Montana: The Second Century

Beginning in 1988 and continuing through 1994, this KUSM-TV produced series produced over 70 programs covering social, political, cultural and historical topics all across Montana. A limited selection of these titles is shown here.

Wild Howl: The Wolf Returns to Yellowstone (No. 907)

For centuries wolves in legend and fairytale were regarded as vicious, bloodthirsty, and evil. The wolf's return to Yellowstone has asked us to rethink these myths. For the Shoshone, Wolf brother created Yellowstone. For others, the wolf represents our vain tinkering with nature. For the National Park Service, restoring the wolf to Yellowstone restores the natural balance missing in its ecosystem for nearly seventy years. Like all conservation stories of our time, the wolf's return to Yellowstone blends myth, emotion, and controversy. This film explores the range of controversy and reverie surrounding the wolf's wild howl in Yellowstone. (First Aired Friday, April 18, 1997)


Frances Senska - Art All The Time (No. 906)

MSU-Bozeman professor emerita Frances Senska taught some of the most influential innovators in American ceramic arts, among them Rudy Autio, of Missoula, and the late Peter Voulkos, a native of Bozeman. What connects their work with hers? (First Aired Friday, March 21, 1997)


Peace Through Unity-The Custer Battlefield Name Change (No. 901)

This program explores the reasons for the name change of the Custer Battlefield National Monument to the Little Bighorn National Monument and will include the views of both opponents and proponents. Highlights of the name change ceremony held at the battlefield in 1992 are featured. Among those in attendance are Native American Veterans and Educators, Cheyenne Spiritual Leader Austin Two Moon, members of the Sioux and Cheyenne Tribes, as well as U.S. Parks Service Officials. The video also includes scenes from the U.S. Congressional debate over the name change issue. (First Aired Friday, November 01, 1996)


The Adventures of Moccasin Joe (No. 804)

Explore the wonders and horrors of Montana's Wild West days through the eyes of young New Englander, Sgt. George S. Howard, nicknamed Moccasin Joe. As a cavalry scout Howard fought in many a battle (Rosebud, Powder River, Tongue River and Slim Buttes), marched in blinding snowstorms in Montana and Wyoming, nearly starved during the Horsemeat March of 1876, and roamed Yellowstone. This documentary, which is based on his remarkable diary, is part of the Montana: The Second Century series. (First Aired Friday, January 19, 1996)


Vigilante! The Rise and Fall of Frontier Justice (No. 802)

When Henry Plummer, the sherriff of Bannack took control of Virginia and Nevada cities with his band of road agents in the 1860's, the people watched what little law and order they had disappear into chaos. The only solution was to fight back, and so one of America's most famous vigilante movements was born. But, did it really happen? Or, is it just the romance and myth of History? Governor Marc Racicot, MSU President Mike Malone and other historians explore this unique chapter of Montana and American history. (First Aired Friday, November 17, 1995)


Sadie Sings (No. 801)

Meet Sadie Dawkins, a young Montanan who aspires to a career in opera. See how her special talent was discovered, and her work and determination to be involved in the performing arts. The program includes clips from Sadie's early performances and interviews with people who have worked with her. It also portrays two frantic weeks as Sadie joins visiting artists and Montana musicians to sing the role of Musetta in the Intermountain Opera Association's production of Puccini's "LaBoheme." (First Aired Friday, October 20, 1995)


Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce War (No. 707)

This program offers the Nez Perce perspective of leader Chief Joseph and the War of 1877. The program explores the origins of the conflict and the many misconceptions that have influenced popular history. Nez Perce band members, including several of Joseph's descendants, discuss the war and its lasting consequences. Produced by Dennis Aig for KUSM. (First Aired Sunday, May 21, 1995)


Frank Little: The Hobo Agitator (No. 708)

The summer of 1917, when the war of the Copper Kings was winding down, was a highly charged time for Butte, which had a socialist mayor and no unions. This captivating profile of Frank Little, the hobo agitator, takes us back to that summer, when vigilantes ruled city and mines alike and shut the miners union right down. (First Aired Friday, April 21, 1995)