American Experience: The Donner Party: A Film by Ric Burns DVD

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Trapped in the Sierra Nevada during the bitter winter of 1846, nearly 90 members of the Donner and Reed families longed for California's "Promised Land." But an untried shortcut became a death warrant for half of them--victims of madness, death, and cannibalism.

The program re-creates the Donner Party's journey from family journals, newspaper accounts, and interviews with historians and descendants.