Horatio's Drive

Horatio's Drive (2003) tells the story of Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson's 1903 cross-country drive. On a whim and a fifty-dollar bet, Jackson set off from San Francisco in a 20-horsepower Winton touring car, hoping to become the first person to traverse the United States in the newfangled "horseless carriage."

  • New York | Ken Burns: Horatio's Drive

    They crossed the Hudson at Albany, New York to a cheering crowd and met up with reporters and Mrs. Horatio Jackson in Peekskill, NY. They drove into Manhattan at 4:30 in the morning on July 26th. The trip took 63 days, 23 hours, and 30 minutes. Horatio, Crocker, and Bud were the toast of town. The story took on epic proportions in the newspapers.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Bud | Ken Burns: Horatio's Drive

    After getting stuck in the mud and running over a skunk, Horatio and his driver added a third member to the team in Caldwell, Idaho—a young bulldog named Bud.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Archer, Wyoming | Ken Burns: Horatio's Drive

    On July 5, 1903, Horatio was stuck in Archer, Wyoming, waiting for parts and missing his wife on their 4th anniversary.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Mt. Shasta | Ken Burns: Horatio's Drive

    Horatio drove through beautiful countryside in Northern California. It was a visceral experience with the open car. They headed away from the mountains and came to the town of Alturas, California.

    Grades: 6-12
  • San Francisco | Ken Burns: Horatio's Drive

    On May 23, 1903, Horatio started out in San Francisco on the first American road trip. He writes his wife to thank her for letting him go. The most American thing we can do is get in a car and drive across the country.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Cleveland | Ken Burns: Horatio's Drive

    The Winton Company offered to give Jackson support for the rest of the trip but he refused. He continued his quest across the country with people turning out wherever he went. He arrived in Cleveland to the Winton Company's Headquarters.

    Grades: 6-12