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A Crockett Primer

February 27, 1995|JONATHAN KING

Forty years ago, ABC-TV broadcast the third and final hourlong segment of what would today be called a bio-pic about frontier hero Davy Crockett.

If your memories of the three Crockett episodes (or of the feature film, "King of the Wild Frontier," that Disney cobbled together from their footage) have dimmed, a refresher may be in order.

The three episodes were broadcast at one-month intervals beginning in December, 1954. The first two dealt with Crockett's service in the Indian Wars of 1810-'20 and in Congress during the late 1820s and early 1830s.

As portrayed by Fess Parker, Crockett was a man of simple, straightforward virtues, enormous good humor and unwavering courage.

Whether facing down a military commander who refused to honor the end of his volunteer tour of duty, or giving a defeated chief his word of honor that a treaty with the white man would be honored, or speaking up in Congress on behalf of that same treaty, Crockett was ever true to an inner sense of justice and moral certitude.

By the time he met his death at the Alamo, fighting (in the Disney version) against tyranny on behalf of a free Texas, any 8-year-old could plainly see that Davy stood for all that is good and true.

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