Film Description

For the 250th Anniversary of the French & Indian War, Mountain Lake PBS presents

FORGOTTEN WAR: The Struggle for North America

250 years ago an epic struggle for the fate of North America played out right here in our own backyards—we call it the French and Indian War. For five years—from 1755 to 1760—the battles raged at Lake George, Crown Point, Fort Ticonderoga, and Quebec as France, Britain and the native peoples of North America fought to decide who would control the crucial highway of rivers and lakes between New York and the city of Montreal.

Program

The centerpiece of FORGOTTEN WAR is a nationally distributed PBS documentary that will reach millions of viewers throughout the United States and Canada. The program will tell the story of the conflict in a way it’s never been told before; introducing viewers to fresh, diverse voices and the latest
historical research.

Outreach

Far more than just a documentary, FORGOTTEN WAR will reach beyond the TV audience through mobile video segments, videos available at historic sites, a comprehensive educational website with downloadable content, and 7-12 educational curriculum that meet national educational standards.

Partners

Project partners include leading historians and authorities on the events and cultures in conflict; New York state tourism agencies, and dozens of historic sites on both sides of the border.

Commemoration

The anniversary of the French and Indian War will be commemorated at dozens of sites throughout the Champlain Valley region, providing a unique opportunity to access a national audience of tourists, historians, military re-enactors and ordinary Americans who are celebrating this important turning point in our regional—and national—history.

Mountain Lake PBS

Mountain Lake Public Television, located in Plattsburgh, New York, produces quality programming for local and world-wide audiences. The station reaches over 3.9 million American and Canadian viewers, and works to create programming with a distinctive Champlain Valley and Adirondack focus. Popular ongoing series include Rustic Living, Mountain Lake Journal, Art Express, Adirondack Outdoors, and Roadside Adventures – featuring stories on people, issues and the arts throughout the Adirondacks, Eastern Vermont, Montreal and Quebec. Recent documentary productions include the nationally distributed Call of the Loon, A Castle In Every Heart: The Arto Monaco Story, and in current release Inside Adirondacks: Creating the Wild Center.

Multi-Media Educational Documentary

Often overshadowed by the American Revolution, the epic struggle known in the United States as the French and Indian War (1755-1760), determined which great European empire would control North America. The rivalry between the French and British for this vast continent had been simmering for a century when war finally erupted in western Pennsylvania, then spread to Europe and the rest of the world, in a global contest called the Seven Years War.

But it was the crucial battles for domination of the waterways of northeastern New York, Vermont and southern Quebec that would determine who would control the New World.

The British and their colonial militias had the advantage of numbers, while the French had a more important edge: the support of the Indian nations in the region, including the powerful Abenakis. However, there was one man on the British side who understood how to wage war the way the Indians did—Robert Rogers created a new type of warrior and new rules of warfare. Considered the father of the Special Forces, Rogers established the Rangers—an elite corps of exceptional woodsmen who could fight as well and as fiercely as the native peoples they opposed. A celebrity in his own time, Rogers was considered a hero by the colonials, an upstart by the British, and the “White Devil” by his Indian enemies. The story of Robert Rogers and his Rangers brings to life the passion, the brutality and the violence of the dfight for North America.

With the help of historians from Europe, Canada, and the United States, as well as the Abenaki and Iroquois nations, Mountain Lake PBS will tell many powerful stories that make this war so fascinating:

  • The “massacre” at Fort William Henry
  • The battles of Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point
  • The tragic expulsion of the Acadians
  • The fall of Quebec and Montreal
  • The brutal destruction of the Abenakis at Saint Francis by Rogers’ Rangers
  • The brilliant Iroquois diplomacy of Sir William Johnson that helped turn the war

FORGOTTEN WAR allows viewers to see that the issues of racism, terrorism, militarism, and colonialism that fed this long ago conflict still strongly resonate 250 years later.

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