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Nathaniel Philbrick on Little Bighorn

Taking a fresh look at Custer, Sitting Bull, and Little Bighorn. We speak with historian and best-selling author Nathaniel Philbrick.

George Armstrong Custer (played by Tony Austin) stands with his flag surrounded by cavalry and warriors before his death Friday, June 26, 1998, during Custer's Last Stand Reenactment in Hardin, Mt. (AP)

July, 1876, the United States was deep in celebration of the century since its birth.

There were big Independence Day parades and glorious speeches.

And then, on July 7th, 1876 – shocking news from the Western frontier reached the public: America’s most famous Indian fighter, and all his men, had been defeated – slaughtered – at the Little Big Horn.

The Lakota Sioux’s Sitting Bull was the victor. George Armstrong Custer, the vanquished.

And Custer’s Last Stand became core American lore.

This Hour, On Point: historian Nathaniel Philbrick goes back to the Little Big Horn.

Guests:
Nathaniel Philbrick, author of “The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn.” You can read an excerpt here.  Also author of “Mayflower,” and “In the Heart of the Sea.”

Ernie LaPointe, great-grandson of Sitting Bull.  Author of “Sitting Bull, his Life and Legacy.”  You can read an excerpt here.

More:

Undated photo of Sitting Bull. (AP)

Gen. George A. Custer shown in an undated photo. (AP)

Sitting Bull (Photograph by D. F. Barry, 1885, Credit: Wikipedia, Library of Congress)

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Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of national parks destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below.  (National Park Service)

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WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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