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Risk Takers/History Makers

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Today, the Grand Canyon may thrive as one of the most popular U.S. tourist destinations, but such was not always the case, of course. At the end of the 19th Century, Americans regarded it as an enormous, unexplained gash in the landscape, and the only remaining part of the U.S. territory that hadn't yet been explored. Recognizing this, a one-armed scientist and Civil War veteran called John Wesley Powell (1834-1902) set out to chart the Canyon, assisted by a motley band of nine mountain men who vowed to "conquer" the terrain, on a three-month, 1,000 mile trek that brought them face-to-face with such perils as starvation, rapids, terrifying heights, and much more. The men nevertheless succeeded. This program from cable's History Channel finds a group of modern-day explorers recreating the events of the journey and following in the footsteps of Powell and co. - scaling cliffs, swimming among rapids, and much more, all of it captured on camera

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