Abe Lincoln
Broadcast: February 12, 1941

This broadcast of the Cavalcade of America was a tribute to Abraham Lincoln on his birthday. This "rugged, gentle, sensitive soul" always had a thirst for knowledge from his young age. This episode follows Lincoln through his childhood and his self-education of the law. He portrayed "a love of justice and would not defend a criminal." He was an honorable man until the day he died, being one of the last great pioneers of this country. His moral and just manner paved the way for future generations. The scientists of DuPont are following in his shoes by becoming pioneers of scientific study in order to provide better things for better living, through chemistry!

Annie Oakley
Broadcast: June 16, 1941
Featuring Agnus Morehead as "Annie"

A spitfire young girl from Dark County, Ohio finds herself with a talent that is unprecedented by many of her gender. She succeeds in beating all "the boys" in shooting and is invited to join "the act" on the road. Listen as she performs such feats as shooting a cigarette right out of a man's mouth! But, as all great heroes, she experiences a challenging obstacle: a train accident that injures her legs and threatens her ability to ever walk again. But that will never stop her gallant spirit! Listen as she places herself among the legends of the Cavalcade of America!

John Bartram
Broadcast: November 10, 1937

An unassuming Quaker farmer John Bartram earns his spot in the Cavalcade as an accomplished botanist. Experimentation with farming techniques leads to a keen interest in plant life for Bartram, and we follow him through the classic American process of the self-made man. Bartram teaches himself Latin so that he can teach himself botany, and his work in classification as well as experimentation lead to a reputation that stands today as one of the greatest in the field. Interesting in this episode is the outside approval of the great European botanists. America, through Bartram, shows once again that it can equal and even better everything that the motherland has to offer, which is after all, the project: better things for better living, through chemistry.

Buffalo Bill
Broadcast:

Meet William Cody, true gentleman, entrepreneur, civil servant and champion of manifest destiny. In this quirky comic episode of the Cavalcade, we are witness time after time selfless acts from the buffalo hunter. Each is another proof that Cody was a genuine champion of the people. Bill risks life and limb out west because his country needs him to help settle the new wild country. "Soon," he boasts, "there will be cities the size of St. Louis all the way out here!" Once Bill has tamed the west, we follow him back east with his Wild West Revue, where he delivers the genuine American article and earns himself the title of American hero.

Luther Burbank
Broadcast: June 30, 1937

Dubbed "the plant wizard" by contemporaries, Luther Burbank was a perfect candidate for DuPont's Cavalcade of America. His careful observations and experiments on many crops led to increased yields in higher quality crops for farmers across the country, and meant that everyone ate better. Burbank's naiveté when it comes to money, at least as it is presented in the program, is also beneficial for DuPont. He sells the rights to his new Burbank potato to an investor for the pittance of $200, and believes he's gotten a good deal. After all, he hadn't planned on selling it at all. He just "hoped that everyone would benefit from my new potato." Better living through chemistry indeed, from a man--and a company-who don't want money, just a better America.

James Fennimore Cooper

Portrayed a rugged American individualist in this episode of the Cavalcade, James Fennimore Cooper proclaims boldly to his wife, “I still contend I could write a better book than that trash from England!” After some prodding from his wife and one failed attempt, Cooper succeeds in proving his boast. He writes what he knows; America, and in so doing he creates a genre unique to his country. Dictated from a sickbed, the first few lines of Last of the Mohicans become a dramatic moment in the cultural advancement of the nation. Cooper is indeed an inventor in DuPont’s line, and so earns his spot in the Cavalvcade.

Thomas Alva Edison
Broadcast: May 19, 1937

Taylor made for DuPont and the Cavalcade, no stretch at all is required for DuPont to make its goals the same as American hero and inventor Thomas Edison. Both hard at work for the advancement of science, Edison and DuPont are seen at their finest in this episode. His inventions not making money for those already rich, nor producing factory smokestacks and industrial waste, we see Edison at work in the sickbed of a young girl where he saves her life, curing her of her illness with a recently invented air-conditioner. This is better living through chemistry at its most heart-rending, and Edison is not only a hero but a saint as well.

Benjamin Franklin
Broadcast: May 18, 1938

Benjamin Franklin would have earned a spot in The Cavalcade of America by means of any one of his achievements, but because there are so many, this becomes quite a jumbled episode. We meet Franklin the youthful social critic, the printer of Poor Richard's Almanac and great American advice-giver, the scientist, the inventor, and finally the statesman. In every employ Franklin is working for the betterment of the country, and his duty to the country comes before all else. DuPont gains access to this hero by means of his experiments in electricity, but they discover much more than that.

Geronimo
Broadcast: September 8, 1941

Possibly the most curious of all the episodes of The Cavalcade of America, Geronimo's installment raises many questions. First, we do not follow Geronimo through the story, but rather encounter him only a few times through a young officer whose attitude about the Indians leaves a little to be desired. Even as he is inducted as an American hero, Geronimo is presented as the enemy, and he does not become good until he signs a treaty, having heard a promise from the white officers that "the Indian will just have to learn to trust the white man and his promises." A sucker for an American hero? It seems the only triumph recorded here is the white man's ability to appropriate the nation as his own. See what you can make of this problematic addition to the Cavalcade.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

A true, pureblooded American patriot, when Oliver Wendell Holmes discovers that the frigate Constitution is to be destroyed he sets out immediately to save her. “She’s one of the most important chapters in our history!” he proclaims, “Old Ironsides! They can’t.” And so he saves Old Ironsides the only way he knows how, writing his famous poem in honor of the old ship. As Holmes immortalized the ship, so the Cavalcade enters the poet into the cannon of American heroes, his patriotism never to be forgotten.

Thomas Jefferson
Broadcast: Jan. 30, 1940

Thomas Jefferson is often referred to as the "great leader in American education". Jefferson achieved many things in his life, but the three he chose to include on his epitaph were the bill for religious freedom, the Declaration of Independence, and the University of Virginia. He was important to the formation of the Dupont company because he personally suggested the idea of the company to E. I. Dupont himself. This episode follows Jefferson on his path to the completion of the University of Virginia, which he was passionate about because he believed that education needed to be accessible to everyone and able to teach many different subjects. He believed that education would make Americans "better and more useful citizens." The Cavalcade of America salutes him as one of America's finest heroes in education.

John Jacob Astor

In this episode of the Cavalcade John Jacob Astor is lauded as "A true American Pioneer, in commerce." The fabled fur trader is presented as a champion of manifest destiny. We witness his promise as a young man to Thomas Jefferson to one day colonize Oregon, and then reencounter Astor in his old age in another cencounter with the famous president, who praises him for working so hard, in his own way, to make American a beter place for all of its citizens. DuPont tactfully turns this man from a businessman into a selfless patriot, and likewise manages to remove its own fiscal interests form its interests in a better America.

General Lafayette

In defense of revolutionary ideals, for freedom and equality of men, for “the greatest ideals since Christianity,” we learn that Monsieur de Lafayette was willing to risk his life. “Do you really believe, my dear Lafayette, that peasants are capable of governing themselves?” one French courtier mocks, but we get the last laugh in this episode of the Cavalcade of America. We the democratic rabble listening at home hear our only friend from the other side as he gives up more and more, all for the American Dream.

Jean Laffite
Broadcast: Feb. 6, 1940
Featuring William Johnstone as "Jean Laffite"

This little-known story of a "picturesque free-booting pirate" is an important episode of the War of 1812. America was in its darkest hour of the war and throughout threats of arrest and blackmail, Jean Laffite remains an honorable man and refuses to blackmail the Governor of Louisiana for his brother's release. He informs the Governor of the English's plan of attack on his own good will and love for America. Without his actions, American would not have won the battle at New Orleans. The Cavalcade of America argues that "he did what he did because he was an American."

William Penn

“Into the wilderness, alone,” William Penn sets out at the beginning of this episode of the cavalcade of America, and he defends it staunchly from injustice. He stands strongly beside the Indians to keep peace and freedom with them. He also refuses to allow monopolies for anyone, including himself, in the new territory. Even for six-thousand pounds he will not defile the province. “There shall be freedom and equality for all,” he proclaims, “I mean to be fair to everyone.” So he belongs in DuPont’s Cavalcade, a man for the people, beside a corporation for the people.

George Washington
Broadcast: April 28, 1937

On the anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington, the Cavalcade of America makes a tribute to America's "first scientific farmer". DuPont believes that the accomplishment of which Washington is most proud is establishing the occupation of farmer as honorable and helping to conserve soil for future generations. In 1783, he "laid aside sword and took up the plow". This episode portrays Washington as a man who would have preferred to live and die a simple farmer. In the words of Lighthorse Harry Lee, he was "first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of all his countrymen" and DuPont salutes him as "first in scientific farming" as well. His hard labor as a farmer paved the way for future scientists of DuPont to provide better things for better living through Chemistry!

Noah Webster
Broadcast: February 23, 1938

As a graduate of Yale, this very studious young man learned that his father had mortgaged their farm for his education and could not afford to send him to law school as he wanted. He became a teacher in order to pay for his education, but soon found that teaching was his passion. He wanted to write a series of books that reflected American literature, because all literature and language belonged to British ancestry. In these books he wanted to "simplify and unify the American language, lay down a common rule of spelling and grammar, and promote a spirit of patriotism." He then sought out to include all words and became the beloved "Schoolmaster of America." The Cavalcade salutes this American patriot who shaped the way for the American English language and scientist who can now create better things for better living through chemistry!