Buffalo Bill (Episode 5)
American Experience Season 20

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Episode Info

Experience the story of the man who cemented the concept of Wild West mythology in the hearts and minds of nostalgic historians across the globe in this documentary detailing the remarkable life of William Cody. A common plainsman who realized the potential for profit in exploiting the more sensational aspects of the old west, Cody adapted the nickname "Buffalo Bill" and premiered "Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show" to enthusiastic New York City crowds back in 1886. An elaborate production featuring cowboys, Indians, sharpshooters (including the famed Annie Oakley), horses, buffalo, elk, donkeys, and a cast of over 200, the show dazzled New York crowds before hitting the road and impressing audiences in London, Paris, Rome, and Barcelona. Some called him a huckster while others called him a genius, but everyone agrees that "Buffalo Bill Cody" was almost single-handedly responsible for keeping the concept of the Wild West alive and kicking decades after the railroad came to town.


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