From The Mayflower To The Moon (and Back Again)

Episodes

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01De La Salle Has Left The Room20200831Joe Queenan is setting out in an inflatable canoe. He's heading down the steamy Mississippi River, looking for the adventurers who built the United States.

"That my country should presently be helmed by a rapacious real estate developer," Queenan says, "should come as no surprise to anyone who has studied the early years of the nation. Back then, people just showed up from Europe and stole land. The Dutch stole Manhattan, the Spanish stole Florida, the French stole Louisiana, and the English stole everything.”

Today's expedition retraces the trip of a man who claimed Louisiana for King Louis in 1682. This is the first of ten journeys between the arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers on the Mayflower in 1620 and the landing of the men on the moon in 1969. Other episodes follow the forced relocation of Native Americans by President Andrew Jackson, the same Andrew Jackson whose statue was nearly pulled down in Washington in June; plus the crossing of the Bering Strait by Vitus Bering and the movement of African Americans up to Chicago and Detroit from the South. All were recorded in lockdown against the background of major turmoil in the US.

The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde

Contributors include Paul Chaat Smith, Merete Boge Pedersen, Cariole Berkin and Clive Webb.

A 400-year journey into the creation of the United States with the writer Joe Queenan.

Joe Queenan is setting out in an inflatable canoe. He's heading down the steamy Mississippi River, looking for the adventurers who built the United States.

Today's expedition retraces the trip of a man who claimed Louisiana for King Louis in 1682. All Joe's journeys were recorded in lockdown and yet relevant. “That my country should presently be helmed by a rapacious real estate developer," Queenan says, "should come as no surprise to anyone who has studied the early years of the nation. Back then, people just showed up from Europe and stole land. The Dutch stole Manhattan, the Spanish stole Florida, the French stole Louisiana, and the English stole everything.”

This is the first of ten journeys between the arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers on the Mayflower in 1620 and the landing of the men on the moon in 1969. Other episodes follow the forced relocation of Native Americans by President Andrew Jackson, the same Andrew Jackson whose statue was nearly pulled down in Washington in June; plus the crossing of the Bering Strait by Vitus Bering and the movement of African Americans up to Chicago and Detroit from the South.

02Vitus Bering And The Bering Strait20200901In 1867 the United States of America purchased Alaska from Russia. The history of Russian involvement on the American mainland dates back to the arrival of trappers, who came as far south as California looking for sea otter. But the key explorer of the gap between Asia and the Americas was a Dane - Vitus Bering. He led two of the greatest explorations in history before dying of scurvy on what was later called Bering Island. This is his story.

With contributions from Merete Boge Pedersen from Bering's Danish hometown of Horsens.

The presenter is Joe Queenan.

The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde.

How to cross the gap between the world's two greatest landmasses.

A 400-year journey into the creation of the United States with the writer Joe Queenan.

In 1867 the United States of America purchased Alaska from Russia. The history of Russian involvement on the American mainland dates back to the arrival of trappers, who came as far south as California looking for sea otter. But the key explorer of the gap between Siberia and Alaska was a Dane - Vitus Bering. He led two of the greatest explorations of all time before dying of scurvy on the now called Bering Island in the Bering Sea. This is his story.
With contributions from Merete Boge Pedersen from Bering's Danish hometown of Horsens.

The presenter is Joe Queenan. The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde.

03Paul Revere's Midnight Ride20200902Paul Revere was the Boston silversmith who rode just over 12 miles to warn the rebels that the British were coming. The year was 1775, the eve of the American Revolution. Over eight decades later Henry Longfellow wrote the poem that made Revere an immortal. Paul Revere's Ride is a famous part of the national tale, but, as Joe Queenan points out, Longfellow famously left out the other men who rode with Revere because:
a) history works better when it's simple
b) Longfellow couldn't find rhymes for their more complicated names.

Presented by the satirist Joe Queenan, with archive contributions from Carole Berkin and Andrew Sachs reading Paul Revere's Ride.

The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde

Listen my children and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere

A 400-year journey into the creation of the United States with the writer Joe Queenan.

Paul Revere was the Boston silversmith who rode just over 12 miles to warn the rebels that the British were coming. The year was 1775, the eve of the American Revolution. Over eight decades later Henry Longfellow wrote the poem that made Revere an immortal. The poet famously left out the other men who rode with Revere because a) he couldn't find any rhymes for their names; and b) history works better when it's simple.

Presented by Joe Queenan, with archive contributions from Carole Berkin and Andrew Sachs reading 'Paul Revere's Ride'.

04The Trail Of Tears20200903"The Trail of Tears is one of the cruellest most shameful events in all American history," says presenter Joe Queenan, "a history that is by no means short on cruel, shameful behaviour." The title 'Trail of Tears' refers to the forced relocation of five entire Nations - the Cherokee, the Creek, the Choctaw, the Chickasaw and the Seminoles - from their ancestral homes to the charmless wastes of Oklahoma.
Contributors include Paul Chaat Smith of the National Museum of the American Indian.

The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde

The forced relocation of Native Americans in the 1830s

A 400-year journey into the creation of the United States with the writer Joe Queenan.

"The Trail of Tears is one of the cruellest most shameful event in all American history," says presenter Joe Queenan, "a history that is by no means short on cruel, shameful behavior. " The title 'Trail of Tears' refers to the forced relocation of five entire Nations - the Cherokee, the Creek, the the Choctaw, the Chickasaw and the Seminoles - from their ancestral homes to the charmless wastes of Oklahoma.
Contributors include Paul Chaat Smith of the National Museum of the American Indian.

05Interstate Delight20200904"Alright - we're setting out now!"

This is Joe Queenan's true account of an unexpected journey, east to west, coast to coast, eating only at one particular chain of restaurant - Hooters.
And yes - Joe really did make this trip. Also includes contributions from Clive Webb of Sussex University on the origins of the highway, plus Joe's daughter on concerns about her father's choice of eating establishment.

With music by Kraftwerk and Loudon Wainwright III.

The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde

A trip from coast to coast eating only at Hooters restaurants.

A 400-year journey into the creation of the United States with the writer Joe Queenan.

This is the story of an unexpected journey, east to west, on the interstate highway system. The route was decided by the location of the next Hooters restaurant, and yes - Joe Queenan really made this journey. His only concern was scurvy. Also includes Clive Webb of Sussex University on the origins of the highway, and Joe's own daughter on her concerns at his choice of eating establishment. With music by Kraftwerk and Loudon Wainwright III.

A trip coast to coast eating only at Hooters restaurants

06Lewis And Clark's Expedition Out West20200907The Lewis and Clark expedition to reach the Pacific ocean is perhaps the most famous event in the exploration up of the American west. They set off under President Jefferson with instructions to write down everything they saw. "Back then," says the presenter, "we elected presidents who were interested in flora and fauna and botany and minerals and astronomy and anthropology and everything." But the expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore this vast and mysterious land came at a price - particularly for the people already living there..

Produced by Miles Warde in Bristol

Joe Queenan's alternative history of the United States

A 400-year journey into the creation of the United States with the writer Joe Queenan.

07The Dust Bowl20200908The great migration of agricultural workers from the Dust Bowl states to California. Here they were told that jobs were plentiful, that the streets were paved with gold. This turned out not to be the case. Presenter Joe Queenan immerses himself in the music of Woody Guthrie, the photos of Dorothea Lange and the novel by John Steinbeck to recreate a disaster everyone knew about at the time. Includes contributions by Clive Webb of Sussex University and the play Migrant Mother by Michael Symmons Roberts.

The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde

Joe Queenan enters the Dust Bowl of the 1930s

A 400-year journey into the creation of the United States with the writer Joe Queenan.

08The Blues20200909In 1964 the Rolling Stones went to Chess Records in Chicago. In a later interview Keith Richards said this was when they first met Muddy Waters, up a ladder, painting the ceiling white. Is it true? Keith says it's true. This is the story of how the music of the Mississippi delta travelled first to Chicago and then inspired a whole generation of British rock musicians, who then brought it back to a white American audience who barely knew who Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Willie Dixon even were.

The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde

A journey up the Mississippi with Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf.

A 400-year journey into the creation of the United States with the writer Joe Queenan.

09From New York To La20200910"For as long as I can remember," says Joe Queenan, "New York has been afraid of Los Angeles stealing its riches." This then is the story of Johnny Carson, host of the Tonight Show and American TV star, moving to LA. It also embraces baseball, Friends, and LCD Sound System, and attempts to pinpoint the moment star power moved from one coast to the other.

The presenter is Joe Queenan

The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde

An alternative history of the United States.

A 400-year journey into the creation of the United States with the writer Joe Queenan.

10What Have We Learnt20200911Unlike most of the expeditions described in this series. the moon landings were pure. No blood was spilt, no bogus treaties signed, no wildlife killed. Nor did any white men claim to have 'discovered' anything.... unlike so many previous trips across the US. In this concluding episode, presenter Joe Queenan travels From the Mayflower to the Moon (and Back Again) and asks what he has learnt and which qualities he discovered on his journeys might be useful today.

The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde

The end of the journey from the Mayflower to the Moon.

A 400-year journey into the creation of the United States with the writer Joe Queenan.

11Omnibus 120200904Joe Queenan is setting out in an inflatable canoe. He's heading down the Mississippi, looking for the adventurers who built America. Today's episode retraces the trip of a man who claimed Louisiana for King Louis in 1682. “That my country should presently be helmed by a rapacious real estate developer should come as no surprise to anyone who has studied the early years of the nation,” Queenan says. “Back then, people just showed up from Europe and stole land. The Dutch stole Manhattan, the Spanish stole Florida, the French stole Louisiana, and the English stole everything.”

This is the first of ten journeys between the arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers on the Mayflower in 1620 and the landing of the men on the moon. As well as the French in Louisiana, Queenan will be looking at the life of Vitus Bering who crossed the Bering Strait; explaining the Federal Aid Highway Act which pumped billions into the interstate highway system in 1956; and following The Trail of Tears. This was the forced relocation of native Americans by President Andrew Jackson, the same Andrew Jackson whose statue was nearly pulled down in Washington in June. Recent events have given an extra dimension to virtually every episode.

Contributors include Carol Berkin, Clive Webb and Merete Boge Pedersen.

The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde

A 400 year journey into the mind of the pioneer with American writer Joe Queenan

A 400-year journey into the creation of the United States with the writer Joe Queenan.

"While it's nice to think that America is about life, liberty and exploration, it's also about real estate," says Joe Queenan in the opening episode.
"That my country should presently be helmed by a rapacious real estate developer should come as no surprise to anyone who has studied the early years of the nation."

From the journey by canoe down the Mississippi by Robert de la Salle in 1682 to the forced relocation of five nations of Native Americans in the 1830s, Queenan recreates key moments from the early history of the United States - a history that is still being fought over today. Other journeys include Vitus Bering crossing the Bering Strait, and Queenan's own journey from coast to coast eating only at the same chain of restaurant.

12Omnibus 220200911A 400-year journey into the creation of the United States with the writer Joe Queenan