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Sequoia

Donner Party. Heard of it?

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Hi all,

Growing up in California we learned about the Donnor Party in school, but I was curious how widespread knowledge of the story might be around the world. What do you know of it?

Thanks

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Sure; I grew up in Vermont and can recall the story Donner party being covered as part of US History class Junior High. We might not have spent as much time on it as would be typical in a California public school where the story is more locally relevant, but it was a page in the history text.

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There is an excellent documentary about it by Rick Burns (Ken's brother). It first showed on PBS, but is available on DVD. The last passage from one of the young girls (Virginia Reed) that closes the documentary is haunting. Something about not taking any shortcuts and advice to hurry along on one's way. I recommend viewing it if you are interested in the story, or in the pioneer experience in general.

There is also the film "Meek's Cutoff", which is a fictionalization based loosely on elements of the Donner party and another story that took place in the West during the great American migration.

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