The Special Courage of Captain Pratt

The things you find on the internet.  In 1963-1964 CBS ran a series called The Great Adventure, dramatizing in each episode an event in American history.  The above episode aired on February 14, 1964 and featured a dramatization of the actions of Captain Richard Henry Pratt, an Army officer in the 19th century who championed the assimilation of Indians into mainstream American culture.  The founder of Carlisle Indian Industrial School, Pratt was once viewed as a hero who spent much of his life championing the entry of Indians into mainstream American life through assimilation, an ardent foe of racial segregation.  With the rise of Identity Politics he is often now depicted as engaging in cultural genocide against Indians.  He was neither the savior of the Indian nor a demon, but rather a man of his time and place doing his best, within the confines of his culture, for people quite alien to him.

The television show, as they all in time become, is now a time capsule from the time in which it was produced.  The period commercials give the feel for a day now 56 years in the past.

Published in: on October 26, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on The Special Courage of Captain Pratt  
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