"Proceeding on through a beautiful country…" That's how Captain William Clark described his first travels in what eventually became Idaho. Idaho's history is rich, diverse, and interesting. In fact, it is so interesting that in the early 1980s then Idaho Public Television General Manager Jack Schlaefle and former Program Director Myron Tisdel decided IdahoPTV should produce a series of television programs telling Idaho's story.
Originally, producers planned only for a series for an adult audience. But as more teachers learned of IdahoPTV's plans, they asked if something could be done for younger students. Thus, in May of 1988, IdahoPTV began production of its History of Idaho-13 one-hour programs for adults, a companion book, a sound track cassette, a teacher's guide and a series of video tapes specifically designed for fourth graders.
The adult series, "Proceeding On Through A Beautiful Country " started with Producer Royce Williams and a small production staff, assisted by dozens of advisors. Hundreds of individuals, foundations and corporations donated over $700,000 to fund the project. The crew interviewed more than 130 people, shot more than 400 hours of video tape, composed over 150 pieces of original music and logged more than 60,000 miles. The adult series took over two years to write, shoot and edit. Its 1990 premier coincided with the state's centennial celebration, IdahoPTV's gift to Idaho.
In the fall of 1990, Producers Joan Cartan-Hansen and Jeff Tucker started work on the fourth grade series, "Proceeding On... Visions of Idaho." Boise State University Associate Dean of Education Phyllis Edmundson hired on as the new host.
New scripts were written to match the current curriculum for fourth grade Idaho history. Hours of new video tape and several new interviews supplemented the material gathered for the adult series. In August of 1992, more than 375 sets of tapes and teachers' guides were distributed to all the state's public elementary and intermediate schools with a fourth grade, at no charge, a gift from IdahoPTV and the project funders.
Due to the overwhelming number of requests we have had for additional copies of this series in the past few years, we determined that until a new series could be developed, we would make this series available on the internet. You can view the video online or download it to your personal computer. The teacher's guide is available for each "video chapter" in both html and PDF.
1) Geography - A look at Idaho
2) Geology - The major geological forces that shaped Idaho
3) Early Lifestyles - The lives of ancient Idahoans and Native Americans
4) Tools - A demonstration of Native American tool making and plant use
5) Storytelling - How tales and memories illustrate history
6) Early Exploration - From Lewis and Clark to the Idaho territory
7) Religious Settlers - how religious settlers shaped Idaho
8) Homesteading - The lifestyle of ten-year-olds during Idaho's transition from territory to statehood
9) The World Comes to Idaho - Idaho's diverse ethnic history
10) Mining - A look at the history of Idaho's first major industry
11) Agriculture - The history of Idaho's number one industry
12) Timber - A review of the history of the timber industry in Idaho
13) Quality of Life - How Idahoans' view of wilderness has changed
14) Spirit - The history of the arts in Idaho
15) Contributions - A look at some of Idaho's gifts to the world