History Redefines Itself

The History Channel is ramping up its original slate with six new series and a batch of specials. The network, sometimes chided for its reliance on war programming, has been trying to broaden its definition of history.

Among the highlights are Wild West Tech, which looks at the technology behind such Western gear as saddles and guns. The Tech Effect will investigate the technology and history behind major events such as Hiroshima and the Apollo space program. In Digging for the Truth, which will be shot in high definition, experts delve into ancient mysteries through archeology. 

Building on its success with specials,  History is loading up on events. Highlights include To The Best of My Ability, based on a book by James McPherson. The eight-hour journey will trace the lives of American presidents. It is slated for first quarter 2005.