush" is featured in Season 3, Episode 10 (CLICK HERE to view)

If you can't view the online video, check your local library if they have a copy or you can watch it via Amazon here:

Picture Credit: The History Channel