PBS Looks Back To Custer’s Last Stand

Thursday, February 29th, 2024

PBS: Thursday 29 February at 9pm

Much studied by historians and mined by Hollywood, the 1876 battle commonly known as Custer’s Last Stand has frequently cast US Cavalry commander George Armstrong Custer in a heroic light.

This documentary looks afresh at the confrontation that cost Custer his life and saw his forces defeated by their Native American opponents. These indigenous tribes’ resistance to the US government’s policy of confining them within reservations, the encroaching railroad and the discovery of gold in South Dakota’s Black Hills – previously recognised as belonging to the Sioux by an 1968 treaty – had all contributed to tensions that finally exploded.

Amplifying negative perceptions of Native Americans, this historic defeat would hasten efforts to subdue them, with the facts obscured beneath heroic myth.

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