look to the stars
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Look to the Stars Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #03, Episode #26

In 1907, the renowned physicist Albert Abraham Michelson was awarded the Nobel Prize for his groundbreaking work in developing optical precision instruments, enabling scientists to measure light waves accurately. According to Bonanza scriptwriters Robert Fresco and Paul Rink, Michelson, born in Germany, spent his formative years in Virginia City, Nevada. He attended a school overseen by the stern and unforgiving Mr. Norton, portrayed by William Schallert. When young Albert, played by Douglas Lambert, is labeled a “problem child” and expelled, Ben Cartwright endeavors to uncover the reasons behind his expulsion. Originally broadcast on March 18, 1962, Look to the Stars also features Joe De Santis and Penny Santon as Albert’s diligent immigrant parents, Samuel and Rosalie Michelson.

Explore the episode’s storyline and fascinating trivia, or enjoy the entire episode provided below.

Table of Contents

Watch the Full Episode of Look to the Stars

Watch the Full Episode of Look to the Stars:

Main Cast

Besides the main cast, “Look to the Stars,” the twenty-sixth episode of Bonanza Season 3 highlights various recurring and guest-supporting actors. The following are featured in the episode:

  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Douglas Lambert as Albert Abraham Michelson
  • William Schallert as George Norton
  • Joe De Santis as Samuel Michelson
  • Penny Santon as Rosalie Michelson
  • Booth Colman as Henry P. Quince
  • Salvador Baguez as Antonio Garcia
  • Wallace Rooney as Boardman
  • Ricky Vera as Miguel Garcia (as Richard Vera)
  • John Bose as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Rudy Bowman as Townsman (uncredited)
  • George DeNormand as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Betty Endicott as Townswoman (uncredited)
  • Foster Hood as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Michael Jeffers as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Wilbur Mack as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Martha Manor as Townswoman (uncredited)
  • John Rice as Townsman (uncredited)
  • George Tracy as Townsman (uncredited)

Full Story Line for Look to the Stars

A budding prodigy, Albert Michelson, is on the brink of securing a scholarship, with only the approval of the schoolteacher standing between him and success. However, winning over the strict and stern Mr. Norton proves to be a formidable challenge, especially after Albert has been expelled and branded a “problem child” by him.

This episode draws inspiration from the real-life figure of Albert Michelson, whose parents immigrated to the United States from Poland in 1855. Much of his formative years were spent in Virginia City, Nevada. Albert later pursued his education at the US Naval Academy, ultimately dedicating his career to experimentally determining the speed of light, a feat for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1907.

Full Script and Dialogue of Look to the Stars

(fanfare plays)

Thank you, Sam.


Well, Rosalie, thank you
very much for the strudel.

Ah, you're welcome.

Go ahead and take
some home to the boys.

Yeah, that'd be wonderful.

- Yeah?
- Yeah.

I hope Hop Sing
likes the crockery.


Oh, he'll like the
crockery, all right.

He'd better.

Say, tell Mike we said hello.

Of course, he'll be
sorry he missed you.

No, you'd better,
better make it three.

Three... well, it'll take
maybe a month at least.

What's the matter?

I don't know, it smells like...
like something's burning.


It's the crate.

(horse neighs)

MAN: Whoa!

- Whoa.
- Ben, Ben.

- Oh, boy.
- You all right?


(overlapping chatter)

How in tarnation
did all this happen?

SAM: Albert!

How many times
do I have to tell you?

When are you going to stop
those foolish experiments?

- Whoa.
- Ben, you all right, you're not hurt?

I'll live, Sam, I'll live.

I cannot tell you how
ashamed this makes me.

Ah, the boy didn't
mean any harm.

Ah, Ben, that boy, that boy.


Sit right here.

Yeah, I hope I can sit.



Mr. Scientist, congratulations.

Have you nothing to
say to Mr. Cartwright?

Oh, Sam.

I'm sorry, sir.

It's all right, son,
it's perfectly all right.

Excuse me, Ben,
it's not all right.

What if Mr. Cartwright
had been seriously hurt?

What if he were not a friend?

I know, Papa.

You know, you know, and
still you do these things.


I'm afraid it was partly
my fault, Mr. Michelson.

I, I gave him that
book on astronomy.

And my lens works great, Adam.

With the reflector,
the telescope...

Lens, telescope...
Why, to do what?

To look to the stars.

To look to the stars!

But not to look close enough
to see that you're endangering

a friend.

Go to your room.

(theme song playing)

You know what we are:
simple people, immigrants.

My wife makes strudel,
I sell pots and pans,

and yet the Lord has seen fit
to send us an exceptional son.

Yeah, very exceptional.

I don't know anybody around

who could've made a
telescope like Mike's.

You're a very lucky man, Sam.

Lucky. (chuckles)

Every day Albert is more
and more of a problem.

- Every day...
- Well, don't worry about it.

He'll be all right...
He's got a good mind.

He can be anything he wants.

Albert will be a scientist,

a great scientist.

Dreams... they feed on
them, he and his mother.

To be a scientist he must study.

He must prepare for his dreams,

not play in the streets.

Well, Sam, why isn't,
why isn't the boy at school?

Ben... we must tell you...

Albert has been
expelled from school.


Well, why?

What happened?

It seems our son fights
with his classmates,

fights with the schoolmaster.

Mr. Norton told us he could
no longer control the class

if, if Albert
remained in school.

ROSALIE: It is only
that he is impatient.

There is so much
he wishes to learn.

I never thought George Norton
ever gave up on a student.

We do not feel that
Mr. Norton is to blame.

It is Albert.

(sighs) He is at
war with himself

and so he is at
war with everyone.

Come, come, let's
have our tea, hmm?

Here, Ben, one of the lesser
evils of life in Washington.

(Ben laughs)

No, thank you, not right now.

Well, what can I do for you?


I'd like a set of
applications for West Point.

Aren't you pushing the
age limit just a little bit?

(Ben laughs)

Who did you have in mind?

Oh, young Albert Michelson,

you know, Sam's boy.

Yes, I've heard of him.

He's supposed
to be quite bright.

Bright? I'll tell
you something...

That boy's not
bright, he's brilliant.

You know what that boy is doing?

He's making experiments
with light waves.

Now, can you
imagine, at his age?

The boy is way beyond his years.

I don't know, Ben, I don't
think an appointment is possible.



Henry, uh, you know,
the Michelsons...

They, uh, came a long
way to get to Virginia City.

Their boy's education, well,
means a great deal to them.

I'm sure that in
the old country,

members of the Israelite
persuasion were denied

a chance for an education...
Indeed, of most anything else.

That's another reason I'd, I'd
like the young Michelson boy

to get a fair chance
in this new country.

Well, I'm afraid
he's out of luck, Ben.

Both appointments
are filled for this year.

Henry, uh...

Isn't there, uh, anything
that you could do?

What do you think he'd
look like in a sailor's cap?


(opens drawer)

Annapolis, the Naval Academy.


In a couple of weeks I'm
having competitive examinations.

If you really think this
Michelson boy is qualified...

He'll make a very fine
naval officer, I know he will.

Well, you wish him good luck

and you give him every bit
of help you can scrape up.

Oh, well, what kind of help?

These exams are
tough, Ben, very tough.


If he were my boy
I'd sit him down

and cram his head
full of books right now.

All right.

Oh, hello, Norton.

Inspection tour?

Well, just looking at this,
it's going to need some doing.

Needs painting.

Ah, I wish more members of the
school board took your interest.

Oh, I guess the
men are pretty busy.

They do the best they can.

Well, actually, I, uh, I came
over to ask a favor of you.

Well, certainly, Mr. Cartwright,
anything you say.

Well, wait till you hear now.

Has to do with one of your
pupils... young Albert Michelson.

I was kind of surprised
to hear you expelled him.

Well, it surprised me, too.

I used to think there
wasn't a student on Earth

that I couldn't handle.

What's he up to now?

Well, he's not up to anything.

It's, uh, it's me
that's up to things.

I, I thought I'd like to see him
compete in the Annapolis exams.

I, uh, understand
they go pretty heavy on

mathematics and history,
and I kind of thought,

well, you know, the boy
will need some coaching.

No, sir, nothing doing.

Well, it's not gonna
take all that time.

Just a week or two and...

I wouldn't have
him for a day or two.

I'm sorry, Mr. Cartwright,

but I have 56 youngsters
in there to worry about

and I can't push them aside for
a troublemaker like Michelson.

Now, you can understand that.

Well, no, I...

What do you mean, troublemaker?

Young Michelson
is not a bad boy.

He's, he's an
intelligent youngster.

Well, there's no denying
the boy's intelligence,

but I have the good of
the school to think about.

Well, of course
you've got the good

of the school to think about.

What's that got to do with...?

Mr. Cartwright,
intelligence is one thing,

and getting along with
the people around you

is quite another thing.

Young Michelson
has never learned that.

Quite frankly I don't
know if he ever will.

He's a dreamer, he's restless,

and he thinks he's
better than everyone else.

George, you admit
the boy is bright.

Now, all he needs is a
little time and a little help.

Mr. Cartwright, that boy
lives in another world.

Now, I have used up
all the time and help

that I can afford to spend
on Albert Michelson.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I
have to clean these erasers.

Hey, Miguel.

Oh, buenos dias,
Señor Cartwright.

Is Adam here?

Uh, si, señor, he is inside.

Thank you.

(cracks loudly)


Where you been, Pa?

Oh, I've been... Say,
what do you think

about young Michelson
going to Annapolis?

Do you think he
really has a chance?

Well, I-I don't know, but,
well, if, if, if there was a chance,

do you, you think it'd
be a good thing for him?

It'd be perfect.

They have one of the
best engineering faculties

in the country.

You know, Representative
Quince is holding

open examinations in
two weeks, and, uh...

Well, do you think a Virginia
City boy would stand a chance?

Well, he'd be competing

against every bright
kid in the territory.

Yeah, yeah.

You know, I went by
the school to see Norton.

I thought maybe Norton'd help,

you know, help him
brush up on his studies,

but, well, that Norton
thinks Mike's a troublemaker,

won't have any part of him.

The smartest kid in town.

Yeah, just the same,
to get into Annapolis,

he's going to need
an awful lot of help.

What are you cooking up?

Well, I was, I was
just thinking, you know,

you've got all those
old college books

just lying around,
doing nothing.

And why don't I
just coach him, huh?

I thought you'd
never suggest it.

- (Ben laughs)
- I'll bet you did.

You really think
he's worth helping?

Yeah, he's a,
he's a special boy.

He worries about things
like the stars and light,

what makes the world tick.


And he, uh, worries
about tomorrow.


Hey, maybe Sam
would let him come out

and stay with us at the ranch.

It'd be good for the boy,

and he'd have plenty
of good, clean, fresh air

to go with all that studying

you're going to be
helping him with.

Yeah, that might work,

but I'll tell you, he's
going to be quite a handful.

Well, what do you
think you boys were?

You're talking to the man
who raised three Cartwrights.


Well, we got that fence fixed
up on the lower corral, Pa.

- Yeah, didn't move a single bit.
- Oh, good.


Hey, how's he doing, Adam?

How's it going, professor?

Hi, Michael.

Hey, what is all that
stuff, anyhow, Mike?

"Trigonometry, the
science of navigation."

Hey, what are you gonna do,
navigate on the Ponderosa?

Uh, not quite, but he's
got himself a project.

- It's an experiment in sound.
- Oh, yeah?

Yeah, what can
you do with sound?

Measure it.

(laughs) You must be joshing.

Wh-What do you want
to do a thing like that for?

As a matter of fact, he could
use a couple of volunteers.

Oh, Joe and me will
help him, won't we, Joe?

Heck yes, we'll be glad to help.

You might thank them.

Oh, yeah, thanks.

Look at that funny-looking
thing right there.

Looks like a tent, don't it?

I sure hope you know something

about basic trigonometry.

Oh, I-I can get stuff
right off the sheet here.

Uh, Mike, I think
it might be better

if you went up and
studied in your room.


that kid sure is a bug
on learning, ain't he?

You're not fooling.

Every time I see him, he's
got his nose buried in a book.

It wouldn't hurt you

to bury your nose in
a book occasionally.

He's right.

Almost; all right, that's it.

There you go.

Mike, about how far
is it from here to Hoss?

880 yards exactly.


How do you know
without pacing it off?

I know.

I know you know,
but how do you know?

Well, by taking any two
angles of a right triangle,

plus one of it's sides,

you can determine the
length of any one of it's legs.

You can?


Look, the line from
where I was before

to here is the base
of a triangle, right?

- Right, mm-hmm.
- All right.

The line from here to Hoss

is the vertical leg.

- Hmm?
- Oh, yeah.

All right, we know this
angle is 90 degrees.

By taking the other angle,

I placed Hoss just as
far away as I wanted.

Exactly half a mile.


And that's trigonometry, right?


Let me look through here.


He looks pretty funny in here.

And what are we gonna do now?

You mean if we
ever stop talking?

Oh, hey, I'm sorry.

All right.

Tell Hoss to get ready.

One, two, three, now.


I made it between
two and three seconds.

I make it two and a half.

How'd we do?

Pretty good.

Works out to
1,056 feet a second.

That fast, huh?

What does you book say, Adam?

1,100, that's pretty close.

Close, I think it's great.

We-we really measured
sound, huh, Mike?

Yeah, we really did, Hoss.

Hot dogs.

Oh, Hoss, you
know sound travels.

You've heard echoes before.

Yeah, but that's the first one
I ever held in my hand, Joe.

Samuel, Samuel, Mr. Norton.



Oh, good morning, Mr. Norton.

- Can I help you?
- Yes.

Oh, Mrs. Michelson.

Uh, I just came in
for a box of chalk.

Small box.

Of course.

Uh, Mrs. Michelson, is there
something on your mind?

My son, Mr. Norton.

Oh, yes, your son.

Of course, I'm sure you realize

how badly I feel about
his leaving school.

He didn't leave, Mr. Norton.

He was asked to leave.

Why, Mr. Norton, why?

Rosalie, please.

I'm sure having a
student like Albert

must have been
difficult for Mr. Norton.

Yes, Rosalie, most difficult.

Mr. Norton has so
much to think about.

Well, I'm pleased to see that
you understand my problems.

I, uh, understand your son

is spending some
time on the Ponderosa.


Yes, Mr. Norton,
Mr. Cartwright and his sons,

they want to help him
pass his examinations.


Yes, Mr. Norton, for Annapolis.

The United States Naval Academy.

Isn't that wonderful,
Mr. Norton?

Our son, Albert,

a student at the United
States Naval Academy?

Well, I'm afraid
I can't agree, no.

Why, Mr. Norton?

Well, I'll try to
explain it to you

the way I explained
it to Mr. Cartwright.

Now, I'm sure you feel your
son has great intelligence,

but intelligence can
be either good or bad.

It just depends on
how the person uses it.

Are you saying that our Albert

would use his in a bad way?

I'm saying he would
use it in a selfish way.

Albert thinks only of himself.

Other people mean
nothing to him.

But that's not true.

How you could
say such a thing...

Why, Mr. Norton, why?


Why do you think
your son, Albert,

is so special, Mrs. Michelson?

Why do you think that you
yourselves are so special?


Got morning chores done already?

Hey, I thought you
and young Mike

were gonna spend
the day at the lake?

Well, we were,
but it got too cold.

Besides, there was some
reading he wanted to catch up on.

Yeah, it is cold out.

How's the boy doing?

Think he'll be ready
in time for the test?

He's studying as hard as he can.

A little too hard, maybe.


You know, I thought it
would be a good idea for Mike

to be out here for a while
so you could coach him,

but I also figured it would
be a good chance for him

to see what the
outdoor life was like,

take advantage of the ranch,
use his hands and muscles

instead of just his mind.

Tell him.

Well, Pa,

it seems the boy ain't
too interested in the ranch.

The thing he's
interested in is books.

I never seen one for
reading like that boy.

Well, maybe that's what's wrong.

What do you mean, Pa?

Well, Mike's a bright boy.

Very bright.

Matter of fact, maybe
he's too bright for his age.

Knows much more than any
of the other boys at school.

He's way ahead of them,
always talking about light waves,

speed of sound...

Well, uh, what's
wrong with that?

I think it's good
that somebody's

interested in those things.

Well, of course it is,
of course it is, but...

Well, maybe because he's
so far ahead of all the others,

he's, uh, he's bored with
his regular schoolwork,

so he buries his nose
in those big books.

Boy's got to realize that
there's more to life than books.


- Hi, Mike, how are you?
- Hi, Mike.

You boys finish your coffee?

Can we get back to work now?

Well, I was afraid you
were gonna say that.

(chuckling) Yeah.

Adam, we'll see you later.

Catch up on the reading?

Yeah, this is the book by
that Frenchman, Fizeau.

Oh, yeah.

I think I like this one
best of all, Adam.

Well, you do, huh? Why?


You know what he's
talking about in here?

Measurement of
the speed of light.

That's what I'm gonna do next.

Very good.

But I think you ought
to slow down a while.

Slow down?

What for?

Well, you been working
pretty hard at all this.

You got to come down to earth,

get your head out of the
clouds once in a while.

Well, books are fine...

Books are everything, Adam.

Why, they're the keys that
open door after door after door.

Well, you remember what I mean.

We talked about it a lot.

I remember.

But you don't learn
everything in books, Mike.

I think you got to learn
a little bit about people.

Listen to them, observe
them, respect them.

All people do is talk,

and hate, and get in your way.

What good are they?

Mike, they're the most
important thing of all.

Without them, all the
books, your brains,

all the light, well, it might
as well not even exist.

Without people, there's nothing.

Why are you telling
me this, Adam?

Well, Mike,

getting to Annapolis
is only half the battle.

Once you get there,
you got to live there.

Think about it.

Will the applicants for
the academy examination

please step inside?

Good luck, son.

You got a pencil?

Oh, they'll have
plenty of pencils inside.

- Good luck.
- Good luck, huh?


Jonathan... Adams.

I-It's someone else.

It can't be.

It's not fair.

- Albert...
- It's Mr. Norton, Papa.

He hates me, you know he does.

Albert, this is yours to accept.

There's no reason
to blame others.

No, Papa, I passed
that examination!

I know I did!

My son...

you must learn
what it is to be a...

a man.

And the time to begin is now.


Sam... we got some
finding out to do.

Come on.

- (knocking)
- Yes?

Ben. Samuel.

Henry, Sam and I, we came here

to talk to you about
the Annapolis exam.

I'm awfully sorry,
but I had no choice.

Now, what does that
mean, you had no choice?

Now, Ben, this is
a pretty big territory.


Well, Johnny Adams,
the boy who made it...

he's the son of a
disabled veteran.

Well, you understand, Ben,

I had to award him
the appointment.

Of course. We understand.


Henry... how high
did Mike place?

Well, that's just it.

Both boys tied for
the highest honors.

I'm awfully sorry, but
there was only one opening.

Oh, Henry, that would
be a... be a pity, you know?

Great mind like that boy has,

and to lose it just because
there's no room in the academy.

- Now, Ben, don't...
- Well, just look at it, now,

look at it... look
at it truthfully.

A-A young genius like
that lost to the world

just because there's no
room for him in the school.

(smacks lips)

Well, I suppose
we could try to...

wangle a presidential

Presidential appointment?

It's been known to happen.

'Course, he's
thoroughly qualified.


But it would mean that we'd need

all kinds of support.

The town would have
to be behind the boy.

Oh, there's no problem there.

Uh, you really think
there's a chance for Albert?

Now, look, Sam, I wouldn't
want you to go on counting on it.

- Uh-huh.
- Let's put it this way.

The sooner you
two get out of here

the sooner I can
write the letter.

(Sam chuckles)

Come on, Sam!

Let's get out of here!


Samuel, how are you?

Ben. Adam.

Say, is there any news
yet from Washington

- about the appointment?
- Nothing, Ben.

Mr. Quince thinks we
should hear any day.

- Good.
- Where's Mike?

Where would he
be? The livery stable,

wasting his time.

I'll go over and
say hello to him.

He's there almost every day,
fooling with his experiments

and reading those books.

Tell you what, I'll go see
our friend Quince right now.

- All right?
- Mm.

Now, stop worrying.


Ah, so this is
where you're hiding.

Oh, hi, Adam.

No, I'm not hiding;
it's just quieter up here.

More private.

Mm, see you're not
neglecting your studies.

That'll come in handy
when you get to Annapolis.


I've been rigging a
new experiment, Adam,

to measure light.


Yeah, you remember in
that book by the Frenchman?

- Fizeau?
- Yeah, Fizeau.

Well, I think I figured out a
way to measure light, too.

Just think, Adam, if we could
measure the speed of light,

we could find out... how
far away the stars are,

how old, their size.

And maybe someday,
if we knew enough...

(chuckles) we might
even travel to the stars.

Oh, now, hold on,
you're way ahead of me.

Uh, why don't we just start
with this thing right here.

Oh. Well, this is simple.

If by spinning this, I
can break up a light

reflected in that mirror, well,
maybe I can measure its flashes.

The speed of travel.

Sounds logical.
Have you tried it?

No. I'm waiting for Miguel to
get back to help me set it up.

Well, I'll help
you take it down.


You didn't fail me,
that's wonderful.

Adam, have you heard the news?

Tell him. Come on, tell him.

The president will consider
a special appointment

for Albert Abraham Michelson.

Oh, Adam, isn't it wonderful?

We're not there yet, Rosalie.

Aw, he will be, he will be!

'Course, it means that most
of the work is still up to us.

I mean, we'll have
to have letters

- and petitions.
- Oh, we'll get those.

And the schoolteacher's
formal endorsement, of course.

Uh, just how important is
Mr. Norton's endorsement?

Why, without that, we might
as well forget the whole thing.

If we need the
endorsement of Mr. Norton...

may as well begin forgetting
the whole thing right now.

Oh, come on, Sam! He's
not gonna stand in Mike's way.

Norton isn't an enemy. (laughs)

Isn't he, Ben?

I hope you're right, my friend.

Would you please
stay out of the way?

Well, he's at it again.


We'd better find Norton
before he leaves for home.



All right, take it, Miguel.


Are you all right, Mr. Norton?

(panting): No thanks
to you, Michelson.

Now, if you can't
control your son,

why don't you keep
him off the streets.

- The boy is a public menace.
- I'm-I'm sorry, sir.

Just what did you think
you were doing, boy?

Trying to measure
the speed of light.

The speed of light?

Just listen to him!

Albert Abraham Michelson,

the boy genius of Virginia City.

Just who do you
think you are, boy?

What makes you
so all-fired arrogant?

(Ben speaks quietly)

Games, that's what
he's playing, games.

And you thought he'd
make a naval officer.

He still might, Norton.

There's a presidential
appointment all set up for him.

Oh, really? Well, I hope

you don't come
running to me for help.

Mr. Norton... my
son made a mistake...

yes, a large mistake, but...

does this make him
any less qualified

to receive an education?

Does a single mistake
make him any less deserving?

Deserving? Your son?

After what he's done?

BEN: Mr. Norton,
you're judging that boy

as if he were a grown
man... He's only 16 years old.

He can't help being immature.

I'm just a little tired

of everybody making
excuses for that boy.

Now, he deserves
that appointment.

Look at the marks he got.

Mr. Cartwright, I can't
do what I don't believe in.

Or would you have me
compromise my beliefs

just because you ask it?




MIKE: We will now study the
eight principle parts of speech.

Noun, pronoun, verb,
adverb, adjective,

preposition, conjunction.

Noun, pronoun, verb,

adverb, adjective, preposition.

All right, who can
conjugate the verb "to be"?

I am, you are, he is,

we are, you are, they are.


do you know what's
going on up there?

Oh, Mike's up there studying.

Oh, it's more than that.

Mike's up there teaching.

He's got a whole
classroom of boys.

Well, how long has
this been going on?

Ever since my Miguel left
school several weeks ago.

Miguel left school? Why?

Mr. Norton said he
was a troublemaker,

that he could not sacrifice
his class for a boy like Miguel.

Well, what about the others?

They all left school at
Mr. Norton's request.

Can't be.


We've got to get
to the truth of this.

The truth.

Señor Cartwright, in
Spanish there is an old saying:

"He who speaks the
truth often talks to himself."

Yeah. Well, even so, Tonio,

one must speak the truth.


(indistinct chatter)

All right, let's settle
down. (clears throat)

Quiet down. The
school board meeting

is now called to order.

Well, Ben, uh, since
this is your idea,

maybe you can tell us
what this meeting's all about.

You all know Ben Cartwright.


(quiet sigh)

Well, I guess there are many...

matters of importance
that... that could be discussed

at a meeting of this sort.

Three years ago, I
thought that George Norton

was the best man
to run our school.

We all did.

That's why we hired him.

Since then, I'd always figured
that we'd done the right thing.

I was wrong.

George Norton isn't fit
to teach in Virginia City.


Are you lodging a
formal complaint, Ben?

Yeah, I guess I am.

Well, what are your
charges, Mr. Cartwright?

I said, what are your
charges, Mr. Cartwright?

Let's hear them.

Just one charge,
Mr. Norton: bigotry.



Quiet down, folks.

Now, settle down, settle down.

That is ridiculous.

"Bigotry" is a mighty
serious word, Ben.

You sure you know
what you're doing?

He'll do anything to get me
fired; that's what he's doing.

Why don't you tell them
the truth, Cartwright?

Why don't you tell them
why we're really here?

That boy there... He's
the cause of all this.

He's only part of it.

No, sir.

We would not be here if
I'd help him get to Annapolis.

And why won't you
do that, Mr. Norton?

I've already told
you, Mr. Cartwright.

I don't think he deserves
to be a naval officer.

Now, that is my
opinion, gentlemen,

and I am entitled
to that opinion,

Ben Cartwright or
no Ben Cartwright.

Well, that sounds fair enough.

What's the use in
making more out of it?

Well, there is more.


Read those names.

Why, these are all boys
that I've had to expel.

You mean... those are
boys you refuse to teach.

No, that's simply not true.

These boys were troublemakers,
like Michelson there.

I had a right to expel them.

Are they all like Michelson?

You'd better check.

Well... no, some
of these boys are...

well, we'll call them slow.

They're children
that-that simply

don't belong in a classroom.

I see.

So what you're saying
is that the boys on that list

are either too smart or too
stupid to be in your school.

Is that it?

Those are your words,
Mr. Cartwright, not mine.

All right, Adam.

Folks, this is Miguel Garcia.

He was born here
in Virginia City.


will you tell us what
you do every morning?

We go to school.


In my father's
loft at the stable.


They go to school every
morning, in his father's loft,

in a stable, because
they want to learn.

Now, how come they
couldn't learn from you?

You mean, you...

you sit there and go to
school all by yourselves?

Oh, no, they managed
to find a teacher.

A teacher? Who?

Albert Michelson.

You really don't
understand, do you?

Well, you will.

You all will.

As I did, finally.

Johnny Quon.

Peter Red Hawk.

Lee Sing.

Antonio Rodriguez.

Manuel Lopez.

Look at them, Mr. Norton.

What is it they have in common?

They're different.

They don't look like most
people in this town look.

They don't look like you.

Their eyes aren't
the same as yours.

Their faces aren't the same.

There's nothing familiar
about the way they talk

or look...

or even the way they
worship their creator.

Oh, they may be
American, but they're...

they're not like you at all.

They may be students,

but they're not like
all your other students.

They're Mexicans, Orientals.

They're Indians, an Israelite.

Every one of them...

every one of them is different.

I see.



Mr. Norton.

Where will you go?

Well, I-I don't know.

Anywhere there's
a school, I guess.

There is a school
here, in Virginia City.

But, Ben, you just finished...

Well, I... I don't quite
know what to say.

I've always believed
all my life that the...

the noblest thing a man
could do was to teach.

To take children and
to help open their minds.

What I didn't realize
until just now was...

that first, a teacher must
make sure his own mind is open.

Well, I...

I can't begin to, uh, make
up for what I've done by...

by a few words of
apology or explanation.

The only way that I
could possibly make it up

to those whom I've
hurt is as a teacher.

If... if you would give
me another chance,

I would do my best and
work as hard as I could

to be a real teacher
to your children.

To all your children.

There's a little prejudice
hidden in every one of us,

whether we like
to admit it or not.

Now, it isn't enough
just to be against bigotry.

It takes some doing to reach
deep down inside yourself

and dig it out, admit
it, and face it down.

I say that any man who can do
that deserves another chance.

Let's put it to a vote.

All those in favor of keeping
George Norton as schoolmaster?

It is part of our faith

that a man may
atone for his mistakes

and start again
with a clear heart.

The Michelsons vote yes.


I vote yes.

ALL: Yes!


Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you all for...

for giving me this chance.

Albert, I would be
privileged to endorse

your application for
the Naval Academy.

Besides, I think we'd all agree
that, uh, this town would be

a lot safer place if
you were in Annapolis.



- Congratulations.
- Congratulations.

- Mr. Norton.
- Thank you, sir.

Oh, thank you so much.

Ben, thank you, thank you.

BEN: In 1907, Albert
Abraham Michelson,

proud son of
Virginia City, Nevada,

was the first American citizen
to be awarded the Nobel Prize

for his precise measurement
of the speed of light.

Behind the Scenes of Look to the Stars

Albert Michelson achieved renown through his groundbreaking 1887 “Michelson-Morley Experiment,” conducted at the Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland, Ohio, alongside fellow physicist Edward Morley. This pivotal experiment provided crucial evidence confirming the constancy of the speed of light.

The schoolhouse featured in the episode “Looking to the Stars” was situated on the backlot of Paramount Studios, known as The Tank. Originally known as the Historic Lasky-DeMille Barn, this iconic structure served as a backdrop for numerous Paramount Western films and television productions, including the pioneering 1913 feature-length motion picture “The Squaw Man.” Relocated from its original Selma Avenue and Vine Street site by film pioneer Jesse L. Lasky, the barn holds significant historical importance. Mr. Booth Colman was a close associate of Jesse L. Lasky Jr.

Albert Abraham Michelson, born in 1852, was appointed to the US Naval Academy in 1869 by President Ulysses S. Grant. The events depicted in the early seasons of Bonanza are set before 1861, preceding the onset of the Civil War.

Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Bonanza is a fantastic, clean show to watch alone or with family. Look to the Stars, which is 92 episodes out of 430. NBC produced Bonanza and ran on its network from September 1959 to January 1973. The whole series lasted 14 seasons.

You can find more about any of the 430 Bonanza episodes here>>

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