Western

Westerns -- Movie Edition

Just as westerns were a staple of television, they were among the earliest movies.  In fact one of the very first movies was The Great Train Robbery, an 11-minute film that wowed audiences in 1903.

Over the decades certain names have become synonymous with western movies: John Wayne, Gary Cooper, James Stewart, Clint Eastwood, Henry Fonda, director John Ford, writers Louis L’Amour and Larry McMurtry.  Today Sam Elliott and Kevin Costner are probably the actors most associated with the genre.  No matter when the films were made, the overall theme of one person or one group of people fighting others -- or even the elements – makes for exciting entertainment.
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Westerns -- TV Edition

There was a time when westerns outnumbered cop shows or sitcoms on television.  In fact, in 1959, there were 26 westerns on prime time TV.  The genre continued to be a staple of TV programming until the 70s, when the popularity began to wane.  Still, those of us born and raised in the 50s and 60s have fond memories of the series we grew up with.  My personal favorites were – and still are -- Here Come the Brides, The Big Valley, and The High Chaparral....

October, 1492 and the History of the West

Contact, the battle for America

contact

Coming of the Storm (book 1)

 fire

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October 26, 1881

Buntline Special
 
It may not be a date that you had to memorize for your American History class in school, but what happened that day in small mining town of Tombstone in the Arizona Territory has had a very large impact on the national imagination. Almost one-hundred-thirty years later, what is now known as the gunfight at the O. K. Corral is still making news.

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Braggin' Rights & the American West

Names like Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, Kit Carson, Calamity Jane, Frank and Jesse James, conjure certain images in the American mind. For us, these people, who actually lived and died and left their marks, have become larger than life.  They are now a part of our American folklore right up there alongside Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill and Deadwood Dick, and live on as sources of inspiration. 

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Where the Wild West Still Lives

The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo is an event every Texan or “wanna be” Texan should attend at least once. It’s been an annual fixture on the Houston calendar since 1932. People come from all over to participate or partake of all the good things that happen at this event, from the rodeo itself to craft fairs, carnival rides, celebrity entertainers, and of course, good food.  But if you can’t get to the Rodeo, you can at least read some of the great books about rodeo life from our collection. Here are some adult-level, non-fiction titles where you can learn more about the cowboys and cowgirls, rodeo clowns and others we look forward to seeing every year.

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The Wacked Out West

With the remake of True Grit currently having a good run in theatres, interest in some of the more comic elements of the wild west are hopefully on the horizon. And there’s more gold in them there hills than you might have been lead to believe too! Some books are classics and some deserve to be better known than they are.

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Detecting the West

Have you ever wondered where the term “private eye” came from?  Well, you can thank Mr. Pinkerton for that. Allan Pinkerton that is, of Pinkerton National Detective Agency fame. Mr. Pinkerton, along with his brother, started the first private detective agency in the United States way back in 1850. Pinkerton was a barrel maker by trade and a very successful one at that. Just how he got into the detective business is a story worth knowing. Furthermore, his Agency is still in operation today and many of his methods of detection and crime solving are still being used. The Pinkerton Detective Agency played a role in capturing or eliminating many of the criminals of the 19th century, among them, Jesse James, Butch Cassidy, the Wild Bunch, and others. He was a friend to President Lincoln and foiled an early assignation attempt. He organized a spy ring to infiltrate the Confederate Army and obtain vital wartime information....

Alternative Histories of the West

Alternate history is a genre that blends elements of science fiction, fantasy and history into a 'what if' scenario that explores the implications of a different outcome in a particular historical event. The stories asks questions like, "where would we be if Germany had won the second world war?" Or perhaps, "what would the world be like now if electricity had not been discovered and we relied on steam power for all our needs?" Over the last couple of decades this genre has come into its own gaining new fans and attacting some excellent writers. In the last few years, the Old West has become the subject of focus for some very unusual alternative history stories.

territory

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