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Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip (2003)

The saga of Horatio Nelson Jackson, the first man to cross the United States by automobile--in 1903!

Director:

Ken Burns

Writer:

Dayton Duncan
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Keith David ... Narrator (voice)
Tom Hanks ... Horatio Nelson Jackson (voice)
Adam Arkin ... Other Voices (voice)
Tom Bodett ... Other Voices (voice)
Philip Bosco ... Other Voices (voice)
Kevin Conway ... Other Voices (voice)
John Cullum ... Other Voices (voice)
Murphy Guyer ... Other Voices (voice)
Amy Madigan ... Other Voices (voice)
George Plimpton ... Other Voices (voice)
Eli Wallach ... Other Voices (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Roger Allison Roger Allison ... Self (scenes deleted)
Mary Louise Blanchard Mary Louise Blanchard ... Self
Dayton Duncan Dayton Duncan ... Self
William Least Heat-Moon William Least Heat-Moon ... Self (writer)
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Storyline

In 1903, Americans considered automobiles practical for short trips only. Horatio Nelson Jackson believed differently. He bet a man fifty dollars that he could drive an automobile across the country. Nelson paid a man to accompany him on a trip that attempted to go from California into Oregon and the Rocky Mountain states, then across the Midwestern U.S.A. and finally to New York City. Jackson's trip made him a media sensation. While Jackson, the other man, and a dog travelled by car, they encountered numerous setbacks involving mechanical difficulties. After the Jackson car started, two other teams of drivers set out from San Francisco, each trying to be the first team to reach New York. Written by Ken Miller <wkmiller704@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

automobile | dog | bet | marriage | 1900s | See All (20) »

Taglines:

America's First Road Trip


Certificate:

TV-G
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

At the end, a photo of Dr. Jackson's dog is seen, and the sound of a dog barking can be heard. See more »

Connections

Featured in Ken Burns: America's Storyteller (2017) See more »

User Reviews

 
Small piece of American History
7 February 2006 | by gregl-5See all my reviews

What a great movie. If you enjoy road trips, wilderness adventures, or just tinkering around the garage to see what you can fix, you will find similarities with Horatio Nelson Jackson. He drove cross-country on a $50 bet when most people thought it was impossible. He had to find his way through the American wilderness, fix the auto when it broke, find gasoline where there were no stations, and keep his spirits up when things were going bad.

Jackson grasped the opportunity to become part of history at the perfect time. Cars we becoming more reliable, Indians were no longer a threat, and America was populated enough that he didn't go too long without seeing other people. And in just a few short years roads and cars would be commonplace, which would make the feat less exciting and adventurous.

Ken Burns does a fantastic job of documenting this journey of a lifetime. He has a way to make the viewer feel like they are sitting right along side with Jackson, his mechanic, and the dog.


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Details

Official Sites:

PBS

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 October 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pionierfahrt 1903: Mit 20 PS durch die USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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