the American West

Calamity Jane

Calamity Jane is one of those historical figures whose reputation has in many ways eclipsed the real story. But she was, without a doubt, a unique character who in many ways lived outside the social norms of her time.

Charley Parkhurst, One-eyed Whip

Charley Parkhurst was a stagecoach whip who spent almost 20 years handling teams of horses over treacherous terrain at high speeds. After his death in 1879, his friends who came to lay out his body discovered that Charley was anatomically female.

The Real Al Swearengen: Part 2

While Al Swearengen's notoriety comes from his famous saloon, his early experiences all informed his later life. Join Tracy and Holly as they examine the life and times of Al Swearengen in the second part of this series.

Al Swearengen has become a widely-recognized figure in the time of the Black Hills gold rush. While his notoriety comes from his famous saloon, his early experiences as a pioneer child, 100-days man and apprentice barkeep all informed his later life.

Five Stars of the Wild West

It didn't take long for America to romanticize cowboys. Even after most cowboys gave up their spurs, Wild West shows captivated audiences across the country. Tune in and learn more about the stars of Wild West shows, from Buffalo Bill to Annie Oakley.

How the Pony Express Worked

The Pony Express used a system of riders and horses to safely deliver mail between Missouri and Sacramento -- a distance of over 1900 miles. But how did it work? Join Katie and Sarah as they trace the rise and fall of the Pony Express in this podcast.

How the Shootout at the OK Corral Worked

The infamous shootout at the OK Corral has been immortalized in American culture -- but what's the real story behind the legend? Join Katie and Sarah as they explore the events that led up to this famous shootout in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

America's Favorite Outlaw: Billy the Kid

Born Henry McCarty in New York City, Billy the Kid committed his first act of murder before he turned 20. Join Candace and Katie as they explore the fact -- and fiction -- surrounding the legendary outlaw in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

When Thomas Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory for 15 million dollars, the US nearly doubled in size. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about the effects of the Louisiana Purchase.

While stranded in the Sierra Nevada mountains, members of the Donner Party resorted to cannibalism in an effort to survive the harsh winter of 1846. Learn more about the fact and fiction of the Donner Party legend in our HowStuffWorks article.