Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Little House Libertarians

One of my favorite T.V. shows is Little House On The Prairie. Produced by Michael Landon, the show was based on the Little House series of books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

The Ingalls- Wilder and Little House bunch certainly had a connection with libertarianism, although the word libertarian probably didn't even exist back then.

In fact, the first Libertarian Party presidential candidate I was ever aware of was Roger MacBride. He ended up being involved in a squabble over the original Little House manuscripts, claiming some relation to Rose Wilder Lane, Laura Wilder's daughter.

Rose Wilder Lane was certainly the libertarian at heart, as this short account of some of her activities illustrates.

As an aside, I never knew Roger MacBride co- produced Little House On The Prairie until I read that Wikipedia article on him.

9 Comments:

At 9:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved Little House as a kid. Do they still air the re-runs?

 
At 10:17 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Yes they do. I watch it nearly every weeknight. TVLand Network, Channel 48 in Eureka on cable, at 8pm. Not sure if they show it any other times.

 
At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's cute! I used to watch it every day after school. I've seen them all multiple times.

 
At 10:55 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I've seen them multiple times myself. That show is timeless, as are all Michael Landon's productions.

One of these days I'll have to track down one of the Little House books to see how closely the T.V. show follows the books.

 
At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They're actually pretty different. The family moved around a lot. But the core characters are the same. I'm pretty sure the later characters (Albert, Nancy, etc) are fictional.

Here is a recent article from the Chronicle about a guy riding his bike across country and his Laura Ingalls Wilder tourism experience.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/07/23/BIKE.TMP

 
At 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you read the Little House on the Prarie books you will notice that Caroline is completely intolerate, no, rather bigoted towards the Native Americans in and around the places they lived. When she started calling them "savages" we had to skip around those areas of the books when reading them to our daughter.
Something Michael Landon and the television series hasn't quite addressed. So no, the television series only quaintly follows the "Little House" series. My personal favorite story from the books was the time around Christmas when they almost parished from the blizzard.

 
At 2:30 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Thanks for that, 1:16. The link was broken but I found it easily just typing "Laura Ingalls Wilder" into the SF Chron Search thingie.

I'd read something earlier on about the family and was surprised how many places they lived. The even lived in Florida for a while.

Seems surprising that one could live so many places back then since you couldn't just pack up your stuff in a U- Haul truck and move in just a couple days, like we can now.

1:56: Since you actually read the books, do you agree with the DeSmet Gift Store owner who summarized the Little House books as,

"I'll summarize them for you," he said. "First, there was a hot summer. Then, there was a long winter. Then, the grasshoppers came. Then, there was a hot summer. Then, there was a long winter. Then, guess what? The grasshoppers came.''?

 
At 7:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They have it on DVD.

 
At 8:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rose Wilder Lane was definitely one of the inspirations for the Liberatarian train of thought and has often been credited as such. Her book "Discovery of Freedom" and her support of the Freedom School in Colorado are just two examples.

Roger Lea MacBride first came in the national spotlight when he was named a Republican delegate to Electoral College from Viriginia and instead voted for the Libertarian candidate (the only electoral college vote they've ever got). Coming off that, MacBride ran himself in 1976 financed with money from the Wilder estate which through some legal maneuvering was left to him as Rose's lawyer and unofficially "adopted" grandson.

MacBride created many projects and products off the Wilder books, including the TV show with producer Ed Friendly, but Landon's star power over-ruled them both as far as NBC was concerned and after the initial pilot movie their only role in the show was the credit and money from use of the rights.

Don't waste your time with the SF Gate article. It's drivel and does not accurately describe De Smet or Walnut Grove. I have no idea where he got his information and I can't believe the people he quoted actually said those things, because I know most of them. There are lots of better articles. The most recent of which was the Bonnethead (not the title but a unique enough phrase to pull it up in a search) article in the Chicago Tribune.

 

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