Historical Programs Produced by WNED-TV

WNED-TV is an award-winning producer of historical programs that shine a spotlight on Western New York and Southern Ontario’s people, treasures and extraordinary moments in history that have shaped our past and present. Many of our productions have program websites and educator resources that extend the content well beyond the program.


 

The War of 1812

The War of 1812

For two and a half years, Americans fought against the British, Canadian colonists, and native nations. In the years to come, the War of 1812 would be celebrated in some places and essentially forgotten in others. But it is a war worth remembering—a struggle that threatened the existence of Canada, then divided the United States so deeply that the nation almost broke apart. Some of its battles and heroes became legendary, yet its blunders and cowards were just as prominent.

The War of 1812 shows how the glories of war became enshrined in history – how failures are quickly forgotten – how inconvenient truths are ignored forever.

This WNED-TV production premiered on PBS in October 2011.

Funding for “The War of 1812” is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Wilson Foundation, Warren and Barbara Goldring, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, Philip B. Lind and The Annenberg Foundation with additional support from The Baird Foundation, Niagara Falls Bridge Commission and The Jackman Foundation.


Explore The War of 1812 educator resources on PBS LearningMedia

Visit the War of 1812 website

The Klondike Gold Rush

The Klondike Gold Rush

The Klondike Gold Rush tells the legendary story of the Alaska-Yukon Gold Rush. Over 100,000 people voyage to the far North intent of reaching the Canadian boom-town Dawson City and striking it rich. It’s an incredible story of determination, luck, fortune and loss.

Historians and authors bring insight and perspective to the event that changed the lives of thousands. Present-day characters reveal that the frontier spirit is still alive in the Klondike.

This WNED-TV production premiered on PBS in January 2015.

“The Klondike Gold Rush” is made possible by The Wilson Foundation, The Cable Public Affairs Channel, with additional funding provided by The Rogers Documentary Fund, and The Rogers Cable Network Fund. With the participation of The Province of British Columbia Film Incentive BC and the assistance of The Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit.

Visit the Klondike Gold Rush website

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

To Frederick Law Olmsted, a park was both a work of art and a necessity for urban life. Olmsted’s efforts to preserve nature created an “environmental ethic” decades before the environmental movement became a force in American politics.

With gorgeous cinematography, creative animation, and compelling commentary, Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America presents the biography of a man who forever changed our relationship with public open spaces. The film explores the enormous contributions of Olmsted to the American landscape, as well as his marked failures and loss.

This WNED-TV production premiered on PBS in June 2014.

“Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America” is made possible by major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor and The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation. With funding provided by HSBC, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation and The C.E. & S. Foundation. With additional support from The Peter C. Cornell Trust and Mass Humanities.


Explore Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America educator resources

Visit the Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America Website

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing Western New York

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing Western New York

Frederick Law Olmsted, America’s first and best-known landscape architect, created an enduring legacy in Western New York. Perhaps best known for his design of New York City’s Central Park, Olmsted had a powerful and lasting influence on Western New York. “Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing Western New York” is a one-hour original WNED-TV production that captures the architect’s impact throughout Western New York. The program includes documentary segments that capture the history and context for Olmsted’s contributions and interviews with local experts that focus on how that legacy is being carried into the future. Olmsted designed the Buffalo Park System, the first of its kind in the world. 

This WNED-TV production premiered in May 2015

“Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing Western New York” is funded by the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation.

Underground Railroad: William Still Story

Underground Railroad: The William Still Story

 

William Still was just a boy when he helped the first one escape. He never knew the man's name; only that he was being hunted by slave catchers. But in the years ahead, there would be many hundred more. And Still vowed their stories would never be forgotten.

Underground Railroad: The William Still story tells the dramatic story of William Still, one of the most important yet largely unheralded individuals of the Underground Railroad. Still was determined to get as many runaways as he could to "Freedom's Lane," smuggling them across the US border to Canada. Bounty Hunters could legally abduct former slaves living in the so-called free northern states, but under the protection of the British, Canada provided sanctuary for fugitive slaves.

This WNED-TV Production premiered on PBS in February 2012.

Funding for “Underground Railroad: The William Still Story” is provided by CN Railway, Rogers Cable Network, Canada Media Fund and the Rogers Documentary Fund.  Additional support by David W. Pretty, Vernon Achber and Phil Lind, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.


Underground Railroad: The William Still Story educator resources on PBS LearningMedia

Visit the Underground Railroad : The William Still Story website

1812 On The Niagara Frontier

1812 on the Niagara Frontier

The War of 1812 was one of the most important historical events along the Niagara Frontier. It had a profound impact on the development of both the United States and Canada and is still relevant to both countries today. 1812 on the Niagara Frontier is a local, contemporary follow up to the WNED-TV production The War of 1812.

1812 on the Niagara Frontier explores sites around the Niagara region dedicated to preserving and presenting this history to the public. The program focuses on the sites as destinations and captures the visitor experience at each location. From cannon firings and musket demonstrations, to interactive museums and costumed reenactments, 1812 on the Niagara Frontier captures the passion each of these unique locations brings to the history of the War of 1812.

This WNED-TV production premiered in October 2011.

“1812 on the Niagara Frontier” is funded by the Wilson Foundation, Warren and Barbara Goldring and Phil Lind.

Fort Niagara: A Struggle for a Continent

Fort Niagara: A Struggle for a Continent

The story of Fort Niagara is the story of a struggle for a continent. For more than 150 years, four nations vied to control this strategic point at the mouth of the Niagara River, and thus the critical water artery it protected. The fort is not only unique for its history, but for its longevity. Today, visitors can explore one of North America’s largest collections of original 18th-century military architecture -- reminders of the fort’s important past.

Experience for yourself this exciting story of one of America's most unique historic places. Rare archival footage, expert commentaries and spectacular videography of the fort itself come together to create a program that is a must for anyone interested in the story of North America.

This WNED-TV production premiered on PBS in October 2004.

“Fort Niagara: A Struggle for a Continent” is made possible through the generous support of M&T Bank.